tm_autismmom_day1Some trips are planned months in advance. No detail is too small to nail down; a minute by minute agenda has been laid out, tourist books and maps well worn from constant review. This was not one of those trips (which is truly unlike me). This was last minute, with no traveling companions. It was a get in the car; pick a destination on the GPS and drive, drive, drive. How did this all come about? You might say my doctor ordered it.

I went to the doctor to see if he could help me out, figuring maybe my vitamin B was low, or he could prescribe something to help me get some sleep. I pulled myself together, did my hair, makeup, made myself look good, or so I thought…he listened to what I had to say, and told me I looked exhausted. That I was suffering from complete burn out. That I was treating Max’s Autism like it was a sprint, not a marathon, and that I had been doing that for two years, ever since we suspected something was up with Max. He also said that while I thought I was being selfless by trying to take responsibility for directing all of Max’s therapy myself, I was being incredibly selfish and making a tactical error in my war against Autism. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but he is right. If I crack, and let myself get to the point of a breakdown, that doesn’t help anyone, especially not my family.

So, my husband and I had a heart-to-heart, he took a week off work to watch the kids, and I hit the road, hoping to rest and get some time to remember what makes me happy, external to my family. I did some research on quilting stores, loosely mapped out a plan (give or take where the wind blows me) and pointed my car south destination Jackson, Michigan. I felt vaguely guilty about dropping everything and leaving. As the distance between myself and home grew, I felt the stress start to peel away. By the time I got to the US/Canada border, I felt a little lighter. There was nobody to worry about. No kids to feed. No phone to answer. Just me and the road.