Come out and PLAY!

PLAY!!!

“O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.”

―     Leo Rosten

Summertime is a bright and happy season. Like childhood it is full of promise and possibility.  Waking up on a weekend morning in summer, a gentle morning breeze tickles my toes and the early morning rays of that pale gold sun sneaks between the slats on the blinds. The birds sing a slow and hopeful song in the maple tree right outside my window. It is a glorious day!  It is the perfect day for some well deserved play!

Yes, a big helping of play today with a side of fun. This is a childhood activity that is sorely lacking in the lives of children, and adults.  We all need play. We all need fun.  It is a very real need that doesn’t disappear with age. In fact, playing and the subsequent fun that follows, helps keep us young.

PLAY helps keep us young!
PLAY helps keep us young!

 Webster’s Dictionary online has much to say about play.  Just the concept evokes many ideas and images. I found a wealth of activities that qualified as play, including but not limited to; swordplay, wordplay, sports play and sexual play too. The Concise Enclopedia, truly living up to its name, describes play as; actions have all the elements of purposeful behavior but are performed for no apparent reason.

While I respect the writers and editors at the Concise Enclopedia,  I must disagree with this very concise definition….I say play has a reason and the reason is very apparent and if it isn’t,  it soon will be…

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”

~Michael Jordan

play happy_kids play

The Importance of PLAY

  • Play is a source of relaxation and stimulation for the brain and body. It is important to our physical and mental health. Just as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Play helps us relieve stress. It enables us to manage the day-to-day realities of life. It helps channel “negative” experiences and emotions into positive ones. Play is vital to good mental health.
  • Play encourages creativity by stimulating the imagination. It supercharges learning and is essential in developing problem solving abilities.
  • This act of play triggers a mix of endorphins that enlivens the mood and lifts the spirit.
  • Play connects us to others.  Sharing happiness and laughter promotes bonding between people.
  • Play brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal hurt feelings, resentments and disagreements,
  • Playing together promotes a sense of safety and trust, trust enables people to work together and is essential to unity.

play flappers-on-rocks-beach-wear-t0f20

How do I play especially in public without looking like a complete idiot? My advice is to embrace looking like an idiot. At some point I’ve learned is that you have to stop caring what others think and just do it, whatever it is. If it isn’t harmful and destructive, why not?  I’ve always liked to swing on the swings in the park. In my twenties I thought I was too old, now I know better. Life is too short for hang ups like that. We all have an inner child in us. Some of us are in daily communication with this other self, some need a bit of coaxing to bring this child out.  I know from experience it is well worth the coaxing. Some of the most dour adults can transform into some of the most fun and best playmates if only given the chance.

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I guess sometimes a little “unrealness” can help us cope with the very realness of life. And besides, play is fun and who doesn’t need more fun?

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What do you do for fun? Do you still find time to play as an adult? Let me know. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

  Have a great day!

Strawberryindigo.

SMILE!

“A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.”

~Pablo  Neruda

play happy-child-finds-joy in public domain

***References and Related Articles***

WE ARE YOUNG by FUN (YouTube)

TED TALKS: Play is more than fun it is vital

 Lifelong Games: Playing Together for Fun (helpguide.org)

 Why Play Matters (helpguide.org)

Health Benefits of Having Fun (about.com)

Definition of PLAY (Merriam-Webster.com)

5 Ways to Bring Happy into Your Life (lifehack.org)

Adults need playtime too (bookofmohs.com)

The Art of Ridiculousness (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

The Art of Ridiculousness

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”

 
~Dr. Seuss,    The Cat in the Hat

  fun Laughing_ChimpM

The art of ridiculousness?!  Yes, it is an art, and I try to practice it daily.  What is life if one cannot have a little fun? I didn’t always used to be this way. I used to take myself much too seriously but I learned that it made me too old for my time.  I was too worried about what others thought about me. As I age I’m realizing that for the most part most people are too self-absorbed to notice what anyone else is doing anyway.

At some point in our lives we are expected to stop the art of play. It is something we spent our whole childhoods perfecting. We are to put away childish things and join the adult world that takes everything so seriously. Whimsy and original thinking is, at best, frowned upon. It is as if on one fateful day, we look around and notice society is looking back with the look of distaste and expectant urgency “Now you’re one of us,”  it says, and our magical world is pushed into the back of a dark closet; never again to see the light of day.  People tend to think responsibility and whimsy cannot coexist, and work and fun are total opposites.  I beg to differ.

fun happy-laughing-people in public domain

There is much fun to be had in this world.  One needs an open mind and a mirthful heart to find it; having fun is healthy. Numerous studies have proven the health benefits of fun and laughter.

