Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Resolution - My Son

Yes, this is about my son and No, this is not a 'language lesson' per say.....Well....... here we are in a new year and here we are ready to set some resolutions to be broken.  Isn't that the way it usually goes? Everyone makes a statement to resolutely do things better, to resolutely make themselves better, or to resolutely change something!  Yet, how many of us really stick to it and have something happen?!

I don't usually share what I will and won't do for the new year, I just attempt to make some kind of change and like some millions out there, I don't usually stick to it. People have told me that if you don't share with a friend or family member what you are going to do, than more than likely ... it won't happen.  I don't want to disappoint myself, much less someone else who thinks I can make a change for the better. 

Enter my son.....and now, this year, I think I can make and keep a resolution!  Years ago, but not nearly as far back as that, my son was diagnosed with a mental health disorder.  He was not yet 18, so my husband and I could still make decisions as to how to go about helping him and ourselves.....or so we thought.  After the initial diagnosis, we both thought, we will just get him the help and medication he needs and he'll be fine.  He fought us every step of the way trying to tell us what he thought, but at that time 'mom and dad knew best' and he was 'going to listen to us'.  Four months later, my son could not keep a thought in his head or a smile on his face.  He had this blank look and slept all the time.  We were on medication number 5 when he finally asked me and his father to sit down and listen to what he had to say.  We did, I was in tears and his father was in shock.  Who says a child cannot teach an adult.....we learned quite a bit that day, some things we did not want to learn.  That day and into the next weeks we took our son off of all medications, found new doctors and attempted to make sense of what was going on in his life and in his mind.  Now I am not abdicating for 'no medications' ....that in and of itself is a decision a family should make together.  Once again, I do abdicate for discussions; talking and listening. It all plays such a huge part in family, why should it be any different when there is a difficult event taking place in your life that needs to be addressed by everyone.  If you want to move forward with major decisions in your life and of those within your life.....discussions have to take place. 

As I was saying; that day and to this day - we are still 'talking' and 'discussing' and learning about my son's mind and life.  He is my hero, each day he has to make a conscious decision that this is a new day; one that he'll make productive.  And each day he has to be resolute in living and making a change outside the system.   He does this, as he would say and is learning; 'being in the system doesn't make a change for me, it just makes me stuck and unhappy.'  Oh how I hate to see him unhappy, it breaks my heart because that is not the little boy I remember.  He is 24 years old now and he has lived a lifetime of angels and demons in his mind.  He has lived a lifetime of being up and down and he has lived a lifetime of things I can only imagine.  I will never understand completely what goes on within him but I do know he has made strides in his life from where he was those years ago and I am soooooo proud of him.  He is an artist and the love in my life!

Which leads to my resolution for the New Year.  It goes hand-in-hand with my son.  I was listening to a news story about people's resolutions to be do you get to happy?  Well, the truth is....happiness really does come from sounds so cliche but that ol' adage is true.  We can do little things for ourselves that make us happy.  Take a deep breath and smelling apple pie or the scent of flowers makes us smile and feel good.  Looking at family pictures and thinking 'what a great trip that was!' can make us smile and feel good.  Telling a joke or finding a funny story can make us feel good!  I will go one even further ....sharing those moments with someone will make you feel good....that is my resolution.
I will find something in each day to make me smile or feel good even if for a few minutes....and I will share it with my son.  On those days I feel down or sad I will remember what I said and find something to make me smile and hopefully....after I share, my son will be smiling too.  Who knows, maybe he will write a new something for it, or even have a discussion regarding it....and maybe the discussion will be with me......and I....will be listening......


  1. This is beautiful Cathy !!!! You and your family are beautiful, real people inside and out <3

  2. :'( our kids teach us so much.... may we both continue to LISTEN to our children...