There are times when life seems to shrink, like we’re a frog alone in a pond that’s drying up.
We can leave the pond, and fight our way across dry land under the scathing sun to try to find something better. And maybe we manage to save ourselves this way, through immense effort and hardship.
But what if someone saw the frog in the shrinking pool, and carried them a dozen meters to a larger one? Such a distance would be a terrible struggle for the frog, but for someone to carry them that far takes practically no effort at all.
Likewise, when a person is struggling, it can be extremely difficult for them to work through it on their own, while the relatively minimal effort it takes for someone else to ask them how they’re doing can make a huge difference.
It’s incredibly important to check in with our friends regularly, even if they seem to be doing fine; a lot of people will put on a brave face and try to hide their difficulties. Something as simple as messaging someone to say hi and have a chat can literally save a life.
While this can be true of anyone, it’s especially important in regards to people on the spectrum. A Swedish study from 2015 found that autistics without a cognitive disability had a suicide rate nine times higher than the general population. (http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/208/3/232)
That’s a terrible statistic, and highlights just how important it is that we support each other and provide a safety net of kindness and inclusion for those among us who are facing tough times.