Category Archives: New Stuff

Why Do I Write?

This is a simple question that deserves a complex answer. Using answers that are expected— such as it being therapeutic, or me being required to do it for my job, or even just for the pure joy of writing— no longer satisfies me. I want to understand the emotion I derive from writing. Does my writing grant me blissful ignorance to the world’s problems? Does it compound the issues I face as a college student?

Regardless, one thing is certain, writing provides me with some form of comfort. While this is a common occurrence for writers, I find myself wanting to know more about the inner workings of my own personal writings. I want to unravel what goes on in my head as I write. Being that I garner no real thrill from academic writing, this self-discovery will mostly relate to my creative writings. After all, it’s the dreaded time of the year that Millersville holds their (or a different verb) final exams.

Throughout my personal history, I have had multiple instances of straying into the dark path of depression and anxiety. During those times, my creativity came alive; and with that creativity came a flair for dark and disturbing writings. When I attended Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), I wrote a piece called “Begotten by Hate.” Looking back, this piece was objectively horrible. Reading that story brought me back to a time where the dark thoughts ran rampant. I hated everyone and everything, and the best way I knew to express it was through writing. Thankfully, I am well past that point in my life.

Nowadays, my writing has taken on a more existential flair. My writing is filled with questions about life and what it truly means to be happy. I know it may seem odd to question happiness, but that is how I navigate my way around such emotions. Happiness feels like a foreign concept, as for most of my life, I have felt the complete opposite. Writing is a beacon of hope in these instances, and it is interesting to see what types of conversations I get in with myself over the meaning of life.

A complex answer as to why I write is that I want to not only inform the public, but I want to protect the American people. In recent news, a journalist was butchered in Turkey at a Saudi Arabian embassy. Parts of my family now question whether or not my career path is safe. In all honesty, it does not matter.  In times like these, the need for journalists is greater than ever before.

The reason I write is because it is my duty to use this talent to help others and inform the public. And, though it may seem selfish, I want to prove skeptics wrong. I have autism and I want to prove that it is not, and never will be, a hindrance to my writing. I was told in high school that I would never graduate, and that I would never end up making it to college. Sufficient to say, I kicked down that door of doubt. I am thriving in college and I credit that, in great part, to my writing skills. I proved that guidance counselor wrong and I am continuing to prove that autism does not automatically mean you won’t make it far in life. Autism is not a hindrance to neither me, nor my writing.

Also, huge shout out to a good friend of mine. My EIC at the Snapper is a great human being and helps me out a ton. She even edited this for me!

 

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Rebel Cause Lancaster

I have recently become involved in a charity organization in Lancaster, PA. It is known as Rebel Cause Lancaster.

What is great about me joining Rebel Cause is the validation that it gave. Prior to learning about the group I was close to a point where I did not know what to do with Star Wars. I still loved the franchise, but I had no one to share this love with. I am not even sure how I came across Rebel Cause, but I wrote an article about them for my school newspaper, The Snapper. You can find the article here.

I never imagined what would become of my interaction with Kaden Patrick, the illustrious leader of Rebel Cause, at the American Bar and Grill in Lancaster. Long story short, I joined up with Rebel Cause as a social media/ writer guy.

We recently had an event at a bar in Lancaster called Rumplebrewskins. The event was a great success and I am amazed at how the Star Wars community came together to raise money for Water Street Rescue Mission. It made me proud to be a Star Wars fan once again.

I had lost that pride prior to meeting Kaden and getting it back was one of the greatest feelings I have ever had. Star Wars means many things to me, but the main thing is it was, and continues to be, my rock. It has always been there for me and I will always appreciate what it has done for me.

Knowing that Rebel Cause has my back now is great. Like I said earlier, I feel valid in my love for Star Wars.

Thank you Rebel Cause. You turned out to be my New Hope.

Ashamed of my own thoughts?

When it comes to sharing my thoughts on mental illness I am not usually one to falter in expressing myself. I have always thought of myself as an advocate for those who have a mental illness. Lately, I feel like I am failing at being an advocate for myself. I have come to terms with autism long ago, but I feel uneasy about other parts of my mind.

I am referencing my high school years and my feelings that I had back then. In direct relation to the most recent school shooting in Parkland. The more I think about it, the more depressed I get, and it has been quite a few days of thinking. I feel ashamed of what I was and I wish there was some way that I could go back and shake myself out of it.

