Friday, February 19, 2010

Coping Strategies

For a while now I have wanted to write a post about the myriad of different coping strategies I use to get through the day. You see, I am one of those very, very ADHD-type people who sometimes drive everyone else (including myself at times) nuts because they are so....high energy, distracted, impulsive, etc. I learned a while back that while I can't change who I am, I can change my environment so that I can function more efficiently.

For example, after getting locked out of my car and house multiple times and after having copies of my keys made multiple times (even the expensive computer chip key) because I lost them, I now keep multiple sets and scatter them amongst a variety of friends and neighbors...just in case. I also have a a shelf with hooks under it by the door where my purse, keys, and phone go. Frequently, when I can't find one of these items, they will be there....I just forgot that I put them there! I also have strategies that I use when taking care of Jessica. I have gone through and carefully Jessica-proofed the great room in our house (actually this is a continuing endeavor)! As long as I can control what items are in that room and that all the doors remain shut, I know that she is safe, even if I have an "ADHD moment."

My husband realized very early on that our family functions best when our environment is structured to help me stay organized, stay on top of things, etc. He is also a part of that environment. He is a very calm and logical person, which helps to set a tenor of calm and orderliness to our home. We have a friend who has said on more than one occasion that she never knew a couple that seemed to "complete" each other so well. I believe what she noticed is that while David and I have very different strengths and weaknesses, we are able to bring out the best in each other by sharing those different strengths with each other.

As children have come into our home, I have made an effort to accommodate for their individual differences but without compromising things David and I need to live "sanely." However, as I have particularly noticed this week, there are times where we have less control of our environment, when we have to create new coping strategies (even if only temporary). Recently, for us this has meant: more processed food, more money in the out-to-eat budget, David helping out more around the house, me actually asking for help (this is very hard for me....I have ALWAYS been fiercely independent), putting off addressing some behavioral concerns with Jessica, etc. As much as I love to do everything myself and cook/eat food made from scratch and be a consistent parent, I also have to realize that some days you have to set the bar a little lower.....ok a lot lower!!!

While there are other concerns on my mind, I especially find physical limitations frustrating like, the lack of energy I have during pregnancy, the insane hormones coursing through my body, the low and enormous belly that gets in my way when I bend over, the thumb that is currently incapacitated because of said hormones, the pelvis that feels like it is going to come unglued when I sit down, and the back that I must baby for a week or two until the stitches come out from my precancerous punch. All that being said, I am *trying* to remember to be thankful.....that I am having a healthy second child, a son, that I have such an easy going 2 year old...even if she is very busy, that I have such a calm husband, that we have come to call this place we have lived the last 3 years home with friends that we could call family.....amongst the many "crises" and situations we had limited control over, we have been blessed, not because of destination but because of the journey. May the Creator grant us patience to await the enlightenment that comes to those who open themselves up to learn from the speed bumps, twists, turns, and indeed the journey that life is.

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