“Some people deal with depression; others have same-sex attraction or a disability or health issues. We all have our own struggles to deal with.”
I have heard this sentiment more than once. I know that it is meant to be positive. What the person is really trying to say is, “it’s okay that you struggle because we all have problems.” What I hear is, “these are things that I think are really hard to deal with, so it’s not so bad that you just have autism.” And what I think is, “you have no idea.”
See, I don’t just have autism. I do struggle with depression and gender identity and health issues. I have most, if not all, of the things that people consider to be really hard trials. So naming off trials to tell me it’s not so bad does the exact opposite of it’s intended purpose. It makes me feel more broken because if I struggle with all these “hard” things, does that mean I have that many bridges to cross before ever being at the same place as everyone else?
And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay. Yes, I have a lot of “hard” trials. But no, they don’t hold me back. My life is not a list of everything working against me. My success is not measured by how many hard things I don’t seem to struggle with. I am me, and that is enough.
Tomorrow I hope to be a new me, a better me. That is how I measure success. It’s not about how far I come or how much I endure. Life is simply about being better than you were yesterday and that is always a success.