Although most of my posts will be about life with the big A, if you are truly going to walk with us, you will see the other parts of our life too. Yes Autism lives in our house, but it is not our entire life. As I stumbled down my path and attempted to become the person God intended me to be, I found my way to Al-Anon. At the Al-Anon meetings, I found another family of choice. I am truly blessed to add my Al-Anon family to my already wonderful support system as I journey through life. The first time I walked into a meeting, I knew I was home. I was overcome with a wonderful feeling of serenity and security. Having been immersed in the world of the “isms” more than once, I have coping mechanisms and behaviors that stem from how I learned, and was taught, to deal with those situations/circumstances. Some of the biggest influences on those behaviors were not even the “qualifier” but my fellow co-dependents/enablers. Although these mindsets, reactions, behaviors, etc… served me well in the past, they no longer have a place in my life. As a matter of fact they keep me from having a serene and happy life that is filled with love, peace, faith and hope. My mind is twisted with my own sickness from the disease; and it affects my self-image, self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence in a very negative and sad way.
My wish for my children is for them to grow-up knowing they are valued for themselves, not what they can do for people, but simply for being in the world. I want them to know it is okay to be different and disagree with people. I want them to respect and always be proud of themselves. I want them to walk tall and know themselves for the extraordinary people they are. I want them to grow into self-confident women who love themselves, and never let anyone shatter their self-esteem. This is a dream and goal, my husband and I work toward everyday for our girls.
I recently spent a very spiritual weekend with my Al-Anon family. I received two amazing compliments over the weekend. First, a few different ladies told me that I was a very well put together person; that they enjoyed conversing with me and loved me for sharing my story with such honesty. Second, a woman told me that I had one of the most vibrant energies she had ever seen emanate from a person, that I just poured positive light. Through the grace of God, and my program, I was able to accept these wonderful compliments and truly believe them. On other days I have received similar compliments and walked away thinking that I was fraud, or even told people “No I am just a good actress.” The woman people see and compliment is the person I desperately want to be, but most days it is a struggle, and some days I don’t even come close. There are more days than I like to admit, that I look in the mirror and don’t like the woman I see. There are days, that even God himself could not convince me that she is a “good” person. This skewed self-perception is part of my sickness, as are many other character flaws. Some days that girl wouldn’t know a positive thought if it walked up and smacked her.
It is no longer time for me to hide from the truth in the mirror. Although I may not always see that person clearly, it is time to get to know her and love her. The only way I can teach my girls to be all the things I wish for them, is to first learn how to do those things for myself. So I attend meetings, read, work my program, pray, and call my “family” when I need to talk it out. Little by little, One Day at a Time, I am becoming the person I want to be. I thank God everyday for giving me the support system I need to become a healthier, happier and more peaceful person. I thank you for reading and allowing me to share our story. God Bless and Please Keep Coming Back.
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.