The Progress of the Now

Thanks to all my followers!  I have 33 of you now and over 200 likes on my blog!  I cannot accurately express the amount of joy and excitement that brings me!  And also the somewhat crippling sense of responsibility… All jokes aside, I really do thank you all for making this blog useful.  I never expected even a single follower and now having over 30 is just wow.  So amazing.  Just, thank you all so very much.  I hope you all get something positive from my blog and that you share my weirdly optimistic view on the journey ahead.  Now, onto our regularly scheduled blog post..

Today was the first day I had seen Charon in nearly 3 weeks. There’s a lot we still need to touch base on but I feel a lot better having seen her.  It feels productive.  She was impressed about the progress I’ve made and about the awesomeness of my blog.  Not to worry, dear reader, she doesn’t know which one is mine.  I haven’t told her and I have no plans to do so in the near future.

What sticks out to me from our session today was when we talked about the Social Security Building fiasco.  Yes, I can see that it wasn’t quite as big a failure as I perceived it to be originally.  In the past, I would have made me mum or someone else either do it for me or go in with me.  I didn’t shut down when that lady shoved that paper in my face.  I didn’t react with silence or with running away.  And most of all, I didn’t avoid that situation to begin with.

I have a tendency to berate myself over what I think I should have done, what a normal and functional adult would have done.  I don’t actually give myself credit for the progress I’ve already made.  As soon as I reach one milestone, I’m off racing towards the next.  I have no patience to sit and try to master the skills that I’ve gained.  I only wish to gather more knowledge.  This way of life is not a way to have a Life More Worth Living.

Much like a mother with a newborn, I need to take time to celebrate the tiny steps I make towards a Life More Worth Living.  I’m not doing that.  I sit and I throw pity parties because I’m not progressing like I believe I should be.  I’m not going fast enough and I’m still making mistakes.  I know all these things in theory that I just cannot do in practice and I beat myself up for it.    I mean, theoretically, we all know how to ride a bike.  We get on, push off, pedal, try not to crash and die, etc.  In theory, I could ride a bike.  In practice, my muscles are not used to such actions and I would most likely fall off a few times and get tired after a mile or so.

I sit here and I type all about my theories and then I get mad when I don’t get the actions of them right the first time I try.  Isn’t it said that Edison tried a thousand times to invent the light bulb and instead found a thousand ways not to?  He didn’t fail a thousand times, he just found a thousand other ways that didn’t end up with the desired outcome.  The same here.

I have found a thousand ways not to have a Life More Worth Living.  Continuing to put myself down because I didn’t react the way I believed I should have is not part of my Life More Worth Living.  I need to remember that I’m still making progress and that I’ve come such a long way and that my progress, though little, is not insignificant.

Take pride in the small victories, my friends!  It’s not only the huge milestones that we deserve to celebrate and share, it’s the tiny steps we take along the way.  It’s getting out of bed in the morning.  It’s going to therapy on a regularly scheduled basis.  It’s taking your medication every day.  It’s recognizing that you are engaging in an undesirable behavior and stopping midway.  It’s going to an unfamiliar place to do an unfamiliar task and only crying and spazzing a little instead of having a full-blown shut down.  It’s those tiny victories that we need to give more attention to.

I know I can’t speak for everyone.  I am not in your head and you are not in mine (I hope).  I know that I can’t remember all the times I had fallen down learning to walk.  I know I don’t have every scrap of paper I scribbled thoughts and notes on pinned to my wall.  I don’t keep the rough drafts of the papers I write stored neatly in my desk.  I only have the final outcome of all my hard work saved for the world to see.

I know all the heartbreak and pain and effort that I put in to create a Life More Worth Living for myself.  I’ve been raised to only see the best as good enough for praise, not the times I failed.  If I didn’t get it right the first time, I was stupid, a dolt, someone my parents couldn’t brag to others about.  I’m comparing what I can do right now, in this moment, to what I want to be able to do in the future.

What I can do now is better than what I managed to do yesterday.  Sure, I’ll be able to do even better tomorrow, but I haven’t done that yet.  I can only experience the progress I’m making in the now and I can only acknowledge that in the now.  Without recognizing myself for what I’m able to do, compared to what I’ve resorted to in the past, I only set myself up for more suffering and despair.  By not seeing the progress I’m actively making as a legitimate object of joy, I’m only harming myself and I may actually be reversing any progress I’ve made.

The only one standing in the way of my accomplishments is me.  I may not be where I want to be, but I’m at a hell of a lot better place than I was.  And I’m damn proud of that.  I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.  I’m not who I used to be.  I don’t know what I’ll be like tomorrow.  The only me that counts is the me in the now.  And the me in the now is the best me yet.

So long as I keep trying and I keep recognizing every little step I make in the right direction, I will continue to have my Life More Worth Living.  I’m happy that I’m having my Life More Worth Living and that I’m the best me I can be.

Let us rejoice in the steps we’ve taken.  Let us look back on our past and gain knowledge instead of misery.  We’ve all come so far.  We are so much better than what we used to be and I’m so proud of us all for that.  Let us continue looking towards the future with eager eyes and willing souls while celebrating our current accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.

We’ve come a long ways.  We just need to remember that.  We’ve come a long ways.

-The Sarcastic Autist



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