I had a pretty terrible weekend: the unrestful, stressful, draining kind that comes along every so often. And yes, I will admit that I’m struggling with a depressive relapse and trying to keep my head above water, so things seem a little worse than they usually do. All things considered, it was still a pretty uncool couple of days.
This morning, I was really hoping for something meaningful to come along, help me put life into perspective, and encourage me to grab those big girl panties out of the drawer. Social media had something else to say about the matter.
“why do I have to be stuck with non-verbal asd??????? not fair!!!!!!”
For context: this is a fully functional adult woman whining about one of her children being on the spectrum on a page dedicated to support parents of children on the spectrum. On a page designed to be a place where we can ask questions, encourage one another, and seek support.
Yet here we are.
The very best thing about this post was the 36 comments it had received in the single hour it had been posted before I saw it, and all of them were “sending thoughts and prayers”, “hugs for you, mama”, etc. Not one person saw it within themselves to tell her that it was comments like that which were the reason she only ever saw ASD as a negative. NOT. ONE.
Here’s not fair: getting run over on a beautiful Friday summer morning and having your life changed forever. Not fair is a heart attack on a Friday evening planned with your fiance. Not fair involves the financial burden your military family would face if you wanted to move across the country together. Life dishes out “not fair” on a pretty regular basis, and it’s non-discriminatory in doing so. It doesn’t particularly care one way or the other if your life already seems unfair to you.
Here’s another shocker: not everything is about you. Welcome to adulthood. This is the part where we practice resilience, perseverance, tolerance, and patience. Yes, all of these get drained once in a while – our cups certainly don’t runneth over when it comes to muddling through in today’s society – but we usually have enough if we work at it. Some of us have more and are willing to share it with those who don’t. Typically, however, that doesn’t happen unless we can tell that the recipient just hasn’t quite got enough themselves. We don’t tend to help those that won’t help themselves; those that, for example, whine about the fairness of a child having ASD.
Know where that kind of behaviour gets us? Nowhere.
And if we keep letting it define us? Stuck in nowhere.
And when we can’t see a way out of being stuck in nowhere? Well, that’s when we start to court mental health issues.
If, like me, you resignedly put the big girl panties on this morning one leg at a time, I applaud you. If, like me, you took yourself out to the kitchen and ate a proper breakfast, I commend you. And if that is all you do today, that is okay. If you did even more, consider yourself a rock star.
Life is hard. It can wear even the most healthy of us down. The key is to look it dead in the eye and say, “You might think you can beat me, but today is not that day”. Then do something kick-ass like text a friend that might just need an extra push.
Go be stars, and shine in the darkness like the brilliant lights you are.