Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Little Bit of Loneliness, A Little Bit of Disregard

        Hi, y’all!  Sorry I was silent for so long….  I just never really had anything to talk about prior to now (or the time to write about it thanks to my very crazy schedule).  Brief update: I’ve had issues, I’ve had progress, I’ve had fun.  But now’s not the time for the “here’s how my life is” stuff…..  There’s something far more important, and far more personal, to talk about, a topic I’m struggling to write articles about for a project I want to put together to change how people perceive it……

FYI, this post is basically addressing the "Autism martyr" parents of the Interwebs that I frequently run into in the comments sections of certain articles. So if you're not one of these "my child is suffering! We must cure them of their autism!"-shouting parents, please don't take it personally; it's just a message and it was way easier than typing in the third-person perspective. So the "you" doesn't apply to everyone.

This post’s theme songs are all by Linkin Park: Faint, By_myslf, Castle of Glass, Somewhere I Belong, and Nth th End.  (Basically, these are all songs I felt express my frustrations towards the neurotypical people who act like they are supporting us, but are actually supporting causes that make them feel better about us.)

Don't Shut Me Up!

“[I am] A little bit of loneliness 
A little bit of disregard 
Handful of complaints but I can’t help the fact 
That everyone can see these scars 
[I am] What I want you to want 
What I want you to feel 
But it’s like no matter what I do 
I can’t convince you 
To just believe this is real 
[So I] Let go 
Watching you 
Turn your back like you always do 
Face away and pretend that I’m not 
But I’ll be here ‘cause you’re all that I’ve got.”  
--Verse 1 (Mike Shinoda) of “Faint” by Linkin Park

It’s frustrating to be in my position sometimes, when I try to navigate the Interwebs and come across an article about how “Autism is debilitating,” and that “such-and-such groups and corporations are funding research into the causes in the hopes of curing Autism,” and that “parents struggle with their child’s violent outbursts.”  Of course, once I peek into the comments sections of these articles, I see so many commenters repeat themselves in a variety of ways with the same ideas, over and over….. “Vaccines cause autism!  Here’s a link to this site I trust more than the CDC’s web site!” and “Hey, the gluten-free diet helped so much that my child doesn’t have autism anymore!” and even negative comments from idiot trolls calling people on the Autism Spectrum (people like me) the r-word and making claims that because of (the oft-repeated not-at-all true claims of) our “lack of empathy,” we would become killers that shoot up schools.
Source: deviantArt

It’s even worse when I try to say something, because there is always going to be people who not only agree with me, but more often than not, people who say that I’m wrong, that I’m “not an expert” and that I have “no clue what these parents are going through,” and should therefore, “get off the internet and let the parents of ‘severely affected children’ do the talking.”  Yes, I have received those comments before, here, here and even here!  And they piss me off every time!

I know what they’re doing: they don’t want me to speak up and prove these neurotypicals (NTs) wrong, that people on the Spectrum are okay, that we do have difficulties but with the right supports, can have an actual future and function independently, that despite all the talking about how parents “know more than the doctors about what it means to live with autism,” that I’m a member of a the population that has true first-hand experience of living with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder DIFForder (ASD).

I have a few questions, and the most important one is “WHAT THE FUCK?!  Why are you ignoring us?  Why won’t you shut up for a few minutes and give the microphone to the people you need to listen to--US?!?!”  Sure, it’s three questions in one, but at least the point is made….

[I am] A little bit insecure 
A little unconfident 
But you don’t understand 
I do what I can 
And sometimes I don’t make sense 
[I am] What you never want to say 
But I’ve never had to doubt 
It’s like no matter what I do 
I can’t convince you 
For once just to hear me out 
[So I] Let go 
Watching you 
Turn your back like you always do 
Face away and pretend that I’m not 
But I’ll be here ‘cause you’re all that I’ve got.
 --Verse 2 (Mike Shinoda) of “Faint” by Linkin Park

Yes, there are all of these groups that want to raise awareness of Autism--but they’re doing it all wrong.  Basically, the same message is there--“Autism is an evil disease that ruins lives and makes our sons and daughters less than human, and therefore, rob us of the life we wanted originally: a normal life just like everybody else, without Autism and its difficulties.”

