“I almost had my own show in Japan.”

Content warning:  suicidal ideation.

Message in a bottle.

I have a confession.  Every time I read or hear about humans behaving abominably toward other humans, I think about suicide.  Last year, I thought about it almost nonstop.  It was distracting, annoying, and a little scary.

I think I’m supposed to feel ashamed of this, but I don’t.  It just is.  I’m capable of being as cold as space and utterly indifferent.  I trained myself to reject those feelings.  Now it’s habitual.

I could change this internal thought process by forming a new habit, but I choose not to do so.  I don’t want to live as an unfeeling, unattached, and unaffected entity.  We have computers for that.

This is one of the few instances where I regret being too intense.  That’s not quite what I mean…  (I was going to say unbalanced, but it failed the rudeness test ((and made me giggle.)))

Sometimes I wish I could attach an attenuator to my brain.  I’ve thought too many steps ahead, and now I’m more interested in pursuing the new thread.  This is precisely why I’m such an airhead.  I do this constantly.

I can’t complain about being an airhead because it’s the most potent tool in my survival kit.  If I couldn’t distract myself, I wouldn’t still be kicking it.  I’m just far too good at it.  It makes it difficult to communicate with others.

I’ve always journaled since a child.  It’s how I talked to my mom about things more complicated than nodding and head shaking could dispatch.  I began using a typewriter when I was six because writing longhand is (still) difficult for me.

When I don’t blog I go silent.  It’s usually not immediate, but when I don’t have my computer to help me express my thoughts, I gradually stop sharing them because it takes too much effort to mostly fail at saying what I mean.

The longer it goes on, the harder it is to start talking again.  Deep down I’m always terrified I’ll lose the ability to speak permanently.  It’s kinda twisted how the more I fear, the longer it takes to reclaim the skill.   I have to convince myself to stop being afraid of that scenario before my voice returns.  (It’s rocket science when you’re exasperated.)

When I let go of the world outside my head, it’s dangerous for my lifespan.  I overanalyze to death, literally.  It’s not logical for me to exist, and I’m a surprisingly good extemporaneous speaker.  (Even when it’s just in my head.)  It wouldn’t take long to recognize I’m insignificant in any mid to large sized picture.  Then weigh it against the price I pay to participate, and conclude it’s not worth it.

(Fortunately?)  I discovered I have a new tool in my arsenal.  It’s a song by Evanescence called, Imperfection.  When Amy Lee sings, don’t you dare surrender, she sings it like she means it.  She put feeling in it like Beyoncè.

Now, when I remember 45 is still faking it, that sound byte plays in my mind.  It’s an incredibly powerful rebuke.  Startling, even.  I’m a little bit freaked out by how well it works.  But more pleased to have a new empowering tool.  Music is powerful.  (Use it responsibly.)

secret door

Oh shit, you were probably expecting a point.  It’s this:  Feeling all the feels takes incredible strength and courage because it’s not always fun or even tolerable.  Lying and pretending you don’t feel things intensely is weak sauce.

We all have survival strategies we use to function in society.  I’m just confessing my own in case someone thinks they’re the only one who has similar experiences internally.  I have a tough time trusting people (over age 21) who have never contemplated suicide.  (They smell too much like a liar.)  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

“Elaine, do you think I would go willy-nilly into a situation so obviously fraught with potential complications?”

The Depression Monster is sitting on my head.  I’m ignoring him out of spite.  It makes me feel powerful (because I’m winning.)  Unfortunately, I’m still moving slowly and taking (really) long pauses to overthink.  It’s messing up my schedule.  I also got an invoice from the legal office negotiating the partnership at work.  I cried a little (because it’s fair despite feeling like robbery.)

I was raised by Great Depression-era parents in the 80’s.  (Everything about money makes me anxious.)  It’s irrational because they also taught me to be generous which means I’ll likely never suffer from lack of resources to survive.  I’m still fascinated by how well it works.  All the religions I know of teach it.  Giving things to other people is painless for me, but it’s been tainted by suggestions I’ve been taken advantage of a few times by relatives.

I’ve learned being used is bearable.  It can change the dynamics of a relationship, though.  So there is sometimes loss involved, but it’s subtle.   Some political news penetrated my defenses and set off this round, I’m guessing.  I really hate having to shield myself from reality in any way.  It makes me feel like a child.  I do it anyway because it’s necessary for me to survive.

I’m stronger now that I know about Stevie Nicks.  She’s a wise guide who is open, honest, and hella famous.  It’s as if she knew all along part of her journey was to help others.  When you study her interviews, it’s clear even from when she first became famous, she’s cognizant of her influence.  She probably knew she would be famous long before it happened.  I’m guessing her mom talked to her at some point about this aspect of fame.  It’s entirely something my mom would have done.

