STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW
I debated between “Stronger than you know”, and “Stronger than you think” for this piece because sometimes we doubt ourselves, and when we KNOW something rather than just THINK something it changes our perspective.
I’ve tried to figure out the best way to present this because I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but as a parent of a child with special needs, I’ve had to be strong. I’m sure most reading this have heard, “God only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers”, or “God chose you to be a special needs parent because you’re strong”. Let me just say, I do believe my child is a gift from God…each one of them! But He didn’t give me a child with special needs because I’m strong or special…My strength comes from Him and Him alone.
SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTING
So what does it look like to have a child with special needs? Just like any other human who has ever lived, there is no box to put a child in who has special needs. A few months ago, I joined a microcephaly support group on Facebook. I joined mostly because I wanted to connect with other parents who were going through the same thing. I also wanted to see some children who were older who had lived with microcephaly and been able to live a relatively normal life…whatever normal is.
What I found was this, I’ve actually been able to share a lot more about my experience and help put other parents at ease than those who have been able to help me at this point. And that’s okay. While many parts of our journey are similar, just like any parent who is concerned about milestones their child is meeting. Over the years, I’ve also had to tell myself that my child is an individual and that everyone is unique in his or her own right. God made each of us special with specific gifts to each soul. This includes souls whose bodies and minds are a little different than most.
WE ALL HAVE TALENTS AND GIFTS
I have to focus on the fact that we are each individuals with unique talents and gifts to keep my spirits up honestly. Being a parent of a child with special needs is overwhelming and can even be sad and depressing…and honestly, in the grand scheme of things within the special needs community, my child might not be considered that severe.
There have even been studies done that show that parents of children with special needs often have higher instances of depression and anxiety. According to the study, linked here, more research needs to be done. I can say from my personal experience, I have suffered from depression and anxiety…the anxiety and depression severe at times.
I’ve found that working out, keeping active, and eating well to be a major factor in keeping me “level”. I’ve been on a downward spiral for a couple of years and when I looked at a few factors, I realized that I had stopped taking care of myself as I had in the past.
FINDING THE FOCUS AND STRENGTH
Eight years ago, after the birth of my second child. I knew something had to change. I’d never been active, athletic, or physical…but I knew I couldn’t continue living the way I was. I made a decision and committed to getting to an ideal weight. I found so much more…
I had to become stronger than I thought I was. I had to pull it from somewhere…and just DO something. Was it hard? Absolutely!! Was it worth it? I can’t imagine my life any other way. I can keep up with our very demanding schedule. I’m able to keep up with my young and very active kids. And I’m not constantly trying to find the next best thing to help me drop a couple of pounds so that I can attend an event. I’ve also found a passion in helping others do the same who are ready to do it.
It’s just become a very real part of my life. I’m stronger than I ever believed I could be in so many ways…YOU ARE TOO!
ARE YOU READY?
Whatever trial, or situation you’re facing you can be strong and face it. Don’t give up…Your path might just look a little different than you every saw for yourself. That’s okay. Different can be a little scary, but it can still be done.
If you’re looking for someone to help…who understands…and someone dedicated 100% to seeing you succeed, please reach out. I know what it’s like to need to lose weight, and I know how to do it the healthy way.