I love Coldplay. They are one of my go-to Pandora stations; so many of their songs have resonated with me over the years and have been part of the soundtrack of my life. I was in a particularly harrowing pose during yoga one morning last week when the song ‘Fix You’ came on. In order to avoid the burning sensation in my quads, I turned my focus on the lyrics. I’m sure we all have come across someone in our lives who we could apply this song to: an ailing loved one, a friend with a track record of unhealthy relationships, someone you know struggling with addiction. And yet, after all these years, on that morning, I heard the song in a whole new light.
“When you try your best but you don’t succeed”
All I could think about was my little man and how much he has been struggling. All I want in life is to fix him, make him better, happier.
“When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep, stuck in reverse”
We have been going at this for years; round the hamster wheel for what feels like an eternity. We have pockets of calmness and stability, but that’s all they are; small moments in time.
“When the tears come streaming down your face”
Yet he seems increasingly more uncomfortable in his own skin, his frustration and anger is rising and his mood is sinking. He screams and cries out in what sounds like agonizing pain when he has to put on pants. As if they are burning his skin.
“When you love someone but it goes to waste, could it be worse”
If only love could rid him of this affliction. Why can’t love be enough? Why can’t I fix him?
“When you’re too in love to let it go. If you never try you’ll never know”
We have him in just about every service under the sun. Massage therapy, manual therapy, occupational therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, applied behavioral analysis therapy. He has something on his calendar nearly 6 days a week. And, yet, he still swears, yells, screams, cries, and is riddled with anxiety.
“I promise you I will learn from all of my mistakes”
I’ve said so many things I regret in anger, frustration and desperation. There are so many situations in which I wish I had stayed calmer. Deeper breaths, he can’t help it. Don’t yell.
“High up above, or down below”
And as all this went through my head and the pose ended, I realized the truth to the situation. Just like we cannot fix those in our lives who are struggling for various reasons, I cannot “fix” my son. No one can fix another person. The only one who can fix a person is themselves. An addict needs to seek rehabilitation. A person in a toxic relationship needs to find self-worth. A loved one battling cancer needs treatment and a fighting outlook. And my son, my sweet nine year old boy, will someday need to address his challenges, head on, and work on himself. I can guide him along the way and provide as much support as possible, but the truth is that he is not fixable. Autism is not fixable. It’s manageable, but not fixable.
I then turned my thoughts onto myself. How much of a toll has the last 6 years taken on my health? Have I truly done my best to “fix” myself? Have I addressed the potentially PTSD induced panic attacks? Addressed the endless dreams that haunt my nights? Acknowledged the constant stream of worries that fill my brain? Achieved a balance? No.
Maybe it’s time.
“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you.”