24 May Fighting through the Pain
I first really learned about Autism Spectrum Disorder when I took AP Psychology during my senior year in high school. It is a type of illness where no two cases are the same, and since I work with children who have this disorder, I have witnessed first hand how true this is.
I’ve had clients where the only reason that I knew that they were autistic was because it was written down for me to see. These are types of kids that make my day less stressful. When I can just laugh and joke around with them like they’re one of my friends then I can leave that case feeling just as relaxed as I would on a day when I don’t have to deal with any clients. On the other hand, there are also little ones out there who represent the picture that a lot of people have in their head when you mention autism. These guys can’t speak. They engage in self soothing behaviors, like rocking and hand flapping, and they throw tantrums that can last hours where they scream, cry, bite, and kick anyone and anything in sight. When I have clients like this, I question my sanity. I wonder why I decided to keep this job in the first place. It would be much easier for me to be able to just walk inside of an office, sit down at my desk, and tap away at my keyboard all day. I’ve had jobs like this before, and I definitely didn’t have to deal with the same type of stress as what I currently have to deal with. I never left those jobs with a splitting headache. I didn’t have to fight to keep my eyes open on my commute home because I was drained from spending hours chasing after a kid who kept trying to escape. I wasn’t mentally wiped out because I didn’t have to constantly think on my feet about ways to handle a child and keep them safe from him or herself. I didn’t have to deal with these things, but I also wasn’t very fulfilled at these office jobs. This job comes with a lot of physically and emotionally draining activity, but at least I leave there knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life. The bad days are a lot. I’ve said this before. These difficult days aren’t enough to get me to throw in the towel just yet however.
When I have one of those sessions where a child throws an hour long tantrum or where I have to spend the entire time preventing them from trying to hurt their own body or my body, I realize just how strong I am. I have physical strength because preventing a big child in the throws of a tantrum from injuring themselves takes a lot of strength, but I also have mental strength as well. Each day like this I think I’m going to end up breaking, but I never do. I just get stronger from those experiences. I learn and I grow, and you can do the same thing too during your rough days.
We all have days that make us want to give up. In these moments, you have two options. You can do what you so strongly desire and call it quits, or you can push through the pain and choose to keep going. I wouldn’t blame you if you picked the former option. Being in a lot of pain is no fun, but if you decide to choose the latter then you don’t know what wonderful things may await you. You might end up actually succeeding in accomplishing that thing that’s been giving you such a headache, but you’ll never know unless you try.
Positive thinker, you have to try and fight through the bad days. I know it’s hard, but the result that you may gain by not giving up outweighs the pain that those days put you through by a long shot. Keep working through it. If what you’re fighting for is important enough to you then you should keep pushing past the pain so that you can come out even stronger and wiser on the other side. So, dig down deep. Find the strength to keep going, and don’t give up!