There are days a label is nice. I like to know a behavior can be related to anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, past trauma, or depression…the labels my daughter has been given over the past year or so.
Other days a label makes me want to flip my **** and throw something against the wall because a set of symptoms cannot even begin to describe the things I watch her struggle with.
Some days are filled with extreme clarity. Concerning emotions or behaviors almost cease to exist. I hope they disappear for good, but reality tells me they will come back.
Other days I can barely catch my breath as I attempt to meander gracefully from one concern to the next. Days like these symptoms are all too real, and they threaten to suck my mommy heart under.
And maybe there is a medical thing underlying all of this – we are currently doing testing to find out.
I feel like a jerk because some part of me hopes there is. Nothing serious…Lord please nothing serious, just something a medicine could treat…or a simple tweak of this or that could fix. But even then, it’s unlikely a magic pill can or could leave her suddenly departed from her struggles. Although heaven knows if this simple of a solution existed, I would move heaven and earth to find it.
Much more likely is a slow and steady approach. Continued therapy by her amazing counselor, occupational therapy for the sensory issues, medication management, and letting Jesus mold her into the person He created her to be.
I guess that’s the one place I find peace. None of this is a surprise to Him. He knows every millimeter of her tiny brain and He formed it with care, exactly how He knew it needed to be. And who am I to question His majesty?
I don’t suppose any of us come into who He has called us to be without some bumps and bruises along the way. She just seems to be stockpiling difficulties beyond what I accept as an appropriate measure.
And so a label is nice. It gives us an appropriate researched regimen for treatment, but that’s really all it does. It doesn’t define her life, nor do the feelings the label creates get to define mine. Rather there are just large collections of thoughts, emotions, and actions that stack up to form day after day. And it’s what we do with these thoughts, emotions, and actions that matter.
Do we praise God in the storm and dance in the rain, or run away afraid and surround ourselves with tears? There’s a time and place for both, but most of all I just want to be thankful for life the way it is. It may not look like I thought it would, but how boring would it be to have a plain Jane life anyways?
Lauren gets to live, I get to live, we all get to live, the glorious unfolding. Our story is not over. And we will be amazed.