buzzcut season

I watched Sisters again.  That movie is so funny.  It wasn’t as crude as Bridesmaids, but just as hilarious.  I loved the cast.  Samantha Bee is in it, too.  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler portray generation x so honestly.  They do shit you did when you didn’t think anyone was watching.  My face hurt from smiling and laughing so much.  It’s absolutely going into my depression box.  I’ve been having a great time on the staycation end of my vacation.  I’ve also been sleeping since I got back from Denver.  Regular, nightmare free, sleep.  Each time I awaken, I sit there for a moment and bask in the wonderful feeling of being well rested.

This feels like my default.  My garrison.  This is the “me” that I strive for when I’m struggling.  I’m normally pretty happy.  Somewhere between the giddiness just before delivering the punchline, and on the verge of laughing.  I’m aware of my surroundings, but they’re muted enough to ignore effortlessly.  I feel creative urges, bordering on compulsions.  If I engage in any activity surrounding my interests, I begin to hyperfocus almost immediately.  I’ve been rocking and pacing a lot, but not like a drone.  While I’m stimming, I’m also brainstorming.  I either brainstorm about algorithms, or I brainstorm about creating something.  Like a poem, song, digital painting, or short story.

What I love the most about my default, is that it’s me at my almost best.  It’s like running at 80% speed in progressive intervals.  It trains you to push your 100% effort for longer.  It builds me up.  It’s awesome.  I’m loving my time here.  I know it’s temporary.  Sometimes, I push myself to my 100% best in order to achieve a goal I’ve set for myself.  I don’t do this very often.  I try to make it really count, when I do, though.  I’d rather get 3rd place most often, and go for 1st place when it matters most to me.  It’s a lot like a self esteem exercise you’d get in therapy.  Identify what you really want, then go after it with everything you have.  Put the mission first at all times to avoid getting distracted.

Eventually, the Depression Monster will come to call again.  Anxiety likes to try and make me her bitch on a daily basis, but I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping her in check.  Running is my best weapon against both.  Swimming is an alternative.  It’s probably better in that it makes my body strong all over.  Running requires additional exercises to prevent injury.  But it’s the most flexible.  After that, all I really have is distraction.  I have a depression box full of activities I normally enjoy.  I have a canister I decorated, and filled with small papers with activities written on them.   I draw one out, and just do it.  I have a sign on the wall next to the shelf with my depression box that says, “Just Do It”.  It’s a Nike ad, but it works for me.  If you insert, “just do it”, as a rebuttal to every argument with yourself as to why you can’t do something, it works every time.

Here’s a little something no one tells you about depression:  It makes you dumb.  You’re just so distracted by the chemical warfare going on in your brain that you can only focus on clear, short commands.  You don’t want to do them, but you can if you push yourself.  It’s incredible, the amount of effort it takes to do one simple task, when depressed.  So when you push through, and do it anyway, you just kicked the Depression Monster in his junk.  Each time you push a little further, you deliver him another blow.  But he’s a trickster.  Don’t fall for it when he tries to make a truce.  He’s really trying to trap you into accepting meh as good enough.  It’s not.  Meh sucks.  Meh is a depressed stupor in which you can function, but can never quite remember why you bother.  Fuck meh.  Aim for your default.  Your place where you feel most like yourself.  The depressed you is an imposter.

I know some people hate it when others claim it’s possible to fight depression with sheer will.  All I can state is that it’s possible for me to do so.  I have PTSD, and depression is a major part of it for me.  I have never experienced the depression of someone else, for obvious reasons.  In many cases, there are commonalities among those with the diagnosis, and this allows us to share what methods in fighting it prove successful.  Often, they are helpful to many people.  But I acknowledge the fact that there are exceptions, and I don’t want to imply that what works for me will work for everyone.

The more time I spend learning about diversity among humans, the more I recognize the mistakes I’ve made in the past.  I regret them, and am learning new ways to be respectful to other humans.  While I personally have a no malice, no foul policy, I don’t assume others do.  I don’t want to hurt anyone without realizing it.  It sucks ass when someone is insensitive to you for a reason you have no control over.  It hurts.  I can cope with it, but I can’t assume everyone else can as well.  So I’m interested in learning ways to avoid it.

One thing I want to note to other Autistics and similar who try weed, is that  you should remember to stretch before going to sleep.  Our proclivity for remaining in the same position for a good bit of time is magnified by weed.  I sat at a 45% angle for no apparent reason at some point, and didn’t move until my abdominal muscle spasmed.  The next day, I was so sore.  Mostly my neck, shoulders, and stomach muscles.  But my joints were sore, too.  I sit on my legs, and don’t move for a long time when doing activities.  They go to sleep, and then pain settles into my joints.  Most people move when they fall asleep.  Weed messes with your ability to communicate with your body a little.  Nothing frightening, just a heads up for when you wake up a little sore.  It’s so worth it.

