Posted by Raul on May 3, 2013
Right now I’m in the parking lot waiting for the time to start my job. Since my biggest problem with Asperger’s is dealing with people, my job, implying working with others, is perhaps the most difficult part of my everyday life. It is not the work itself, but having to work with others. If I had the chance to work completely alone it’ll be just perfect!
For that reason some time ago I started experimenting with different kind of pills to control anxiety and finally opted for Zyban once a day to control general anxiety, and Seredyn as needed to control excessive anxiety. While Zyban gives me a metallic taste in my mouth most of the time, and also somehow activates my brain at sleeping time making me dream very vivid and more often, it is a very good trade for the tranquility I get in exchange. At the other hand, Seredyn seems to work in a very unpredictable way. Some times it takes a couple of hours to start making effect, and some others it just takes ten minutes, but it’s a very strong aid to keep calmed and relaxed.
The reason I’m telling you this is because I just took two pills of Seredyn before starting work (I always do that to be relaxed before having to deal with people), and this time the pills made effect at once, throwing me in a state of being “high”, so I thought I should write about this to let people know one of the elements that are common in an Aspie life, which is dealing with anxiety when interacting with others…while for others dealing with people is a natural thing.
Several times I’ve questioned myself if it is right to be “High” at work in order to be relaxed and prevent anxiety and depression (the two ghosts that follow almost every aspie in the world). It could seem like I’m doing something wrong, but I know it is not illegal drugs and it is not because I like it, but rather because I need it in order not to blow up with sensory overload and mostly, with getting extremely mad at people’s normal ways.
So while I’m writing this I’m feeling very high and everything moves slowly around me, and I’ve been in this same situation several times at work, which leads me to think in the two sides of the coin in this particular situation.
Being high; seeing how everything moves slowly around; being careful when walking so not to trip and fall; focusing the eyes to the work in front to do things properly, while smiling at people’s jokes around and somehow feeling part of the group, and even daring to participate and throw a joke myself to make other people laugh, and not worrying if they like or understand the joke or not.
Or being honest; oneself; clean; no drugs or external chemical aids, and living and somehow feeling like a rabbit surrounded by foxes when dealing with people. Keeping the brain at a thousand miles an hour trying to decipher if what was said was a joke, an insult, a sarcastic comment, a friendly remark, or who knows what else. Thinking ways to talk, words to say, discarding them for not appropriate or just because they don’t seem to be right, so trying to find others, and feeling how time goes by and nothing has been said, so desperation takes home and the brain doesn’t respond anymore, to quickly fall into the feeling of being different, an outsider, an intruder, so wanting to run away and hide.
I have made my mind, I’m using these pills, even if they get me high, and even if they cost me my job at some point, I’ve spent the first 50 years of my life immersed in anxiety and depression and I can tell you…it’s not fun at all!
With these pills I can not only go through the process of dealing with people, but also I even enjoy it! It is such a different kind of life; but without the pills it wouldn’t be life at all.
Posted by Raul on April 22, 2013
Since I was a child, and for the past 45 years, I had this strange feeling that my life would change in a radical way by the time I reached my 50’s birthday. I didn’t know in which way, but I felt that it’ll be a good change…a change for the better.
Naturally when we think of a positive change in life we tend to think in terms of what we are living at the moment. If we are drowning in debt we might think the change could be a better paid job, or even winning the lottery. If we are dreaming of more living space it could be a bigger house. Even if we are in a very complicated relationship maybe the change could be divorce and a new life as a single again.
In my case I thought it’ll be something related with income. Since I’ve been a little complicated with meeting ends, for me money has become an important element to have in order to live less worried about ends and having the chance to enjoy spare time in more interesting activities, in other words, money has become a symbol of freedom.
Well, by my 49’s birthday I didn’t win the lottery (which I never play; no wonder why I never win) but I did land a very good job with nice pay and benefits, so it has given me the freedom of being able to concentrate in other things instead of thinking all the times how to get more money. That could be the big change I was expecting, but even though it has been a very good thing for me, perhaps the real change came in an unexpected way.
By the same time (actually one month earlier) I discovered that I have Aspergers, and the sky came down crushing me!
In a very brief explanation: Very early in life I discovered that I was different from other kids and that I couldn’t socialize like the others. With this the whole growing process became different and frustrating when not being able to have a place in society. So always was the thought and hope of finding the reason and the “technical” differences in order to create a change in me, so to become “normal” and have a normal life.
