What Was It That Caused Your Depression
Waking up each day to face the same battles rearing twins with autism made life hard. Knowing that every diaper change would be a fight, every meal would end up with food on the walls, and that I would never be able to please my babies was very difficult.
We could never have a quiet family meal again, go to the store as a family, attend church together, or have friends over. Spontaneity was gone. I felt I was failing my typical children and unable to reach my children with autism.
Nothing could be planned because it was futile. A meltdown ensued every few minutes, and who knew when the next crisis would hit?
How Did You Get Past Depression to Help Your Child
I battled depression by riding my motorcycle, listening to my favorite music, and just getting in the car and driving - alone.
I still have to make time to get alone. If I spend enough time alone, I feel more able to tackle another day of constant stress.
It's the 24-7 of rearing kids with autism that can be so overwhelming. I've had to learn to ask people to help me. That's hard for me because I'm pretty self-reliant. But once I admitted I wasn't a failure if I asked for help, I was more able to face the daunting task of raising my boys. I have a better attitude towards life and towards them.
I had to decide whether we were going to live a life, or live therapy. Fortunately, I followed my instincts, and chose wisely what therapies to discontinue in order to improve our quality of life as a family. I also chose what therapies were non-negotiable and stuck with them.
When I feel depression hitting me, I take time to get alone to get perspective. It's not always possible right when I need to, but I do it as soon as I can. Even if it just means I sit in the car in my driveway, or take a bubble bath, I make sure I get that down time.
I also discovered "me" again. I began to enjoy the hobbies I had dropped when the twins were born. I began to read and write again. I picked my violin back up. I learned to ride a motorcycle and took long road trips.
Learning to love myself, and take care of myself was a huge part of overcoming depression. Talking to a counselor helped, and listening to his advice and following it was also key.
I can remember a season when I didn't even have time to take a shower. Once I learned to take care of me no matter what, things got better.
Resting is also key in overcoming depression. The more tired I was, the more futile life seemed. Sometimes I slept the entire day while a babysitter watched the boys, because sleeping through the night didn't happen for a lot of years.
The boys are 15 now, and they sleep through the night. Their progress is proof I made the right choices in regard to therapies.
I'm not a perfect mom, but I'm a more relaxed, healthy mom. And my more relaxed attitude helps lower my boys' anxieties, too.
I also spend time each day praying. Praying helps me get perspective, and gives me peace. Peace and love are two emotions I crave the most when interacting with my boys. Prayer gives me those things.
- You are not a failure if you ask for help. It takes a lot of courage to do so.
- Even mommies need time alone.
- Trust your mommy instincts.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Don't forget to take care of yourself first so that you can better take care of others.
- Do those things that fill you back up. Keep your hobbies and do them.
- Exercise as much as you can and eat well. Avoid a lot of sugar which can trigger depression (at least it does in me).
- Take time for your other kids. They need you as much as your children with autism.