Since I’m making up medical terms…

Someone has to, right?  Since no one knows what Maura has, we call it Sherlock Syndrome (it’s a mystery!).

But then in chatting with that super-awesome sister of mine about my bottle of Prozac that helps with my anxiety, she said “Gee, what do you have to be anxious about?  I mean, besides spending twenty hours a day wondering what the hell Maura is getting into now?”

Sarcasm is our first language in our family. And the sister even said how Maura was a peach the whole time.  But even so, she’s a stealthy peach with mad ninja skills who might decide today is the day she will push all the buttons on the microwave.

Hence the bottle of Prozac.

It was inevitable I think.  Anxiety runs in the family.  Usually it just manifests as being a worry-wart.  But Maura tips me over that edge of “manageable” to “hiding in the bathroom trying not to hyperventilate from the stress of it all” at times.

As I told my sister – “It’s like having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only you’re never post trauma.”

“So Ongoing Traumatic Stress Disorder then?”

Something like that.  Except in thinking about it, it’s not always traumatic even.  Just stress.

And then I figured it out.  I have OSD – Ongoing Stress Disorder.  If it’s not a thing, well, I’m making it a thing.  My stress, just like the rest of us in the special needs parenting category, is ongoing. It’s every day and never ending.  It’s not always bad.  It’s not always traumatic.  You actually get used to it.  Or more accurately, you stop getting worked up on the littler things in life, and save the worrying for the bigger things, or for afterwards.  I can be quite the calm person during a seizure now.  Afterwards, I’m either laughing, or locked in the bathroom breathing.

It’s a weird balance of shrugging and embracing the roller coaster of emotions while having that little voice playing in the back of your head telling you how everything could go wrong.  Which is where the Prozac comes in, to quiet that annoying voice.

It is mentally exhausting in a way you get used to.  You know that the day could be golden or go south in a split second.  You are always hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.  You are ready for anything knowing that life will throw you a curve ball and you’ll be flailing about trying to figure out what to do.

And you call all this your normal while being aware of how very not normal it is.

That all said – I cannot emphasize enough that I think my life is pretty darn good.  Yes, there’s an underlying level of stress, but our good days outnumber our bad ones by a lot.  We have learned to embrace the sometimes ridiculous nature of our lives and have grown stronger with the challenges thrown at us.  But I think that realizing that it is also hard and constantly stressful has helped me achieve this state of acceptance.  The lifestyle causes me ongoing stress, and so to ensure that we have the best life possible, I need to deal with that stress in whatever way is best.  There’s no shame in admitting this life is hard, because it IS hard.  It’s damn hard.  But it’s also damn rewarding, and pretty damn wonderful.  It’s the only life we’ll be given, and despite all the stress, I choose to make it the best life possible for all involved.  And if that means that I take 10mgs of Prozac every morning with my cup of coffee, then so be it.  It’s how I keep my OSD manageable.