Today started with an email from your son’s therapist that included this…”It seems increasingly urgent that we meet ASAP to collaborate more closely and consider what may be needed for O at this time. He does seem to be deteriorating over the last several months now.” It’s not that you didn’t see that very thing happening right in front of your eyes….you see it every day. You fight against it everyday in every way you can. You know the medication, therapy, and accommodations are no longer working. You can now see physical scars on his body that are an external sign of his internal anxiety and depression. You know that any day could be the day he hits rock bottom. Again. Seeing the words in print, from a psychologist, just made them just a little more real and ominous.
But the boy came home from school in a relatively good frame of mind. He even willingly went to therapy with no arguments and was talkative on the drive. As recent days go, it was a good afternoon.
Of course, you know his mood can swing up and down and in between about a million times an hour these days. So it should not have been a surprise when he came out of the therapist’s office sullen and unwilling to make eye contact. You should have also probably known that when he asked to plug his phone into the car stereo and listen to one of his playlists on the way home, he would probably go dark and pick the playlist that you know he listens to when he is feeling most vulnerable, scared, unsure, and alone. And you definitely should have known once you saw the playlist he selected that at some point on the drive home, you would be fighting back some tears.
Naturally that’s what happened. In the last 5 minutes of the drive, “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen came through the car’s speakers. And the boy started singing. Thank goodness he was still unwilling to look straight at you, and double thank goodness for dark sunglasses….because the tears came as you listened to his cracking voice sing the very first verse with so much feeling that you know the song is describing exactly how he feels…“Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever felt like you could disappear Like you could fall and no one would hear?”
And you drove. And you listened. And you blinked away the tears. And you prayed with all your might that he hears in the words of the chorus strong echoes of the words he hears from you and from everybody who loves him…“Even when the dark comes crashing through. When you need a friend to carry you. And when you’re broken on the ground. You will be found. So let the sun come streaming in, Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again. Lift your head and look around. You will be found.”
As you pulled into the driveway the song was ending. He looked over at you, smiled, and said “Thanks for letting me listen to my music.” And just for a second you saw the light of of love shining in his eyes. And in that moment all was well.
Chances are there are some darker times ahead before he comes fully into the light of life again. Hold onto to moments like that one in the driveway. Those are the moments which will sustain you and give you strength in this exhausting journey.
Grace in. Grace out.