I think the rebel in us pushes back sometimes, at the wrong time and, in the wrong way.  We spend time, precious time, looking for that we have lost. The child inside of you is alive. Youth has not abandoned you: you have abandoned it. It is then…we not only grow up…we grow old.

Don’t grow old; embrace your inner child. I’ve met old nine-year olds and young ninety year olds…it’s all in the attitude. Don’t give up on that eternal playmate–he or she has not given up on you!

Wishing you a FUN filled day!

Strawberryindigo.

your inner child is having fun! by public domain

Life must be lived as play.
~Plato~

good news smiley-faces-1920x1080

Related Articles

FUN: “We are young” (youtube.com)

Play for adults  (hitchedmag.com)

Health Benefits of Having Fun: (stress.about.com)

The Importance of Play for adults (stress.about.com)

Perfection . . . is RIDICULOUS. (vicariouslythroughwords.wordpress.com)

You

HEY YOU!

Yes, you.

You know who you are.  You are the type to put yourself last in an endless array of somebody else’s.  Maybe it’s your family or a group of friends or co-workers, maybe its all of the above and then some.

I know you. You’ll say that you are needed and that you really enjoy what you are doing. This is true and it’s just like you to say that.  You might say that doing good has its own reward and to that I must wholeheartedly agree.  You make a lot of sense and definitely you are earning some major good karma points.  You certainly have earned my respect and the respect from many others.

You could even say that I am inspired by you……In all this there is no problem…

You deserve much praise for what you do. In that, again, there is no problem, everyone you know can see this, even if you yourself cannot.

In all that you see as important, in all that you do, how much of that importance is invested in yourself?

Because YOU ARE IMPORTANT!  You are unique. There is only one you……and you can’t be there for them unless you are there for you too.

Take the time for yourself once in a while. Do something you like to do.  Do nothing if that’s what you need. The important thing is that you do it, for you.

This is so important that they created a day especially for YOU.

 HAPPY   MOTHER’S   DAY!

Strawberryindigo.

life’s little pleasures

 Right now

This very moment. This is just one out of a seemingly endless round of moments that make up your life.  How you fill these segments in time becomes your story.

It can be difficult sometimes to weed out the minutiae and  it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day trivialities and miss what is truly important.  This often happens with me.  Life in this modern world can get stressful especially during “interesting” times like these.

During my recent “bout of wicked overdoneness” I was forced to slow down.  This allowed me to catch my breath and really see what was truly going on.  I realised that little by little I was missing the small things.  Life’s little pleasures that I enjoyed so much.   I  didn’t notice they were disappearing until they were gone.

 I have been trying to appreciate the small things whenever and wherever I can find them. Sometimes it’s not easy, I’m a sensitive person and I have my share of bad news and bad days.   I find that it is after one of these bad days that I need  life’s little pleasures all the more.

About three weeks ago I made a plan of action. A basic outline of activities that I would try to incorporate into my daily life. These are very simple things.  They appeal to me personally. I have taken on each one of them.  Some are obviously easier than others. I am still working on the last one.

Life’s little pleasures plan of action master list.

Greet the day: Soon after waking I will greet the day by going out to the back porch for a breath of fresh morning air and a much-needed intake of some urban  nature in the backyard. 

Stretch:  I will stretch my body and my mind. I will explore new horizons and grow.

Walk:  I will walk, to move my body,no matter the weather. To get out into the community and out into the world. I will seek out natural areas.  I will go off the beaten path. I will explore.

Stop:  I will stop and notice the simple beauty that surrounds me everyday.  A bird, the sky. A smile from a child, the laugh of a loved one.  I will take it all in and try to find the goodness in everything I see.

Dance:  And sing and let it all out. I will embrace my inner child and go with those eccentric urges and just have fun.

Let go I will learn to let go of that which I cannot control and just simply Enjoy Life as it comes.

Wishing You an Amazing Day! 

Strawberryindigo.

Busyness

Tanakawho - Busy busy...(by)
Image via Wikipedia

 What’s the rush?

It seems most people are in a hurry these days, always on the run. A blur of activity. Many practically live out of their cars.  Ferrying themselves and their children from here to there, from work to home, to school, to activities. What’s for dinner is decided in the drive thru of a fast food joint and eaten in the backseat by sleepy children after a much too long day filled to the brim with busy.

