I was trying to explain that having undiagnosed NLD made me into a more compassionate person. I was trying to explain that, wrongly, it made me into a person who put others over me.

 I was trying to explain that I can't bear to see people go without——whatever "without" is to them.

 I was trying to explain that I made it through grad school without once playing the disabled card. I saw people with problems that seemed far less than mine ask—no demand, and it seemed so wrong. But they were right and went much further than I have because they had the chutzpah that had been knocked out of me.

I was trying to explain that I have never asked for help. I know that's wrong but I was raised to do for myself. I also never asked for help because I didn't know what to ask for.

 I have never said that I feel lonely. That my need for self-sufficiency came at a great cost. People tell me all the time that I was selfish because they think I have so much to offer a child.

 They are wrong. When you're not sure what your problems are but you know you have them you're selfish if you bring a child into this world or try to raise one.

 I know that you never know what your child will turn out to be but I know parenting plays a part. At least it did with my friends and family all of whom have incredible now adult or almost adult children.

 I envy them. But you didn't hear me say that. It's so wrong to covet what you don't have.

 I do thank G—d that something in me has enabled me to have many friends and family who love me.

 Yet I had nobody to celebrate Hannakuah with. It was my own fault. I left New York where my family lives and didn't move to a Jewish area.

 Usually I love it here. Today my heart is heavy for many reasons.

 If I could change my personal history I wouldn't ask for much. I would only ask to have learned about NLD at 46 when I just finished grad school and my mother was still alive instead of at 56 which felt so old then.

 I hope that I have done good in my life. I hope I do even more good as the years go on.

 Life is short. Let's not waste it on hating or feeling sorry for ourselves——though sometimes it's not a choice. Sometimes we can't help but wallow in our misery.

 Excuse me. I have to go make myself laugh now for laughter really does help.

 I hope you have great holidays. I hope you're only alone when you want to be. Again I should have planned this better. I have only myself to blame.

 I will never blame another for anything that affects me as I know I'm the only person who can make my present and future great.

 And I loved and love most of my life. I understand that people who go through life claiming never to feel misery are delusional——or exceptionally lucky.

I hope that knowing what your problems are helps guide you to future success. Knowledge is power. That's all I really was trying to say.

About the Author

Pia Savage

Pia Savage is a writer, journalist, and former social worker diagnosed with Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

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