Using a scaling system is probably the best way to describe my mental shortcomings from back then.

Anxiety – 10/10

Depression 10/10

Paranoia – 10/10

Fear – 9/10

Those were the big four for me back then. Specifically when I was 16. It was my junior year in High School. I was always anxious that I was failing at being a good person. That, in turn, depressed me and caused me to fear repercussions. Namely the reemergence of my suicidal thoughts that I had when I was 14. I do not like to think about my ninth and tenth grade years that often, but if I do, I remember the first time I started cutting, the first time I burnt myself, the first time I attempted to kill myself. I hate what I was back then and I am terrified, currently, that it is going to all happen again. I can feel the claws of depression digging at me at this very moment.

I do not currently need a more intensive treatment at this time. The big reason for that is because I am a genius at planning ahead for this kind of thing. I have my support network, I have my family, friends, my roommates, the magic club, the snapper editorial board, my icm, my therapist and psychiatrist, and close friends that I confide in on a daily basis. I am calling out to these people with this post, I need help and I am going to need you to help me get back on my feet. I need to beat the depression once again before it overtakes me one more time.

The first thing that I need to do is tackle the anxiety and the fear. They both feed the paranoia and the depression. What makes me anxious? The question used to be really easy to answer. Being around people was my biggest stressor. That is not saying it still is not a huge stressor sometimes, but its effectiveness at stressing me out has severely diminished over the years.

I think that the dominant stressor now is this: hiccups in social interactions and what to do with said hiccups. What I mean by hiccups are perceived mistakes that I make in conversation or interaction with other people. They could be legitimate mistakes too, I am not above admitting that I am horrible at reading people. I do not understand body language and when I try to read lips, I end up botching it. With this perceived mistakes though, I need a helping hand. I need the people I make these mistakes with to be understanding if they are in my network. I am not a perfect person, but I am striving to do all that I can in learning body language.

A common mistake that I make is when I am talking to girls. This one is embarrassing to admit, but I try to look into peoples eyes when I talk to them. When I talk to a girl that is pretty to me, I cannot hold eye contact. I end up looking directly at their chests and I know that it makes them uncomfortable. It’s not on purpose, I really want to emphasize this. I respect all people and I pride myself on being able to hold eye contact when I am talking to someone. It’s just something that I need to work on. I have no way of getting better at this though, at least that is how I view it. Once I start looking down, I feel embarrassed and try to get away from the conversation so I can privately berate myself for my stupidity. I do not try to make women uncomfortable, I really do not and I do not know what to do about this particular issue.

I could write for hours on what I think my social miscues are, but I do not think that it would be very productive. I think I need to start taking action against myself for this type of behavior.

The second thing that needs to be looked at is my fear levels. They are stable at this point, but I would be lying if I said I was not concerned about them. I have conquered many of my fears lately, but there are still a few that are pretty big obstacles. I have unwarranted fears. Things like fearing that a meteorite will pinpoint my location and surgically hit me so I go into a coma for three years exactly. See how outrageous that sounds. That is the type of thought patterns that my head goes through. It was even worse back in tenth grade though. It was at that point in my life that I had a morbid mind and I would rather not go into specifics of what my thoughts were. Sufficient to say, I needed the hospital at that point. It was not a healthy pattern that I adopted back then.

I am afraid of my old self, to summarize, and I will do anything to not let that person come back. I just need a little help from my friends, as Joe Cocker would say.

Regret? No, not really

I decided something today after yesterday’s rant. It has nothing to do with the rant, just consider that a shameless self-plug.

What I decided is that I am going to be honest with myself. I lie to myself a lot, and that is not a good habit to have. The one that comes to mind the most is my weight issues. I am doing great with my weight loss, but I would be lying to say that I have not had my fair share of “cheat days.” There is also the aspect of my romantic life, or should I say lack of. I have been told by a lot of people that I will find someone someday. I believe that, but I am getting to the point where I am becoming discouraged about it.

It all goes back to the regret that hangs over my head about my high school years and my early college career. There were several people that I wanted to get to know better. Not even for base needs, but because I saw something in those people that I thought was special. I was never able to say anything to them because of my anxiety, but I am in contact with some of them still. I wonder what responses I would get now? It is interesting to think about, to say the least.

