Wow! I recently re-read my posts from last summer and realized I have had a serious attitude adjustment. I sounded so negative and bitter, I’m glad I don’t feel that way anymore.
That said, my kids would be quick to point out that I have more grumpy days than not. Just this week I almost lost it when someone let the water filter dry out and I thought I had to replace it before it was really dirty. But in my own defense, I have had a house full of teenagers two weekends in a row. No, I’m not the happiest person to walk this earth, but I try. And I really have made progress.
I no longer blame my ex for the divorce. At least not completely. He grew up in a culture where mental illness was taboo, and people were expected to just suck it up and get over it. It wasn’t until we had been married several months that he acknowledged that I really do live with challenges. He never was able to recognize that it was ADHD that makes Marty and me so flighty and forgetful, so any time I forgot something important to him, he took it personally. It also didn’t help that the one time he knew I was suicidal, I told him it was thinking about the kids that stopped me, not him. Ouch.
I also look at Marty’s illness differently. I have stopped thinking this was something that we need to stop and take care of so we can go on with our lives. I’ve realized that this is a new “normal” and I can’t put everything on hold waiting for a cure that may never come. Daily medications and injections, bi-weekly infusions and frequent doctor appointments are now just a part of our life. This is so unremarkable among my JA family that sometimes I forget that not all moms know how to give shots, understand what a SED rate is, are on a first name basis with their pharmacist, or carry two different pain medications everywhere they go.
I’ve heard stories from JA moms whose kids approach or even reach remission, and other moms whose kids are much worse than mine. I’ve learned not to begrudge the happiness of moms whose kids are doing well, and am no longer afraid to share our good news for fear of making someone jealous. I have crossed over the line to realize that good stories spread hope. Yes, it’s sad to hear of kids who struggle, and I wish I could offer some advice to make it easier to cope.
I’m still a work in progress. In a year I may again realize how far I’ve come. But for now I’m doing the best I can, trying to get on with life. And maybe have some fun along the way.