Spring is coming. Warmer weather, longer days, fresh air, and an end to cabin fever. For our family though, with that comes Liam's severe depressive cycle. We know it's coming. He knows it's coming. It's just a matter of time.
The other night he was very paranoid. He saw a discoloration in his gummy Melatonin, and thought someone was trying to poison him. The wind was howling, and so he thought someone was trying to break in and kill us. He crawled into bed with me, and rocked to sleep. I thought the cycle may have been starting. It wasn't, the next day he was fine. He was his "normal."
Last year my poor boy delved into his depression in time for his ninth birthday. The weather was gorgeous. We planned a picnic and swimming and fishing at his most favorite place. He could have cared less. He was listless. No smiles. No laugh. He had absolutely no fun. The few pictures I have of him on that day are a grim reminder of that horrible day. I filed them away, because looking at them makes my heart ache.
This is the only decent photo from that day. The other 3 are even worse as far as seeing the pain in his little face.
So much sadness. So much worry. So much for one little boy to handle. But he does. And he fights like a champ. This year he'll be DOUBLE digits. He decided that instead of having a party with family and his few friends, he wants to go camping. His half brother is also a spring baby, and so he chose to take his brother, and his fur sister camping for 2 days at one of our favorite State Parks.
Pita and I had to reserve the cabin already to be sure we would get it. Part of us is very nervous about it. Will he be in his depressive state like last year? If so, what will we do? Will he even want to go? We're hoping that the excitement leading up to the trip will stave off the cycle. But what about when we get home?
Waiting for the other shoe to drop is how we live. As do many other autism and bipolar families. I'm not sure there's any other way to go about life.
Incidentally, you might be an autism parent if you say, "it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop," and your son asks, "What shoe mom? I thought we were talking about me?"