My anti-depression toolkit is super useful, now.  I’ve been teaching M. how to have fun.  He thought playing is just for children.  Now he knows play evolves as we age, but should never be forsaken.  He’s making his first game for IOS.  He’s also coloring on a daily basis.  It’s breaking his addiction to TV, (which is good because I canceled all channels except Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.)

I watched the first episode of Atypical.  I recognize I’m not its target audience.  It’s a show for neurotypical people to better understand autistics.  Therefore, it’s speaking in their language.  I still enjoyed it.  I’m pleased the show exists.  When they use FX to demonstrate how it feels to be the autistic main character, it’s jarring and nearly unbearable to me.  I walked away and came back when that part was over.  I recognize the actors playing the parents, but everyone else is new to me.

My immediate thought was to wonder why the hell the lead actor wasn’t masking.  It’s uncomfortable to watch.  It feels like watching someone walk on a highwire with no net to me.  I cringe when I see him actually say or do the things I spend a lot of energy suppressing.  But again, it’s because the show is not only for entertainment, but it’s teaching.   Also, masking is a skill, and trial and error are how it’s acquired.  (It’s a cruel, mean school.)  He’s young and just discovering how masking can make life less painful.

We age and develop at different rates, and grow based on different experiences.  There will always be a broad spectrum of traits and behaviors associated with autism.  When I was in high school, I didn’t mask well and my energy and time management skills were non-existent.  The difference between then and now is shocking to non-autists.  This is why no one should put limits on our potential.  Especially not where we can come across or overhear them.  (That’s abuse.)  I’m off to beat my drums.

“It’s in my book – ‘Astonishing Tales of the Sea’. Fifty-one people died.”

My new fidgets arrived yesterday.  They’re called CLICKEYbits™.  They’re made from real keys used on mechanical keyboards.  The rest looks 3D printed, but I’m not positive.  I got three different versions.  The Silent (pink, blue, purple, white) has six silent keyboard switches with a super smooth/linear feel.

The Classic (black, red, yellow, blue) has two clicky buttons, two tactile/bump, and two linear/smooth.  The Clicky has all six with clicky switches.

clickybits.jpg

My photography skills still suck.  Heh.  I love all three versions.  The Clicky is my favorite for when I’m alone.  The sound is lovely if you’re the one making it.  However, to anyone else who can hear it, it’s pretty close to torture.

The Classic I’m going to use when M. is home, and only use a clicky key once an hour at most.  I’ll enjoy keeping track of which keys I shouldn’t press.  (I’m weird like that.)  The Silent is the only one I’ll take outside my home.  When I’m anxious, I won’t be able to keep from clicking all the keys obsessively.  I don’t want to suffer unexpected violence, (although I suspect righteously,) for clicking in public.  Heh.

I hope that’s a good hint not to get the clicky ones if you also find yourself nearly frantically doing (often considered) annoying and repetitive things, (damn the world,) when you’re on the verge of panicking in public.  Can I get an amen from my brothers and sisters?  (Serious, not mocking.)

Oh right, the CLICKEYbits™ are fabulous.  I’m particularly fond of the varying amount of force required to depress the different types of keys.  I use mechanical keyboards, so I was already a fan of switch testers.  The Silent version barely requires any force to depress the keys.  I enjoy it because it turns on my gentleness mode.  (Sorry, I can’t think of a more precise means of saying it.)

They’re currently on sale, and mine arrived quickly via USPS.  They were shipped in an appropriately sized box that fit in my apartment package bin.  Yay.  I found them when I checked the mail at midnight.  Heh.  I have insomnia again, but I’ll save that story/review for next time.  (Spoiler:  The Privacy Pop.)  I’m off to read. 💜

“The problem with talking is that nobody stops you from saying the wrong thing.”

I’m recovering from the holiday season.  I overdid it, and I’m still paying for it.  It was worth it.  Heh.  I know when I can say that, I’m nearing recovery.  Whew.  It was not my resolution to spend the first week of 2018 stapled to the floor.  (That’s what it feels like, anyway.)

I realized part of why I’ve struggled with Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is it triggers me.  Recognition made all the difference.  I’m almost finished.  I also reread Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.  As a preteen, I didn’t pick up on the humor.  This time, I belly laughed often.

This year, I’m going to focus on books written by women.  My next book is Kindred, by Octavia Butler. (It’s also going to trigger me.)  I hope I develop some emotional callouses.  I’ve made progress giving away things I don’t want or use anymore.  It’s fascinating how quickly items are grabbed up (with permission) by my neighbors.

My only regret is they’re taking the boxes, too.  And the folding table I had them on.  Heh.  I guess someone needed it.  I like my apartment so much better now.  My living room looks like I just graduated from university; spacious.  I love it.  I’m off to purge another box of anxiety-provoking stuff.

8 Favorite Quotes About Autism

The square peg quote is my favorite, too.

