Vignette #1 – Mom has been wanting a laptop for quite a while ever since her computer crashed. She kept asking me about it and I knew I had to get going on finding something suitable for her. After my concussion I was not supposed to be online but after a couple of quiet days I went online and madly researched laptops and finally came up with a model Ifelt would work for her. I was able to get it at a local computer shop. Today I picked it up and brought it home much to Mom’s great delight. I knew she wanted it set up as fast as possible. BIG PROBLEM! I don’t know whether it has anything to do with my autism or just an idiosyncrasy but when I buy something new it usually has to stay in the box for quite a while maybe even several months. When I bought my first digital camera it stayed in the box for 4 months before i was able to tackle it. A few years ago I bought a new easy chair. It took 2 YEARS before I felt comfortable in it and saw it as really mine. I recently bought a new land line phone system- actually 2 months ago. It is still in the box. So….. I came home with Mom’s laptop and I brought it up to her room. she was eager to see it. I must say it was all I could muster to take it out of the box. I was so anxious I had to leave and go downstairs for a couple of hours with a cup of tea and sit and try to calm myself down. I know I am perfectly capable of setting this laptop up. I have done many things on the computer like install my own router etc but for some reason ( and I believe I am just too exhausted from looking after Mom to deal with one more thing that requires a lot of brain energy) I just feel I can’t set this laptop up. I finally got up the nerve to talk to Mom and told her my predicament. I told her I was going to phone Staples to have someone set it up for us. The money spent on this was far less worry that the damage the anxiety was doing to my well-being. Mom took it well especially when she realized how anxiety – provoking it was. But I feel like a failure. I know I could do this. Why does my anxiety have to again interfere with what I want to do in life? Now Mom will have to wait while I take it in to get set up and that will take a few days. I wanted to do it for her tonight. I know my autism gives me many positive things in life. I have wonderful creativity and I can think outside of the box. I am passionate about many things and I am hard working and honest. My passion and focus helps me to look after my Mom when it can get very difficult. I am determined. I don’t give up easily. But unfortunately, with my autism also comes some difficult things like extreme anxiety and idiosyncrasies that get in the way of normal life. I have to learn to take the good with the bad and I say bad but I don’t mean that really. They are all just parts of me that make me who i am. So tonight a laptop got the better of me. Maybe tomorrow I will have victory over something else in my life. And so life goes on…..
Vignette #2 – It’s tough looking after Mom. It’s very tough. So tough, I often feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. It’s often when things are at their worst that God drops a gem of joy into my lap. Just because. Just because he loves me. Just because I am his child and he cares about what I am going through. Today was one of those days. The last few days have been extremely difficult. I have been worried about what the future holds for Mom and I and whether I will have to put her in a nursing home and if i don’t will I be able to still take care of her properly at home. As I was going downtown to pick up Mom’s new laptop I was reading a children’s book on the life of Maud Lewis the famous Canadian folk art painter from the East Coast. After I picked up the laptop, I was walking along the street and went to pass by an art gallery that I have passed by for years but have never gone in. I love art and so I decided today was the day I was going to go in and see what they had. I went in and was surrounded with some beautiful paintings. Then I noticed a display of 2 paintings (prints not originals) of Maud Lewis’s. Apparently there is an online auction to auction off 2 of her paintings. I showed the owner of the store the book I had been reading on the way downtown. Then he asked me a question that just about bowled me over. He asked me if I wanted to see the originals! Would I!!!!! I was so excited. He brought them out and I gently and gingerly held them and drank in the beautiful colours and scenes of the two paintings done by a little old crippled lady who for most of her life noone knew anything about her. She lived in horrible poverty but painted such joyous paintings. As I held her art work I wondered about what she thought about as she painted. So today God did indeed drop a gem of joy into my lap, one I could never have imagined receiving. God must have fun planning what he does for his children to bring joy into their lives. In the vignette above my anxiety was so great and in this vignette my excitement was so great I had to take medication to calm myself down. My life has ups and downs so steep that it takes my breathe away. Sometimes I wish for more gently rolling hills of experiences but I take it all in stride. My life is definitely not dull.