I have attempted to start this blog 3 times now. Each time I’ve stayed up late into the night, overflowing with motivation and excitement, like the flood gates have opened and all the words that have been pent up in my mind and heart for the last 4 years are finally free to flow out onto the paper. And then the morning comes, my creative juices are completely tapped out and I am left only with an overwhelming sense of insecurity and self doubt- the two most prevalent demons which seem to pervade my every move in life. I’ve tried for years to fight these feelings of ineptitude. They are the roots of so many of my struggles. And yet, they persist…
Do I even have anything relevant or helpful to say? Who would want to read about my experience as a special needs mom? Why would anyone care about MY story? What if people judge me? What if I type the wrong thing, offend someone or get negative feedback? Could I even handle that right now? This is stupid… I barely have enough functioning brain cells to get through the day, let alone do creative writing which I’m going to make public, open for all to see my flaws, my challenges, my stumbles and sure, maybe some triumphs.
These are the thoughts that hold me down; paralyzed with fear and self doubt and that prevent the growth and evolution I so desperately desire. And so I’ve quit. Each time, I’ve shoved the idea to the back of my mind, refocused on my phone calls, the insurance battles, the dizzying schedule of therapies and the endless household chores. Those things are easy. They don’t make me feel vulnerable or require me to challenge or reflect upon myself. And yet, I leave this blog page open. It’s always up as a tab on my Internet browser. I see it every day and feel a constant pull to write… to share… to be transparent.
After a recent conversation with one of my closest friends, who also happens to find solace in writing, he helped me to realize that the only way I am ever going to overcome this crippling fear of ineptitude, is to push past my insecurity and just do it. If no one reads this, that’s actually ok. If people judge me, that’s ok too. If I say the wrong things, well, I am only human and thanks to a rather tumultuous past relationship with a narcissist who delighted in forcing me to grovel for every perceived wrongdoing, I am highly skilled at the art of apologizing! I have also come to accept that although I’d love it if this blog could help other people in their own lives in some small way; maybe, this is just a platform for me to process this experience and foster my own inner growth.
As I’ve begun to weave together the name, the story, the symbolism that I feel represents this thing, Oliver’s Odyssey, I have discovered that this process IS the path of spiritual growth and self development which I thought I had fallen off of so long ago.
This blog name has been rolling around in my head for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I Googled Odyssey (because I honestly didn’t know how to spell it) that I was struck by how absolutely perfect this word is to describe the journey we embarked upon at the moment of Oliver’s birth.
The dictionary provides two definitions of Odyssey:
1) A long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
2) An intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest
How perfectly do both of these describe our experience?!
This voyage has indeed been marked by many changes in fortune. From soul crushing trauma that’s left deep scars to tearful victories of insurance battles won and inch stones met. It has, at many times, felt most optimistically like we are wandering, dare I say, hopelessly lost, in a world in which we hadn’t expected to find ourselves. Despite our years of wrestling to accept a path that is difficult, where grief claws at your heels as you try to drag yourself out of the pit in which you’ve fallen, both Conrad and I have always tried to find purpose in this journey. It has been our mission to rediscover our spiritual connection and not only accept this life we live, but feel deep gratitude for the profound opportunity Oliver’s injury provides us with each and every day.
Although a large part of me has tried to turn her back on everything that is “new agey,” conscious or spiritually tied since Oliver’s birth, another part has never been able to let go of that desire to evolve… to become the best version of myself that I can. I have spent much time lamenting the loss of a life filled with yoga practice, meditation, vibrant vegan meals made from home grown produce, proper sleep, self-care and a light hearted new age world view full of sunshine and rainbows. That WAS my world before Oliver. It was a world where pretty much everything was curable by diet and lifestyle change, where the natural way was always the best and where my mind had the time and space to have much more worldly concerns like recycling, saving the rainforest and judging people who I felt weren’t trying hard enough. LOL Back then I felt that I was on the fast track to consciousness and the universe was a kind supportive friend who gave me ease and abundance in my life. My attempt to not completely despise the youthful naivety of this past version of my self is a topic for another blog post! BUT, what I have missed about her is the happiness that she possessed, the confidence that she was slowly rebuilding, and the open hearted and loving way that she approached the world. She was fun and saw the glass half full and most importantly to me; she was working on becoming that best version of herself. Through the last couple years, I have felt woefully disconnected from this whole process of self-discovery and frequently have placed the blame for that on our “situation.”
Since Oliver was born, life has become very serious. There are seizures to stay calm through, medications to properly administer, and hospitalizations to survive. There’s been a convoluted and corrupt healthcare system to learn to navigate, government agencies to attempt to work with, and a need for continuous and committed advocacy for a bright but vastly underestimated little boy.
