I would be hard-pressed to think of four more important words than these. And lately, these words have meant the world to me.
Last week was a disaster. One bomb of medical and financial bad news after another hit us in rapid succession. On Friday, it was such a relentless onslaught that I became almost numb. We were powerless over it.
When things go to pieces, I try to be grateful for something – anything. I try to find some anchor to the ground when everything else around me is chaos.
This week I was grateful for the words, You are not alone. I have people I can lean on. I have people who understand or will simply lend a listening ear. I have people I can ask for help.
I am not alone. And neither are you.
I can’t sit here and tell you it gets better. It is whatever it is. What is constant, though, is that you are not alone. We are a legion of autism parents and advocates. We have each other’s backs. We are out there. We are ready to help. All you have to do is seek and ask.
We all struggle. That’s one sure constant in life. And there’s something strangely comforting in that. We are all in this together.
And when disasters strike, the one thing I know to do is to ask for help and be willing to receive it. Then I go find at least one person I can help in turn. Joining in that circle of help and comfort can make all the difference in the midst of uncontrollable chaos.
There are myriad crises we have to figure out now. I don’t know what to do about most of them yet. I’m still dazed and more than a little numb. We’ll just take them one at a time.
But at least I know I don’t have to face my struggles alone. And neither do you.