Sleeping with no deadlines...There is literally no time. No time for this or that.  No time to talk..”gotta’ go”.  No time to eat, let alone cook a healthy meal. No time to say hello, or good-bye. No time for family or friends, no time to read a book or take a walk.  No time for improvement or creativity. Or fun?  No time for love. No time to stop and smell the roses or appreciate a beautiful sunset.

No time to think, or reason or ask why. No time to see the man behind the curtain.

Time ticks by and every moment; every second is a miracle. It is a gift and most of us, myself included, just plow right through it.  Always in a hurry.   Always a full agenda.  It can’t be helped, you know..I’ve said this to myself.  People have responsibilities.  I’m swimming in them and my life is full.   Sound familiar?

Busyness

How many times have you asked someone how they’ve been doing and your query was answered with “busy”  How many times have you said that?  I know I’ve said that.

It is the correct answer, most of us are busy. With jobs and families and everything else in this ever-changing ever evolving world.  Our society becomes faster paced and more complex.  The bar is set higher and higher and you better run faster and jump higher than the next guy because it’s a jungle out there.

BusynessEven when we are not busy, most of us say we are. Idleness is looked down upon. Busyness is related with importance.  An important man is a busy one and his time is more valuable than yours, so you wait.  The poor and insignificant spend a lot of time waiting.

Busy people are needed and wanted.  Busy people are in high demand. It is those that are the movers and the shakers in this world. It is the busy ones that get things done. The busier you are the more important you are and the more valuable your time is.

In Praise of Slowness

There is much to be said for slowness in our fast-paced society.  The fact that  the very concept of “slow” is seen in a negative light shows our need for the benefits that slowness brings.  It’s difficult to see clearly when your life in always in motion. Growth can only come with examination and reflection.

Life is not a road race or a competition. It’s the journey not the destination. Life is meant to be savored. The people in our lives are important, our children are important. You can do more for your child’s development and future success by talking and spending time with them rather than dragging them to a million activities and “enrichment” classes. Time spent together is essential.   Years from now when we are old and running out of it time will any of us look back with rue and regret about how we didn’t spend enough of it at Busyness?

 

Strawberryindigo.

Instant Happiness

25 ways to improve your mood, enliven your spirits and increase your happiness

  1. Exercise. It doesn’t matter how, just move your body. Get your heart pumping. 

  2. Laugh.  Watch a funny movie.  Go to a local comedy show. Tell a joke. Or just laugh at life’s little surprises.

  3. Talk. Open the floodgates and let it all out.

  4. Play. Let out your inner child. Don’t worry about looking foolish. Swing on the swings. Splash in rain puddles. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds roll by. Allow yourself to have fun. You deserve it.

  5. Color. Embrace color.  Colors are widely known to influence your mood. Surround yourself with happy bright colors.

  6. Music.  Listen to upbeat happy music with positive messages.

  7. Get outside. Natural settings enhance your mood. Spend time appreciating nature, even if it’s just a walk in the park.  

  8. Novelty.  Do something different.  Anything positive as long as it is out of your normal routine.

  9. Aromatherapy. Take advantage of uplifting scents such as basil, bergamot, lemon, Clary sage, rose, rosemary and sandalwood.

  10. Smile.

  11. Appreciate.  Count your blessings, literally.  Make a list of all the good aspects in your life. You may be surprised.

  12. Do a kindness for someone. It feels great. a win win situation for everyone.

  13. Sing. Sing along to your favorite song. Any song will do. Be loud and proud.

  14. Challenge yourself.  Go out of your comfort zone.  Whether it is climbing a mountain, learning a language or just saying “Hello” to the mail carrier.

  15. Friends. Look up an old friend. Make a new one. Friends are like gold.

  16. Vacation.  Play tourist in your own town.  Visit the local attractions, take pictures.

  17. Dance. Wherever, whenever you can.  

  18. Garden. Dig in the dirt. Plant a tree. Pot up a tomato plant. No space is too small. Even a few herbs on the windowsill can lift one’s mood.

  19. Animals.  Pet your pet and if you don’t have one consider getting one.  Maybe befriend a neighborhood cat or visit the animals in the zoo.