See how insulting that is?  (Many people out there may be going, “Hey, you’re exaggerating!  We’ve never said that!” But you still did--we don’t always read “between the lines,” but when you talk about us, it’s like, we’re the “angry” gorilla in the room who doesn't care what you say!)  Yeah, we may not look like we’re listening, but we still are, despite not looking at the people talking.  (It’s basic knowledge: we don’t listen with our eyes!!!!  Unless there’s lipreading or sign language involved……)

I want to make a few things clear here: we are human beings, we are neurologically different from you, and this world you NTs have built for yourself is baffling and difficult for us to navigate.

It’s time to shut up and listen to us……  Here’s my side of the situation…..

“How’s the Advocacy Going?” “Well….”

I’m angry as hell. I’m furious, I’m frustrated, I’m enraged…..  So often, NTs want to be heard, and are willing to figuratively “talk” over everyone else, including their own sons and daughters, to have their concerns and fears be received by the community.  They fail to realize that they’re trivializing us in doing so.

Source: deviantArt
Which is why I ask you “martyr” parents of Autistic people, who violate our privacy by posting videos of our meltdowns and complain about how we’re throwing tantrums “all the time”, despite our being in a vulnerable emotional state; who ignore our cries for help or misinterpret them as whining-due-to-our-not-having-things-our-way despite the fact that shrieking, crying, screaming, etc., is the most basic and primal forms of communication that we’ve inherited from the apes (providing that you believe in evolution; if you’re a hardcore Creationist, listen up: GOD MADE US THIS WAY!  Okay?); who force us to act like everyone else despite our need for self-stimulation (stimming) that includes hand-flapping and rocking back and forth, our need for an environment that doesn’t make us experience sensory overload (which is terrifying, in case you’re wondering), our inability to blend in no matter how much you want or even train us to; who don’t want to be ashamed over having an autistic child, thanks to all the stigma that society attaches to being disabled--Who has more experience with Autism: you or us?

This hurts us more than it helps. However, parents, please don’t be dismissive.  I want you to know that you are our partners who help us navigate the world we both share, our protectors, and our guides to that world that confuses us.  We do need you to be there for us, to be supportive of our talents, our interests (despite how narrow they can be), our dreams and desires (despite how invisible they are to you, who can’t seem to see past the external behaviors that allow us to process the world that we experience).

Yes, this is mine....
You might be saying, "You can't speak for everyone! Your to mild and high-functioning!" One--UGGGHHHHH!!!!!! In this case, it's "you're" not "your", and too, not "to". Two--the functioning polarity (which is what I call it) is complete bull and does not represent the true nature of the Autism Spectrum. And three--You might assume that I don't have struggles, but the reality is that I do struggle with certain things, including social cues. I can’t tell you how often that I’ve embarrassed myself for not knowing the subtle messages of “No, thanks,” or “Please leave me alone,” or even “You’re too annoying, go away.”  And these messages do hurt, but it hurts more when these messages are there and I can’t even pick up on them; after all, if it isn’t said, it isn’t being said, riiiiight?  According to the ways I’ve had to learn them, HELL NO!  It’s as if hinting way too subtly was way more acceptable than explaining in a straightforward manner that you don’t want me to contact you so often, or hang around as a friend, or even be nice to you in a way that I thought you’d appreciate.  Nooooo, it’s way more “acceptable” to just cut all ties without letting me know what I was doing wrong, without giving me a chance to learn and change my ways so I can be better at being a friend or coworker or classmate or neighbor!

