Sure, all of our stresses are different. I'm not ashamed to tell you that secretly I think my stresses are more intense than most of the people in my life.
It makes the stresses of everyone else no less important, I just think mine come at me from every angle and feel like they might crush me sometimes.
Someone recently asked me how I handle the stress that never leaves. The financial and my kids' education and their well-being emotionally. What about their social issues, and their confidence? What about the spiritual life of our family. Our relationships with each other in our family and with me with my friends and the kids with me as a caregiver, advocate and regular mom.
I thought about that a while and realized I do have decent coping skills. I told my friend that I try not to get to high when times are good and likewise I don't get too low and depressed when things are bad. I've made a conscious choice to react (or not react) to high or low to situations because of something that happened nearly 6 years ago.
My son was deathly sick (barely) living on dialysis. We'd identified a kidney donor who came forward out of the blue for him and we waited 3 months for the go ahead. During that time there was a scare because the team was asking for more information from her, then her grandmother died and the funeral was to take place around the transplant day. We, of course, told her we would be fine with her canceling the transplant to attend the funeral but we were so, so sad.
We felt selfish. Scared. We didn't want her to cancel but we couldn't tell her not to, obviously. Ultimately she made the decision to keep the transplant as scheduled and it was wildly successful. Her surgeon said she had amazing atonamy to be donor and her kidney was "perfect."
Those few weeks as we were wondering what would happen we decided the highs and lows were swinging so far apart we realized we couldn't operate at the level long term. It was then we decided to hover in the middle somewhere.
We currently live hovering. Waiting for The Next Great Thing to happen in the favor of our kids, while knowing The Other Bad Thing could happen just as easily is how we currently operate in the world.
Julia Roberts blogs at Kidneys and Eyes, is co-founder of Support for Special Needs and is a lover of Diet Coke and naps.