Tag Archives: Awareness

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!

 

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.

Sharing switch up/ Anyone out there?

It seems that I have times when my writing is horrible. Then, on other occassions, my writing is almost flawless.

I am looking mainly at the times that I write. The blog post that I posted earlier this afternoon was written Friday night and scheduled. With that in mind, I am going to do an experiment. To try to find out when my writing is at it’s best and when it’s at it’s worst. My hypothesis is that writing later in the day means it will be a better quality.

So, I am writing this post at 9:52 PM on Saturday night. I am going to schedule for tomorrow at noon tomorrow.

Now, for some updates. I have been having issues as of late. I do not want to go into specifics because of the sensitivity of the issue. If you want to know more, I’m sorry, it’s hard to talk about. Even with family, it has been hard to talk about.

Sufficient to say, I am torturing myself over something that I did. The guilt is piling up and grows greater every day. I am going to intensive therapy right now about this and getting the help I need.

If anyone who reads this suffers from autism and is willing to talk to me about a sensitive issue, could you please contact me? I want to talk to someone older than me and more experienced than me. I’m 26 just for reference. I want to get insight from someone on the spectrum.

I feel it’s necessary for me to talk to someone else on the spectrum. Thank you for any help that I might get.

Why am I so worried?

Obi-wan may have been sarcastic in the gif that I used above, but I am doing a good job, yet I have been having doubts as of late about myself and it is affecting my daily life in unproductive ways.

I am always worried that I am failing at something. It does not have to be anything concrete either, it can be something like life.

An example of a thought that I had the other day, “I am failing at life.” I know that this is an absurd statement and I am not failing at life, but I still feel like that sometimes. As of late, I have gotten better at conveying my thoughts and emotions through FaceBook messenger. There are a few people who let me vent to them and help me get through my emotions.

One of those people I developed feelings for and I convinced myself that I had these feelings for a long time. Even though they manifested due to an issue that I was having with someone else that we both knew. I made a fool of myself and I felt I was close to losing a dear friend of mine due to things that I said.

That is another thing that I perceive that I am failing at. That being relationships. Up until now, I have been terrified of being in meaningful relationships and I never truly pursued one, save the one from this past summer that I messed up. The past couple of weeks I have asked two people out. I was turned down by both and I think that caused a catalyst for me. I started behaving differently and I said things that I regret now.

The first girl I asked out was okay with me after the fact and I still would like to believe that we are friends, but there is a voice in the back of my head that says that I messed up any chance I might have had. Just at being friends, not in a romantic sense, and I let that voice’s power grow. That led to the situation with the second girl I asked out. She was kind enough to let me down easy and I appreciated that, but I developed this perverse thought that I could talk to her about anything. No boundaries and I said things and sent her things that I greatly regret. That voice telling me I was failing was in loudspeaker mode at that point.

Then, she forgave me. It was that simple. She forgave me for my stupidity and set boundaries that I would not cross. Even though I feel horrible with how I treated her, I am thankful that the situation happened. It showed me a great many things about myself that I had not realized up until that point.

Those things being that when I become attracted to someone I need to look at my inner self and tell it to slow down and be thoughtful. This is something I was not in the last situation I put myself. The second thing is that I need to really soul search myself. Not just the cursory glance like I usually do, but an in-depth analysis. I have feelings that need to be sorted out. I have habits that need to be broken.

As a result of all of this that has been happening, I have been having nightmares for the past four days. I hope by writing this piece I can stop them. I will let you guys know tomorrow if I have one.

Also, for a fleeting moment, I blamed my autism. It was just a moment, but long enough that I noticed it. I feel half sick that I would blame autism for this. I have beaten autism; at least I thought I had. I refuse to use it as a crutch though. I want to stand on my own and take the responsibility of what I have been doing. A lot of it has been wrong and I am working to fix it.

It’s good that I have recognized that I have a problem that needs to be addressed though and it is something that I can talk to with my support network. It is something that I have to talk with about with my support network.  I need to leave the thoughts I have been having behind and start moving forward. There are things I would like to have and I am working on ways to get those things. I got a job, but I am not sure when I start, but I am really excited for that.

Finances have been an issue for me as of late too. I am on disability and I am having a hard time making ends meet, hence the job. I am just worried about how much I am allowed to make versus my disability income. It seems to be a fine line; one that I need to explore. I also need to cut expenses. I make it sound easy, but it will require me to get rid of things that I love. Such as my magic cards. They hold value and I have need of value, so I will have to start selling some of the more expensive ones. I also need to start budgeting a lot better. I used to just spend money and hope that my parents could bail me out, but that is something that I need to stop doing. I am living in a house separate from them and there is no need for them to have to worry about my finances.