  20. Touch.  Reach out and touch someone. Give a hug.  Get a hug. Human contact is essential to happiness.

  21. Create.  Make something, anything counts. You are only limited by your own imagination.

  22. Listen. Stop. Be still and just listen for 5 minutes. Notice all the sounds you hear and try to identify each one.

  23. Eat. Healthy food is happy food.

    Deutsch: eine Erdbeere English: A strawberry F...
    Image via Wikipedia

  24. Sleep. Take a nap.  Linger in bed on the weekends a little longer. Sleep can do wonders.

  25. Nothing. Learn the art of nothingness. Allow yourself this luxury once in a while. 

There are really a million actions one can take for an excellent dose of instant happiness.  These scant 25 are only a beginning….what I think is of real importance here is a person’s attitude.  Happiness is a state of mind, after all.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

**Helen Keller**

What do you do for a dose of Instant happiness.  Let me know and we can add it to the list.

Have a happy day!

Smile fasdfdsfoiueire
Image via Wikipedia

Strawberryindigo.

A wicked bout of overdoneness

I have just now emerged mostly victorious from a wicked bout of overdoneness that has led to me being sidelined for the past month.  2011 was such an exquisitely ugly year for me personally that I needed a rest from it. A good long rest from everything.

2011 came on me hard and fast and I resolved to take it on with all the gusto I could manage. It was a year of “one damn thing after another”  and I’m glad that it’s over.

I did however learn a great deal from my experiences of the past year, though many of the lessons  learned still haven’t begun to gel in my stubborn brain. Perhaps some reflection is needed here or at least a semblance of reason on my behalf. What follows my attempt to do so:

I’d like to start with the bathroom scale. this haughty and taunting device has plagued me for years and I have thrown it out. Yes I have.  Really, and I will never get another one.

It’s destructive influence led me to exist on a steady diet of black coffee and nothing. That is bad enough but when mixed with constant and unusual stress, adding a few generous dollops of sleep deprivation, stirring in a flurry of creative manic activity with equal parts of needless worry and anxiety and you have the recipe, well I had the recipe all right, for a total breakdown of all systems.

Stress can be a killer and sometimes life can throw a lot of it at you.  That cannot be helped.  What really matters is how you react to it, what you do with it.  I bottled it all inside and it turned to anger and that can poison you if you let it. I’m trying to learn not to let it.

I’m also learning not to worry so much.  I am learning to let go of the things I cannot change and to act decisively on the things I can.  Be it about money or whatever, nothing is as important as my loving family and my health…nothing. Worry is useless and it’s toxic.

And sleep..sleep is wonderful, its wonderous and it will do wonders. Seven or eight hours a night really does the trick.  I used to think it a waste of time, but no more, it’s vital and very kind to my 42-year-old face.  Perhaps now I could pass for 35? With a full night of sleep behind me I know I feel 25. I cannot say enough good things about sleep and I recommend it highly.

I have turned off the morning news programs and the stock market reports. I have replaced them with relaxing music and good old-fashioned silence.  I allow myself time to ponder. I  have stopped being so damn hard on myself and I have turned off the ringer to my phone.

I have resolved to eat sensibly and try to find time for important issues such as bubble baths and naps. Life is not a race or a contest, it’s a journey and I got a little lost but now I have found my way once again.

I have learned that I am not remotely as smart or as powerful as I thought I was but I also learned that I don’t have to be.  I can sing just as loud. I don’t have to know everything or be everything or do everything, I can just exist and be happy.  Money cannot buy you that.

Happy to be back,

Strawberryindigo.

The power of magical thinking

Imagine the future, I dare you to look the future right in the face.  Imagine yourself 10 years from now….try to imagine.  Pretend you are gazing into a mirror, what do you see?

Are you pleased or petrified?  Does the future you envision make you feel happy and secure or does your future vision scare the wits out of you? Just being a rational person in this crazy world is enough to scare the toughest of us. There is no shame in fear.  Most of us do fear the unknown and the future is jam-packed full of the unknown.  While we have no control over future events, we have power over how we deal with them.  We have control over ourselves, more than some people believe.

What it takes is belief and the rest is easy.

I call it Magical Thinking and it is powerful.

It has changed me personally, profoundly.  Where once I walked in darkness, I now sing proudly in the light.  I have found magic in this simple thing, this simple belief. 

But it is more than a belief, it is much more.   It is a way of looking at the world.  It gives you control over your own destiny because you have that control.  The key is to conquer yourself. That, I believe is the hardest thing anyone can do.

