Hard Things, Anxiety, Schools, and Hope

Sometimes, in the middle of a hard thing, all I can do is remember that I once believed it was possible and keep going.

I tweeted those words yesterday, because yesterday and Monday I could not feel hope. I could logically think through the steps we’re going to take in the next few weeks; the meeting with school staff to establish structures for Gleek, the psychological evaluation report meeting on Friday, the round of therapy that will begin soon after, the probability of medication. I could see all the steps. I knew that they would help, but I had run out of hope. The answer was to keep going, following the logical steps until things get better. So that is what I did.

Today I don’t exactly feel full of hope, but I’m not so wrung and numb as I was. I’m cautious of hope right now because I had so much of it a week ago just before it became apparent that even my stepped up parenting game was not going to bring Gleek’s anxiety under control. I hoped so hard that the extra efforts would work. Instead things got more difficult, which led to an emergency meeting and Gleek taking a two day break from school.

Sometimes a crisis can be a good thing if it serves as an impetus for a course correction. The two days gave me time to emotionally process. They gave Gleek a chance to realize that she really does want to be in school. On Monday I had no clue what could be done. Today I have a new plan to share at the meeting tomorrow morning. More important, I see clearly how very fortunate we are in her current school placement. I’ve had four different teachers tell me that if Gleek needs a quiet space she can come to their classroom. The office staff greets her by name. Any time one of her classmates saw me (more than one classmate, at least four times) they’d say “Tell Gleek we miss her.” The school hosts three classes for autistic children and one for kids with behavioral issues; the staff knows how to manage a child who has curled into a non-responsive ball. The students consider that sort of thing pretty normal. We are so very lucky to not be fighting misunderstanding and hostility while facing down anxiety.

The reasons for hope are many. I’m pretty sure we’ll get there. If I have one complaint it is the fact that we had a month long wait to see the psychiatrist while having to manage crises which could have been avoided if we’d already seen him. Right now we’re in a patch and hold pattern. Howard is holding down the fort on the business front and catching many of the household tasks that I’ve abandoned. The other kids needs have not declined and we’re working hard as parents to keep meeting those needs. Everything else I’ve pared back to minimum so that I have enough flexibility of schedule to drop what I am doing and go spend an hour at Gleek’s school as needed.

I found myself about to write that I hope we’ll stabilize before the challenge coin shipping hits, so I guess I do have some hope. I also hope that this hope will not be completely smashed like the last round. That counts as a meta-hope. Knowing that I have hope is both relieving and frightening. I need to stop thinking about it right now. I know the plan for tonight and tomorrow; that’s all I need for now.

One foot in front of the other until we’ve arrived someplace else.