I’m Cosmo!

That was the best vacation, ever.  It was very short, but in all the right ways.  My arrival time was perfect, in that it allowed me enough time to settle in my hotel room, then have dinner and hang out with my new aide.  Her place is cool, and she has a piano.  We walked her dog, which was a comfortable way to socialize for me.  I had a small dose of the hybrid before we met up.  It lasted the entire time, and I slept well that night, (Friday).  Maddie is the kind of person who looks in your eyes when she talks to you, if possible.  I don’t mind this, but I worry about my inability to reciprocate.

I didn’t get overwhelmingly anxious during this time.  When I felt a twinge of anxiety, it didn’t escalate further.  It was manageable, even when I psyched myself out by focusing directly on my anxiety levels, before catching myself.  It would seem that cannabis is impervious to my thought glitches.  Bonus.  It didn’t help with missing my cat, though.  It seemed like every commercial had a cat in it for a bit.  I really should schedule an appointment with my shrink to get started with making her a service animal.  Or whatever status allows me to keep her with me when I’m so far outside my comfort zone.

I think the most important factor of my using cannabis is the fact that it effectively takes the edge off anxiety, to the degree that I’m able to socialize without the constant interference.  I kept track of amount, intake method, strain, and THC%.  I also noted my diet and sleep patterns.  It was all good news.  The next day, all science was tossed out the window.  I had an astonishing amount of weed via second hand, some bong hits, and a non-stop puff, puff, pass for 4 hours.  I drank water throughout the tour.  I noticed several of us initiating a conversation, only to forget the topic halfway through.  It was hilarious to me.  The woman from Atlanta looked like she had something quite profound to share with us, but didn’t make it past the build up.  We all laughed when she came up short, and she laughed too.

I initiated the conversation with the ex-googler.  I had reached a point where I didn’t really care what his response would be, let alone my own ability to stay on topic.  I was able to process and retain his response, and we had the “google isn’t for everyone” talk.  I noticed while riding around to our various stops, that there closer to downtown Denver, the more dispensaries you pass.  There’s not a shortage of dispensaries in Denver.  I did catch a story about people doing illegal growing, and then taking the weed across state lines.  Apparently a few non-legal states were bitching to the supreme court that Colorado is making it harder to police weed in their state.  Legalize it, dumbasses.  Stop throwing money at what isn’t a problem, and have your cops spend that wasted time in race sensitivity training.

I’ve concluded that it’s a lot of fun to get really, really stoned.  However, it’s not something I’d want to do every day.  When I move, I’ll use cannabis as a tool 99% of the time.  But when I want to really relax and have fun doing something I never thought I could manage, I’ll try that again.  Fun, safe, and no consequences.  I discovered a new-to-me TV show that had me laughing so hard.  It’s called, “Last Man Standing”.  It’s my new favorite show.  I can tell there is some ad libbing going on, which I love.  I loved noticing it’s set in Denver, since that’s where I was watching it.  It’s on Netflix, so I’m going to binge on that later.  I’m technically “off” work for this week.  I’m still feeling more relaxed than usual, which is a nice effect.  It snowed/rained last night, so it’s cooled off.  It snowed in Denver while I was there, too, but not enough to get excited about.

I’m glad to be home, but I’m still smiling from the fun I had.  I’ve been playing my violin a lot since I got home.  I play when I’m happy.

Veteran Tears

I finally got some sleep.  I took a double dosage of Benadryl.  I watched a show on a new channel called Viceland.  It was Weediquette, and the story was about veterans using cannabis to treat PTSD.  I probably should have changed the channel, as this is a touchy topic for me.  Fortunately, it was done well, and they didn’t include any graphic war scenes.  The show still got to me, though.  PTSD sucks so much.  It’s such a horrible thief.  It tries to rob you of everything, and is unrelenting.  It’s invisible, and it has only one goal:  To end you.  It’s as if the traumas that lead to PTSD were meant to kill you, and your survival was a fluke that left you in a tortured limbo.  It holds you there and attacks you from every direction until you somehow find a way exist despite your new status, or you take your own life.

It sucks.  But the worst part is that PTSD has existed forever. It’s had other names, but it hasn’t changed since the first war or life threatening trauma.  But in 2016, they still don’t know how to treat it successfully.  That’s not wholly true.  They know cannabis helps us survive PTSD.  They being the government.  The government doesn’t care that 22 veterans commit suicide every single day.  The VA doesn’t care that 22 veterans commit suicide every single day.  But the price of oil is down, and some rich people got a lot richer from government war contracts.  We are expendable.

I wrote a poem after watching the show.

