bubbles and cherries: a life bigger than labels: anxiety, ocd, adhd, allergies

My daughter, Olivia, can pitch a tent in a lot of different camps: OCD, ADHD, Anxiety, Allergies, and Tics.  This is our story, begun in what can only be described as some kind of middle (she is now 12).  The labels I’ve listed describe behaviors, not people.  In the telling, I won’t always distinguish between them because, for us, they are all tentacles on the same octopus. They make up interdependent and blurred parts of a beautiful whole that includes things like humor, strength, intelligence, creativity, determination, empathy, athleticism and spirit.

Olivia’s experiences may alternately frighten you, inspire you, rip your heart out, and hopefully, make you laugh. They have done these things to me, but mostly, my love and pride in the shadow of her bravery and discipline overwhelm me every day. Sometimes I tear up just watching her walk through the front door of her school, backpack in tow, hair swinging with a carelessness she may or may not feel. She is a warrior in child’s clothing.

She is a hero.