What always confused me about that was that they initiated contact with me. Whether it be through becoming a friend on Facebook or just saying hello to me. You see, in high school, I was in self-exile due to what I felt I was doing wrong and I would not allow myself to have any friends. Thankfully that changed in my senior year, but the fact remains I forced myself to feel lonely in high school. I was an enigma in high school. I did not talk, socialize, or really participate at all. That thought takes me back to gym class in my sophomore year. This is a year that I would rather forget but for a few moments. My class was running a mile that day and I surprised myself and actually tried. I wanted to beat my time from the freshman year and I did.

I think what helped me do that is that I was being cheered for. I, at the time, had no idea why anyone would ever cheer for me to finish running. I was embarrassed and mad that people were interacting with me. They did not seem to realize how much I hated myself back then. Looking back, I was starving for an interaction of some kind. I was a self-imposed loner and I had it in my head at the time that I hated everyone and everything. This was all except for Star Wars and my music.

One other thing I remember from that year was a particular girl that I never talked to directly but that I always wanted to. I remember one day she looked at me with curiosity. At least I think it was curiosity. I’m not really sure and it doesn’t matter at this point. It was in my driver’s education class and I remember more from that class than that of any other class in high school. All because of one girl’s look of curiosity.  I do not know if it matters right now, but I would have loved to talk to her at least once back then.

Regret is something that I often feel, but I do not feel that right now, as one might think, but just a sense of loss. A lost opportunity to break out of my shell earlier. The shell was about 20 layers deep and only one person ever got through and broke it.

That person turned out to not actually exist, but I digress.

I wish that I could have spent my high school years mostly at high school. All but my senior year, I was in the hospital for mental health issues. I did make a few lasting friends in high school and in the hospital too, but I feel I missed far too much high school.

I lied to myself so much in high school that I believed myself and it cost me a lot. I will say no more to that notion. I am going to be truthful to myself from now on. I know I can do it and I know that it will affect some of my relationships with people good and bad, but this is something that I must do.

Thanks for reading!

Anxiety that does not matter, stuff that does matter

Had an unusual thing happen today. I had a panic attack. Now, some of you are confused, but let me explain.

I had a panic attack and it did not matter. Calling it a panic attack is an overstatement in every sense of the word. It was an anxiety spike.

What did I do to said spike? I broke it. I silenced it. It is properly dead and buried. I’m laying down for the night and I’m listening to Dio’s Rainbow in the dark. I have to agree with the song. My demons are gone. They do not trouble me anymore.

Now, my rant.

I thought after what happened in Florida, I would be a wreck, but I’m not. Not trying to lessen what happened in Florida, but I feel good about this reaction.

Simply put, I was a person, in my teen’s, that was sympathic towards the shooter. I am in no way shape or form like that now, but my teen’s were a dark time for me.

I condemn what happend, but I am also realistic that nothing more can be done by me. I registered to vote for my new address and I am, unfortunately, resigned to the fact that it will happen again. I hate that more will die.

After inaction after Sandy Hook though, nothing will change. Nothing.

I hate politics, but I have decided to become a lot more active politically. I want to see the change that my generation can bring in.

It is not just a gun issue, same for mental health. It’s a moral issue. (I have to credit a writer for the Snapper for letting me edit an article of his for this perspective.)

America is sick and it needs to change. Not just one law banning bump stocks or something of that nature. We need reform. We need to take our country back. We need to break the stigma that our generation, the millennials, are useless, entitled, crybabie. Dammit, 17 people are dead. They are not coming back and that pisses me off.

Nazis, white supremacists, alt-right, and many other fringe groups have a choke hold on our country and I’m sick of it. I hate that a massacre had to happen to wake me up and get me angry.

I swear, things will change in this country. It’s about survival now and we need to get our heads back in the game. Stop being entitled. Stop acting like your better for whatever stupid reason you have. White people are not the best, neither are blacks, Latinos, Asian, gay, bisexual, what have you. We are all human and we need to come together and not hate each other.

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

 

Back at School, Stress gets renewed

Being back at school has brought with it a sense of accomplishment and a sense of dread. The feeling of accomplishment is the fact that I am able to even go to school. That makes me happy. The sense of dread comes from the fact that I have no job currently. I am afraid that I will fail at finding a job and fail my roommates. I do not want them to shoulder the financial burden.

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