Sometimes I remember my life before autism. It happened to me the other day. I was treating myself to some music on Pandora, and a song came on that I knew I should know but couldn’t remember the title. And that, my friends, is how this blog post began.
In my other life before autism I:
- enjoyed a lot of music. I knew a lot of songs by name and could recognize them in just a few measures. In fact, my husband and I would try to beat each other to name songs before the other. Now I have a son who doesn’t tolerate much music.
- read lots of books for fun. Now I don’t get to do that very often.
- had things to talk about with my friends. I think I used to have a social life.
- carried on intelligent conversations and could think critically. Now I’m lucky to think.*
- lived in a decorated home. Now that’s pointless–those pretty candles will just get broken.
- knew autism existed, but didn’t know much more.
If you’ve been around my little blogosphere home for a while, you know I’ve incorporated the power of one to help me cope. So, after thinking about the things I miss from my other life, I told myself I needed to think of the good things, too. I came up with this list…
In my other life before autism I did not:
- experience the joy of celebrating the truly little things like wearing a name tag or eating a blueberry.
- realize how strong I could be with God’s help.
- understand what special needs families face.
- know an amazing group of women called “special needs moms”. I now call them “friends”.
- advocate for special needs families. Sure, I was kind and I left parking spots open, but I didn’t go out of my way to educate or raise understanding.
Now, I want to be clear lest I make anyone’s tough day worse with my “change your thinking” post. I am NOT saying we cannot or should not grieve what we have lost. That is normal. I just need to make myself to remember to look for blessings or I am prone to getting stuck. I am also not saying life with special needs isn’t tough. It is. There’s no way around that.
So, what was YOUR other life like? Your life before autism? I’d love to hear, and if you have some blessings from living with autism around, I’d love to hear those, too.
*Autism is not the only contributor, but it has affected these things.