Also mine....
I do have troubles.  I do have problems, but they’re not all that visible to you--I have depression, anxiety, and even ADD.  And these co-occurring disabilities (Doctors say “co-morbid”, but that’s too negative; I prefer the more neutral term “co-occurring”.) are what I’m struggling with more, rather than my Asperger’s itself--and it all wears me the hell out!  The anxiety is actually causing so much tension that I’m just craving Massage Therapy to undo all the knots I have lurking in my back. (I’m not kidding!  I get knots too!  First time I got a massage from a friend who took classes, he found three knots. Second time, it was four!  So, really, it was frustrating to feel tight in my back after having such great sleep!  I bet I have seven knots lurking about at this point!)

Each of us experience anxiety, and probably depression; some of us have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the amount of bullying we’re subjected to during childhood (and sometimes not even bullying--there’s a lot of other stressful points that we experience as traumatic).  We have co-occuring conditions that have symptoms that either mask the ASD or even are mistaken for ASD.  And people fail to realize that we’re a population as well, and that in every group, there are good people and bad people.  And yet, what we experience gets trivialized by the neurotypicals (NTs; people without autism, in other words) because we “can’t possibly feel _________” or “know what it means to _________”.  Because we’re autistic.  And they’re not.

From quickmeme, because FUCK YES!!!
But how would they know?  How would NTs who trivialize what we see, hear, feel, experience, think, etc., know what it’s like to be us?  We’re not lying!  And yes, we’re not looking you in the eyes either, because it’s too intense or painful or just plain hard for us to maintain that focus where we’re talking and aiming our eyes at yours!  We’d have to sacrifice an amount of RAM to be able to appear normal while conversing with NTs who like to pretend to be intelligent or courteous by wasting time talking about things that we don’t value all that often or get confused by.  (Like, “Are you keeping up with the Kardashians?  Kim and Kanye did this the other day!”  My response would be, “I don’t fucking care what the Cardassians are doing!  They need to broker a peace treaty with the Bajorans already!”)  Ask us about the weather, and we’ll give you the forecast for the day, totally serious.  We don’t handle small talk well, we don’t have the programming for “social niceties” already installed (that costs extra for our model of “human being”), and we have a hard time distinguishing sarcasm from genuine expression, understanding the meaning behind idioms that are so ridiculous that we’d rather be straightforward by saying what we mean, and, finally, just navigating the script for social interaction is so hard for us that through painful trial and error over the years, there are those of us who have crafted a neurotypical “persona” (an act, really) to allow us to “pass” in a society that not only doesn’t understand us, but would fear us and ostracize, alienate and bully us for not “fitting in” and being “normal”.

And what really pisses me off is how many "martyr" parents just prophesy bleak futures for us!

The Dangers and Evils of Stereotypes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

In case you've forgotten, yes: we're a minority, and with every minority, there are stereotypes. The rich white (and sometimes orange) assholes (who are fulfilling the stereotype of rich white assholes) are applying stereotypes to everybody who is not part of their population, as part of their compartmentalized sorting system, categorizing each person with a box-shaped image of what springs to mind when this population is mentioned. They'd stereotype black people as "thugs who engage in crime, are dangerous, form gangs, and love watermelon, fried chicken, and hip hop!" and (lately) Muslims are "terrorists who are a danger to our country; they're always plotting something!" They also stereotype us: autistic people, who "can't do anything worthwhile, will never speak, will never use the toilet properly, won't be able to work or take care of themselves...." BLEH!!!!

(Does that sound familiar, anybody?)
From a google search....

Here's the issue here: stereotypes feed into self-fulfilling prophecies. Yes, it's the brain's way of simplifying things; in fact, your brain loves you......BUT.......it can be a real asshole at times. Some peoples brains are assholes more often than others, even; this is what happens with depression and anxiety (overly-simplified, of course, since we're keeping things super simple). But if you engage in self-fulfilling prophecies that are echoes of the "autistic individual" stereotype, then you're already doing damage before you do anything that you think would help them. It leads to giving up on opportunities that we could have taken to wow the world, to surprise the assholes, to......*Bill Nye voice* dare I say it...... CHANGE THE WORLD!!!!!

