My favorite Equinox instructor (and my friend), Rebecca, always tells us, when we are dying in her hard-core fitness classes, that the burn means that change is happening in our bodies. We want that burn. We need that burn. Even if we are screaming and whining like little girls on the inside.
She always reminds us we can do it and to just push through the burn and DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. Embrace it, when what you really want to do is stop, quit, and take a sip of water.
Every time Rebecca says this, it speaks a life-metaphor to my soul.
Right now we are in a particularly challenging new phase with Ryan. Symptoms of PWS are popping up in intensity, frequency, and severity. And may I just say for the record that Prader-Willi syndrome is from the pit of hell! I will stop there, before I begin to rant and rave.
In this new season of high anxiety for Ryan is high anxiety for us. All of us. We “walk on eggshells” as they say so as not to set him off, and then be forced to deal with crying, perseverating, and tantruming. His food drive, (what makes the syndrome famous or newsworthy) is kicking in and I must be more vigilant and watchful at parties and restaurants, so that he doesn’t overeat. Overeating in PWS is harmful and life-threatening. It’s not just like if you or I overeat at a meal and feel uncomfortable, and our stomachs pooch out all prego-style. (For more information on PWS, please visit the website pwcf.org.)
Throughout the 10 ½ years we have raised Ryan, I have come to describe in different ways how it affects ME personally:
“It comes in waves. The stress, the pressures, the appointments…there is an ebb and flow.”
“It’s like living with chronic grief, deep below the surface, but always there.”
“I am NOT grateful for having a disabled son, but I AM grateful for how my soul and heart have expanded as a result of our journey.”
And on a completely maddening and exhausting day:
“F— this syndrome and how it tortures my son and the rest of us!!”
It’s January 2014 and I am burning. My emotions, my thoughts, and my heart are on fire, as we deal with new behaviors or more intense behaviors.
I have a choice. To just get flipping angry or have pity parties or give up and use some form of escape to numb the pain and stress of it all.
OR—I can remind myself that this BURN means that changes can happen in me.
Changes like practicing and experiencing gratitude in the midst of hardship and grief. Changes in the form of implementing new methods to manage Ryan’s behavior. Changes in my attitude and perspective.
I will embrace the burn in this new year and phase with Ryan/PWS, and therefore embrace the changes I desire for my soul. That God desires for my soul, my family, and home-life.
Painful? Yes. Easy? No way. But like I do in Rebecca’s classes, I will close my eyes, breathe deeply, and pray through the burn. I will remember that I CAN DO THIS. And I won’t give up or give in.