On top of these things there is a constant need to mitigate the pain and frustration of a 4-year-old boy who has energy and desires but needs full assistance at all moments of the day to do absolutely everything.
Through all of this, it has been undeniably difficult to find that lighthearted smiling girl I used to know. But the truth is that she is still there. She’s been covered up and her light obscured by the fallout of life, but she IS there.
I am ready to set down the limiting belief that the growth I am seeking and the path I feel I’ve lost are impossible to find. In fact, I know that the toughest situations CAN provide amazing opportunities, IF one chooses to use them that way.
So… this blog is my public cry of refusal to be limited, stunted or saddened by my son’s disability. I will not stifle our families love of adventure and discovery because there will be extra challenges. We will find ways around them and if a way doesn’t exist, we will create one. This literary space will chronicle our road to sincere acceptance and gratitude for the uniquely beautiful path we’ve been set upon…
This is Oliver’s Odyssey.
Beautifully written, honest and raw. Thank you for sharing ❤️
thank you for reading!
Couldn’t be more awed by this amazing blog….love you my friend and look forward to being an avid reader of Oliver’s Odyssey.
❤ thank you so much for your support ❤
OMG Suzi. I am hooked. Thank you for sharing your journey. 💜💜💜
❤ So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Thanks for reading!
I often hear “words cannot describe” and in this case, it is definitely false. I feel you have successfully captured your feelings and experience in these posts and I am already looking forward to read the next blog of your journey. Your positivity and determination to look for a better you for yourself and definitely for Oliver is evident and encourages me as a new mom to do the same. Thank you for sharing the story with the public.
Oh Maya that means so much to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and hope that it can support you in motherhood the way i’ve always wanted to support you but haven’t been able to. ❤ Lots of love to u n ur boys ❤
Hellօ, this weekend iѕ good in support of mе, for the reason that this
time i am reading this wonderful informatіve
ⲣiece of writing heｒe at my residеnce.
Ηello i am kavin, its my firzt occasіon to
ϲommenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought
i could aⅼso create comment due to this bгilliant рaragraph.
I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I
never found any interesting article like yours.
It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners
and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful
than ever before. Woah! I’m really digging the
template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective.
A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness
and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a very good
job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very quick for
me on Opera. Excellent Blog! Hey there! I just wish to offer you a
big thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this post.
I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon. http://aoc.com
Hi 🙂 I’m so sorry – your comment went to spam so i didn’t see it. Thank you so much for such kind words of encouragement. This is my first attempt at blogging so I’m excited to have such positive feedback ❤
This is a toрiｃ which iѕ near to my heart…
Take care! Where are yоur contact details though?
9. Preneｚ sоin de vous
Le stress de toute sorte peᥙt être considérablement
réduit en vous assurant de d᧐rmir suffisamment, de bien manger et en ѕanté et de faire de l’exercice.
De cette façon, vous avez une meilleure chance de garder les choses calmes et de
travailler à traverѕ de mauｖаises tаches plutôt quе de laisser les choses se détériorer davantage.
Le lｙcée est рassé dans la frustration perfectionniste.
Puis le collège, puis quelqսes belles années après l’օЬtention du diplôme.
Mon état d’esprit déterminé m’a aiԀé à me débarrasser complètement de
ma tіmidіté et à poursᥙivre quеlques autres objectifs avec succès.
J’ai un travail que j’adore – serveuse – ainsi qu’un dipⅼôme d’études collégiales et une maison. Et
j’ai commencé à m’aimer beaucoup plus – même à quoi je ressemblais.
J’ai gagné еn confiance, mais mon but ultime ne m’avait toujours pas échappé:
celui de surmonter complètement la dépression.
This is so beautiful and heart wrenching and rings so true for me, too. The previous life (I am vegan eco quasi granola too 🙂 ), then… a brain injury, losing myself, struggling to find out who I am now. Please keep writing. Xoxo
Thank you so much for leaving this beautiful feedback. Sometimes I still wonder if this is a useful thing to do … to write and put all my crazy thoughts and struggles out there for the world to see lol When I read things like what you wrote it encourages me more than I could even tell you. Thank you… from the bottom of my heart… thank you ❤
Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.
Hi! So Sorry – it seems like a lot of people are having trouble with the comments not posting. Anyway, my only recommendations are write about what you know and are passionate about. And then just do it! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started this one – i had to google everything because I am also 100% NOT tech savvy. lol But it’s been an amazing experience so far and I encourage anyone who’s interested in writing to try it!