Monday, December 29, 2014

Fear of the other side of the door

Ah, December 29th and 30th. I've had fun in the past on this day blogging about the numbers of my year from the miles driven to the amount of presentations I've given and even how many Canadians I annoyed with my music. I wanted to do to that with this year's December 30th post as well but my mind is elsewhere.

I tried, I truly did, to do the numbers but my mind is frozen in time to a little over two weeks ago and the indoor karting cash I had in which I broke my tailbone. The moment in particular is the moment that I was in the air, on the brakes, and hurtling towards the wall. I'm somewhat amazed and horrified at how fast things can flash in the brain when I knew I was in serious trouble. Yes, the speeds aren't quite what they are at a SKUSA event, or even down an interstate, but considering I was in the air in a go kart heading towards the wall at a critical angle I had every panic button in my body pushed.

As with almost every other incident in my life that had this type of panic response it has lingered. The pains I had from the crash are subsiding but the mental strain is just as strong. I can simply "move on" and I have replayed the incident over and over and over. While I should be celebrating my year and the near 12,000 people I spoke to and the fact I'm only 13 presentations away from 600 and 141 people away for a career total of 50,000 (see, I did try to do the numbers) my mind is on the moment right before the impact.

There's more to this than the crash itself as this has to do with life. At any place, at any time, even when a person is having an amazing time as I was right before the crash, things can happen. These things can be minor, or they can turn out worse. At any time this can happen. This concept has been one of the biggest hurdles in my life. Before I started my work as a "community education specialist" and now, "autism ambassador" for Easter Seals Midwest I had great fear with what troubles could lie on the other side of the front door. This is something we all know, but don't allow it to linger in the front of minds for if we were to do so the world would look much, much differently. When I was given my job I had more purpose in life and became so concentrated on it that I was able to, as with most people, put aside the "what if" mindset.

This holiday season has been anything but for me. Each night I dream about it, I feel guilt about it (I wasn't the only one hurt) and I fear the next time something like this will occur. And the problem with my logical brain is that I know it will occur. Perhaps it will be an accident, perhaps it will be something natural, but at some point in time I, or someone I know, will be involved in something terminal. Maybe I'll be there, maybe I'll receive the news via telephone, but it is inevitable for us all.

Being logical has its upsides but as I hope I have relayed to you it can be a gigantic hindrance as well. I'd love to just enjoy the fact that my crash wasn't worse. I'd love to enjoy the fact that today is today. Being trapped in a moment is not an enjoyable experience. I don't know why this crash is having this long of an impact as I raced karts for a decade and I had my fair share of hard knocks, but this was a perfect storm to make such an impact.

Those around me I don't think have noticed a change in me, and I'm trying not to show just how much I'm bothered by this, but I am. This is one of the hurdles having Asperger's. Others can (somehow) shake things off but for us on the autism spectrum things can stay with us, bother us, frighten us, and hurt to the point of horrible mental pain but if you were to look at me you wouldn't know it. I may or may not talk about it, but regardless if I do it's there. History has shown me it will ebb away and eventually it will be just another story in the adventure that has been my life, but for now I remain confused by it all and am in a scared awe of how fast life can change.

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