Updated: Mar 29
Hilariously, I thought this year was going to be "my year"
Once I waded through the grieving process of sending my last baby off to school. I began to bask in the freedom of a six hour school day.
I wasn't sure what I was going to achieve but I knew it would be big. We had built businesses solely in snatched amounts of child free time. I just knew I'd be kicking goals this year. We now had SIX whole hours a day, FIVE days a week, to get shit done.
So let me tell you all about what I achieved this year.......... absolutely fucking nothing.
I started out as I always do, like a bull at a gate, determined and working hard, but nothing seemed to gel, nothing seemed to fit. Nothing was flowing and it seemed I couldn't work out where I was headed.
Business wise, we were stagnant. Worse than stagnant, we felt we were going backwards, I uncovered a tangled mess in our book keeping, which meant I spent a lot of time, re-doing and fixing things and creating unforeseen debts in the process.
Our 8 year old son, Seb had a prick of a year at school. He started off strong but as the year went on, things went south. He was suspended from school three times and he has spent the past 12 weeks being sent home after only a few hours of school each day. This coincided with our busiest three months of the year business wise, how fun.
When everyone else seemed to posting their children's academic achievements on facebook, we were scratching our heads and wondering where the fuck we had gone wrong. By the time school broke up we were devastated, exhausted and just plain broken.
Then school reports came. My daughter Annabelle's report was perfect, she loves school and sails through it, but to celebrate this felt even more devastating because her brother is struggling so much.
In the midst of the depression vortex that I'd been sucked into, I was scrolling through facebook getting annoyed and jealous about everyone else's brilliant achievements in 2019.
I went for a run, and I suddenly had a thought.... "We made it through this year, we actually did it"
So then I delved further into it and pushed myself to see the positives that came out of this year?
What are our lessons can we take from this absolute bitch of a year?
I have learnt that we need to continue to do what we know is right for our son.
Our son is struggling at school because we made a decision to take him off his medication. Medication that was allowing him to succeed academically, at the cost of his wellbeing. At the cost of his happiness, his communication skills and his relationship with his little sister.
I have learnt that this boy is resilient as can be.
This little boy has been in trouble at school almost daily, he has had meltdowns and sworn at teachers, and behaved in highly embarrassing ways, but every morning he wakes up and he goes to school again to face the music and try again. His resilience is something we are so proud of.
He hears the things people say about him, he acknowledges it and he chooses to move on and love them regardless. He is incapable of holding a grudge.
He comes to paediatrician appointments and willingly tries new medications, even though we are yet to find the right one - he keeps trying.
He has fucked up royally at many social gatherings but he continues to want to go to the next event and try again.
He is at the required level to go into grade three, despite struggling to concentrate and not being able to be at school for full days.
Despite the lack of understanding he sometimes receives, he has a heart bigger than anyone I know. He is currently busting my chops, to do something for the homeless this Christmas.
I have learnt that we are a fucking good team.
As his parents, I am proud that Dan and I are still together and stronger than ever though these challenges, especially when we see so many ADHD family relationships fall apart. The stress ADHD behaviour adds to a relationship is enormous, sometimes we both have absolutely no idea what we are doing, and wonder whether we are doing anything right at all. We are both so committed to advocating for our child, and learning how to do better for him. To pave the way for him to be able to succeed in life, not just school.
We've have been in paediatricians offices together where the paed has said "there is nothing further I can help you with" and we look at each other and think "fuck you, we will find someone who can"
We got through the busiest time of the year, with a kid busting our balls twenty four seven for three months straight.
We have sat in school meetings with tears running down our face, but still been able to speak our truth.
We've taken turns not coping and supporting each other.
As for me, on paper I've achieved nothing, but emotionally this year has been a turning point for me.
I learnt that I should try things that I might completely fail at. Because even if I fail, it feels better than the regret of not giving it a go.
I walked 60ks for Mental Health Awareness. I swore, I cried, I gave up. But I got it done. When I thought I couldn't keep going my friends and family pulled me through, and even if I didn't make it? Who cares. I had the courage to try.
I learnt that anxiety is very real, and self care is crucial.
This year I suffered my first anxiety attack, and once the attacks started they just kept coming. I had to get on top of it, and changed my diet, my water intake, and took up running. I've found that I need to put myself first sometimes, and take time out as if I go down, the whole family goes down.
I learnt that it's ok to not be ok.
I have always been one to preach this to other people, but I never allowed it for myself. This year I broke. In front of people. Many times. It's ok to be vulnerable. In fact being vulnerable yourself helps others to be open and honest with what they are going through, it helps them reach out when they need to.
I have learnt that I can do whatever I set my mind to do.
Another big achievement for me - I have started running. I was walking my delicious lab one night and thought "hey let's run home!" and I started to run and I thought "wow this is great".... for about 20 metres, before I started to struggle to breathe. I decided to learn to run, and I've run every single day for five month since. (Barring a week long bout of disgusting gastro) I now run 5k easily, and in 2020 I'll push it to 10k.
Running has been a vital tool in managing my mental health and anxiety, and something I choose to do for myself everyday.
I have learnt that the universe always has a plan
I enrolled in a physic development course, on what I would like to say was a whim, but knowing what I know now, I can see I was being pretty strongly guided towards. Through this I have further learnt to just do it! To throw myself into new situations, and just give it a go.
I've been rewarded with strong spirit connections, and I have learnt the depth of my connection to my own spirit guides. I can now see that my business ideas, and growth I was trying to push earlier in the year did not happen because I needed to be present enough to support Seb through the shitstorm. Imagine being even more busy and having to stop everything after an hour to go and pickup my child every day!
I know that I am being tested to get through this, to come out the other side and go on to advocate for other parents and children going through this same lonely journey.
Most importantly, I have learnt that whatever 2020 is going to chuck at me - I'll get through it