I have spent much of my life in the shadows; shy, withdrawn, silent and lonely.  My self-esteem hit rock bottom and my only solace lie in the cold unforgiving brown glass of a beer bottle. I had a dark night of the soul, well… quite a number of them.  I looked at myself objectively for the first time and I couldn’t stand the sight of me.  How had I fallen so low?  More importantly, how do I crawl my way out?  I had all the reason in the world because by then I had 2 small kids and they needed me.

I needed to be strong for them. For the first time in my life I had to be strong for someone else even when I couldn’t be strong for myself.  I had no one to help me and so I began to help myself.  

I started slow.  I started to tell myself good things about me, even when I had to make things up.  I would set up little challenges for myself and then I would literally pat me on the back for a job well done.  I consumed the knowledge of a growing pile of books. I filled in some gaps and smoothed out my rough edges. 

You are stronger than you think.

I convinced myself of my self-worth and I started to actually like me for the first time ever.  The magical thinking continued.  I finally quit a twenty year drinking habit.  I became more confident and more capable all the while telling myself “Yes, you can.” The more and more I believed the stronger I became.

I started to meditate and through visualization I found that I had more control over my life than I ever thought possible.  I found that often in life you get what you expect and positive thinking can go a long way.  It is we who shape our future by what we are today.  We are all connected and we influence each other enormously.  A kind word or deed may come back to you in ways you’d never imagine.

It is magic and it is ready for the taking. All you need to do is believe. The more you practice it, the easier it gets and the more effective it becomes.  

  I believe that words can hold magic, the following words are a perfect example…..

“Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi *******************

Have a magical day!     Strawberryindigo.

 

Sick

None - This image is in the public domain and ...
Image via Wikipedia

S I C K... A RANT By Strawberryindigo…

This is usually the magical time of the year when one or both of my kids bring home from school something they did not take there; this comes as the form of a virus that if not carefully contained infects the entire household.

It all starts with a cough, just one, then another and another. The coughs get deeper and deeper.  I know, MM knows, we look at each other..”Oh no, not again.”  We know the drill, It happens every year, flu shot or not.

We are lucky enough to work at home so it is no problem keeping our kids in when they are sick.    This year it was my daughter who first fell victim.  I kept her home for 4 days.  She rested, took in lots of fluids and basically sat around waiting to get better.

On the morning of her last sick day I received a phone call from the school. To my surprise it was the school psychologist. She inquired about my daughter’s state of health.  I told her that my she had been ill but that she was “getting better and that she would be returning the next school day”.  The psychologist then, in a breezy offhand manner told me that “something was going around”… and then she became way too serious when she said that my daughter had stayed out longer than anyone else.

I was a bit surprised.  4 days?  This warrants a call from the school psychologist?

I said what she wanted to hear and  somehow I felt that I had barely passed some test of hers.  We said our goodbyes and the next day I sent my still coughing daughter to school.

The words of the psychologist echoed in my mind and the more I thought about it the angrier I became.  I thought back to the beginning of the year to a speech given by the Principal during Back to School Night.  She was bragging up the school’s achievements from last year and justifiably so. My daughter’s school is fantastic, it is one of the best  in the city and we are lucky to be able to have our daughter attend it.

It was something she said specifically about the school’s attendance record…”which was and still is…award-winning”?

Did I hear correctly?  The schools compete with attendance records, the ones with the fewest absences “win”.  What do they win?  The winning school and apparently the winning principal get bragging rights, which I say are well deserved… but in hindsight I can’t help but wonder if the school is a bit over-zealous in their commitment to achieve perfect attendance.

I thought of my daughter and all the make up work she must do just to catch up.  I think of all the valuable school days missed.  School is important and the quality of her education suffers when she must miss school because of illness.  However, I think my daughter’s health and the health of all the people in the school are more important than an attendance record.  It seems that this prevalent attitude among the schools fosters a climate that encourages families to send their sick children to school where they infect others…and the cycle continues.

It is amazing how one small seemingly insignificant action or non-action can affect so many.  One properly sick child can infect a roomful of people and through that action can affect so many more.  We are all connected, even in sickness.

I realise that many people have to work and have no choice but to send their sick kids to school as well as coming to work with obvious illness themselves.   Maybe an attitude adjustment would be appropriate for bosses and the bosses of bosses as well. Maybe an attitude adjustment for everyone, public school systems too.

We all know firsthand that sick people are not at their best and do not perform well, at school or on the job.  Sick people make more sick people.  This seems to have a snowball effect; making more people perform at sub par. It also turns people off.  When the teller at the bank sneezes on my money or the grocery clerk coughs all over my celery, I’m turned off.