So, as soon as we hear, "She'll never be able to ___________," our hopes and dreams are tainted with your despair. It affects us greatly: "She'll never be able to get/hold down a job" leads to us believing that we'll never succeed in the job hunt, so why bother? "She'll never live on her own," leads us to being that 40-year old who still lives in their parents basements, trapped in low expectations land. It's a real effect that has major implications...... But we can learn; we are great at pattern recognition, so why not use that to our advantage? We see a pattern, we figure out what it means, and we apply it to life. "Getting a job means I get money which means I get to move out and have more freedoms!"

Basically, we’re a population of scholars, who learn as we go through life.  Our brains are so often on overdrive that it even keeps us awake late at night, running fast with the premium-level problem-solving programs to the point where we have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep.  And though we’re more visible, we’re not as audible to you.  Wasn’t there a line in Gregory Maguire's Wicked when there’s a poetry scene--one line goes “Animals should be seen and not heard.”  We’re not Animals (or animals, for that matter).  We’re not victims--so why are you treating us like that?  We don’t need your pity, just your support, patience and understanding (especially in the grocery stores; don’t block the aisles while looking at
the shelves!  Because I’m behind you, getting impatient!).  We crave routine and scheduled events happening when they happen, because the NT world is too chaotic and loud and bright and smelly and full of people who don’t get the concept of “personal space,” even while walking in the same direction as us.  (This last one perturbs me a lot; there would be people walking in the same direction as me having a conversation but they get too close behind me to the point where I could poke them with a metre-/yardstick, which is unnerving--mostly for survival self-defense reasons, like, “Why are you so close to me?  Do you want to hurt me?!”  This is why I let people pass in front of me, so I don’t get anxious.  Because anxious autistics/Aspies are unhappy autistics/Aspies.)
Source: Daily LOLcat blog

There are things that we do that don’t make sense to you, but it makes sense to us.  We’re not always right, but neither are you.  And we’re excellent at pattern recognition, and can be expressive in ways that aren’t always verbal.  You know, “picture’s worth a thousand words” and all that.  Perhaps there are members of our population who have thoughts and ideas too beautiful to be expressed verbally???

This is why it does not suit our needs and interests to be ignored.  Perhaps if you listened to us in whatever launguage we use (sign language, Morse code, written word, augmented communication, binary, etc), maybe you’ll be more enlightened to what does and doesn’t work, what hurts and what helps; we’re at the center of the meltdowns you so often complain about, so why not try to understand what has us red-lining explosively with all this pent-up stressful energy???  Why not connect with us through our narrow interests?  Why not just get to know us?

We’re more than what meets the visual, aural and tactile senses.

In Summary, With Additional Reading…..

I understand that you’re frustrated, exhausted, scared, confused, lost, and struggling to figure it all out, and I’m sorry you feel this way.  I want to help you and especially help your son(s) and/or daughter(s).  That’s why I’m offering insight, with the perspective of somone “on the inside”.  Yes, I am aware that when you meet one person with autism, you only meet one person with autism; I don’t have all the same problems as your son(s) and/or daughter(s), but I have experienced similar problems and situations, just like everyone else on the Spectrum.  So what worked for me might help your son(s) and/or daughter(s).

So, what do you say?  You ready to shine some light on the situation?  Or would you rather continue to keep us trapped in the darkness created by well-intentioned ignorance?

Additional recommended reading for more information:
         So, there you go.....  Some food for thought.  If you still disagree, then I'm sorry if I have not made myself more clear, or conveyed my message well enough.

Anyways, don't forget to VACCINATE!  Aaaand enjoy your tacquito!  (If you need me, I'm hiding in my bunker from all the drunk, insane tourists who are in the area for Musikfest.....)

