Control, The System and Choice. Not the Usual Combination.

Deadlines are given and appointments are made often at much inconvenience to us.

We take time off work,

disrupt school days and routines,

rearrange our and others schedules,

interrupt meals,

sometimes travel for hours (which deserves a post of its own!),

we wait in waiting rooms,

endure meltdowns,

and grouchy people,

bare our souls answering the same questions over and over again

jump through several proverbial hoops

all to fill out form after form to obtain services for our child/person that we are told they should be receiving.

And then we wait…and wait and wait….

We then have to send that paperwork to doctors or social workers, intake workers, disability workers, psychologists, teachers, principals, guidance counsellors, resource teachers, etc. , before it can be submitted to the “powers that be” who tell us whether or not they agree with everyone who has had a hand in completing that form.

Each and every step of the way, we wait.

Once the process is finally complete you wait (on eggshells I might add) for the verdict hoping beyond all hope that you (please, please, please) don’t have to go through the entire process again to appeal the decision.

And guess what? You, your child/person, or your family, are not their priority. You are their job. That’s it. A job they get paid to do. A process they’ve been trained in. Your form, that determines whether there is enough money to pay for all of the services that are needed to make it through a day or the money that is needed for them to have basic needs, that form, is a task on their to-do list. A list that grows bigger and bigger every day.

All those ‘professionals’ may be the nicest people in the world but they do not live the life that you live. They forget that the services that you are requesting provide essential resources for your focus person to function. Whether you are requesting money, therapy, accommodations, or respite care, the longer it takes to receive help the longer you are providing all of that to your focus person. The thinner you are stretched.

Throughout our journey as parents/caregivers we only have so much control. There are times when we simply have to be patient. Sure, we could be angry (trust me I have been!) and cause a scene, tell people what we really think of them, etc., etc.. In the end the process rarely goes faster and we walk around in a continued state of anger and bitter resentment and stress.

You need only to google ‘chronic stress’ and 'effects of anger’ to learn the dangers of staying in that state for both your physical and mental well-being. But let’s talk about you. In that moment you are told yet again that “no your form is still not complete but it is marked as urgent” . Throughout that day, in your house, your job, your relationships, your ability to function as a parent/caregiver . What do you look like? You may snap at people around you, not want to do things that you had previously been looking forward to, you lack enjoyment, maybe lose your appetite or over eat the wrong things, you may turn to alcohol or drugs, you stop caring about little things like how you look or the environment that you’re in, physically you may start to feel unwell and your focus is not where it should be. Let’s not forget about the permafrown… it leads to wrinkles!

What can we do? What do we have control over?

Us. We have control over ourselves.

In fact, you are the only person that has that control. That control that lets you be AWARE of the burst of anger and frustration that shoots your body. The same control that allows you to CHOOSE to LET GO of that same emotion. The emotion isn’t serving you. Your control allows you to choose how you feel: gratitude, contentment, calmness, happiness, fulfillment. That same control allows you to take back your day, be present in the moment, to be there for your child/person when you need to be without resentment. It allows you to FEEL GOOD.

Is this easy? No, not always. Does this require self-awareness and practice? Absolutely! What if we can’t figure it out, if we get stuck in our head? Ask for help! Temporary distraction is beautiful at times!

The choice is yours. Allow the system to rob you of your time, your health, your sanity, your very identity (if it goes on long enough)

OR

refuse to let that happen and CHOOSE YOU.

Wonderful, healthy happy you.