The March of Tears

They say you will adapt to this radical lifestyle.
Freedom is at stake. You won’t see home for a while.
Shoot the targets. Throw the grenades.
Learn new skills. March in parades.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. America is at war.

Travel to your new duty station.
Make some friends in this new location.
Run PT. Eat some chow. Press your uniform. Shine your boots.
Bivouac. Requalify. Go on leave. Revisit your roots.
Left, 2, 3 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Now it’s time to go to war.

POM board, shots. Phone home and make a will.
Verify equipment. This time it’s not a drill.
You volunteered to fight, and you may even die.
Try not to remember that you’re fighting for a lie.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. It’s your duty to fight this war.

Your friends are dead! Your friends are dead!
Your truck blew up! Then the enemy fled.
You’re injured and can fight no longer.
What didn’t kill you did not make you stronger.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. What the hell are we fighting for?

Your body heals but leaves some scars.
You spend most nights looking up at the stars.
You’re finally home, but nothing goes right.
You’re constantly triggered into fight or flight.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. PTSD forevermore.

Here’s a pill, there’s a pill. Will these bring your life back?
The sacrifice is over, but in your mind you’re still under attack!
You’re still a soldier in your heart. You have the desire to survive.
But the nightmares and flashbacks make it impossible to thrive.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. PTSD is the invisible scar in your core.

Take some pills. Go to support group.
Try not to think about how you were duped.
Make the effort to adjust to civilian life.
Get a job or go to school. Just ignore the strife.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Life isn’t worth the pain anymore.

The VA treats you like a naughty child.
You’re not crazy! Fuck off! PTSD isn’t mild!
You want dignity, and you’re on your last thread.
These pills make things worse. You’d rather be dead.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Suicide would end this internal war.

Fuck the VA! They don’t care about you.
The number of suicides per day is twenty-two!
You’d like to try using cannabis for PTSD medication.
But your country won’t repair it’s misclassification.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. No one cares about the real cost of war.

Stoned entry #1

I’m stoned.  I probably shouldn’t try to write a blog post in this condition, but oh well.  Here goes.  I’ve been partaking of recreational weed while on my Christmas vacation in Denver.  I purchased way too much, as I had no idea it lasted so long.  I’m a lightweight for sure, but I’ve tried a sativa, an indica, and a hybrid so far.  I like the indica.  The hybrid messed with my off switch.  I felt like I was glitching while on automatic pilot.  It was too far back for my comfort level.  It felt too autistic.  Too cut off.  The indica was perfect.  It allowed me to exist without anxiety for about 6 hours.  I was in tears.  It shocked me how wonderful it feels to be without anxiety.  I kept telling my nephew I was crying because I’m happy.  He was worried it was having an unpleasant affect on me.  The opposite was true.

I’ll admit, I’m very much pro weed for medical usage.  That’s just logic.  I’m also pro weed as a recreational drug for those 21 and older.  With the same laws as those surrounding alcohol.  I think anyone who says they drive better when high is lying, regardless of how they got high.  I absolutely feel differently than what’s normal for me.  It’s a pleasant feeling because of the break from anxiety.  It’s easy to only notice anxiety when it interrupts me, and forget about the low levels that never fully go away.  I understand that this has at least as much to do with my autism as it does my PTSD.  PTSD comes and goes, and is an often, but not constant bother.  Autism is 24/7.  However, right now while I’m high, I feel less autistic.  I can only explain this by relating that the background struggle constantly going on within me regarding unavoidable interruptions and sensory disturbances becomes less.  I’m basking in the less.  It’s a nice rest.

I also noticed that Blended, with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is hilarious when you’re stoned.  I think I was more able to pay attention, because I noticed all kinds of funny things I missed when I watched it before.  I could tell there was some ad libbing.  It also seemed like everyone in it was having a great time.  This made it even more enjoyable.  I haven’t gotten the munchies.  I’m a little bit disappointed about that.  I was looking forward to feeling strong hunger.  I think it might really be a decreased ability to stop doing an activity.  The repetitive motion of putting food in your mouth is a stim.  (Non-autistic people are unaware that they also stim when their inhibitions are lowered enough.)  The behavior is stimulating, so you continue to do it.   The high feeling from THC is probably the best way for a neurotypical person to experience neurodiversity on a low, temporary level.

It’s ironic to me that we’re considered frigid in our thinking, when in reality, we’re far more fluid than the neurotypical mind can easily grasp.  I suppose any extreme can have an opposite.  We spend a lot of our early life building bridges of thought in order to connect and communicate.  The motivation to do such a thing comes from many factors and are varied.  Feeling motivated to connect with my Mom was natural.  My brother, Steve, too.  He could always make me laugh.  Laughing has always been one of my favorite things to do.  Laughing and flapping is heavenly.  Try it sometime when nobody is looking.