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Autism: Thankful for Thanksgiving

02 Nov

Due to how difficult my birthday, and the days surrounding it were for me, I especially wanted to have a good Thanksgiving. The trouble was: same people, same plans, nearly the same food… my family is still so far away. I was just coming out of a very long time period of crashing, and it had been dark and rainy for days.

In my own strength, and depending on those closest to me, it was unlikely that Thanksgiving would be any better than my birthday; any better than any day, really. All I could do was go into it hoping and praying, as I had a couple of weeks prior for my birthday, that something would be different; something would be better… and then try not to hope for too much.

Well, as I wrote in my last post, my husband did take me out the night before Thanksgiving. We went to a hockey game, and despite the rain and the crowds, I had a really good time. In itself, that helped to life my mood from the strong anxiety and depression that had left me struggling for most of about three weeks.

On the morning of Thanksgiving, we went to church as usual. However, unexpectedly I met a friend as I walked through the door. Although she had told me she would try to get to church that weekend (they just moved back to town) her intention was to go to a different service. I had no idea that she would be there, and there she was.

Normally I don’t like surprises, but this was a good one. I sat with her through the service, hoping she would enjoy it (everything has changed since she was there last – mostly for the better, I think, but still…) and thinking, “I am sitting with my friend!” Obviously that doesn’t happen often. Usually I sit with my husband, and since we sit at the very front (not a popular choice) we sit alone. I was thankful she was there; I was thankful she enjoyed it; I was thankful to have a friend.

After church, I went home, and nothing was much different than on my birthday. My husband went to his thing, and I went to mine. After lunch, however, when I asked him to come along for my dog’s walk, he came. The weather was beautiful, a really nice autumn day, and I enjoyed that time spent with him.

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When it came to supper, I made the food, but he peeled the potatoes – just as I like it. It isn’t that I think I am such a great cook or anything, it is just… I can’t handle different. I would love for other people to make most of my food, if only they would make it just as I like it. Since that doesn’t happen, I’d rather do it myself. I am much less likely to have a meltdown that way.

Supper was pretty good. I enjoyed it much more than any (mostly) vegan has a right to enjoy meat – I didn’t say I don’t like meat, I would just rather it didn’t come from animals is all – and vegan ‘meat’ is often made with wheat, soy, and mushrooms, which I can’t or won’t eat. Plus it doesn’t taste the same.

Anyway, I agreed to eat meat for holidays, birthdays, and when away from home – because it is just too difficult not to. Yet the very fact that I enjoyed supper left me feeling guilty, and sad for the turkey.

After supper, we each went back to our thing. It is exhausting after all to spend too much time together. Even though there was very little different from my birthday, those few little things made all the difference. I am not extremely needy or anything. Just a little care, and I am content.

And so for all this, I am thankful for Thanksgiving.

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