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How To Get Unstuck, So You Can Make The Next Decade Your Best Yet!

Take a moment and think about your life ten years ago. Who were you ten years ago? Who are you now? What did you accomplish? Who did you influence?

Ten years might seem like a long time, but it goes by faster than we think. It feels like I blinked and my youngest son is now ten. We as Mom's often go about each day doing tasks: laundry, cleaning, cooking, helping children with homework, making lunches, making dinner, getting children to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. Before we know it, our kids will be grown, we will be left with our spouse, that is IF we invested in our marriage over that time, and what else? What impact will we have made in our neighborhoods, communities and lives of our children over those next ten years? What changes will we have made in our own lives and hearts?

If I look back upon my last ten years, there was quite a bit of hardship and pain. Six years ago we started experiencing extremely difficult behaviors with our son. It is a long story but after years of misdiagnosis we finally found out that all of the psychiatric and behavior problems that he was experiencing were related to an underlying immune issue that he had. During this time of adversity our family unit experienced a great deal of emotional trauma. On a personal level I thought that I had completely lost my son. I remember the day a counselor sat with me and told me she believed that I needed to start looking for an institution for my son to live in; as he was becoming so violent and out of control it threatened to disrupt my ability to care for and keep my other children safe. We had to send our other children to be with friends and family at times, to keep them safe and so I could focus solely on my one child who was struggling.

I'm not sure if you are a mother, but if you can imagine the difficulty you are faced with when you are thinking about the choice between giving up on one child in order to save the others. It was the darkest place I had ever been. I remember spending countless hours weeping on the floor, praying for God to have mercy on my family. There was literally nothing I had not tried in order to help my son. We attempted diets, supplements, antibiotics, we saw expensive psychiatrists, counselors, specialty doctors. In a word I felt completely HOPELESS.

I am not sure if you have ever felt HOPELESS before. It is a dark place. A lonely place. When you are HOPELESS you have a choice. You can lay down and give up right then and there. Or you can RISE UP. Everything has been striped of you anyway, there's really nothing left, all the walls have been broken down, everyone has seen you at your very worst, there's literally nothing you feel you can brag about. Believe me, no one was giving me awards for being the mother of the kid who just threw a huge tantrum and punched a little girl at school.

For a very long time I let my son's actions define me. See, by nature I am a people-pleaser. Ah wait you know this one? Imagine her completely stripped of any ability to please anyone. Yes, I was completely broken down, after years of not being able to please the teachers, the principal, the neighbors, the bus driver. Everyone. Essentially, many had let me know about the things my son had done wrong or didn't do right.

I hate to admit that the words of others pierced my heart so that I began to let my son's bad behavior define him too. I became blinded by all the ways that he wasn't succeeding and forgot to focus on the good that was still in him, the good that was completely clouded by his illness at the time.

To say our family unit was struggling big time is an understatement. I am told that having a child with the level of needs that my son had destroys most marriages. Mine survived, thankfully by the Grace of God and by the fact that my husband and I joined forces and choose to be a team, because you can't survive something like this without a team.

My other children did suffer PTSD and trauma from some of what happened over those years. Did this destroy them? No. We are still working through things, but my other children are some of the most compassionate, loving, thoughtful children you will ever meet. They grew this way because of the struggle, we are closer as a family because of what we have endured.

When I look back over the past ten years I see that for much of that time I was stuck. The years prior to my sons illness, we struggled with my first son's medical issues and years of under-employment for my husband. After a while of back to back challenges, I got stuck for sometime in a cycle of:

1. Self Pity