By Tara Thompson
Imagine if we could go back in time, go back to give ourselves a little pep talk for what our future holds. If I could go back I would tell the old me:
That I know this journey seems scary and daunting and that it may not be the life you had envisioned or hoped for but it is still a beautiful life, perhaps even more special. That you are now part of a different world; you’re on a path where there will be heartache, where you will have to endure more than your fair share of hard days and struggles. But you will also witness bravery, courage and miracles. You will become tougher and stronger, more so then you could have ever imagined. You will have so many more things to celebrate because it won’t take you long to realise that the little things are actually the big things.
You will have a new beautiful perspective on life, and along the way become more grateful and understanding. You will learn how to pick yourself up over and over again, you will gain confidence to take on new challenges and you will no longer sweat the small stuff. Best of all you will be inspired on so many levels and without knowing or even trying you will also inspire others around you. I would tell the old me, the me that was in the thick of the acceptance stage, the me that was grieving the images in my mind I had for my child, the me that was confused with how to feel and what to do, that it will be ok.
You don’t need to know all the answers right now, you learn as you go. There is no right way to feel during the initial diagnosis stage, that what ever you feel is how you need to feel during that time. That there is no race to acceptance, it comes without you even knowing. So from one special needs parent to another, it will be ok. Your child will show you the way while teaching you the most wonderful things at the same time. So take a breath, take one day at a time and embrace the journey for it is a beautiful one.