Tag Archives: Redefining Typical

Vacation Without Dawson

by Cheairs, Redefining Typical

Photograph taken by my amazing sister Susan Lowe http://www.sflphotography.com

Mae Mae and I are on a two week vacation together. Laughing with friends, my sisters and their kids. The cousins are “putting on shows” and telling “potty jokes”. I am taking long walks and sweet naps. I feel the tension leaving my bones. I can breathe. My husband and Dawson are at home. Dawson can’t do long vacations. If he were here now I would be following him around a rental house as he turned on faucets and climbed in an out of all of the beds. There would be tension. Like the strings on a violin they would be strung tight. If you played the instrument the wrong way there would be a screech that would make you put your hands to your ears and squint your eyes.  If Dawson were here the orchestra would be out of tune.

The notes cannot be rewritten. They are set. I am okay with that. When Mae Mae and I return home we will have our own musical ensemble with Dawson and Dave. We will have different notes and sheet music. There will be moments in our performances that ring so sweetly and those that just sting.

So I miss my husband. I miss my little Dawsonator.

But I am so happy to have this time with just Mae Mae. She needs this time. She needs the sweet music to encircle her, and I need it to carry me. So I am happy.  I am sad. Like any good music you feel it.

So I hear…..the swirl of the creek, the laughter of children, and rain coming down on the roof. Being a part of this music now, in this special place for my vacation, it gives me the strength. When I return home I will be a stronger musician. I will be ready to be a part of my most unique and special jammin group. Our “Typical Band”  starring Dawson, Mae Mae, Dave and me.

And although our music sounds different than the sweet sounds here in this valley where I am now. It is because of this valley that I can hear and rejoice in the music that is my family and I love that.

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Cheairs can be found at Redefining Typical. She writes about her most supportive and gentle spirited husband and their amazing, sweet, and fun-eight year old son Dawson who has autism and their ever moving, energetic, and peace loving six year old typically developing daughter Mae Mae.  She writes about their life: the joy, the sorrow, the triumphs, and everything in the middle. She is forever in the process of Redefining Typical.You can also find Cheairs at her Redefining Typical facebook page.

This post was originally published HERE and used with permission.

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I Am An Autism Mom and I Am An Alcoholic

by Cheairs Graves, Redefining Typical

Drinking.

Wine.

So beautifully packaged.

Perfect.

Golden.

Pouring you into a cup so that I can breathe.

Waiting for that five o’clock hour so that you can help me.

Shhhh….nobody can know.

It is our little secret.

I will only bring you forth from your bottle when nobody is looking.

When he is with the kids I will sneak to the kitchen and grab you.

I will pour.

Don’t worry I won’t leave you alone for long.

I need you.

You help me.

I deserve you.

My son has autism.

Six letters no mother should ever have to hear.

Six letters that leave me on the cold kitchen floor.

Rocking.

Holding my knees.

Clinching my fists.

Crying.

My back hitting the wall.

And I am alone.

So very alone.

And my sweet boy rolls on the ground.

In a world that I do not know.

And my  precious girl. She needs me. Oh, how she needs me.

And I stand.

I walk to your most sacred place where you are kept.

I take hold of you.

My heart begins to slow because you…..my most beautiful wine…..you will help me.

And I pour you.

I take a sip.

Because you my friend -you help me to stand.

And the one glass of wine to take off the edge….. turns to two.

Two turns to three.

Three to four.

One bottle of wine turns to two bottles of wine.

And I yell at my children.

And when my husband  travels I drink more.

And when he is home I drink more.

Trips to the store to make sure I have enough of you.

Because I can’t do it.

I can’t do it without you.

My sweet, sweet friend.

My wine.

And then I pass out.

Leaving him.

Leaving them.

All alone.

I wake in the middle of the night.

Head pounding.

Face splotchy and red.

I can’t remember conversations with my husband.

My marriage-slipping away.

My daughter’s questions-“What are you drinking mommy?”

And more lies come from my lips as I laugh, “It is mommy juice.”

The planning.

The scheming.

To make sure I have enough of my new best friend.

My  beautiful-fun-wine.

But I am still there.

Curled up on the cold kitchen floor.

Hands around my knees.

Rocking.

And this best friend.

My wine.

This lovely liquid that I chose for my Oxygen Mask.

It is chocking me.

It is killing me.

And I will die.

But I can’t give up my best friend.

I am scared to give her up.

I don’t know how…..

What will I do without her?

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It has been two years and ten months since I have had any alcohol.

It was on bended knee that I started seeing an amazing therapist whose grace, gift, and loving hands have helped guide me on this road of recovery.

It  was with great hope that I went to see my physician who started me on an antidepressant.

It was my husband who held me tight and whispered the words  “I love you. We will get through this.” when I told him that I did not know how to stop drinking.

It is with encouragement of family, friends, and you that I began to share my journey through my blog. To cry the tears in the written word and let others hold them and wipe them away.

I had to let go of that friend.

I had to say good-bye to my most precious wine.

Oh, she still calls my name.

But I won’t go back.

I can’t

Because…..

I can feel the pain.

I can feel the sad.

They won’t crush me.

I am not alone.

I have my husband.

My children.

My writing.

My therapist.

My exercise.

My friends.

My church.

They lift me when I can’t stand.

They hold me when I cry.

They rock with me when the pain feels like too much.

Yes, they are my oxygen mask.

My glorious and wonderful oxygen mask.

And they-yes they- help me to breathe.

Coyright Cheairs Graves March 22, 2012

Photo Credit to Susan Lowe at http://www.sflphotography.com

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Cheairs can be found at Redefining Typical. She writes about her most supportive and gentle spirited husband and their amazing, sweet, and fun-eight year old son Dawson who has autism and their ever moving, energetic, and peace loving six year old typically developing daughter Mae Mae.  She writes about their life: the joy, the sorrow, the triumphs, and everything in the middle. She is forever in the process of Redefining Typical.You can also find Cheairs at her Redefining Typical facebook page.

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Filed under Remembering to Breathe, Taking the next step