Category Archives: Autism

School is steadily approaching

I start school in six days. The fall semester to be a little more specific and I am getting the before school jitters this week. It seems odd to me this time, however, because I have been in school all summer during all three sessions. The main factor, in my opinion, that is causing me this anxiety and stress is the amount of things that I am taking on this upcoming semester.

To start, I am taking two classes, Fundamentals of Math and Feature Writing and Magazine Journalism. That will not be an issue; I just finished Math 090 with a passing grade and I feel pretty confident going into this Math class. Feature writing and Magazine Journalism will not be a problem either. I write for the school newspaper as opinion editor and my articles could always be transitioned into features easily. The two classes I am taking are not the origin of my stress.

I got a job that I will be doing over the Fall semester and I am grateful that I am able to do this as well. My fear here is that I will not be able to go to work sometimes due to my anxiety. I am working on ways to combat this cycle of worry and so far I am having positive results, which is quite good for me. I desperately need the money and my Social Security Disability is not quite up to how much I need for my bills and other expenses. Here’s hoping to a postive experience at work. I really need this to work.

There are a couple other organizations that I am affiliated with this semester as well. I am, like I stated above, the opinion editor of the Snapper, which is the school newspaper. I am greatly looking forward to working on my writing skills and my interpersonal skills with the staff of the Snapper. It has become a place I am comfortable at and I hope it continues to be that kind of place. I have no reason to think otherwise, but my mind likes to do something I call, “Catastrophizing.” What this is, is when I think, I go to the worst possible outcome and latch onto it and fill myself with dread and anxiety over a overly exaggerated manner. It is not healthy for me at all, but it is a bad habit that I have picked up. Something outside of my self-reflection is needed to combat this and to that end I am in therapy with some talented individuals.

The other organization that I am a part of is the Magic Players of Millersville. A club that is dedicated to the trading card game, Magic the Gathering. I love a format in Magic called Commander or EDH. There was a resignation over the summer and I became the president of the club. I hope that I am able to perform well and gain some more social and leadership knowledge. Just like the Snapper, however, I catastrophize all situations that I think might pop up.

I am hopeful that none of my negative thinking will severely impact me this semester. I really want to have a semester, just once, where I do not have to miss class due to major mental health issues. The same for work. It always frustrates me that this kind of stuff happens to me on a weekly basis and I get fed up with my inability to do tasks that I have either set for myself or have been set for me.

Panic and anxiety attacks are just something that I go through and I understand that, but if there was a way for me to lower that anxiety just a little bit; I think I would do a lot better. The same thing can be said for my depression, which has, on multiple occasions, caused issues. Either with tasks I need to do, my attendance, issues with other people and in general feeling like I am not worth the time or effort that others put into helping me.

Right now, I am nervous about school, but more of the excited nervousness instead of the anxiety based one. I hope I have a good semester and to those who read and also go to school I hope you have a great semester as well!

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Autistic has become a slur it seems. The Rise of Anti-Vaxxers

I have noticed something as of late that really disturbed’s me. I’ve found it on social media and an occasionally I’ll run into someone who says it. This being the act of using the word autistic as a slur.

As someone on the spectrum I can say, quite confidently, that this is offensive to me. I have already received the answer back that I need to grow thicker skin and just need to let it go, but I will not be taking that advice. I do not identify as autistic; it’s not a choice and I never liked the implications from others that it is. The same for depression and anxiety. They are not choices and they are not something that you just shake off. They are mental disorders that need medical treatment.

I have never been on the receiving end of a, “Your so autistic.” I am happy about that and I am grateful that my group of friends see that it is not acceptable to use autistic in that manner. It is a shame that people think that slurs, whether they are racial of disabled in nature, are acceptable. The same argument that is used for the “R” word can now be applied to Autism it seems.

People on the spectrum never chose to have autism and if you think they did; you are reading the wrong blog post. Autism, like I have said many times, is something you are born with and not a choice. It is not the same as saying I want to wear a red shirt today.

The thought that I supposedly got autism through vaccines infuriates me. Do not misunderstand, I am not a person pleased with having autism, but you know what? It’s a lot better than being dead. It sickens me when I see various groups on Facebook claiming that a vaccine caused their child to have autism. I understand that big pharma is lining their pockets with all the medical care that those with autism may or may not require, but to say that is irrelevant. Irrelevant to the fact that some parents would rather have their child die at an early age instead of having autism. I truly do not get it. Am I that bad of a person that when a parent thinks of their child having autism they would rather them die from the measles? It is, frankly, idiotic.

Broken thoughts, are they worth fixing? Let’s hope so

I have been struggling lately with my depression. As I am, once again, slipping into a downward spiral I am caught by a notion that has given me pause. My thoughts are broken; comparable to that of a broken-down car. Why can they not be fixed?

