This post has less to do with autism than it does with depression, but depression isn’t uncommon for people with autism so I think it still applies here.
I have thought about dying since I was old enough to pull the handle on a car door. I just couldn’t help but think of what it would be like to open the door on the freeway and roll out into oncoming traffic. It probably sounds pretty grotesque, but it’s what I thought about as a 5 year old. I just had this sadness built up inside of me and the only way I could see it disappearing was through dying.
This post, however, is not about dying. It is about living. You see, I’m still here. Even though I have wanted to die for as long as I can remember, I’m still living. And the reason I am still living is because of all of you and all the people who have ever been a part of my life in the smallest way possible.
No, people haven’t saved my life literally. No one has pulled me out of a river and saved me from drowning or taken a gun or a knife away from me when I was on the edge. I haven’t really gotten to those situations because people have saved me before that. I have been saved less from attempting suicide than I have from wanting to attempt it.
Every time someone says hi to me as they pass by or smiles at me or looks me in the eye and asks how I’m doing or sits next to me or notices me, my life is being saved. Because in the end it’s not the big things that save my life overall. It’s the little daily things that save my life. It’s someone taking the time to be kind and friendly. It’s someone taking the time to look around instead of getting lost in their own little world or the ever-enticing world of technology. It’s someone taking the time to take the time.
Saving a life really doesn’t take that much time when everyone takes that extra second to be kind to someone else. It’s when few people have taken the time with someone that saving a life really becomes hard. Because it will taken one person 10 years to make up for the love someone hasn’t felt from 100 people over 1 year. I can love you, but if I’m the only one loving you, it’s going to be hard for you to feel like you are loved.
I have been very blessed with a family that loves and cares about me. I have been blessed with a few good friends who have taken the time to get to know me. And I have been blessed with many people who have spent the time to say hi to me or listen to me. Some days it hasn’t felt like enough and I have ached for that little bit of extra love that feels just out of reach, but other days I am so grateful for the love I have been given.
I have attempted suicide before and I have thought about it over and over, but it’s those little specks of love that save my life everyday. So thank you. Thank you for saving my life.