Monday, May 11, 2015

The Worst Night: 10 Years Later

There I was, a decade ago, staring up at the ceiling a bit unsure of my surroundings. I wasn't quite sure where I was but I felt this sharp pain in my arm. Before I looked at my arm, though, I looked at the window and it was a window I was unfamiliar with. In fact, now I knew I didn't know where I was. I heard a familiar television show in the background and I didn't need my glasses to know that Lost was on but for some reason I didn't care (this was the only show of the series I missed.) What was going on?

I turned to my left and finally looked at my arm and I had an IV. Things were slowly coming back to me and I remembers waking up with a large mass on my neck, a dangerously high fever, and I had been admitted into the hospital. To make matters worse my dad had to go out of town on business so at that moment, as I looked back at the window and the darkness descending upon Saint Louis, I too was at my darkest point of my life.

My time in the hospital would be four days and three of those days I spent alone. At this point in time I had been diagnosed with Aspergers now for 18 months and my negative self-talk reached a crescendo during these nights. It also didn't help that one night during a shift change my pain medicine was overlooked and I was shouting words I'm not proud of, but I was reaching a point that I didn't care. Why should I care? What was the point of survival? What was the point of enduring this because I knew there was and would never be any hope for me.

Isn't it amazing how things can change? On those nights in the hospital I wouldn't have cared had I died. That may sound harsh and to the point, but that's where I was. There was no awareness no understanding, and I'm not just talking about the world's view of the autism spectrum but also within myself. Lost on me was the human potential that was lying dormant. All I knew was that, at that point in time, I was going through hell and only a few people knew about it.

This plays into the event I blogged about on Friday about the storm. When I saw the flying tree I sort of had the same emotions but in reverse. I did care if this would be it for my life and I thought about all the things I've left to do and how I can achieve them. A decade ago I just focused on the things I was sure I'd never do, but now I know I can do them. A decade ago I thought of the relationship I ended, but now I think that the future is infinite in possibilities. A decade ago I thought of no one but myself and the despair I felt, but now I think of those that were in my position and all my thoughts go to how I can use words to better he world for understanding.

It's amazing what just the littlest seedling of hope can give to a person and as the years when on this seedling got watered and taken care of by many people, but ten years later I am certainly not the same person that I mentioned at the start of this. I remember those days well and I can't believe it's been a decade. I can still reach back to my neck expecting to feel a rather unsettlingly large hole where the MRSA infection had been cut out only to find that my skin is fully there. The physical scar remains, but so too does the mental scare. I may not be the same person and I may be filled with hope, but there is still that fear of being alone like that. I doubt that will happen, but it's still there and this fear is what fuels me. If I lost it then my motivation may go with it. One does not have to be bedridden with a 104 fever to feel alone, isolated, and misunderstood. If anything the proverbial fuse I speak of that had to burst to allow me to present burst on those nights and in tomorrow's post I let you know what events led to me being in the hospital and where I could've been instead.

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