Stim the Line

If you interact at all with social media, you’ll know that quotes are everywhere. They’re usually posted on top of images on mountains or sunsets, and are more often than not credited to ‘anonymous’. Not to say there aren’t some good quotes out there, especially ones that describe experiences, instead of forcing vague positivity on the reader. It can be hard to sort through Autism quotes, because a large percentage of them are made about Autistic children by Neurotypical adults. These often border on inspiration porn- and they infuriate me.

So, in order to combat these, I’d like to share some quotes about Autism that I enjoy.

Image result for quotes about autismSee the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

So here they are! If I had to pick one, I think that the square peg one is my favorite, but there’s some may quotes out there, that I’ve probably missed some great ones! So, dear reader, if you’ve got a quote you…

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“You can’t go in there, brazenly flaunt the rules, and then think I’m gonna share with you!”

We’re going home tomorrow, (early.)  I miss Amelia Bedelia.  I also miss my weighted blanket.  My stamina for being away from home is low.  My brain is threatening a slow reboot.  Naturally, I’ve done much better with pacing myself today.  (Nothing like a little motivation fear.)  😂

I watched the new Jerry Seinfeld special on Netflix.  He had me laughing so hard I had to run around a little.  I thought only Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle could do that to me.  I was mistaken.  I’m a tiny bit disappointed I didn’t grow out of laughing until it feels like my bones are jelly.

Adulthood has been laughing at my poorly conceived expectations for decades.  It’s not as bad as the post-crying hiccups during the audible winding down process I still go through after every cry, I guess.  Sigh.  I know these aren’t relevant indications of being grown, (but my ego begs to differ.)

Dammit, Ego.  Go lay by your bowl.  I’m having a day.  I’ve decided not to classify it, (my life, my rules.)  I still play by the same life rules I learned as a child.  If I call the front seat, it’s no longer available to whoever decides it’s not fair.  Because rules.

The only problem with this strategy is the fact not everyone is still playing.  I seriously hope refusing to play causes premature aging.  Wow.  I’m kinda mean today.  But come on!  Get with the program, people who think calling it doesn’t count.  It counts!  There’s no logical reason to abandon rules created to increase harmony among people.  Nada.

I’m going to miss Lyft.  I went to Target to buy some candy, earlier.  I’ve wanted to do this many times, but didn’t because at home, Target is deep in the no-driving zone, (for me.) Weekend driving near the mall is beyond my frustration tolerance as well as my driving skill.  Ordering candy from Amazon sucks.  By the time it arrives, the desire is long gone.

It leaves me with enough time to remember the Basic Training Candy Binge that led to the Projectile Rainbow Hurling Incident.  (I can talk about it now, because I already ate my candy.)  I’m good for about a year.  Whew.  I think sitting still and typing this nonsense has helped me settle.  Tomorrow will be here before I notice.  Yay.  Peace.  💜

“I’m exhausted. I’ve been on this street a thousand times. It’s never looked so strange.”

I’m so tired.  I’ve been acting as if I have infinite energy, (again.)  My body usually plays along with this delusion until I crash.  Good times.  At least I can hold my head up without too much effort.  I’m overwhelmed, but it’s a result of too much awesome in a short period of time.  I’ve been trying to piece together what happened, and devise a plan to calm down.  It started when Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson was released.  (Authorized Oathbringer artwork by Michael Whelan.)

I knew the overexcitement would level me if I didn’t pace myself.  Nevertheless, I didn’t.  I couldn’t read for comprehension because my mind was breakdancing.  Then I got a notice from one of those design-your-own-stuff websites.  It informed me the item I created infringed on Brandon Sanderson’s property, and therefore, was no longer available.  Oops.  I barely remember making it.  Someone bought it, and I owe Brandon Sanderson thirty-three cents. (I think it was a mousepad or something.)

It was kind of like seeing Obi Wan’s illuminated ghost in the sky, reminding me to use The Force.  So I set the novel aside to regain my focus.  It’s difficult to explain how significant the story is to me.  It’s helping me exist happily in my two worlds.  There have been a few times in my life where I’ve been broken to the degree I knew I could let go of one (or both) of my worlds.  (I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice.)

Autism feels like being stuck in extremes, and longing for middle ground, to me.  I suspect it’s why I find myself drawn to those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  I’m probably not complicated to anyone, but especially not to them, it seems.  I wonder if it played a factor in my attraction to my ex-husband, (he’s schizophrenic, but wasn’t diagnosed when we married.)  Being engaged makes me think about him lots lately.  More good times.

I read Artemis, by Andy Weir.  I loved it even more than The Martian.  It’s often hilarious.  Andy Weir is fabulous.  I still wasn’t settled enough to read Oathbringer.  So I returned to witches and vampires.  I’m reading the second in a series by Deborah Harkness, titled Shadow of Night.  I’m able to focus and am enjoying the series immensely.  I love reading about these creatures, and the fascinatingly different ways people write of them.

