Getting Knocked Down

I get knocked down every now and then. Sometimes I stay there for a while. If it’s easy to overcome, I get right back up. If it’s a little bit harder to overcome, I stay down for a day or two. There are even times when I stay down in my pit until the pain goes away for good.

A wise man, Rocky Balboa, once said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”. I took his advice more times than I can count even if I have to listen to him a few times to get it.

After I got off that stage with Shania Twain, my mom and I said to each other walking the strip of Las Vegas that I would use that moment to get through all of my hard times moving forward. However, it’s much easier said than done.

When I got back home, it was back to work the next day. I wasn’t in a good place in my life at the time. I hated my job as a call center collections agent. I wasn’t succeeding no matter who told me I was. I wasn’t even excited to tell my friends about my greatest moment. Let that sink in for a minute. I was gaining weight, having meltdowns, and was never in a good mood for my entire time at that job. My greatest moment wasn’t enough to get me back up as I was knocked down.

I finally quit after my first psychiatric hospital visit in 2014. I spent 4 nights there. I couldn’t get up. Although I wasn’t ready to start a new job right away, I still couldn’t use my greatest moment to get up. I was out of work that whole year. I didn’t know if I’d ever get up. I was hopeless. It felt like I was dying because I was knocked down so hard.

The pain went away in February 2015. I finally got up after getting my next job that took me a year to get. Life was moving forward and nothing was knocking me down again. I ended up with 3 awards at the job and a few vacations including Disney World and California.

However, I got knocked down again after a breakup, a book failure, and depression over all of it. I briefly quit writing when my book failed. It was before the Holidays in 2016. Christmas 2016 was bad and there was no way I was going to get up before Christmas came.

I had my second psychiatric hospital visit in 2017. This time I spent 9 nights there. I was crying because the pain hurt so bad. I still couldn’t get up after 3 months of being down. After the 9th night and discharged the next day, I got up.

When I got up that time, I decided to make changes in my life so I wouldn’t get knocked down again. I started going for more therapy and putting myself out there more. I realized that just being the good person I am sitting at home wasn’t going to get me to where I wanted to be in my life.

I moved forward once again with doing speeches at Toastmasters, out on the floor with dance lessons, and having more confidence to ask girls out on dates. I made a comeback in writing as well. I had 5 articles published with The Mighty before my hiatus. I published 5 more articles when I made my comeback. I started writing for other blogs too including Thought Catalog. I started writing more books too and looking to publish books again.

Christmas 2017 was coming and I got knocked down again. This time it was over a girl I hoped was going to be my girlfriend. It didn’t end up that way. I started drinking more alcohol, crying more, and didn’t have a lot of will to do the things I love.

Avoiding another hospital visit, doing more speeches, and publishing more articles helped me get back up quicker this time. This time the pain didn’t hurt as much. The pain comes back every now and then but not hard enough that I get knocked down.

No matter how many times I get hit hard enough to knock me down, I always get back up.

I’m a man who can overcome anything. I always have been and always will be. I’m strong and I’m only going to get stronger.

Louis Scarantino

Louis Scarantino is a man on the autism spectrum. He advocates for autism awareness. He grew up in Northeastern PA. He started writing and speaking after meeting his favorite singer Shania Twain! He's also published articles for The Mighty, Thought Catalog, YourTango, and Unwritten! He has his own website! He hopes to become an international Autism Advocate and get a film made about his life!

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