Grateful for the Like Button

Sometimes I really don’t know how to respond to people. I can’t think of an appropriate response or something that would adequately express how I really feel. This is why I’m so grateful for the Like button.

I wish there was a like button for real life. Usually when I don’t know what to say, I just smile and nod and find an opportunity to walk away quickly. It’s not that I’m not grateful or that I disagree or that I don’t want to say something back, I just can’t put it in words. Sometimes all you can express is acknowledgement. Sometimes I just let people know I heard. It might come across as rude or unresponsive, but I just don’t know how to respond.

I am grateful that I don’t always have to respond. I am grateful that sometimes I can just acknowledge, and that is enough.


Grateful for This Blog

This blog has been an amazing place for me. It has been somewhere I can go to understand myself and help others understand me. It has been a refuge when I didn’t know where else to turn in lonely or desperate times. It has given a voice to thoughts I didn’t know how to express. It has given me a reason to keep trying when I felt like nothing I do matters. It has given me a way to communicate with others. It has allowed me to express my feelings and spread awareness.

I am very grateful for this experience. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to be a voice for change and awareness and education. I am grateful to feel like I have made a difference, even if it has been relatively small.

I am not sure about the future of this blog at the moment. With the changes happening in my life, I am not sure if I will be able to maintain it or keep posting regularly. Whatever the future brings though, I am grateful for the experiences and friends and acquaintances and everything good that has come out of this blog.

Grateful for Change

I am not who I was a year ago, or 6 months ago, or even a week ago. I keep changing and growing and becoming better. I have been amazed at how much I have changed in the last year. I look back at things I wrote a few years ago and shake my head at my whining and self centered behavior.

I am so grateful that we don’t stay the same. I am grateful that I haven’t stayed the same. I look pretty much the same way as I did in high school, but I am a completely different person on the inside. I am kinder, more understanding, more forgiving, and just in general, better and wiser than I used to be. I am grateful for that change and for the opportunity I have to change continuously. I don’t know what I would do or who I would be if I wasn’t constantly changing and becoming a better person every day.

Grateful for Autism

It has taken me a long time to be grateful for autism.

It is easy to wish your life was easy. It is easy to want what you don’t have and to think that if only you had something, or didn’t have something, that life would be perfect. At some point though, you may realize that you don’t really want a perfect life.

I consider my life to be perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love autism because it makes me different. I see things in ways other people don’t. I hear things and feel things and notice things differently than others. I live in the same world, but I experience it differently than most.

This has made life more difficult. Autism has made making friends more difficult. I have doubted myself and questioned the need for my existence. I have had unrealistic expectations of myself because I didn’t realize how real my autism is. I have thought I was broken or damaged or alien or not fit to be around “normal” people.

Up until recently, I didn’t think a diagnosis mattered. It was just a name for certain symptoms or characteristics or tendencies or whatever you want to call them. What a diagnosis does for me though is it helps me know I’m not broken or incapable or unworthy. Nothing about me indicates that I have autism, which makes it easy to wonder what is wrong with me when I struggle. But having a diagnosis helps me realize that some things ARE harder. I can’t expect as much out of myself because it’s just not realistic.

It has taken me a long time to forgive myself for being different. It has taken me a long time to forgive myself for not talking to people or not making friends or being unable to communicate my needs.

Today though, I am grateful for autism because it has made me more grateful for the friends I do have. It makes me grateful for the good days. It makes me grateful when I can communicate what I mean in a way that people understand and connect with. It makes me grateful for quiet moments, sweet scents, and soft textures. It makes me grateful when I can help someone or change a point of view in a positive way or influence another person for good. I still struggle with being okay with having autism, but I am grateful for it overall.

Grateful for Depression

While depression is super hard, it is one of the things I am most grateful for in life.

About 6 years ago, I took a semester off of school and laid in bed with an unknown illness. I spent a lot of time online and joined every support group I could find. It started with autism groups and then I joined some depression support groups. My best friend came out of one of those groups. A lot of other friends and good experiences and positive outcomes have come through those support groups.

What I am grateful for most about depression though, is the opportunity to understand. I am not a very understanding person. I don’t see things the same way other people see them, and I don’t understand what people see or how they think. But I do understand how they feel because I feel so deeply with depression. I am so grateful for that understanding, for the empathy it helps me feel, and the patience and perseverance it teaches me.

I am grateful to be a better person and a better friend because of depression. I am grateful to be more kind and understanding and compassionate because of depression. I am grateful to be a seeker of happiness, goodness, and hope because of depression. And I am grateful that I can connect with people on a totally different level through my depression. I am grateful that depression makes me and my life better.

Grateful to Help Give Hope

Sometimes I feel so hopeless. I find myself sinking in deep despair, afraid to try to change things because I don’t believe it’s possible. But then, there are the days when I am okay, and the darkness is dispersed, and I can breathe. These are the days where I can give hope.

I need hope. I need to give it. I need to feel it. I need to believe in it. Some days I feel too tired to give hope. I may give hope anyway, but it’s out of perseverance more than personality. When I do feel hopeful though, I run around like the Easter bunny spreading colored eggs. I want to give as much hope as possible, usually while remaining as unseen as possible.

Sometimes though, you must give hope with your story; so you can’t remain anonymous. Last night I went around spreading hope. This time, I put my name on it. Not because I want credit, but because they needed to know that a real person cared, a person with a name and a face and a reason.

Sometimes when I do something nice for someone, I want that to be faceless. I want that person to feel like the whole world loves them, not just one small singular person. But when you spread hope, you have to listen to your feelings. This time I had the feeling that these people didn’t need to know that someone cared. They needed to know that I cared.

I don’t know where I’m going with this other than just to say, spread hope. You never know who will need it or how much they need it. Whether you do it anonymously or let someone know that you specifically care, it will make you thankful and make them thankful. And let’s face it, we could all use more hope and gratitude in our lives.

Grateful for Learning

I go to a scripture study class on Thursday nights. It’s a pretty good class, but more than anything, I am just grateful for how much I learn there. Sometimes the learning is from what is taught, and sometimes it is from thinking about things afterwards. Either way though, I am very grateful for what I learn and the opportunity to learn more through collaboration.