Not Throwing Away My Shot

Over the past few months, I’ve done quite a bit of soul-searching. Between being put on medical leave for conversion disorder and the recent election, I’ve noticed that I there’s a lot of work that I need to do if I want to make a difference in this world.

I had a serious medical episode at work back in September at my job, an insulated window factory. The best I can sum it up is that I had a dissociated state and couldn’t move or speak. I was transferred to a more secure and less stressful part of the factory. At the same time, my doctor gave me Lexapro which eventually proved to be extremely detrimental. This eventually led to me being placed on medical leave for a few months.

During that time, I had several appointments for new meds and an EEG because these episodes continued. Each day was a nightmare since there was no way of knowing how or when they’d happen. I even had a therapist involved that I still see because I had no idea what it could be (eventually concluded it was conversion disorder after meeting).

With the time I had spent recovering, I thought about going back to college but wasn’t sure what for. It was in the back of my mind for many months but I didn’t want to go for the sake of going. It wasn’t until after that fateful day in November that I needed to give it some serious thought.

I went to visit family for Thanksgiving, a move that I didn’t want to do but it the decision was out of my hands. In preparation, I borrowed the soundtrack for Hamilton from my library because I had never heard it. As I rode the Ohio landscape in the backseat, I let it wash over me. Then this lyric struck a chord with me:

I am not throwing away my shot. No, I’m not throwing away my shot. Yo, I’m just like my country: young, scrappy, and hungry. No, I’m not throwing away my shot.

In the back of my head, I was thinking about how I can be a better advocate for autism and LGBT rights. I knew I needed to help but wasn’t sure how. I found out that a local college had a certificate in LGBT Studies. I thought it could help me gain a better understanding and meet others involved the community. This became more apparent as the cabinet slowly filled up with more and more dangerous people. As for the autism side, I’m doing the best I can to stay up to date with the latest news. I would like to see what the scene is like in northeast Indiana, see if there are any support groups for people my age.

I’d say that’s all but there’s the fact that I’m still living in a home where my preferences will need to be made known and it won’t be easy. I was raised Catholic and my parents stand by their beliefs. I’ve had to hide my sexuality from them for years but will eventually come out in the coming weeks.

I can’t stand on the sidelines any longer. I still have a chance to do some good. I am young, scrappy and hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot.

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