Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Autism Gratitude Project Day 3

I am grateful that autism has redefined my preconceived notions of what strength means. I once believed I had to do everything on my own and asking for help was a sign of my weakness or failure. Although I have broad shoulders (metaphorically at least), I reached a point recently where the weight of life events (autism contributed indirectly) was just far too much to bear. I sought help from family/friends/trusted members of my autism support group (in other words my whole "autism family") and in addition to that help I sought counseling from the Salvation Army Counseling Service. I would NEVER have freely or publicly admitted that in the past and it was to my own detriment. Needing help is no longer a source of shame or what I previously would have considered a chink in my armor. It's the complete opposite. Putting my hand up tentatively for help prevented me from sure drowning and STRENGTHENS my armor every day. Although there is pretty much always a battle somewhere in my life, I know I have that strong armor, the "weapon" of a voice not only willing to speak out in advocacy but now speak up in need too and an army of support surrounding me. If not for autism, entering my life and the events following it's rambunctious entrance, over the last however many years, I'm not sure I would have ever realised whispering, asking or shouting for help sometimes is not only what makes us human, but sometimes takes superhuman STRENGTH. For the ability to ask for help and the realisation it's available to me in abundance, I am grateful.

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