Source: imgur

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Furiously Happy Book Review--One That I Hope to Bloggess that Jenny Is Reading

Some tunes to listen to if you wanted…..a playlist! Yays!

             After the previous blog post, I feel this urge to apologize for freaking people out with my possibly-withdrawal-induced feelings of depression and hopelessness where I felt the need to painfully rip off the blindfold I was wearing while running from the black hole-like sinkhole. (I actually shouldn’t; it’s okay for me to share these feelings, even healthy.) It was a letter to myself, an important conversation that needed to be had in order for problems to be solved. It was also a great big flashing sign I could use to direct people in a direction that many people would call “making progress,” even though (to me, at least) it is comparable to me being the reporter out in the field running for her life from a sinkhole, while the hosts of the news channels watched with genuine concern.

             I think this warrants an update: I’m doing better emotionally, which probably can be attributed to the withdrawal from lack of ADD meds. I suspect that this withdrawal (which took place for three or four weeks, during which my doctor pulled a dick move by not filling any of my ADD meds--which meant I ran out, something one should never do ever with any psychiatric meds--until I get my fasting blood tests done) was responsible for most of the issues I had, probably proof it messed up my brain. At least, now I can attribute the need to be fed properly in the morning and the weird I-skipped-on-my-meds dreams to the stimulants and lack thereof, respectively.

             But that’s not what you’re here for--you want to know my thoughts on ​Furiously Happy​, the new book by Jenny Lawson (the Bloggess) that JUST came out!  Right?!  (As in at midnight the night of September 21st--because midnight is when September 22nd starts. Thanks, temporal druids known as Jesuits for inventing this weird concept!) I was so excited and eager that I was able to get my own copy from Target with Dad’s help--thank you, Papa Spock! (I did pay him back for my copy.) And I was so happy I even texted my older sister….to which she responded with a question: “Did the Amazon Pre-Order get there already???” ​HUH?????​ After a puzzled response (probably along the lines of “What are you talking about?”), I found out that my sister had pre-ordered the book for me from Amazon the moment she heard me talk about it weeks before it even came out. Which is sweet, but left me with a dilemma: which copy of the book should I return?!?!?! My answer/decision was NEITHER!!!! I opted to keep them both because I don’t want to feel weird about it; Papa Spock went out of his way to get me a copy of my own, and my sis was thinking of me and being incredibly awesome by gift-ordering a copy of the book that she knew I really wanted and was determined to get. (At least now we know that next time, probably when Jenny’s third book is coming out--hopefully, even though I shouldn’t count my chicks before their eggs are even laid--my sis will tell me whether she pre-ordered it or not so that this weird situation doesn’t happen again.) On the bright side, I get TWICE the furious happiness!!!!

            Anyways, if you’d rather a look at the content I may or may not have spoiled with Twitter breadcrumbs, here’s my Storify compilation:

Yes, those are the breadcrumbs I left on Twitter with the hope that the strangers who are following me on Twitter will read and be like, “HUH? Oh my goddess’ titties! Lol! I should take a look at this “Furiously Happy” thing….. *click* Oh, wow, people love it! I should get it!” (I’m not sure if #FuriouslyHappy was trending on the Twitters, but if it did, AWESOME!)

         In reality, while reading and tweeting along by text message, I was wearing my pajamas (a nightshirt and yoga pants) and a Darn Good Yarn magic skirt (made of SILK) while laying on my couch and reading furiously (happily) in an effort to finish the book before the day was over so I can post this review. And while reading, I was giggling, quiet with awe, nodding with understanding, crying with laughter, and then crying at the end because I knew what Jenny was talking about. I truly understood the battle that so many people, myself among them, are fighting every single day.  I was empathizing on a deeper level, because I knew that my own battle was quite a bit different from everyone else’s. It’s at this point (at the end) where I wanted to just run (or quickly walk up) to Jenny, and embrace her tightly while crying into her shoulder (which is a little overboard for an interaction between two people who only know each other through the Interwebs) and going, “Thank you! THANK YOU!!!! You understand it--thank youuuu!!!! ​I love you for this!!!!​” (I’m crying even while typing this.) I probably wouldn’t do that last proclamation, but when a fan of yours runs up and hugs you, molesting your boobs with tears and shouting “thank you,” over and over again, it could go that way.

