Everybody has something

This morning, I met with a new friend at Barnes and Noble and we talked  about our sons…both of whom are on the Autism Spectrum.

On Wednesday, my husband and I are meeting with our pediatrician to talk about a possible ADD/ADHD diagnosis for one of our twins.

On Thursday, I will spend two hours taking my other twin to Occupational Therapy and Counseling to help meet the challenges he faces with his Autism.

And that’s just one week in my life.

I catch myself wondering, “How did my life get so hard?”
I catch myself thinking, “I wish my kids, my life, were normal, like other people’s.”

But before those thoughts float away, I catch them by the tail, stare them in the face, shake my head and laugh.

Because no one’s life is “normal.”

Everybody has something.

Somebody’s going through marriage problems.
Somebody’s grandma is in hospice.
Somebody has an unplanned pregnancy.
Somebody’s son is addicted to drugs.
Somebody’s child has learning disabilities.
Somebody’s husband just lost his job.
Somebody’s child has cancer.
Somebody’s wife has chronic migraines.
Somebody’s struggling with infertility.
Somebody’s daughter has postpartum depression.
Somebody’s fighting with his in-laws.

For me? It’s hard to have two kids with special needs.

But somehow, it’s a comfort to realize that everybody has something.

It’s thinking that everyone else’s life is normal/happy/great that makes me feel alone.

Pain is a great equalizer.

But it doesn’t have to isolate us.

My coffee date this morning was with a woman I met at the Autism center. After a bit of generalized small talk, avoiding the elephant in the room, (we both knew why we were there), she took a deep breath and said, “Do you want to get together sometime?”

I was shocked and pleased.

Yes. Yes, I would like that.

So, we exchanged numbers.
We became friends on Facebook.
And today we met for coffee and shared about our lives, our kids, our pain.

Everybody has something….but everybody needs someone too.

Life’s struggles can leave us feeling breathless and wounded.

But taking a chance and saying, “You know what? Me too” is just the type of New Normal we need.



  1. bellabooksandbaking

    Yes! I love this! This is a mindset that has helped me immeasurably, not only with coping with that “grass is greener in everyone else’s pasture” feeling but also, ironically, with the temptation of the martyrdom complex. People keep coming up to me and telling me, “I had a headache the other day and I just don’t know how you do it! It’s amazing how you handle it!” and so on and so forth. I have to remind them and myself that we all have struggles and God gives us each the strength to deal with our particular crosses. Gratitude and humility.

    • I really hate the false martyrdom. I never know how to reply when people say, “I don’t know how you do it.” I mean, what do you say? “Well, sometimes I really want to give up but I don’t really have a choice.” ???
      I know they mean it as a compliment but somehow that comment just leaves me defending the difficulties of my personal struggles, which is a really awkward position.
      I usually just say, “Me neither. But somehow I do.”

      • bellabooksandbaking

        Yes, I finally figured out my “canned” answer, which is pretty much what your post said: “Everybody has something and this is mine!” Otherwise, I either sound like I’m accepting praise for something I didn’t earn or I’m downplaying someone’s well meant sympathy. Tough.

  2. Laurel J

    You’ve probably heard the thing like, “If everybody put their troubles into a hat, would you rather draw one, or keep the troubles that you already are used to?” Most people would easily pick to keep their own life. I would not want to trade troubles with someone else.

  3. I actually haven’t heard of that example but it is really interesting to think about. Sometimes, at really hard times, I have wished for “something different,” no, I wouldn’t want to trade troubles. God gives enough grace for each person’s personal trials.

  4. This is a great post and so true! I can relate to both those days when you think “Why me? ” and those days when you remember and appreciate that everyone is dealing with something it’s just that their challenges come in a different package.

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