Twice last week, I was engaged in conversations with mothers who stammered in describing and apologizing for their offspring's disAbilities. In light of autism, ADD, said one mother, was of little measure. Another mother minimized her child's significant physical disabilities in light of the fact that her child was not cognitively or socially impaired. I still say, if it's yours, it's yours, regardless of the form of difficulty and challenge….There's no comparing….[This is a repost of this piece that appeared here nearly a year ago.]
"What are YOU doing here?" It wasn't the first time I'd had an evil eye aimed at me in the line at Weight Watchers. Last time it happened I must've been suffering from an aggressive case of PMS.
Because I WAS aggressive with the woman who dared as to ask the
question with disdain. She turned to leave as soon as she jousted the
question my way, stepping off the scale, folding up her weigh-in book
and proceeding to leave the Y before our little weekly meeting started.
"WAIT!" I said to her loudly, causing her to spin around and look at me
with an expression of surprise. "I'm not letting you get away with that
I lifted my shirt several inches and
inadvertently pushed my yoga pants down so low that my Victoria's
Secrets were showing. "That's nothing," a couple other women piped in.
"Listen, you guys," I lectured them. "This is not about comparing
ourselves to each other. We are each on a personal journey here and
whatever you have to lose — 100 pounds or 16…I've seen members over
the last nine years attend faithfully to lose both numbers — it's
about YOU! Not anyone else's numbers! We're here to support one
another. Not compare ourselves." (Do not mess with me during a bout of PMS. I'm warnin' ya.)
It's a lesson (not the PMS…the comparing) that I learned well during my autism journey…which is what launched me into Weight Watchers
the first time. Thirty pounds of self-nurture in the form of food post
diagnosis. After five years of yo-yo-ing, fretting and schlepping it
around, I finally swallowed hard and joined a group. I lost the weight,
mastered some great tools, made some great friends that are still
friends today. And, I kept off the weight for eight years until I met
my gourmet fiance two years ago. Since January, I've been hell-bent
(most of the time) in losing the 15 I carelessly gained back.
Back to the lesson. It's true,
we can always find someone who has circumstances more dire-seeming than
our own–or less so. But it's about you. It's about me. If it's
yours, it yours. If it's mine, it's mine. No Ifs, Ands or Buts.
Regardless if it's pain (physical or emotional), disAbility or weight
loss. It's about the journey. Your journey. Comparison can be toxic and
a major trip up. Feel what you need to feel. Then find a route to
maneuver your way out. And beware of comparisons. (And curly-headed
blondes with PMS.)
Ahem. Rant over.