Processing Power

Originally posted on my Facebook page. Follow there for other mini posts.

For the last several years, I’ve beat myself up for being weak, for being pathetic, for being incapable of handling the things I used to.

I look back to our daughter’s first four years and how much I was doing despite the lack of sleep and I shame myself for being tired now.

But a conversation with a friend yesterday changed that view.

We both lamented how few reserves we have now, how each new ‘thing’ to deal with feels completely overwhelming. We felt our limits of what we could handle had lessened, but then we had to question that.

Had our limits lessened? Or were we actually doing more than those previous years?

That first year with our daughter was hard, unbelievably HARD, but…we didn’t even know about the majority of her issues back then.

If we think of our brains as computers: I had just a few programs that I had to actively manage back then. They were intense and time consuming and exhausting, but it was just those few things that required my attention and energy.

Fast forward eight years and while THOSE few programs are less intense, I now have dozens and dozens of programs running in the background, taking up processing speed.

The sheer number of things I have to think about and monitor and plan for and assess and research is so much more. SO.MUCH.MORE.

My processing capability hasn’t decreased. It’s just that more of my processing is taken up by all of those background programs.

It’s a completely different view of myself.

These last few years, I’ve felt more and more like I was at my absolute maximum of what I could handle mentally, but I couldn’t reconcile that with how much ‘easier’ life seemed, how much calmer life was.

And yes, our daily life has calmed, the daily intensity has lessened, but only because all of those physical demands have been shifted to mental background programs.

My body is resting and healing, but my mind is still running full tilt, managing more than it ever did in those early years.

And so are you, my fellow special needs moms.

We’re not weak.

We’re not pathetic.

We’re not less than we were.

We’ve got more on our minds.

We’ve got more things to manage.

We have less access to our full processing power.

But it’s being used and by GOOD programs, ones that will keep our children alive, that will keep them thriving.

We’re not broken-down old laptops.

We’re supercomputers.

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