Posted by: Leigh Reynolds | September 25, 2013

The Words I Would Say

This is my blog post about all the unfinished blog posts rolling around in my head…

I am one of those people that thinks out loud. I process through conversation. Sometimes things roll out of my mouth that sound quite convincing – that I have never consciously thought before and they seem quite brilliant. Other times, well, I really wish I would learn to process more before I speak.

There have been times in my life where I had someone to talk to. Someone to count on to listen and help me process. I am not quite sure I was ever as good of a friend and listener back as I should have been, but I sure have always been immeasurably thankful for those kind souls who put up with my blather and help me feel what I feel.

As blessed as I am with dear, sweet, loving people in my life all around, there isn’t that one call-you-every-day-just-to-check-in friend. And even if there was, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have time for the call. I started this blog as a means to process as well, because writing about it is just as cathartic as talking about it. Plus, I can always self-edit and hit delete. It has been my way of turning things around, too – determined that if I hit “publish” it would be something to throw more good out into the world that negative, pity-party stuff.

Life is full beyond measure. Really crazy-busy and stressful – but meaningful – work. All the busyness of parenting a teenager, an tween and a toddler. Helping care for my in-laws who have more challenges than they need. Then there’s the other thing… The autism thing.

Many wonderfully kind people have said wonderfully kind things about how strong I am. What a great mom I am, a good advocate. But let me tell you, it is hard.  I struggle every day. Life completely changed and everything is different. Everything. Life is therapy; therapy is life.

I think about pushing too much – or about not doing enough and losing some window of opportunity.

I wonder about putting too much focus on Wil and losing too much with Jake and Tess.

I consider if Patrick and I will ever again just go out to dinner and have a conversation that isn’t about family schedules, therapy, to do lists and drama.

I worry about Wil’s trouble sleeping and what is going on in his head when he crawls under his bed to sleep.

I ruminate over Jake’s teenager-ness and Tessa’s growth in middle school.

I shake my fists at God, really annoyed that He couldn’t keep my refrigerator from shooting craps this week or my brakes grinding this month when we were so close to catching up on things.

I want to make sure I am doing all I can so that Wil will some day have friends, have a conversation, go to a birthday party and enjoy it, do well in school and not be bullied, never feel alone, never feel like his being different is being less…

Then there’s work. I have at least a dozen half-written, partially formed blogs in my head on non-profit management, the struggles of the patient voice in advocacy, the invisible sicknesses that take over lives and can tear up families, the way so many consultants are catching big fish when they should be teaching organizations to be better fishermen…

I have had little to no time to blog nor to talk with family or friends. I have forced myself to carve out 30 minutes for walking each day and as I lace up my shoes and turn on the iPod full of praise music, all of these thought flood my head and my heart, wanting so desperately to get out, to be formed into sentences. They come too fast and in too scattered a fashion, so most days I look like the neighborhood lunatic, powerwalking to the beat of unheard music, tears streaming down my face, as I talk to God and try and pull myself together.

At night, I think about writing. Usually I am too tired or I just can’t bear to stare at a screen anymore, so sometimes I pull out my journal and fall asleep a few sentences in, the pen smudged across an unfinished page.

Most nights I consider grabbing one of these unfinished thoughts and blogging… But it is late, and Wil needs to be pulled out from under the bed and tucked back in it. Or the kitchen needs to be cleaned up so it is not a mess when I go down to get breakfast for the kids in the morning. Or there are a hundred other things to do that are more pressing. Or I am just too worn out to think about processing any one thought enough to write something coherent.

I wear all these thoughts, worries, fears, and concerns all day, unprocessed. Unfinished. The words I long to say are just below the surface. They are like the lining of a winter coat. They are heavy, don’t breathe, and largely unseen. Most people don’t even know that layer is there. But I am always aware of it.

I wear it every day. It weighs on me. And tomorrow I will wear the coat again…



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