Which, truthfully, is a much nicer way of saying, “Whoo-hee! Wow, I’m glad that’s not my life.” I know that sometimes, my friends are saying the same thing about my life. “So glad that’s your problem and not mine!” We all provide each other contrast. “See? My life isn’t so bad.”
It’s not schadenfreude, there’s no joy of “Ha, ha! Your life really sucks and mine is great.” It really a feeling of thankfulness that I don’t have to walk that road. Contrast is my friend. It tells me, “I don’t want that!” So that I can decide what it is that I do want and then feel gratitude for it.
When my son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, I was really relieved to get a diagnosis. Yes, hearing that my child has something incurable can feel devastating, IF I let myself go there. I’ve touched it, felt it, but it’s not something to wallow in. The last hope of “He’ll grow out of it” has died. I’ve been living with him for ten years now, and I’ve known that he’s different. I’m just happy that finally a doctor has confirmed that my son is different and now finally the insurance will pay for therapy. The label doesn’t really matter to me. The label is simply a way to afford the therapies he so obviously needs.
I was encouraged to check out circleofmoms.com because of the numerous support forums for Asperger’s and PDD. I’ve checked it out and had some fun answering posts and asking for help. A lot of what I found there was stories that provided contrast that tells me that my life is wonderful and blessed.
I’m so thankful that my husband is patient, doesn’t scream at me or the kids or, worse, hit anyone. I’m so thankful that my child uses the toilet on his own. I’m so thankful that my son wants to be social and that he can maintain his emotions well enough that his meltdowns only happen at home. I’m so thankful that we have insurance and that we’re covered under HIMAT. I’m so thankful that my husband still has a good paying job that provides that insurance. I’m thankful for a school who is responsive to my son’s needs and that he’s able to be in a mainstream classroom. There is so much I’m thankful for. The list goes on.
I spent the morning talking to a friend about her challenges with her son, who is undiagnosed with anything, and she’s not seeking a diagnosis, though she admits that, yeah, she’s thinking probably Asberger’s. She’s a single mom, and has no insurance, so therapy isn’t something she can afford anyway. She has pulled her son out of school because he was miserable and he’s suddenly a much happier person, actually social and more able to cope. Now, on her own, she’s trying to figure out how to homeschool him and cope with his anxiety symptoms. If it were anyone else I’d be terrified that she would end up isolated and crazy, never leaving the house, but her life doesn’t allow that, so her son just comes with her. I can offer support but I can’t fix it, like us all she’s doing what she can with what she has. Don’t know that he is autistic. Autism isn’t something that is cured, it’s something that you cope with and I think she’s going to do her best.
Just talking and listening to her really puts it in perspective that my problems are miniscule and laughable. My boys are some of the few kids he’s even willing to play with that are close to his age so we’ll be getting together soon.
I’m going to see my best friend tonight, even though it’ll be rush hour and she’s practically in BFA (just as far as BFE, but Aurora not Egypt, so more cops and drug deals.) She’s sick, again, and moving in three weeks. I was going to go help her pack Friday night, but now it sounds like we’re getting 8″ of snow tomorrow night, so I don’t think I want to go get snowed in. (It’s in the 60’s today. God, I love Colorado! Good job!) I’m hoping to make her sit still and just pack her kitchen while we chat.
We have a mutual contrast thing going on. She’s thankful she doesn’t cope will all the BS here at my house, I’m thankful for my health, and still have moments of strong enviousness of her solitude. There are moments where living alone with my cats sounds really good!
Anyway, she’s lost her voice again, and she pointed out that she really has some sympathy for her parents’ Corgi. They adopted a Champion show dog and spent a bunch of money doing so, just so they could retire him. They did it because they were offended by the cruelty of the fact that he had been de-barked. So my best friend has been temporarily been debarked. The realization of the morning is that honestly, she’s pretty Corgi-like already. Blonde, full-sized, but short legs, extremely smart and loyal, with a wicked bite. lolololol
Contrast is there all around us. May it be friendly contrast and may you appreciate it and cherish it and use it as your ally.