Marveling

“Our ability to marvel is fragile.” -Gérald Caussé

I don’t know if this has anything to do with autism or if it is simply a personality trait, but I tend to not get bored of things. Life to me is a miracle. I marvel at the way things work, at the form and structure of the world. I wonder at the tiny details found in nature. Every day, every moment, every breath is a new experience for me.

I sometimes sorrow at the complacency of others. I wonder how they could lose sight of the importance or beauty of something. If you enjoy the smell of a rose once, does that mean a rose will never smell as good as that first rose? I think sometimes we just forget how to love. When we are around something for long enough, we forget how we used to feel about it.

I don’t always like the fact that I have autism. It is difficult. It makes certain things harder. But because of that, there are things I can never take for granted. Having a friend for example is such a wonderful blessing. I don’t want to ever forget or neglect a friend because I know what it’s like to have no friends. You learn to appreciate the things you do not have often.

I hope though that we can learn to appreciate the things we have every day. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is a time when people remember to marvel at what they have in their lives. It is a time to give thanks for beauty and goodness and love. Yes, our ability to marvel is fragile. So I hope that we treasure it, that we strengthen it, that we see the goodness and beauty in the little things. And marvel at everything because this life truly is amazing.

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Dear Best Friend

This letter is partly for my family because they have always been my best friends, but also for my non-relative friends who have been there for me in big and small ways over the years.

Dear best friend,
I want you to know how much I love you. I want you to know how much I appreciate you. I want you to know how much you mean to me.

Dear best friend,
I want you to know that it’s not your fault when I’m not okay. I want you to know that I don’t expect you to cure me. I want you to know that you do help more than you know.

Dear best friend,
I want you to know that you have saved my life more times than I can count. I want you to know that the dark loses its fight against me every day because of you. I want you to know that you make me a stronger and better person.

Dear best friend,
I want you to know that I would do anything for you. I want you to know that I recognize the things you have done for me. I want you to know that my life is brighter because you are in it.

Dear best friend,
I wish I could tell you how I really feel about you. I wish I could communicate how much I love you. I wish I could tell you how much you help me.

Dear best friend,

I wish I could be okay for you. I wish all my problems could just go away because I’m friends with you. I wish I could be the person you want me to be.

Dear best friend,

Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for being there for me over and over.

Dear best friend,
Thank you for being my friend.

The Power of Friends in Depression

I have this friend that basically knows I’m not okay. So she messages me pretty much every day to see how I’m doing and if I have eaten that day and just checks in with me.

I know I shouldn’t need that. I’m an adult. I should be able to handle myself and not have someone check to see if I’m meeting my needs. But… It is so helpful…

Teetering on the verge of depression, struggling with health issues, and fighting off anxiety is a lot to handle on my own. And even though I tell myself I can do it, I often don’t want to. I don’t feel like it’s worth the effort. I don’t feel like I’m worth the effort. But… Knowing that this friend will check in with me, knowing she may ask if I have eaten, I do eat, I do try, I do keep going.

Sometimes people feel like they have to do these great things for us. When you tell someone you think about suicide, they feel like they have to save you in some big way. But the truth is, it’s the little things that save us. It’s the everyday, mundane things like asking if we ate that day that ultimately saves our lives over and over.

So… Thank you. Thank you to this dear friend that saves me a million tears, a thousand lonely nights, and simply saves my life a hundred times over. And thank you to all my friends and all of you whose continual love and care keep me going when everything tells me to stop.

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.