Susan's Blog

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things Happen for a Reason

Because of my depression and related issues, I attended a support group recently. This group is somewhat based on the traditional twelve-step programs. I don’t have much familiarity with the twelve-step thing, being in traditional individual therapy. But one overarching theme that has piqued my interest is the concept of the Higher Being, not necessarily God, and the idea that there are things beyond one’s control. That things happen for a reason.

I have, in the past, rejected the “things happen for a reason” mantra, particularly when people explain Nat’s autism that way. But more and more, I have found a certain degree of faith that there is some rhyme and reason to the Universe and to my life, such as realizing that because of Nat’s autism, I was forced to deal with things head-on: from how to help Nat, to mitigating my own difficulties so that I could have a real understanding of myself and be a better mother/person. So, what I have been feeling is not that God made Nat autistic for a reason, but that Nat’s autism has been a useful jumping-off point for growth in my family.

After attending my support group, however, I began thinking along more literal lines about things happening for a reason. The way it works, I believe, is that you first kind of resign yourself to the fact that you are a flawed human being, subject to errors, and that you therefore have to work hard to overcome these flaws, and at the same time have faith that you will. And with faith, comes a kind of letting go, allowing yourself to feel that calm happiness that, without any reason, tells you you’re going to be okay.

Yesterday I was talking to someone who has had experience with this way of thinking and he told me how it works for him. He said that he was having a particularly bad moment, and then the phone rang, and it was a friend who needed his help. This, he said, has happened before, and he found it quite comforting.

So I began tuning into such moments for me. Today was an extremely low day, in part because I had a glitch with the Washington Post (we straightened it out, thankfully). I was sitting at the table staring out at the black, brown, gray and white yard (all my least favorite colors), feeling cold even in a sweater, and wanting to eat Twinkies. I could not think of a thing I wanted to do, or anything I had going for me.

Then an email popped up, from a woman in my town. She was asking for help with her son’s IEP. I stared at the screen. I had a few good ideas right away. The ugly rawness of outside shrunk back. I felt my energy level rise and my cravings drop away. By the end of the email, I was buzzing with a good feeling.

I could almost hear the words in my head, “things happen for a reason.”

1 comment

I love it when someone brings to my attention a problem that I can help solve….

— added by Julia on Saturday, March 17, 2007 at 6:56 pm