By Sweet-Crow
           I’m giving this book over 9,000 white-point stars/plungers out of 5 (the plungers are for the Daleks), not just because it was funny, but because it was a truth that needed to be shared with the world. People, not just those with depression, but also government officials, doctors in all fields, insurance company employees, family members, friends, etc., should know what life with depression could be like. They should know that even celebrities such as Wil Wheaton and Phil Plait and other well-known faces in the celebri-sphere have some sort of mental illness, and that having a mental illness or emotional/mental diffability ​should not​ be stigmatized! As much as you think it’s super rare, when you read the comments on Jenny’s blog posts about depression, you’ll realize that it is a lot more common than you think, and that we are not alone in our struggles. There are ​at least​ 50 other people in the world fighting to escape similar sinkholes to the one I’m running from, struggling and fighting to stay ahead, but wearing themselves out in the process.  There are times when even I get tired and would stop to catch my breath only to feel the earth beneath my feet start to give way, which tells me that I have only an opportunity window of a few seconds (relatively speaking) to fire the grappling hook at something far off in the distance for help. That the battles we’re fighting could be described differently from my sinkhole metaphor, as trenches filling with water that we have to escape, lest we drown.

          So, yeah, depression is a bitch and an asshole because it’s lying to you and bullying you into thinking “Life would be so much better without me.” That is bullshit, and I can attest to that--when my sis and I were growing up in the hellhole in the middle of nowhere (in Pennsylvania; sorry, Iowa, but you can’t change history), we were relentlessly picked on; I was bullied, she was bullied….It was hard, but it got worse still when her classmates in a ​Catholic high school​ where picking on her, to the point when they were saying that she should “just kill herself.” How could they?!  That is ​WRONG​!   Nobody should EVER encourage taking their own life! Not even CEOs of Evil Corp! (spoiler alert for Mr. Robot fans who did not see the season 1 finale) This is why we should educate people on mental illness so that they are well-informed and less of a dick about living with depression and/or anxiety.

         Look, you’re not alone in your struggles.  I have them.  Mama Squirrel and my sis have them. LOTS of people have them, and we will feel alone during these times; but we should know that our tribe is out there. Yes, I’m a member of Jenny Lawson’s tribe of weirdos who fight with depression, and I’m proud of it! I’m a member of the Church of Bloggessianism! I frequently tweet with Daleks on Twitter! I even joke around with my parents about needing towels and possibly also getting a giant metal chicken during that shopping trip! This is the tribe I belong to, the nerdy weirdos wielding plungers at trees that we thought were zombies!

          You may be weird and even a little fucked-up, but so am I. What’s important is deciding whether you should march alone or with the rest of us; because people marching by themselves are looked upon as “stupid” and “childish” and “wrong,” but people marching together? That’s a full fuckin’ marching band with its own class and character!!!!

         Keep this in mind while reading this book--which you should buy your own copy of! Unless your sister already ordered it for you; you should check with her first before buying it…..


Friday, August 21, 2015

An Honest Letter to Myself (KLEENEX ALERT!)

