How about that World Series, right? I mean, who blows a certain win quite like that?!
Too soon for that kind of light humor?
Okay, so I know I’ve been gone for a while. During that time, I’ve been battling some very personal inner-demons of my own.
But I’m back now, and I’m ready to give my best shot at helping at least someone try to heal tonight. I don’t count for the purpose of this post, so it looks like it’s gonna have to be at least one of you guys.
Ready? Here’s the best I can do…
A lot of people are scared right now. As an American with a disability (I remind you all that it’s not the ability or disability that defines us, it’s how we let it control us that matters), I’m pretty scared, too.
Many people don’t know how to feel after what happened.
As an adult on the Autism Spectrum, it was hard enough to obtain resources before. What’s going to happen to me, now?
Okay, so some have some sort of idea of what their gut reaction is…
That’s a valid concern. After well over a year of statements that would seem to indicate that those with disabilities are somehow inferior in our President-elect’s eyes, we certainly have a right to be concerned about what’s in store for us next.
It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to feel hurt. It’s okay to feel afraid. Even if some doomsday legislation comes out of this, The Aspie Dialogues is not going anywhere, and neither am I. I’m around for this term, whether anybody likes it or not. Myself included.
So, where does that leave us, then? What do we do, now? What can we do, now?
We heal. We begin the healing process by learning from what happened. We regroup, and we try again and hopefully do better the next time around.
…And no matter how afraid we are right now, there will be a next time around.
We heal by putting the fear and anger behind us. We’re going to hurt for a while. And that’s okay. But let’s try to stay in control of our fear and anger. Because if we don’t, we become what many of us just spent over a year rallying against.
As I type this, some very upset people are rioting across the country. They have every right to be upset, but let’s try to keep our emotions to an appropriate, civil level. Violence, destruction, and hatred are all things many of us just voted against; let’s not become blinded by those things, ourselves.
It’s going to take some time, but we will heal. As a nation, as a network of communities, and as individuals, the pain from this very divisive, emotional election cycle was all too real. But it will pass. Even if Trump is the worst President of all time, just remember this: pain is temporary. Even if he gets re-elected in 2020, pain is temporary.
It may not feel like it right now because we’re still reeling from high anxiety levels from the election cycle, but the sun will still rise again.
When will the sun rise again? This seems like a really dark time for us, at the moment.
And the next day, and the day after that, and so on…
I know it sounds blunt when I say it like that, but it’s not untrue. The planet still spins around the sun, the moon still spins around the planet. Everything is still there, right where we left it on Monday night. And it will still be there in four years. And it will still be there four years after that.
One day at a time… 1,461 times in a row. We’ll all get through this. Together.
So, to answer the question from before about what to do in the meantime, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic that things won’t be as bad as we had feared. There’s been too much fear going around lately not to.
So, I’m going to believe in a better day yet to come, when we will be accepted for who we are and what we can contribute to society as Spectrumites.
I’m going to believe that the chaos of 2016 will return to peace of mind over time.
I’m going to believe that things will get better. And we’ll find that when they do, we’ll feel better on multiple dimensions.
What I want you all to do now, readers, is to challenge yourself:
Look deep within yourself, and find the kindness in your hearts and spread it to somebody who needs it more than you do.
Perhaps, you’ve been in heated debates with close friends or relatives for the past year and you feel your relationships straining over them.
Instead of yelling at each other about everyone’s faults, try communicating with them a desire to understand each other. Look to the positive qualities in each other that make life worth living.
Everyone makes an impact on each other’s lives. Whether we realize it or not. What that impact is is up to us to define.
A coworker of mine set his Skype status a while back with the following quote:
Life is about making an impact, not an income.
Admittedly, I don’t know where he got it from, but it’s sage and it’s timely for this situation.
And I know that a lot of people don’t like her, but I’m going to leave you all with this excerpt from Hillary’s concession speech on Wednesday that spoke to me:
…And to all the young people in particular, I want you to hear this. I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks — sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.
This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives…
May we all find peace with ourselves, within ourselves and start to heal.