I really, really, really hate this pathetic excuse of a planet and literally everything about it.
I’m autistic, which means I’m supposed to be the person who has ‘no empathy’ and ‘doesn’t care about other people’.
But in reality the opposite is true. I have had enough of coming across people who are completely disconnected from the reality of life for others who are struggling and don’t even take a second to consider what life is like for them. Especially professionals who are supposed to have a duty of care for these people.
I remember when I was really struggling in late 2017/ early 2018 (It was confirmed I was struggling 8 months later when I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression, because apparently that’s how long it takes for someone to recognise you are struggling).
Every single day felt like it was never going to end. When I wasn’t preoccupied with my part time job or other commitments, I would sit and stare at a blank wall.
Imagine watching a tap drip reaaaalllllyyyyy slowly, waiting for it to fill up the world’s biggest sink. But the plug isn’t in, and the drips represent your hopes, dreams, joy, happiness or anything positive that you are hoping will come into your life, whilst knowing they aren’t going to come because you have searched everywhere on the planet for that stupid plug and you know it doesn’t actually exist.
This is what it felt like. Like I was waiting for a miracle fix for my life. Being certain there wasn’t one; but waiting anyway.
I am also type 1 diabetic so need to inject the right amount of insulin everyday to stay healthy. Every single day for months I thought about how easy it would be to inject too much insulin, meaning I could go to sleep and never wake up again. Some days that was exceptionally close to happening.
So what changed?
Recently I read about a man called Victor Frankl who survived the Holocaust and later set up a clinic which did ‘logotherapy’.
Rather than trying to help people with the difficulties they were facing, logotherapy was based on the theory thay having a life’s purpose is important than anything else. As long as you have that purpose and keep it at the forefront of your mind, you can overcome any obstacles that you face.
When Victor met with his clients who were often suicidal or struggling immensely, he would usually ask them ‘What reason have you got to live?’ and would continually interrogate them until they found their purpose: something to keep them going despite everything else that was happening in their lives.
In retrospect, this is exactly what I did back then:
I made it my goal to do everything in my power to make sure as many young people as possible never have to, or stop feeling the way I felt back then.
In short, this is now what I dedicate my life to doing.
I have met with lots of young people who have been really struggling and do everything I can to help. Sometimes I can get really involved and try and make a big difference. Sometimes the best I can do is spend time with the young person and share my story, so they know they aren’t alone (which is how many people feel). Other times I try, but am unable to help at all.
I run a Facebook page, and several people have messaged the page every week since I started it last year sharing suicidal thoughts and feelings. Feeling like the world has given up on them but that they have also given up on the world. I respond to everyone, but some people I never hear back from…
This is why I do absolutely everything I can for the young people I meet. I’m pretty sure I scare many people off by being too willing to try and help and with barrages of information and messages, but I will never be able to stop doing that, as I have seen and witnessed first hand what the future can look like for these young people.
Even if all I can do is make someone smile or laugh (which is why I am such a numpty most of the time), or join in their rant about people or lack of support so they know they are not alone, I will do that.
90% of autistic children are bullied at school and their suicide rate is 28 times higher than the general population. People with ADHD receive on average 20,000 insults more than other children by the time they reach the age of 18. 20% of children struggle with anxiety at any point in their childhood. This is why I am angrily writing this post.
Because nothing ever changes.
The whole system is broken and no one knows how to fix it.
People say and do things which make these children feel awful and don’t take a moment to think about the impact they have.
Professionals do the bare minimum during their day job to get their wages, then relax and enjoy their evening, without caring about the fact that they have ruined a young person’s day. Or that while they are relaxing, the young person is extremely distressed and is desperate for support.
I’m going to stop here because the list is never ending.
Maybe people just don’t know what it is like when you are in such a difficult situation, despite it being extremely common amongst SEND children and young people. In fact, maybe it is impossible to know what it feels like unless you have been there? If people knew, there is no way they would continue as they are.
Normally I am very optimistic and firmly believe changes will happen. But today I am defeated. Maybe I’ll be back to normal tomorrow.