Posts Tagged ‘autism’

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.

So.

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”)

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One year ago today, Axolotl Ceviche began.

I remember where I was when I began this blog. I was at Kirkwood, sitting at the bottom of a staircase, trying to get the page set up while practically everyone in the place yelled at me for blocking the stairs.

I’m at Kirkwood now, and it seems strange to me that I’m here again. It’s like coming full circle, a snake eating its tail.

2012 was a long year for me. A hard year, too, in many ways; but then again, all years are hard in their own particular way when you’re an Aspie in the world of neurotypicals. (I haven’t really talked all that much about my Asperger’s Syndrome on this blog, have I? I’m going to have to rectify that at some point.) But it was a year of huge progress for me in my writing.

I got my first rejection letter, and felt slightly relieved.

I wrote the first draft of “Cassandra” (which I’ll really have to finish up one of these days), which I suspect might be the best thing I’ve ever written.

Plus there’s the fact that I’ve written 100,000 words of a novel, and I’m within spitting distance of finishing the first draft as we speak.

A lot happened in 2012: some of it good, some of it not so good; some of which I shared with you, some of which I kept to myself. (After all, I do have a personal life, and not everything that happens to me goes up on this blog.)

I think 2013 will be the year when I’m going to keep refining. I’ll finish The Lotus Imperiate, and hopefully get a large chunk of the second draft finished. (My goal is to sell tLI by 2018, which I think is completely doable.) I’ve got an idea for a YA fantasy novel that I think is really cool. And I hope to do all those things that are in many ways more important than writing: I’ll go to school, and get a job, and hang out with friends, and (hopefully) get a girlfriend, although I think I have to master other things in the social universe before I get up to that level.

2012 was long, and it was wild. I don’t know what 2013 will bring, for any of us, any more than anyone else.

But for me, and for all of you, I hope that it will be awesome.

~ Ian

(Pink Floyd, “Outside the Wall”/”In the Flesh?”)

  • You can always tell who the kids from Southern California are at UCSC because when it rains even the slightest amount, they break out the full-body protective gear and the giant umbrellas. It’s as if people from Los Angeles are witches, and they worry about even the merest drizzle touching their peroxide-blonde heads, less it cause them to dissolve.
  • When it rains, earthworms come out of the ground and ooze through puddles and across sidewalks. I like worms. They’re cool, and it’s interesting to watch them move.
  • Other people do not like earthworms as much as I do.
  • One thing that I seriously regret about not being able to smell is the fact that I can’t smell what the ground smells like after it rains. There are other regrets, too, such as the fact that I’ll never smell the scent of a beautiful woman’s skin, or the fact that when I get stinky, I tend to get a hobo smell to go with my generally Vagrant-American appearance– AND I CAN’T TELL WHEN I SMELL BAD.
  • Why is the sound of rain seemingly universally soothing? I get that it’s white noise, but then again, why is white noise soothing? Is it because when we’re in our mothers’ wombs, everything sounds like white noise?
  • Hmm… that’s a good observation. Mental note: write that down.
  • Oh, wait. I just did.
  • Wow. I’m an idiot.
  • I like rain because when it rains here in Santa Cruz, it’s snowing up in the mountains. This means skiing will be good.
  • I couldn’t go skiing this weekend. My dad and Calum and Gabby and Jannek all went up to the mountains, and I stayed home, because they had Lincoln’s birthday off and I didn’t.
  • When I am king of the world, we won’t have just Presidents’ Day off. Instead, each president’s birthday will be a national holiday, and when we pass 366 (or so) presidents, NOBODY WILL EVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN.
  • One of the side effects of my Asperger’s Syndrome is the fact that colors and visual stimuli feel brighter to me, because I have trouble filtering it. I can’t block out excess light– I’m really sensitive to bright or multicolored things. So when it rains, everything becomes muted in tone, and I’m not as easily distracted by shades of gray.
  • Sometimes I wonder if neurotypicals see the world on sunny days the way I see the world on rainy days. That must be why they hate rainy days so much, and I feel soothed and at peace.
  • Are gray and grey different colors?
  • When I’m reading and it’s raining outside, I have a strong desire for a cat to place on my lap and snuggle. Just to keep me warm, and to be a companion while I’m reading.
  • I miss my cats. Yes, they’re right down the street, and I can see them on weekends, but still: I miss them.
  • I can’t think of anything to blog right around now, so I’m just rambling about the rain.
  • I like the rain. Can you tell?

Love,

~ Ian