An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

When Life is a Rollercoaster

IMG_0627-taggedSometimes life feels like a parade. It seems like everything you do is being watched or observed by others or you’re in a part of life where everything feels like a celebration as you roll out all your recent accomplishments and blessings to share.  Sometimes life feels like a desert.  You’re lonely, exhausted, spent.  You’re thirsty for a refreshing dose of relief or change.  Everything around you looks the same for miles and miles.  Sometimes it’s a battle with the mundane and sometimes the desert is drastically difficult; pushing you to your extremes in order to survive.  Sometimes life is a meadow by a calm pond or lake.  Things are going great for you and the ones you love.  Beauty surrounds you and peace overflows from within.  Nothing big and grand to share but nothing drastic to have to survive right now either.  Life is peaceful and calm.

But what about when life is like a rollercoaster?  What about when it takes you on a wild ride of climbing suspense, plummeting valleys, ecstatic highs; with hardly enough time to breath let alone rest in between each?  What about when all you know to expect is to expect the unexpected?  When things get chaotic and you find yourself simply having to hang on tight for the ride and maybe letting out a few screams here and there?

0405161956a-taggedLately, that is what it has been like for David and our family.  He is finally starting to get services but his team is just starting so there are struggles with getting him used to it all as well as getting them used to him so they can know how best to help him.  In the meantime, David has entered crisis mode as he is continuing to regress socially and his scripting and echolalia is starting to interfere more and more with true conversation.  He also is struggling with increasing impulsivity that has lead to serious troubles when out in the community as well as to increasing the episodes of his running off randomly.

IMG_1109-taggedHe still has his beautiful moments where his love of life and his passion for all around him takes him to a place only he lives in and where he is perfectly happy and at peace.  Sometimes though, in the same day he can also hit crashing, devastating, lows where life makes no sense to him and all he knows to do is fight back against it and those around him.  Sometimes getting violent in the chaos of just trying to survive what he feels as bombardments or attacks even when in reality its just those that love him, trying to keep him safe as best as they know how.  Keeping him close when he would rather run into the traffic or towards the train tracks, taking away things he keeps trying to eat that are not food and pose a choking hazard, bracing him through a sensory overload so he can’t hurt himself from all the self-injurious behavior, helping guide him through situations and trouble that his impulsivity gets him into…

So what does one do when life is a rollercoaster?  Hang on tight, scream if you must, pray like crazy, remember the ride never lasts forever, and cling to the joys found in the highs to help you make it through the lows.  Most importantly: never ride alone.  After all, what’s a rollercoaster without friends?



  1. blogmomrocks2

    I know this all too well. Hang in there 🙂

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