When I discovered that I have Aspergers, at first it was a big relief by finally finding the reason why of the differences, but soon frustration took place when realizing that no changes could be made. My brain is wired in a different way and I cannot change that. So I entered a deep depression that lasted about six months because it seemed there was no reason to keep going (I even stopped blogging for a year and a half, remember?). My trusted sidekicks of always -anxiety and depression- eclipsed the world around and nothing of value in life could be seen to grab as a floating device to sort the chaotic feelings dancing in my head. Honestly, there was no reason to keep on living. I was a freak, a mistake of nature, so I shouldn’t be here, and my son, without knowing it, saved my life once more, just like he had done about twenty times before.
After the initial six months of depression, it took me another year to go through the other states of mind: Rage; bitter resignation; sadness, and finally positive expectations. And it was in this last state when I started experimenting with pills to control anxiety and paid more attention to the differences from a positive perspective, seeing the good rather than the bad. So a couple of months after my 50’s birthday I started to feel happy with being an aspie because of the positive differences, and conditioned my mind to slowly but surely discard the bad feelings for the negative differences, the handicaps I have because of Aspergers.
Looking back now to those months of bitter feelings while being in a happier state than ever before, I can think the expected big change by my 50’s birthday was the discovery of my real mind and its different capabilities. Although I will never be able to socialize as a normal person; I will never understand from heart people’s behavior, and only by logic I can “dissect” the mechanicals of their motives and reactions, in exchange I have a CAD program in my head that has been very useful in most of my activities; I can go by mechanical logic when needed, and still have a very sensitive heart and body that, although need protection all the time, still allows me to enjoy intensely little things that most people cannot even see.
For those reasons now I feel happier than ever and resolved to start experimenting in physical life all the things that always had postponed by never being the “right time”. Not only I accept being an Aspie but I enjoy it and now would never trade it for becoming normal. That’s why I turned this blog into an Aspie blog, so to let people know about what Asperger is from the point of view of an “insider”, and reject the classification of having a “condition”. I don’t have a condition; I am a normal person with a place in a more extreme point in the scale. I am not a freak, and if I have a reason to be in life or not will depend in what I can do from now on, and I’m planning to spend the rest of my life experimenting, analyzing and enjoying all I can.
In short, the big change I was expecting by my 50’s birthday did occur, and although it implied a very complicated process, it was a very positive one that has changed my life for the better.
(A Proud Aspie)
Posted by Raul on April 13, 2013
There are still some lights on at night. Electricity keeps flowing and some of the street lights remain working after all these years. It is so easy to get confused by them, even now, after so many times of renewing the hopes of somebody else out there, just to find out later that I’m the only one left.
Grey darkness prevailing most of the day, and warm, quiet nights when only the breeze can be heard. Even wildlife is gone, leaving silence as the remainder of all the missing elements that were once part of the whole, and that now has become just a memory in the mind of the only one that still roams around in search of a hope.
A private planet is what it has become; a grave world. The place where only memories live since everything else is gone. A blinding flash of light at noon and then all life is lost, vanished; leaving just the inanimate, material part of the whole. One hand to cover the face from the sudden light, the blindness for a moment, and then the mystery of being the only one left behind to search for another and all the others that are no more.
Is it real? Is it some sort of a punishment for the survivor, or the others that are now gone? Why only the material possessions remain but all life is not? Is it a lesson for the survivor to teach him the value of all the others with whom he could never get along? Or maybe a lesson for the others, who gave so much importance to the material, to the point that they themselves became discarded over what they used to value the most? How should I know!
So now, after so many hopes when searching those lights for another one left behind, and never finding life but just material elements still working on their own, the simple contentment of watching from a distance and dreaming that they must be there, continuing their party of so long.
Maybe the flash of light will come back some day, bringing back all of those that are now gone. Maybe they will reappear like by magic by means that I don’t know. Maybe this whole situation of years now is just a nightmare that by tomorrow morning will be no more. Or maybe tomorrow morning it’ll be yet another silent day in this strange grave world.
Posted by Raul on February 6, 2013
You walk through a room, at the park, in a job place, anywhere, and nobody is there. Instead there are giant TV screens all around, showing people moving, talking, interacting with each other. Those people are absorbed in their world of movement and inter-communication; they don’t see anybody outside their world, outside the TV screen they are in, even if you are standing there, by their side, listening to their words and watching their movements.