Fortunately, I’ll be ready to devour Oathbringer when I get home.  I’m enjoying our time in Denver, despite crashing today.  I’m going to watch more footage of Stevie Nicks on her latest tour next.  The one I saw earlier began my journey back to calmness.  She told the audience to go after our dreams, after pointing out how long she worked to make hers a reality.  She gave specific examples of things we should do, (which floored me.)  I know this sounds literally fantastic, but she told me to write the book.  So I’m going to do just that.  💜

“He’s obsessed with breasts.”

Audio file of this post (improved, but still needs work.  Sorry, I’m learning): 

OP-1 by Teenage Engineering

 

I didn’t run on Tuesday or Wednesday. Long story short, I triggered myself and was unable to eat for a few days. (No big deal for healthy, first world Alison.)  I didn’t run because I have an irrational fear of falling and freezing to death on a winter run. It’s barely irrational (in South Dakota), which is why I’m not even working on overcoming it.

It wore off, and I was able to eat a light breakfast this morning before heading out for my run. It was 9° F, according to my phone. I was warmed up and excited. My playlist includes Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncè. It’s every third song between Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault. (It’s as if Stevie Nicks created the song.)

I was utterly lost in the music, my body a vague avatar on auto-pilot when I fell. I was almost home. I could see my building across the river. I got up and reoriented myself with my body. Then I slowly counted to ten before assessing the damage. Nothing hurt, and the music was still playing.

OP-Z by Teenage Engineering

Aside from an anxiety rush, all systems go. Yay. (Flashback to when I fell and dropped my portable CD player, and it shattered on impact without harming the CD. Panasonic.) I finished my route feeling like my world is right again. Then I got to the stairs, and my hip started whining. Anytime I feel any degree of pain in my hip; my imagination announces I’ve broken it, and it’s all downhill from here.

After I stretched and showered, it was no longer an issue. I just hope I don’t find a bunch of bruises tomorrow. I have my annual doctor’s appointment next week. That tiny bit of potential awkwardness is enough to psych me out of going. I’d better disarm it before it gets me. I’m incredibly distracted of late due to my introduction to synthesizers. Typically, I avoid Virtual Black Holes. Maps, cryptography, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, biochemistry, etc.

FMPlayer by AudioKit

These are points of interest so intense it’s not likely I’ll ever return to whatever I used to give my attention. Usually, I recognize them quickly and run. It’s like saying no to drugs. It’s not that I don’t want to indulge, it’s because I don’t want to trade my legal adult status for an incredibly lonely, narrowly focused, otherwise joyful existence.  It bothers me because I couldn’t tell you why.  I’m off to practice my drums (and think about synthesizers.)

“How would you know? You don’t speak Korean.”

It’s my first time using the new improved editor on WordPress.  I figured I’d better learn it before they decide it’s the only editor.   Meltdown Prevention 101, eh?  M. let me care for Tallulah today (for practice.)  I love having a dog so much.

dog

I’m looking forward to living with her full-time in the future.  I live across the street from a park connected to another with the bike trails.  (It’s the warm-up portion of my running route.)  It’s also just over 2 miles to the end of the second park and back, which is now my dog walking course.

It took longer than I anticipated, but mostly because there were a lot of feces.  It’s a primarily residential neighborhood, and most people probably walked their dog while half asleep in the dark this morning.  I need these parks to remain dog-friendly, so I picked up all the poop on my route.  (I’m so thankful for Jack Frost.)

I decided it was over-looked accidentally, and my neighbors would do the same for me.  It’s dark most of the time, now.  Fortunately, lots of people put holiday lights on their balcony already, and my display isn’t the most enthusiastic this time; mostly because 3 out of 5 sets of solar string lights didn’t work. 🤪

I got an email from a friend today!  I was afraid it was a friend I lost during The Worst Meltdown of 2017.  Two people emailed me since that horrible time, (when the universe found out I was using social media as if I knew what I was doing, and kicked my ass to the curb with a purpose.)  Both are still my friend.  (!!!)

dog1

I’m going to go ahead and dub it The Miracle of 2017.  I guess silver linings are more impressive than the Doublemint wrappers I claimed.  I’m trying to work out how to tell one of them I’m never going on Twitter again.  (Or anything similar.)  I’m probably going to do a Keynote presentation and send them the link.  (Unless I think of something more efficient first.)

They are the first autistic friend I made on Twitter.  Dammit.  I guess I’m more of a romantic than I’m comfortable admitting.  (I hope that word works platonically, too.)   Okay, I’m going to go because I can tell I’m going to start crying again.  At least they’re happy tears.  My cat, Amelia Bedelia, understands me, so I’m off to rock with her.  Peace.

p.s.  The new WordPress editor is fabulous!