These past three weeks have been horrible; possibly the worst three weeks of my life.
Some people tell me that I have a “mint-condition life.” I am fortunate enough to have a loving family and enough money to buy necessities and live comfortably. I excel in school, martial arts, and business. I run a successful blog and motivationally speak often. I have the most caring group of friends you will ever meet and would do anything for them.
People say that I “have my life put together.” But, as a couple of really special individuals know, I recently went through one of the hardest times in my life. My twelve-year-old brother was in the hospital for a week. He has been discharged now. Long story short, it’s been hell week.
I was not allowed to visit my brother in the hospital and my parents did not update me to the extent of which I would have liked. There was a period of a few days where I knew nothing. My parents were at the hospital all of the time and I felt abandoned. I missed my brother uncontrollably. Missing him is not just simply missing him; it’s missing him with such gravity that I could not think of anything or anyone else but him. I assumed the worst. I was suffering and was in pain. The emotional pain reached a point where I could no longer distinguish what I was originally upset about in the first place. My body was overwhelmed with depression, I lost control, and did not know when it was going to end. I felt helpless and alone. I started headbanging for the first time in years and my body refused to eat. Nothing seemed good and I had someone literally bring me food and they made me send a video of me eating. I felt uncomfortable in my own home because I knew that my little brother, who had done nothing wrong, was in the hospital. I could not stand to be in the house. I could not perspective take and realize why my parents were not in the house when I needed them to be. All I needed was to be understood.
The worst part was that I could not tell everyone. My three best friends in the entire world were all out of town. I was able to talk on the phone and video chat a little bit, but it’s not the same as them being physically with me. I had little social interaction during this week and the only time that I felt somewhat happy was when I was able to talk to the two people that were available. I was confused, hopeless, stressed, and depressed. There were times that I would be calm while sitting on the couch and then suddenly burst into tears. All I wanted was a friend to physically talk to and hug, and I felt so much better when my friends got back from vacation!
Since my brother was officially discharged on Thursday, I believe I have been doing all of the things necessary to try to get better. My parents are obviously aware of the situation and my feelings now, because it took me awhile to share with them how I really felt. My school special education team is aware also and have extended their full support to me during this time, which I am calling a recovery period. I have gone to therapy and have talked to a few different trusted adults in my life. I am also writing, which is a way for me to decompress.
The reason I’m sharing this particular story is the same reason why I write all of my other blogs… to help people and to explain myself.
I hope that within the Autism community, I can help others reflect upon their own similar situations. During this time of crisis, I was not able to perspective take and had difficulties controlling my emotions. I certainly was not patient and acted out some of my emotions in a way that was not healthy. If others are in the same type of terrible situation that I was in, I want them to be aware of these factors. I know that my parents were spending a lot more time with my brother because he was actually in the hospital, but I would definitely have liked things to have been different in terms of communication. On one side, I can try to see my parents’ perspective as their youngest son was in the hospital and needs their support. On the other side, I felt alone and really needed my mom and dad to be with me.
I hope that within my personal life, this post gives some sort of explanation as to why I have not really been completely and physically present. These past few weeks have been a gigantic bump in the road. It has slowed me down a little, but I am still moving forward. I understand that I will continue to struggle with anxiety throughout my lifetime. I understand that I am feeling depressed and stressed right now but it will not always be this way. I am trying to continue to work through my thoughts and feelings about what happened and learn from this experience. I will get through this.