The answer is, to me, is obvious at once. Thoughts are similar to the nature of the durability of a car. Thoughts degenerate over time if not properly cared for. The same of a car’s functioning parts. Then, as this notion fills my awareness, another one pops in that becomes disheartening.

Using the car analogy; is it worth fixing the broken down car? Can there be a complete overhaul of the car? Turning it into a marvel of modern engineering? I think the answer will always be yes, yet the thought persists and I look at it from both sides. Sometimes cars need to be scrapped for parts.

With the analogy of parts, I think that I can apply the concept to my thoughts. I cannot repair my thoughts; as they are depressing and they are fleeting at times, but like cars hold value in restoration and refinement. With thoughts that are depressing, I can reshape those thoughts. Think of it as scrapping the thoughts to rebuild something better. Taking the good, mainly the critical thinking, I get from my brooding and depressive nature and using that to look at happier things in my life.

I have a good thing going in my life and it is looking up. Depression, I need to realize, is a chronic illness that needs methodical and precise repair and treatment. Similar to that of a car. I need to take my medications and need to realize that there is an established support network that I have built up over the years. They are willing to help me and I need to accept that help and reach out. I want to note that I am and have been taking my medications as directed by my doctors and it is not a cause of concern. Pill shaming is an issue that I want to cover in the blog sometime, but now is not the time.

To those that are a part of the massive support network I have; I thank you for all that you do and I would not be here for some of you. Some of you have helped me from the brink of suicide and did not even know it. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I do not say that to cause concern; I am nowhere close to feeling like that and if I was I pledge to you that I would get help.

I want to start daily postings on the site; even though I know I cannot keep up with my current schedule. With that ambitious thought in mind I am going to post my feelings on a scale of 1-10 every post. My depression, anxiety, paranoia, and general mood will be the categories. I do not want there to be alarm if my anxiety or any of the categories are above a six. I have you guys and if I need the help I will get it. Thank you my friends.

Depression: 5/10

Anxiety: 7/10

Paranoia: 2/10

Mood: 6/10

 

Writing for the sake of being happy

I have come to a conclusion. That being that writing is my therapy. Any type of writing, mind you, and it always helps. It can be writing on my phone, like I am now, or my labtop or even my notebook. It does not matter, and I think knowing this going forward is key for me.

I have always known that I loved writing, but after a couple days of writing again, I feel great. I like writing fiction and I like writing for this blog, but I love writing articles that require some research and thought. Research is not always necessary, but it makes it a lot more fun.

What I like about editorial writing is mainly how I can connect to others with my writing. This has happened many times. I have been in student newspapers ever since I have been in college. First Livewire at HACC, and now The Snapper at Millersville. I truly think that my love of writing has broke the shell that I had put around me prior to college.

At Livewire there were three people who truly helped me, and now I consider those three good friends. When I transferred to Millersville I joined as a staff writer and was that for two weeks. I then became opinion editor for the paper. Alongside my fellow HACC alumni, Robert as my associate editor, we did quite well with opinion.

With HACC, I credit them for the initial shell break, and I want to thank them for doing that. The Snapper crew has now completely demolished my shell.

I want to thank Livewire and The Snapper for all they have done for me.

Feeling Depressed and not knowing why: a man with autism and his guide

So I am feeling depressed right now. Instead of dwelling in self hatred; I have decided to try to help others who suffer from depression. To do this I am going to look at my feelings right now. Analysis will come after, alongside some reflection.

To start, my anxiety is also quite high. I would say a 7/10. Why am I anxious? Mainly from thinking about the future, my romantic interests, my grades, and my job. All are pretty big things I imagine. It seems to choke me with anxiety. What I do distract myself is two-fold. I go into my local game store, LGS, and I play games. Such as magic the gathering or DnD. The distraction helps, but is not a cure all for me. I have to figure out ways to curb my anxiety. To do that I need to pinpoint some triggers for myself.

One of my biggest triggers is becoming social. This is not a bad thing, yet it is still a trigger. Anxiety, for me, has always been a way for me to figure out my comfort levels. Nowadays I purposefully put myself in situations that cause me anxiety. I want to know the limit of how much I can take.

It’s not much today, unfortunately. Little things set off my anxiety. The silver lining being that it was just a small amount of anxiety. Management of this level of anxiety comes pretty easy for me. Walking around Lancaster city is a trigger for my anxiety and I have come to be really good at managing this type of anxiety that I get.

Back to the original question though, and I still find myself unable to answer well enough to satisfy myself. Thinking on it, I can say with confidence, that I am unsure of my future. I know I want to finish college and graduate, and I want to get a job. Besides those two goals; I am at a loss of what I want from life.

