Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Champion: 1 Year Later

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.

1 comment:

  1. There is an old saying that those who seek power are probably the least qualified to wield it. I think the same also goes for those who try to make a difference in the world just so they can be recognized. There are those who make a difference so someone will see them doing it and those who make a difference because it's the right thing to do. I think you're definitely in the latter group. If you went out into the world speaking and making changes saying "hey, look at me, I'm making a difference!" I'd question your motives. But you do what you do because you are unsatisfied with the status quo and decided that Aaron can make a difference. Everyone gets down at certain points in their lives, for many different reasons. The good thing is, you're not letting that get in the way of what you need to do. And I will always admire that in you. Keep your head up and your outlook positive. I know we don't know each other well (although I know much more about you than you do about me) I'm always here to listen.