You walk around watching the TV screens, like the lone survivor in a planet where the only memory of the past are the images projected by the screens about the living world that once used to be. Showing the people that lived in this planet, and the daily activities they used to have, but no longer exist. A deserted planet with only one inhabitant: you.
But you know is not the way it supposes to be. You know you should be another in one of those screens. Or more precisely, they should be physically around you instead of in one of those screens. Those screens shouldn’t exist!
And while you observe, think and analyze the strange situation, time keeps going by, and the classification given to you by them settles and grows. You’re not moving; you’re not interacting, and even if you try you do things the “wrong” way, so you become classified and archived: “Dumb”.
I remember when I was a child listening to people talking to me, while I was absorbed in fascination watching the characters in the screen talk and move. They talked to me and I didn’t answer. How weird must it be to talk to someone that looks at you and doesn’t answer, even if you repeat your words several times? I can understand if they classified me as dumb.
So you grow up isolated from the people in the screens, from the people in the world. This is their playground and if you want to get included, you must play by their rules of socialization. If you don’t know how to interact, or simply see everything around in a different way, you cannot participate, so you become isolated from the world while living among everybody else.
But at the other hand, it is such an amazing place inside one’s head! While people grow their outside world by interacting with each other, using their inside world as a take off ramp for everyday activities, you grow your inside world and learn to discard the -closed for you- take off ramp of your mind. You grow your inside world leaving the forgotten outside world as an untouchable place that cannot be reached due to your non-working, obsolete appendix in your brain called take off ramp to the outside world.
So the circle of isolation grows more and more as the time goes by. And while your inside world becomes a planet on its own, in the outside you look small and dumb for those that conform the real world.
As time keeps going, you realize the need to interact with the outside world, with the people in the screens, if you want to have a place in this planet. So like an old dog that can learn a couple of simple tricks to impress people around, even if he doesn’t understand what is he doing and why, you learn to answer to the words of the people in the screen when they look at you. You even learn to dare to initiate a conversation with one of them, when you realize you’ve been quiet for too long for “their” comfort, even if you cannot keep up with the conversation you started.
You could be quiet for hours and be happy while immersed in your activity, but with time you have learned that normal people, due to their brains programmed for socialization, require of everyone close to them to say “Hi” at the beginning of the day; talk throughout the day, and say “Bye” at the end of the day; otherwise they feel offended and consider you either selfish or uneducated.
So after several years of trial and error, for brief moments you might even look normal to them, until the exhausting requirements of participation in society betray you and tell everybody around that you are an impostor of a normal human being; that you aren’t normal, that you don’t belong among them.
So quietly you walk away to the vast inside world in your mind that you have built throughout the years. Back to the “normal”, back to the world you know; the world you live in, and where you can have rest, peace and happiness being yourself.
Posted by Raul on January 30, 2013
This is the result of another moment of blank mind or Unconscious Writing. In this case I had to read it several times to understand what the characters were talking about, to finally realize I have the same concepts, but never saw it that way…at least in my conscious mind. It is also posted as it came out, and without any corrections.
“Just don‘t say it! They don’t want to hear it. They know about it, but they don’t want to hear it! Besides…if you tell them, they wouldn’t like you.”
“But they don’t like me anyway.”
“I know, but you must pretend the world is not upside down.”
“Then what would happen if the true image becomes seen?”
“I don’t know…maybe they wouldn’t be able to withstand the true about themselves and their surroundings.”
“You mean…like a cage that is always open, yet is still a cage?”
“Maybe; they know it, but they will always deny it as a norm to follow. You know…the one proposing a different idea or concept will be segregated until the majority accepts such idea. Then, and only then, the masses will adopt the new proposal as the new trend to be followed”
“But that’s blind movement! And in such conditioning changes will take forever to occur, I mean, if the majority is waiting for the majority to act”
“And that’s how it’s been forever”
“Running with the eyes closed in an unknown field, guided by the sounds made by those running ahead of them”
“Yup! And always assuming those running ahead must have their eyes open”
“No wonder why when someone fall it becomes a massive fall!”
“And the ones falling on top will complain against the first to fall for not preventing the general fall”
“Blind movement supported by blind reasoning”
“Obviously; you must give away what you don’t want to handle”
“Take control of my life but I want control of my life”
“But then, what would happen if control was accepted by open eyes?”
“The dreaded responsibility!”
“Want another glass?”
“Sure, why not!”