I'm going to tell you a secret: today, I have not been okay. Simon is back to normal, and all's well that ends well, except I'm not... yet. I do know that I will be -- I've been through this routine -- this low in the wake of an adrenaline-pumping-life-threatening-emergency -- enough times to have it feel routine, but it still catches me a little off-guard.
Each time, I try to convince myself that I've toughened to the level that I will no longer be so affected. I tell myself that I can handle everything and anything and keep on keepin' on... but... It always ends the same. I am tough as nails as long as I need to be, but as soon as I know that everything is alright I start to crumble. I've been on the verge of tears all day, I haven't been able to focus on my work, and (though I have slept since the weekend's marathon) I am bone-weary tired. I remember once reading that the stress levels of special needs parents can resemble those of combat soldiers. On days like today, I believe it.
So, what's a good soldier to do? Fortunately, I know this routine, too. Just as I have a plan to cope with Simon's crisis, I have a plan for my mini breakdown post crisis. (I'm a little type A, deal with it.) I'm sharing my outline below just in case you are ever in need of a pick-yourself-up-by-your-really-cute-shoes survival guide. Introducing:
Laura's 5 step program to coping with the post-post-crisis-crisis:
1. Buy a new pair of really cute shoes. This is extra effective if you have a coupon to DSW. Sadly, this time DSW had nothing I liked, so I cashed in my Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons (the shops are next to each other, it was kismet) to get myself a robot vacuum. I've only had it for a day and I love this thing. Not only did it serve as my stress-purchase BUT it cleans my house, too! All by itself! While I watch sipping a glass of my favorite vino! Which brings me to step 2...
2. Have a beverage of choice (or two). Not enough to cause a headache tomorrow, just enough to loosen that clenched jaw and the knot between your shoulder blades.
3. Now that your jaw is unclenched you're ready for a good cry. This is best done in the shower. I swear the shower is the very best place in the world for a good cry. Just stand there in the steam and the stream of hot water and let it go. Magically, you emerge a much calmer and more rational individual.
4. Hug your family and remember you ARE all okay. Pet the dog. Get into a tickle fight. It isn't possible to be sad with all this cuteness around you.
5. Know in your heart that you got through it, again. Know that if you did it once.. twice.. (four times, who's counting...?), you can do it again. 'Cause it will happen again, and maybe next time you'll be able to just keep on keepin' on. Be as tough as you know you need to be.
And if not, I've got a list.