A Unique Opportunity

Me for years. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

You miss all the shots you don’t take.

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said: ” You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

I am so guilty of this, that it’s like a served a term in a jail of my own making. For many years I was stuck in life and mired in depression. While a large portion of this suffering was due to traumatic things happening to me, processing my own issues, and the pains everyone goes through in finding one self, there was a part that I could do something about. That I can take action about every day.

For a long time, I was that person who lived by the mantra: “As soon as I have/am _____, I’ll be worthy. I’ll be enough because I have: a well paying job, live on my own, or am healthy with no mental health issues or problems.

Yes, being independent and self sufficient with the ability to take care of yourself are needs everyone has. You work on those every minute, hour, and day.

That doesn’t mean you are enough as you are right now. Every person on earth has worth. The point being that I made the choice over and over again for years that I wasn’t enough to take a shot on something because I felt unworthy. Insecure. Not mature enough.

Even when life put the goal right there in front of me and asked: what are you going to do?

Too many times I avoided it.

This missing out on potential friends, activities I might have enjoyed, connection with existing relationships, standing up for myself, saying what I want and need, and missing out on so many romantic opportunities. Rarely, I’d make a shot, but it’d be a partial success, or the puck would bounce off the boundary. Each time I felt like a failure and gave up. I was already in a low place, and didn’t get understand that you have to fail. Failure is part of life and part of success, however you define success for yourself, your life.

All because I didn’t feel like enough. That I wasn’t good enough because I work an entry level job. I wasn’t worthy of women because I have mental health problems. Because I haven’t moved out and live with my parent.

I avoided even when all flags were green and the goal was wide open, assuring success. Or that I would have made the goal if I believed in myself that I’d make it, despite a life defending the goal. I’m enough right now. People will like and appreciate me as I am. And I can work on myself too.

That time has gone and passed. I can’t go back and change things. Each a lesson. Which I had to experience multiple times because I was in denial and life kept throwing these situations at me because it was necessary.

So, I said: Fuck it.

I’d much rather fail, and fall on my face than regretting not trying.

I’m going to have my issues, and working on myself for the rest of life. I’m not perfect, and this is who I am, where I’m at in life.

The pandemic really cemented my “Fuck it” attitude. Half the US decided not to wear a mask or get vaccinated because they don’t care about others, no matter the consequences. This same group attempted a coup because their feelings were hurt and they’re sore losers because Trump lost the 2020 election for president of the United States. I’m so tired of Trump supporters. It feels like Trump and his anti-democracy cronies are getting away with the Jan 6th coup.

The one upside to this madness, is that it’s given me clarity on who I am as a person and the values I put into practice in life.

It feels like every week, the United States is on a downward spiral as important problems are left unaddressed, or stonewalled in Congress. Rights such as the choice to abortion, taken away. Where is the hope of positive change forward for all, America?

I feel helpless, horrified as the world goes to a dark future. Signing petitions, and sending emails to my senators hasn’t helped. What can they do when every republican senator refuses to compromise at all? When Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Kristen Cinema of Arizona play games, are misleading with their views. Come on Biden, get it done…

Can’t do anything else, so… Fuck it!

I’ve set my focus to what I can control. Use my time on changing the world for the better.

Therefore, when I saw an article in my local paper asking for content about mental health, to contribute to their series of articles about it, I jumped at the opportunity.

One idea immediately came to mind. The lack of diagnostic tools for adult autism. When I was first diagnosed on the spectrum in April 2020, right before my birthday and at the beginning of the pandemic, my therapist used a questionnaire designed for kids potentially with autism. And to my knowledge, nothing has changed. There are mental health questionnaires for people if all ages for depression, anxiety, and ADHD, but not autism.

I wrote an email to the designated email by my local newspaper, figuring that even if nothing happens, I have it a shot. I tried at speaking up for others like I did, struggling to know why. Because it was a clear problem that could be solved with some light shed in it.

I sent the email and…

My story pitch was ACCEPTED! Holy shit. I didn’t expect this to happen, so I’ve been shocked! I haven’t gotten the go ahead, or asked what would be acceptable to post publicly on a blog regarding the article, but it’s really happening! I’ve had a couple email threads with the reporter in charge of this article series, and she’s liked what I’ve sent so far! Which is an overview of what I plan to write about, my experience with autism and the mental health system, and an article outline. I have my first draft due on Sunday. I haven’t written any new content for that in 10 days. As Sunday approaches, I’ve become more anxious. Anxious and stressed because I get to write this, the two blog boosts I get to do, and be the man(ager) in charge today and tomorrow at work since my fellow leads are out of town.

All this happening because I made it happen. Dude… Yes. Keep moving forward.

Cover photo credit to my brother! He took this awesome lunar picture with our mutual friends telescope!

Side note, post script: I really need to improve the layout and presentation of the blog. I viewed the home page, and it needs work. I don’t feel it’s the best it could be. I need to learn why, and how to make the most of it.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please comment below or subscribe!

Copyright Reilly Anderson 2022 ยฎ


  • Christine Marshall

    This is very exciting! You have a lot to offer here! Writing about your experiences can help shine a light for others. Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Woo hoo! *happy dance* Congratulations!!!!!

    We never fail when we try…. we just find what doesn’t work, so then we try again. And we keep trying! Because by endeavour we’ll succeed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  • Linda A Daniels

    WOW, Reilly. A unique opportunity, indeed. Sooo impressed; you figured out something you could do to actually make a difference… AND YOU DID IT. An excellent example, for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Linda! I’m in progress of getting the next draft of the article done. That still is making a difference though… Change requires persistence after all. I appreciate you being a blog follower!


  • Wow! This is definitely the universe telling you to step up and try!! Just remember what Anne Lamott says – something about to be able to write a great article, you have to be willing to write a shitty first draft. :). ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow congratulations on the article!

    What you said about missing out on things was so relatable. I never felt worthy and that really messed up my relationships and personal life a lot. I was always too scared to try new things or talk to new people and it sucked. I’ve been working on changing that attitude since a little before the pandemic and feel a lot better these days. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m worthy and deserving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pooja!

      The pandemic has been a boon for doing inner work. Helped me fight that fear of trying something new or being afraid of talking to new people ๐Ÿ˜‰ . It’s not over yet, so that small chance of death lingers. (Please covid, go away) Having regrets in the past from missing out helps in this way too. I’d much rather fail, and pick myself up than miss out again.

      FOMO and worthy ness I something I work on every day. I struggled for a long time because I didn’t know why these fears kept coming up to mind. I had to learn some skills in therapy (Now that I think of it would be a good blog post subject for me to expand on) to help fight back. My go to skills are the STOP skill, mindfulness, yoga breathing, radical acceptance, and questioning negative thoughts like a lawyer. Knowing that I’ll probably always have depression/anxiety (๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ™ƒ) helps because it’s permanent. (Still hate it, ๐Ÿ˜ฉ)
      Guess this is what it means to have a relationship with yourself.

      So, know thyself. ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I agree. The pandemic really sucks and definitely not really over but it was great to get so much time to do some self discovering etc. I feel the same way. At this point I don’t want to keep missing out on stuff for no reason.

        Yup anxiety and depression is permanent but we can always work on the symptoms and try to live our best lives despite them.

        I’ve realised that the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one โ˜บ๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  • Pingback: A Unique Opportunity, Part 2. | Reilly's blog

  • Pingback: Unique Opportunity: Epilogue | Reilly's blog

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