I can't believe it's been a year. It's been a year since I was awarded a Champion of Mental Health honor from the Missouri Department of Mental Health Foundation.
The whole banquet seems like yesterday; the nerves, the food, the pizza afterwards, and of course the video about me and the speech I gave,
To this day I still have trouble understanding how and why I got this honor. Perhaps it's just because I feel a bit down right now, but as for what I do, well, I do it because it has to be done. I don't remember what I said in my speech, and I'm not going to watch it, but I think I said I never started out doing this for any sort of accolades. This holds true to today; I just want to reach as many people as possible because I want to live in a world of understanding and I used to live in a world that didn't understand me and I didn't understand it.
Perhaps all this is why I was honored last year. I mentioned I have felt down, and there's several reasons for that, but a thought keeps creeping into my mind, "What if?" Yes, what if I didn't have Asperger's? Who would I be? Where would I be? Would I have made in racing? Oh, I could play the what if game for hours, but then at the end of those hours I always come to the conclusion that if I weren't on the autism spectrum all that I am would not be. I think that is a profound statement as I simply would not be me. All would be different. Some better, I'm sure, but some worse as well. I wouldn't be me and if I weren't me would I be speaking? Would I be an author? Would I be making an impact?
Yet one thing that is difficult for me is this knowing I have an impact yet feeling nothing about it. Okay, maybe I feel a small sense of pride during a presentation, but afterwards it is hard for me to fathom the fact that I was able to present in the first place and that I had any impact at all. Again, perhaps it is this which is why I was honored.
I'm sure next year, on this day, I will be just as confused as I was this year and last as to how and why I received such a prestigious honor, but nonetheless I'm going to just keep plugging away at doing whatever I can to help bring a much needed level of understanding, and an inside look, of Asperger's Syndrome.