Four Reasons for Five More Years


June 2006. Back on the psych ward for the sixth time. Medications conflicting. Over 200 pounds. Not knowing how to continue living, but not wanting life to end.
Dear 34 year old me,
Thank you for holding on to Life. I couldn't write to you otherwise. Please read carefully. The state you are in now does not reflect who you really are.
  1. Loved: Through losing those you most deeply love, you will discover that your identity is secure. The people who return to your life in addition to the new friends and connections - each one will become a gift to love. You will no longer snatch what love you can from others because your heart has more than enough love to give.
  2. Accepted: The severe rejection you face will intensify. Eventually even the system will not want you. When you receive your diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, you will begin to accept yourself. Yet even that acceptance will not be enough. You will trade rejection for acceptance from the one who will never spurn you.
  3. Valuable: You will never believe this! (I guess you will in five years) Daily you will receive invitations to share your journey and thank yous from those who describe you as inspiring, raw, encouraging, genuine. The accolades will come. Please do not choose to see your accomplishments as your source of value. You are equally valuable right now. I think deep down you know that already. That is why you want to live.
  4. Secure: What are you depending on most? Your house is paid off. You belong in a family. Your keen intelligence confounds the nurses caring for you. I'm going to let you discover what happens. Without the journey ahead, you would feel lost in your current location. When your circumstances and feelings squeeze out your dreams like juice from an orange, what remains is enough - everything else is bonus.
June 2011.  Equipping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those who support them. 85 pounds lighter and healthy. Enjoying the challenges of raising my three children, two who also live with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participating in policy discussions  - invited because of my experiences. Living more in step with Life each day.
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