What I’m trying to say, in a long-winded round-about way, trying not to offend anyone but I need to say, really plead….You. (you know who you are) If you are sick and you are able to, please stay home. If your child is sick, try to keep him or her at home, If you can’t do that please wash your hands and do what you can not to infect everyone.

And in a personal note to one school psychologist; keeping my daughter home when she is ill is a consideration to you as well as everyone else.

And so to everyone: Have a great and healthy day!  Strawberryindigo.

Out of the shadows

Out of the shadows

Three years ago this October I learned something about myself that profoundly changed my life.  It came as a complete surprise, although looking back now I suppose it shouldn’t have.

I received a call from my daughters teacher, she told me that she’d like to set up a meeting with the school psychologist to evaluate my daughter for Asperger Syndrome.  I had heard of it before but I never associated my daughter with anything like that.  Sure, she’s quirky and sensitive and a bit shy and uncoordinated.  She got those traits from me and I don’t have Asperger’s…..?

A question was planted in my brain.   If I am interested in something I will learn everything I can about it, as fast as I can.  I have been accused of doing something until I exhaust it to death.  This new bit of information had me reading up a storm, the more I read the more it became obvious. My daughter was definitely going to be diagnosed with Asperger’s, I knew that for sure because by then I knew we both are soaking in it.

This left me with mixed feelings, as a mother, it’s hard to hear  someone tell you that your child isn’t perfect and it’s doubly hard on my heart to know that my daughter now knew that the school thought something was wrong with her.

The other part of me, the one that belongs solely to me was elated with relief and joy.  I cannot describe fully how I felt.   All my life I had lived in the shadows, trying to blend in with the crowd; into the background.  I couldn’t let anyone know my secret.  That I was different  from everyone.  So misunderstood.  Everyone seemed to know what to say, how to act, what to do.  I never knew what to say to anyone.

As child I liked to pretend that in reality I was an alien and that “my people” would be returning for me soon. I am blessed with a rich imagination and that helped somewhat but no matter where I went,  I was alone, even in a room full of people, I was alone.   The more people, the more isolated I felt.

I carried this around for many years.  It effected my entire life.  I was crippled inside, I believed my imperfections were weakness and entirely my fault.   I hated myself and many times I wanted to die.  I called myself “lame” and I believed it.  I got into drugs and alcohol, my life hit a downward spiral.  This continued for years….

Fate lent me a hand in giving me my two wonderful children.  They literally saved my life.  I had a reason to live, they needed me and they needed me to be strong for them.  I began the uphill climb.

I kept pushing myself out of my comfort zone, past my boundaries.  It hurts to grow and sometimes I would fall.  But I always got back up. Slowly and surely I became more.  It wasn’t enough though.  No matter how normal I looked on the outside. No matter how together I looked, I was still as alone as ever.

As silly as this sounds; a part of me was afraid that they’d say she wasn’t Aspergers after all, but they confirmed our suspicions.  My daughter was officially diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and  began to receive help.

 This last July I stumbled upon a website.  It is a forum for people with Aspergers to communicate with others who understand.

That is where Strawberryindigo was born.

I obsessed myself with that website and the other people there.  It was tonic for the soul to know others, many others felt the same or similar to me.  I finally felt understood by  those  who were misunderstood themselves. And I found that  sort can be the most understanding and accepting of all. I feel that people on the spectrum have unique talents and abilities.  I believe we Aspies are a special breed with a lot to share with the world, we just need a few of us to speak up for the rest.

This peer therapy was truly was shot in the arm.  My family started to notice a change happening in me.  I became happier, almost cheerful.  I poured out my heart to these strangers.  The more I did this the better I felt.  I began to use the blog feature there.  It’s very simple compared to this one but it is there I learned my salvation…

..Writing. I found that it brings out the best in me.  All my life I have kept all this in, I have kept myself hidden in the shadows.  My dream has always been to be a writer but I had this fear of others reading what I wrote and judging for it and maybe even hating me.  I have always felt that I had something to say but I’ve been afraid of saying it.  I’ve been afraid of everything!

Now, Here I am. I little shaken but intact and improving and getting stronger everyday.  I owe it to that website and those people.  I really believe that peer therapy works.  I also believe in the cause to help others with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger Syndrome.

Thanks for listening—Strawberryindigo.