Ezra,  Special Needs Parenting

Strength for Today

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He’s manic. Ugh. As we navigate this mood disorder, I’m learning the difference between ADHD hyperactivity and DMDD mania. The differences are nuanced, and I doubt I could even put it into words. Monday mornings…all mornings are hard regardless of the driving force. I worry that we are too reliant on meds, but the change that occurs the minute his meds hit his brain is so marked that I accept it for what it is…for now.

It’s the in between that feels like a sucker punch. It doesn’t matter if I awaked to him in a start at 6:55 AM (like yesterday) or if I had a chance to cuddle with his Little Brother for 30 minutes before he woke up (like today). The minute those feet hit the floor the roller coaster of chaos begins. Ready or not. Boom. 

He head-butt’s me in the chest, something he hasn’t done in a lot time. He’s mad because I’m asking him to stay in his room for just a few minutes. I need the space between us…until the meds hit.

I worry a lot about his future…his future family…how he will manage when he’s a husband and father and I’m not there to say, “Take your medicine. Now. Take it. Go to your room and calm down.” He doesn’t have the capacity yet to know he needs the space. It hurts him to be apart. It hurts me. But he’s out of control. He needs the practice of getting in control…on his own.

worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength
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“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once.

It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.

Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

~Corrie Ten Boom~


I pour the Monday morning coffee, and the words from the old hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, pop into my head:

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow 

I need this truth to fill my soul just as much as I need the coffee to fill my body.

It’s not strength for a lifetime. Strength for the year. Strength for the week.

It’s strength for today.

At dinner, he wipes his spaghetti mouth on his shirt. I tell him to get a napkin. I bury my head in my hand, overwhelmed with a feeling of failure. My husband asks what is wrong. I tell him. He laughs and says, “Aprille, you married me, and you still have to tell me not to use my shirt as a napkin. If that’s the worst thing his wife has to worry about, he’ll be fine.”

I manage a laugh and a smile, because I know it’s true.

Yesterday, we watched this YouTube video Zach Donohue’s My Life with ADHD: A Conversation with U.S Olympic Figure Skater Zach Donohue.

Zach says he didn’t really understand himself until he was 25. I make a mental note and do the math. Phew, we have at least 14 years to prepare him and help him. He talks about the influence of his mom, his coaches. People who gave him the tools he needed. The coach who yanked him off the ice when his ego got in the way and caused conflict with his partner. It comforts me because sometimes I feel like we are too hard on our kid. But maybe that structure and discipline now will mean he doesn’t have to learn those lessons when he’s in his 20s.

I’m thankful that today, there’s a successful role model my son can admire.

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow 

That’s enough.

Strength for Today
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…get this reminder here.

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