I want a lot of things for my life to pan out and I am not confident that they ever will. I feel like I have fallen off of any motivation that I might have had to pursue those things either.

The main thing that I find I have been struggling with is my feelings for others. I have them, and they are quite strong, but I am afraid of rejection and I feel like a coward for not outright asking them to go out sometime. I have been burned multiple times, I think, and I don’t like the feeling that I get when I am rejected.

That feeling is an overwhelming anxiety at that moment. That is pretty much it for my romantic centric stuff.

I did okay this semester with my grades. I feel like I need to do much better though. I hold myself to a standard that I am not meeting. It’s weird, I get anxious and depressed about my grades so I try to distract myself from it and I then do bad on my projects. That leads to me doing bad at school. It’s a vicious cycle. I need to figure out a way to regain my motivation.

My depression is the main wall in getting my motivation back. I have spots of high motivation, but they last a couple days at most. Then my depression comes creeping back.

I have anxiety about my job mainly because I missed two days. This was due to a medical issue, but it still caused me a lot of anxiety. I tend to have bouts of imaging the worst possible thing that could happen, happen. I am enjoying my job a lot now though and logically I cannot see anything bad happening.

The way I dealt with this bout of depression, and many others, is attacking it with logic. I have a logic based thought process and using that is great for getting rid of anxiety and depression. I simply tell myself that depression does nothing to positively affect me. It is a negative feeling. Logic dictates that I do not need it. The same for my anxiety.

This is a way that I deal with my anxiety and I know it works for me. I am always looking for other ways to approach my depression, and I would like to see if other ways work well for others. Please comment if there is a technique that you use that really helps you. Thanks for reading.

Anxiety over the small things

I had my first panic attack in two months this morning. It felt alien to me and I have to say that I enjoyed the feeling being abnormal. What I mean by this is that I have had points in my life where panic attacks were a daily thing.

Admittedly, today’s panic attack was hard to get through and that is due to an unfamiliarity with the feelings that accompany them. Looking at the silver lining here is easy for me. It is good that I do not have to experience that kind of feelings as often. I hate having panic attacks, and I would say with confidence that it is one of the worst feelings that I have had to deal with.

Regardless of the frequency of my panic attacks, I did get through the one from this morning. I had an alright day. Depression is looming and I am fighting with myself to keep it at bay. What I find odd about my depression is that I can tell when it is coming. It seems that I make a decision prior to becoming depressed. That decision is whether I want to be depressed or not.

That sounds off though, does it not? I thought about it and I figured something out about me that I am still trying to wrap my head around. I sabotage myself. It is that simple. I do things that hurt me as a way to torture myself. So in a weird, non-physical way, I am harming myself. What I need to do to stop this cycle of behaviour is what I am doing right now. I need to write and record what I do. If I do this I know that the information is public and, in my head, that will stop me from sabotaging myself. Does this sound like something that could work? I am not sure about it, yet I need to give it a try.

Self-sabotage is not something that I should be engaging in. The more I think about it, the more I can look to events and credit myself for messing them up horribly. Just recently, as ashamed as I am to admit it. I lost my job. When I first thought about what I did and could have done to prevent this, my mind decided to omit something. I made myself feel sick and in turn, made myself believe I could not go to work.

I feel sick right now thinking about it. My anxiety is a 10/10 currently because of what this could mean for the other two people who live in my house. I need to know why I self-sabotage. It is imperative that I figure this out.

My first thought and probably my last thought on this is this. I am afraid of too much success. I want to fail because I am afraid of the social interaction that comes with success. As weird as it sounds I think I can pinpoint the moment that influenced this behaviour. It was when I started working on the newspaper at HACC. I am a great writer and I eventually proved that fact. I won an award for my writing and I was at an awards ceremony for just that. I had the third best personality profile in the state of Pennsylvania that year.

I had to get up and accept the award and I believe that this moment created a negative feeling in me. At least in my subconscious. I have continued to do well in my craft of writing and I have no doubt that I will win more awards, but I think that I will sabotage myself again. That is something that I need to stop.

Now that I have realized this, I think that I can break free of this. It is something that I need to do. I am going to need help though. I am asking everyone who reads this, whether you know me personally or read this blog, to help. I need to be reminded that I cannot self-sabotage myself. I need to be reminded that success is good and that failure, while not always bad, is a negative for the most part. I may be able to learn from failure, but I have failed on purpose so I need to be told that I cannot fail. I will not fail. I promise myself that.

Here is my piece that I wrote today:

 

Sliding through,

hate

I am contempt

hate

pure utter loathing.

hate

With this,

hate

I influence all.

hate

public perception,

hate

of all of the people.

hate

Is what I desire

hate