We just call him Ryan

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I love this picture. This is me and my son at Christmas 2010. This Christmas marked the change in his life, in our lives. About a month after this picture we finally found out what was really wrong with him. He has Epilepsy. But at the time we took this picture we didn’t know that yet. We were told my son was genetically defected and diagnosed with every mental disorder. ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder), depression, mood disorder and even bipolar disorder. All by the time he was 8 years old. He was on just about every type of psych med with 9 prescriptions. About a month before this Christmas photo was taken I was fed up and finally stood up to the doctors. I educated myself about any and every thing the doctors labeled him with, the medications and the side effects. I obsessed over it. I was fed up with them just throwing on another pill when his side effects got worse. I was fed up of him getting worse instead of better. I was fed up of believing those doctors and giving them all the power to do whatever to my son. If he was bipolar I was ready to accept that but damn it I was fed up with all their damn guesses. 9 prescription pills my son took each day and I was angry at myself for allowing the doctors to let it get to that point. After three attempts at partial hospitalization, we admitted him into the hospital. At eight years old my son was placed into the psychiatric unit in the hospital. He was in the hospital for two weeks and we even celebrated his 9th birthday there.

I look at this picture and realize there was a before and after. Before the diagnoses and after. I think back of all that has happened and there was one night that literally saved us both.

My son had been released from the hospital and home for the first time in years without any medication. What was scary was we found out he really had Epilepsy but the hospital couldn’t get a pediatric neurologist to see my son. So after my constant badgering and bitching the doctor finally agreed to release him and gave me a list of appointments I needed to make. To get in with a neurologist was a 3 month wait. But I didn’t care, I was so excited to bring him home!!

He started reading. He just sat in his room reading!! Now that’s just crazy talk…nope it’s true. I remember him telling me before he would look at the pages and it just looked like alphabet soup. But now when he looked at the pages the words came alive because he could read them. I think all those meds really messed with him but they also numbed the pain of our past for him. See three years before this we had moved from our home, the only one my kids knew and started all over leaving the past behind. The past being my son’s father who was abusive in many ways and we finally got away.

Fast forward. Extensive neuro psych testing found the rest of the pieces. No depression. No bipolar. He has Epilepsy, ADHD, non-verbal learning disorder(think high functioning aspergers/autism), and sensory processing disorder. But we just call him Ryan.

Now Ryan is almost 16. He’s a sophomore in a regular high school with an IEP (individualized education plan). This year will likely be his last year needing the social skills class which will allow him to take an elective class like photography. Next semester he’s signed up for ROTC. He wants to be a police officer and help people. He has a girl friend and loves who he is. He is thoughtful and caring. Funny and still obnoxious. He is a great kid and I am in awe of who he has become. Somehow this amazing kid with a shocking past is beating the odds and this mom couldn’t be prouder.

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Magic of beginnings

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24 hours

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Life lessons bottled up

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Hardest days

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Spinning empty

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It’s like everything makes no sense anymore, but I’m finally okay with that. I accept I’ve been foolish and careless. I’m in awe when I think of the chapters I’ve completed so far, and how little sense any of them make. I can’t believe I’m still here, breathing, fighting.

I have been so many different characters, and replayed some too many times hoping to change the ending. For the first time in my life I don’t care what happens tomorrow or what happened yesterday. I’m numb and empty, but it’s different now. I know wherever my path is, it is not meant with anyone from my past. Maybe it’s just meant for me and I’m okay with that. Maybe there is this lottery of light waiting behind a door I never considered.

Suddenly I realized, I will be okay and it’s time to let go and move on. And the fear of the unknown disappeared because my life has shown me, it will always work out. It’s okay that I fall, just regroup and continue on. And stop trying so fucking hard. Stop being the better person. Just be yourself, with no apologies or regrets.

I am who I am. And flaws and all, I’m still pretty great bitches!

Why now?

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I have been battling depression and anxiety for the last few years. It’s difficult and extremely lonely. Today was the first day in a long time that I felt normal, back to my silly sassy self, feeling confident again. Then the rug was pulled out from under me.

I’m not capable of handling this. Of coping, of processing something I tried to bury years ago. But i am trying. Very. Very. Hard.
Set backs affecting my mental state. Things from so many years ago popping up, poking and prodding. I want to forget. I want to not know. I want to not think of it or how..or why. It’s disgusting. And I attempted to pretend it didn’t happen. I have always known it did, but it hurt too much to face. I pulled up my body to function for survival. Now the past has again come to haunt me. Remind me. I don’t want to think of it, but a picture plays in my head that I can’t stop. I’m again trying to make sense out of something that can’t possibly have any explanation. I feel sick and disgusted. Embarrassed and sad. Angry and alone.  But mostly sick. I want to avoid this memory, details of the story, after 8 years, I still can’t stomach the thought.

I’m praying to god, the holy spirit, universe, shit even tinker bell, help me find the strength to press on. Please allow me to forgive myself. And dare I say, he. Give me the strength to also forgive him. Not because he deserves it, but because I do. I can’t hold onto this anger and bitterness, I can’t pretend it’s ok now. I know what must be done. I hope I can follow through.

Dear god, please help me overcome this obsticle. Give me the courage to let go and move on. To find peace and forgiveness because all the hurt I’ve suffered is too heavy.

I wish I knew before, first, now my wound is open again, life rubbing salt in the raw beating heart, unable to battle the memories, why does all shit hit the fan when I’m on the path to better things. This must also be part of my journey. But god, can you take it easy soon? Whatever I did to deserve this, please forgive me. I’ve been punished enough. Amen.

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