Apologies for the long absence. Life happened. It usually does. Not to mention that the evil Writer's Block just stopped me for a few months…..I couldn't figure out ANYTHING to write about. So, I guess I owe you a brief update: attended the Pennsylvania Autism Training Conference again, selling two paintings (only it was Mom who sold them—thanks, Mama Squirrel!); walked an entire 5K color run/walk event; still working on getting my shit together; ran out of ADD meds, but did a fasting blood test so I can get more; having weird dreams due to the absence of the ADD meds, etc.
From LifeHack Quotes
This time around, I have decided to publish a blog post where I could be more honest to everyone (including myself), to a degree (since the Interwebs is full of creeps and criminals, in addition to the awesome, nice people online). And I've decided, after some consideration, to write a letter addressed to myself, which I know is already bringing me to tears; it's hard to be raw and real in an environment populated with trolls and cyberbullies, and I've become far too cautious for that, but I've decided to just answer Yoda's "Do or Do Not" lesson by choosing "Do," and even go so far as publishing it, regardless of the reactions readers may have. This isn't just for you—it's for me.
Oh, what theme song? Just pick something sad-ish, like, sad and honest with yourself and realizing truths about your life or something to chillax to. It could be "Leave Out All the Rest," "From the Inside," or "Waiting for the End," by Linkin Park, the Deadmau5 remix of Calvin Harris' "I'm Not Alone," or Joel's originals such as "Avaritia" or "I Remember," Everlast's "What It's Like," or CoMa's "Something In the Way." (I apologize for the images on that last one!) Of course, having typed all this, I realize that not only did I give too many suggestions, but I also don't feel like going back to edit it right now. You know what? Fuck it—just play something from Nigel John Stanford, like, "Crystal Skies."
Anyways, make sure to have tissues ready, because things are about to get more real and more honest than they have been so far on the Interwebs! (Hence, the "KLEENEX ALERT!")
No, it's not a gimmick: I really did have a hard time typing this up. But it's worth it.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT suicidal, and I have NO intentions or plans to hurt myself, okay? Please. I don't want people to freak out over this. I'll be okay, as long as I get the help I need.

Dearest Eden,
Hey. It's you. Well, actually it's yourself, the part of you who wants to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Why are we writing a letter to ourselves? Because it's time to do away with the jokes for a while and address what's been going on within ourselves for a long time now. We need to talk.
I know what we've been feeling, lately. Yes, we're lonely, we're incurably sad, and we don't want to grow up or for things to change. But why is that? Why are we torturing ourselves emotionally by thinking, "Why can't I just be a four-year old again?" Is it because we deserve this masochism of the mind? Or is it that we secretly want to fall down that metaphorical sinkhole we've been running from for a few weeks now?
I can tell you right now that, yes, life is hard. It's difficult, and for us, unless we're distracted (and especially off the medications), it feels incredibly lonely. It's hard to remember that we have friends and family who want to help us, despite the voice inside of our head saying that nothing will work and nobody can help.
Perhaps it's a bit too much pride and egotism that prevents us from asking for help easily.
Or perhaps we're really just scared of change in life.
Yes, change can suck. But it's the metabolism of life on Earth. Some changes are bad (deforestation, changes in policy that allow politicians to be bought by corporations, global warming, political shifts in the Middle East giving rise to a group of militants who know how to really hurt us from the inside, etc.). But why get sad at the good changes, too? Is it because we've become too comfortable with the way things were before the change? Why is that?
I actually don't have an answer for that question.
Try as we might, it's incredibly hard for us to live happily. We live with depression (and its bedfellow, anxiety), which we fear is getting worse, whether it's because we were medicating irregularly, or that it's truly, independently getting worse, making us feel unstable in life.
Remember that post on Hyperbole-And-A-Half, about the time Allie Brosh was struggling with her depression to the point where just feeling any emotions is horribly terrifying and painful? And that she wound up ditching her emotions for "robot mode"? And this led to the feelings of not wanting to live anymore? We can't allow this to happen to ourselves. We have reasons to live, whether it's a temporary noble reason (raising awareness and paving the way towards acceptance of neurodiversity) or a temporary petty one (Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, releasing her second book, which should be just as hilarious as her first one). We can't give up on ourselves and just check in to the mental hospital and go, "Help me feel as though I can be happy again without feeling my heart break for myself!"
It's too terrifying to even go that far, even if it means that we wind up getting outpatient psychiatric care due to our ex-psychiatrist not being helpful with insurance bullshit. (Seriously, this area that we live in is the worst in the State for mental health service availability; local health networks don't do outpatient psychiatric services unless we get admitted to the hospital for mental health reasons, which we really don't want to happen!)
Life is amazing and beautiful and something to be witnessed. We shouldn't scare ourselves with the negatives that lurk within the Deep Web, like Cthulhu being held in the deepest and darkest depths of the sea, waiting to be released to cause chaos and world destruction. Instead, we should figure out a way to either get the fuck away from the metaphorical sinkhole of despair, or just stop it entirely.
As much as it hurts, just talk to Mom and Dad about it. Or your sister; they'll understand that you're feeling hurt inside, and that you want it to stop but are scared to do so.
They're walking similar paths to yours, and they can't help you unless you tell them, unless we muster up the courage to just say the following four words:

