and i won’t close my eyes

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Okay. Silence.

Not a good thing, I suppose.

Noting my recent blogging activity, I can see that there are times where I write every day for a few days, and then leave a silence of about a week. I laugh this away, saying that I’ve been “sporadic” or “random” with my updates, but there’s actually a reason for why I haven’t been writing a lot lately, and it’s kind of personal and kind of painful.

On Axolotl Ceviche, I typically don’t write about personal stuff. Sure, I write about things that happen to me, writing things and that sort of stuff, but I don’t talk about what’s really going on in my head. Partially because I don’t want to bore you guys, but mostly because I’m scared to.


I’m often public about the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder. Basically, what it means is that I have a lot of the symptoms of autism, just without linguistic impairment. I’m sure you can tell that I can communicate just fine, which isn’t what most people assume of autism, so people just assume that I’m another neurotypical. This isn’t the case.

One thing that comes with the whole “autism package” is anxiety, and to a lesser extent, depression.

I’ve dealt with this all my life. There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t been anxious or depressed. (Note that when I say “anxious”, I don’t mean it like most people say it. I mean I’m in a constant state of nervousness for no discernible reason other than the chemicals in my brain don’t work right.) Every day, I had moments when it felt like the walls of my throat were closing in and my heart was pounding like I was dropping into a fifteen-foot cornice, when I felt trapped in my body and I couldn’t do anything but wait it out. It was a terrible feeling, and it happened all the time. It was only recently that I realized that I was having the symptoms of a panic attack.

These feelings have triggers, of course, but it’s stupid to look at my childhood or crap like that in order to determine why I have them. The reason isn’t psychological, but neurochemical. I don’t have panic attacks because I was abused as a child (which I decidedly was not). I have panic attacks because my brain does not work correctly.

Recently, they’ve been getting worse.

A week or so ago, I tried counting off the number of times that I had a panic attack that day. I lost count at about ten. I’ve been living basically on the ragged edge of collapse for about a month now. Even writing about it now, I’m feeling those symptoms. And it’s terrible.

I feel so out of my comfort zone even talking about this in public, even though nobody reads this blog. Meh. Fuck the comfort zone.

Going in public, riding the bus, knocking on the door to a friend’s house… every time this happens I feel like I’m about to die. Even just sitting at home and thinking about nothing will bring an attack on. A couple months ago, I had my first ever suicidal thoughts. I just wanted to take the easy way out, and not have to worry about anything again.

Do you know how scary that is? To sit in your Syntax class and be afraid to even move, to even blink, because all you can think about is your own goddamn death? I’d never had those thoughts before, and I was terrified. And looking back even further, back to last year, when I was so angry at times that I wanted to punch the wall until my fingers bled… suffice to say that I’ve been feeling like shit for years, and it’s not getting better.

I can see into my future and it seems terrible. I’m worried that I’ll turn into a complete agoraphobe. Even interacting with the world is hard, and I’m so scared of people and change that it’s just going to get harder and harder. And you know what the worst thing is? I can’t even imagine being in a world where I don’t feel like this. The idea of being happy terrifies me even more than the idea of being dead. Because I can’t imagine a world where I’m not constantly anxious. To me, happiness seems as impossible as surviving a head-on collision with a black hole.

I can see the future, and all I can imagine from it is pain.

I’m not writing this to be angry, or get attention, or because I’m worried I’ll kill myself, or anything like that. I just needed a place to express myself, and considering that Axolotl Ceviche is mine and mine alone, it’s as good a place as any. Likely this post probably won’t even be read, the same as all my other posts. But that’s not the point. I need a place to say this. It’s like the story of King Midas’ barber. I’m whispering all this into the reeds, because I need to tell someone that the king has ass’s ears.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

~ Ian

(Thrice, “Stare at the Sun”)

  1. jrad47 says:

    Hey there,

    I read your post. First, kudos for being honest and putting yourself out there. That is a worthy thing. I’m not going to say ‘I know how you feel’, because, to be honest, your experience is your own, and to say ‘I know’ smacks of bullshit. But I will say that I can empathise.
    Our modern way of life seems so permanent, so: ‘of course this is the way to live’, but in truth, our way of life has changed at lightspeed whilst our biochemistry evolves at a glacial pace. We are the only organism that so fully creates our host environment, which is super impressive, but we do not necessarily know what is best for us.
    I fully believe that the vast majority of our society suffers with some of the same symptoms, people just have different coping mechanisms, some medicate, some distract, some process.
    I guess, in my long ass kind of way, I am just trying to say two things.
    1, – you are not alone, this is a struggle many, if not all are engaged in
    2, – there are ways to improve your biochemistry and therefore the problem. Look first at diet, then at your movement/exercise patterns, make your goal to become better at both of these, track them and then move forward.

    Life can be really hard sometimes. That is a simple truth.
    This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog. Ever. I hope this doesn’t come across as preachy, if it does then I ask your forgiveness. I wrote this just to say ‘you are not alone’.

    Be well my friend,


    • Ian Johnson says:

      Thanks for commenting. And no, you don’t come across as preachy.

      I do take medication for my depression/anxiety issues, and I do visit a therapist, so it’s not like I’m not doing anything to fight this. I just needed a place to vent, and since my blog is a place to do that, then I used it to its full.

      I guess part of what I was trying to convey was the fact that it’s scary when the chemicals your body makes affect you so much. We like to pretend that we control our bodies, but in reality our bodies control us. And when your brain betrays you like that, it’s terrifying.

      Again, thanks for the comment. And welcome to Axolotl Ceviche! It’s not always this depressing.

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