Letter to my doctor
In 2009, I sent a letter to my doctor,
I mentioned two sets of therapy,
Both for anxiety and depression.
My letter was a very polite cry for help.
I was very nicely asking for a solution,
When I didn’t even know what the problem was.
If you want to know what that is like:
Try searching online without having a keyword.
Try finding a word in the dictionary,
That you don’t even know exists yet.
That was the first page.
The second page was my difficulties in a bullet pointed list.
The list I made took up the whole page.
“Difficulty following instructions”
“Poor coping with change leading to feeling flustered, panic or lost”
“Tendency to bump into things and be clumsy”
“Mental and emotional fatigue”
“Inappropriate spontaneous comments”
“Tendency to take things literally”
“Difficulty gauging facial expressions”
That was the second page.
I can look at that now and it’s obvious.
I wonder if it was obvious to any of the doctors.
I guess I’ll never know.
I don’t know if any of them ever got to read it.
All I know is my letter was filed.
Nothing was done.
Nothing at all.
At the time I didn’t know that,
I was still waiting and hoping for something, anything.
Some help that never came.
So I kept going and going,
As life continued to swallow me up,
Until there was nothing but survival,
Until even survival proved difficult,
Until I thought I had a heart problem as at work my heart was racing,
Until the nurse told me it was anxiety,
Until I needed to ask for more therapy from my doctor.
If the people meant to help you do nothing,
Even when you ask them directly, what hope do others have?
What hope do they have if they suffer in silence?
These are tough questions.
Especially if the answer is invisible.
Just like the problem.
I feel destroyed sharing all this with you,
Burst open like a chest rusting at the bottom of a dark ocean,
Seeing every flaw I wanted to keep hidden forever,
While I tried so hard to be normal and capable.
While I tried so hard for you to like me.
A chest deep down holds air bubbles released when opened,
Perhaps more than air from my breath,
Perhaps hope can be released by my words.
Feeling different and struggling with some aspects of daily life has been constant. My standard of life and the achievements I have gained are due to my persistence and determination in the face of this adversity as well as the invaluable support from my Mum, Dad, family, friends and my fiancé John, all of whom have been a constant source of strength. It is with that strength that I have been able do public speaking for Autism Awareness and Acceptance and write poetry to show you every trial, tribulation and triumph. This poem is about being undiagnosed with Autism and the struggle that created.
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