Please--I need help.
It will all be worth it, because we are worth it.
I love you, Eden, and I want us to feel better.

Forever yourself,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Weird Conversation Between Myself and My Depression/Anxiety (An Update)

       Hi, y'all!  Sorry for failing to post for so long....  I've been nuts as of lately.  How?  Like this:

Me: *Looks around*  "Dammit!  I've fucked up and now it's time to fix everything.  No more extremely slow downward spiral for me!" *cracks knuckles*

My Depression/Anxiety: *Perks eyebrow*  "Really?  Are you sure you want to do that?"

Me: "Yes, motherfuckers!  My brain isn't some place where you can camp out and run self-destructive programming for free!  I'm tired of sleeping all day, not taking my pills--which can make me sick--and not being productive!  I have stuff I need to do!"

D/A: "Uh, no, you don't!  You have other stuff that's more fun!  Besides, chores and responsibility are boring and lame; you'll be boring and lame if you do them, and they're not fun in an ironic sense!"

Me: "LIESSSS!!!  I have dishes to do, a living room to clean up, a bathroom to scrub clean....  I have to start now!"

D/A: "No, your inner Lazy Dalek says that you can do it later, following it up with repeated chanting of 'PROCRASTINATE!  PROCRASTINATE!'  Plus, isn't it lonely?  You don't have many fr--"

Me: "SILENCE!  I shall be productive today!  Not later--TODAY!!!"

D/A: "Crap!  Uh, uh....!  Hey, Attention Deficit Disorder!  A little help here?"

ADD: "Hey, look!  SHINY!  *points*"

Me:  "OOOOHHH!  SHINY!  *scamper-chases*"


That's a sort-of typical conversation that led to me to a lot of unmedicated days of sleeping, nights staying up until 6 am EDT, and not even following through on plans that can help me be Pro-Eden.


      Yeps.  Pro-Eden, meaning helping me make positive changes towards my life.  How come?  Go listen to the Pro You Podcast on the Nerdist Podcast Network!  Episode I, Inertia--the Real Phantom Menace, should explain everything, and help you start on your way towards better awareness, and, ultimately, a better lifestyle.

      It's because of this podcast that I've decided to get going  with my climb up Mt. Molehill; I've even gone so far as to not refer to workouts as "workouts," but as "Pro You Moments".  I've been tweeting with their Twitter account, and been giving updates with my progress.  Here's a couple of the latest ones that I sent them recently (before this blog post):

Seriously, this podcast is awesome, especially after all the talking is done, when Tom (one of the hosts) gives you a chillaxing Pro You Moment, where you can meditate with food for thought.

Beyond that, some other stuff happened, which I will update in another blog post, one that I'll publish once I've stopped yanking my hair out over Artist's Block, aaand, for the most part, being like this:

In any case, be consistent (especially with medications), be aware, and ENJOY YOUR TACQUITO!!!!