I don’t deal well with change. Oh, I think that’s putting it mildly. Let me rephrase: Change scares the hell out of me.
With my son, any sort of change---anything “new” or “different”---could potentially mean something awful, something devastating. And it usually did; it ultimately was.
I approached Change like a timid child, terrified of what was around the next corner. Even when things weren’t going that well in our lives, even when they were a struggle, if they were at least constant I could handle that. Without a diagnosis or any set of parameters to go by, I lived in a perpetual state of worry and fear of the unknown. The only thing I was sure of was that I loved my son and I was exactly where I needed to be.
When my beautiful boy died my biggest fears became my new reality. EVERYTHING changed. Every single aspect of my life changed the moment I walked away from that hospital room without him sixteen months ago. Suddenly I didn’t know ANYTHING. I had been the sole caregiver to the most perfect little boy for six years, day in and day out, and now he was gone. I didn't know what to do.
I’m still afraid, still that timid little child tip-toeing around Change like it’s a sleeping dragon, desperate not to awaken it so I don’t have to face it.
I feel so small and inadequate, incapable of such a feat! Sometimes I think I can gather up enough courage, I can convince myself to step forward bravely into the Unknown but more often than not, Fear grabs ahold of me and pulls me back, whispering promises of safety and familiarity. Fear convinces me that I’m better off staying put, even backtracking a bit. At least I know what’s behind me, right?? But the thing is, the only reason I would want to go back is if I could be with my son again……and that’s just not possible. I can’t go back, not in that respect. Oh, how I wish I could!!
Today, for the moment, I stand still. Some days I curl up in a ball and refuse to acknowledge any of it, just waiting for another day to pass so I can muster up the strength to get up and try and move forward. That’s just it---I am moving forward. Slowly, reluctantly…..absolutely terrified most of the time. I’m inching my way forward in this new scary existence of mine. I’m scared but I’m trying.
One day I hope to embrace Change. I hope to see the Unknown as an exciting opportunity with endless possibilities. I hope Fear’s whisperings become less and less enticing, eventually fading away completely as I move towards Hope and Light and Strength.
Bravery is something I’m working on. Because if there’s one thing I learned from my son, I know that it’s possible to be brave in any circumstance.
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