Getting happy with Autism

Happiness in Autism

Happy New Year. Happy 2021, everyone!

Recently, a few clients have asked me, “How are you so light and happy?” So, I just wanted to go over it briefly.

It’s been about five years & I didn’t go from frustrated, overwhelmed to happy, joyful & in a gown for no reason.

In the video above, you will find a picture of me many years ago. You can see I’m not too happy even though I’m smiling. There is just a lot of sadness. And that’s where I started.

That’s my chapter one.

And what you’re seeing right now is, I don’t know, maybe Chapter 20, maybe it’s book two. I have no idea, but I’ve worked on a lot of things that have just brought me to this place. 

And I know many times you see people, not just me, but you see other parents at more than any point that you want. And it’s like, how did that happen?

For parents who are like, “I used to be happy.” or “I used to be optimistic.” How do I get there with autism then?

This is just an explanation about my journey in one aspect of how I got happiness.

And this might not work for you, but maybe it’ll inspire you to do something that will work for you.

Either way, whether you want to try and make my process your own or make a totally new process, either way, I wish you much happiness. And I just want to kind of show you how it evolved throughout the years.

It all started with a calendar

I wanted to be happy. I knew that that was my intention. I was just like, I need someone to pull me out of this hole of despair and darkness, I just wanted out. But I couldn’t. I was just stuck. I just couldn’t get myself out there.

It started with a morning ritual with my daughter. I wanted her to start the day in a great way. She’s going off to school, mainstream school. And I just wanted her to take some of that goodness, at least to start the day. And I wanted to protect her. I wanted to grow her confidence. In many ways, I was looking at her and saying, what does she need? And then I’ll do it, too.

I got a calendar of powerful quotes from a variety of different people. And we did it every day.

We would read the quote and I saw how it was a different person every day.

And sometimes I knew who that person was. Sometimes I didn’t. So I Googled and read about their lives like, wow, they’ve overcome a lot. It was really more like normalizing. Yes, everybody has things that they’re going through. I knew that, but it still felt like I was the only one in a hole.

We would do that every morning and it was great. And after a year or two, I realized I didn’t believe a lot of that stuff. I would read it and be like, “Yeah, that’s great.” But, I couldn’t feel like, “Yeah, that’s me!”

What I would do is we would have the calendar, and I started saving the ones that I didn’t believe.

I didn’t believe a lot, in the initial years. I just kept saving it and be like, “You know what, one day I’ll believe it.” It’s kind of good. Like I acknowledge that I don’t believe all this stuff, but one day I will. I wasn’t mad at myself.

But what I would do was when I would have like a bad day where I was in that hole, I needed to somehow get happy and get out of it when I couldn’t. What I would do is I would take one of these proverbs. I would actually take the whole stack, get a journal and I would just start pulling them out and I would just start writing it.

Whether I believed it or not. I’d say to myself, you know what? One day I’ll believe this but for now I’ll just write it. And that was another way of getting myself out of the hole.

So, it started with that calendar.

Started really wanting to motivate my daughter, and I started getting motivated.  That was part of me getting out of that hole. The first year passed and then I had this big stack & I was like “Okay, I don’t believe all of it.” I started saving them and kind of having fun with it.

And then, the next year came along and I repeated the process. I would maintain the stack separately. I still did not believe everything. Right? I’m not perfect, but I’m getting there. There’s progress. The stack is thinner this year. 

And, again, if I am having a bad day, if I’m in bad mood, I’ll just take this out and start writing it. And I write it by hand. For some reason, when you actually are using handwriting to write it out, it just somehow clicks in my body. Maybe not yours, but you can see I’m starting to believe more and more and more.

And I got a new calendar for the year 2021. I haven’t opened it yet. I’m really excited to open it. I still do this with my daughter. This is still our morning routine. She does enjoy it. She can read more of the words.

And I love it when she says things. We started in a much different place and it’s just being happy with the progress that we’re making.

And I don’t feel like I’m in a hole anymore.

I am able to have a lot more fun.

And this is my journey.

This is how I went from that one picture taken many years ago. And how I got here! Natural smiles, fun. I don’t know. I can have fun in a gown with the pandemic and quarantine and everything around like that.

And it’s really how can you look to have better feelings, better thoughts, better emotions. That’s what got me out of that hole. However, you do that for yourself. I support it.

I just want to show you what’s worked for me, and this will continue to evolve and grow. And I’m very happy to do that. So I wish you all the best for 2021!

Thank you for being here.

And I am looking forward to a wonderful 2021 for you.

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