To all of you… Thank you! I haven’t felt well since Saturday and I barely made it through the Indy 500 sitting in the stands. I didn’t know what was wrong but it culminated with a trip to the ER yesterday was I was diagnosed with pleurisy and pneumonia. It’s been one of the more painful weeks of my life but that’s not the focus of this post. Instead, the focus is on you, my readers ,and those that follow my Facebook professional page.
It might be safe to say I live in a bubble of sorts and I’m truly oblivious of the reach this blog, my book, and my video series has. I haven’t done this for any sort of fame, recognition, or to stand out; quite simply I’ve done all this because I lived in a place that was hopeless for many years and I know what it’s like, and my goal in life is to spread as much awareness and understanding as possible. Have I gathered a following of sorts? Yes, I went over 8,000 on Facebook last week but that number doesn’t really mean anything to me, or at least it didn’t before yesterday.
The ER experience yesterday sucked. I remember in college comp 101, Mrs. Wilcox said to, “never use the word suck or sucks as a great writer can find better descriptors.” I’m sorry Mrs. Wilcox. The term, “sucked” was never more appropriate as it was after waiting almost six hours from checking in to be seen by a doctor, and my dad was there most of the time except when he ran to my place to grab a pain pill which had been prescribed to me on Sunday after a trip to an urgent care place after the Indy 500. Anyway, being in pain and alone at the ER was akin to where I was a decade ago. Granted, mental anguish and physical anguish are two different things, but there I was, alone again with few to text. While I’m awesome on the professional side of life, my privacy in my personal life has led to a rather lonely experience. This brought sadder and sadder thoughts into my brain and then I decided to share that I was in the hospital, not just on my personal page but on my professional page, and instantly the prayers and thoughts of well-wishes came pouring in from around the world.
I cried. I’m not afraid to admit it as I was deeply moved that people from around the world sent me private messages or posted on my wall. I had no idea people would take even just 10 seconds to type, “get better” and take time out of their day to wish me well. As I said, I live in a bubble and I do what I do in almost a one-way street fashion oblivious to any impact I’m having. Maybe I couldn’t even fathom the impact if I tried, but in the middle of last night when I was back home having a severe reaction to the pain meds and barely able to lift my head, I did have just enough to turn over and see all the notifications on my phone and to all of you all I can say is thank you; I had no idea and from that I know I’m not as alone as I thought I was which is a priceless thought to have, and if there's one takeaway I have of this it's this, for every parent, friend, or teacher out there the simple thing of just being there is huge. I, or the next person on the spectrum, may not be able to show it, but what could have been a catastrophic evening for my psyche wasn't that bad after all.