To go back to the title of the post, “Why am I so worried?” I think I have the answer to that question. I am an adult and I have to be responsible to take care of everything on my plate, and if I cannot start taking things off of the plate. Start dedicating more time to productive activities and do things to help me further my goals. It’s going to be a hard adjustment for me, but I know I can do it.

Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate it.

 

Just not the best day to be a introvert/ extrovert

I am able to talk about myself. Rather easily to be quite honest. Today, I did not really want to, but I did anyway. The reason that I did this is because I want to advocate for those with autism and all disabilities. Being autistic makes that hard sometimes.

Continue reading Just not the best day to be a introvert/ extrovert

I’m worn out, and it’s only Monday, I think

I am tired of being tired, but I have no idea how to not be tired. Being someone who cares a lot about a lot of different things, this should not come as a surprise to me. Getting emotionally invested in something can be rewarding, but also tiring.

What to do?

There are a few steps that I can think of that I can take. Number one being letting some stuff go. I am invested in a variety of things and may be stretching myself too thin. Organizing my time would also be helpful. My timekeeping skills are good, I just need to be practical when scheduling out my day. To be honest, I need to start doing that on paper, not just in my head. I have no self discipline and I need to teach myself how to respect the timer.

Using a timer would be of great benefit to me. I need to know what time it is all the time anyway, why don’t I just use a timer for my activities. I don’t think it would be hard to implement. Like I said above, I just need to respect the timer. When it goes off I need to look at my schedule and do the next thing. It will be good for the sake of efficiency. Which is also a thing that is making me tired.

Efficient, but what work do you do?

Sometimes I am told desk work is not real work. I don’t think I could get it through the people who say this head’s that desk work is still work. It does not have to be physically taxing to be considered work. At my internship I feel like I get what I need to get done, done and then I meticulously proof-read and edit. This needs to be applied to my everyday life.

That brings me to a question. What do you guys feel the quality of my blog is? Is it helping you or is it just a glorified journal for me?

Back to the topic at hand, I know that I can be efficient, but for some reason I cannot be at home. I do not know what my problem is here that I cannot commit to being efficient. This might be something worth looking into. At my internship I am know what needs done and I do it, but at home I have no direction, so I end up playing games way too much. I am not saying games are bad, but I have put too much time into them lately.

Physical Symptoms?

I am aware of the physical symptoms attached to weariness, and I have most of them. It is something that I am working on and something I hope to update you guys on soon.

Physical stuff is factor, there is no doubt there, and I know what needs to happen for all of those contributors to go away.

With that said I am going to go to bed now, I started writing this around 12 last night, so I am tired. Have a good day!

 

Increasing my sanity. How is it going?

I have noticed a shift in the amount of panic attacks that I have been having. 23 Days ago, I started to use social media a lot less. This was a result of some scary situations and some mental health issues. I needed to do something to stop my depression and anxiety. To that end, I cut social media usage by a lot.

I did a little research and I found out that others have found that lessening social media use can help with depression. Science Daily published an article that backs up my findings.

I have reported to myself for the past 23 days to check the amount of panic attacks, anxiety spikes, depression spikes, or paranoia. The findings that I had were positive for me. It is sufficient to say that everything has dropped by at least 50 percent.

There are a couple reasons why I decided to do this exercise. The end of the year at college was brutal on me. I had to drop my math class due to medical reasons and I was depressed at an alarming level. At that time, and only at that time, I did not feel safe. I want everyone reading this to know that I am safe now, and I am doing well these past three weeks. Besides that, I was getting weary of social anxiety and I was always anxious. Even in my own room at college. I did not feel safe there, in the classroom or even the Snapper Office.

Fear, Anger, self-hatred

20240559-broken-mind

To be blunt, I was keeping people deceived about my well-being. I want to apologize for that. The situation was dire, and I was in a bad place mentally. I was suicidal. The fact that I have revealed this to you all means I trust my readers. I trust you to understand and be accepting. You have all been supportive of me and my endeavors and I want you all to know I appreciate it.

To that end I want to extend an invitation to my readers. What do you do concerning your social media habits? I would be interested to see what others on the autistic spectrum experience. How much do you use it and why do you use it?

Concerning myself, social media had a huge impact on my sanity. As some of you know from a previous post, I was having a lot of trouble with social media. It led me to become obsessed with something. My fear of that happening again is what encouraged me to act on the amount that I used it. The amount of social media I consumed made me have misconceptions about the world and myself. Social media, for the most part, is the best of people. The highlight reel, if you will.

Think about it for a second. Do people post pictures of themselves when they are at their lowest? I would not think so, yet it may be now. What do you guys think? Do people use social media as an outlet more now, or is it a place to put just your success? It is both, and it is going to continue to be both. I posted to my Facebook and Instagram a lot in the time before I caught myself.

What was the impact on me?

I became distant to the real world to a degree. I took to social media and the news whenever I could. The need for information is what drove me. Whether it be over the obsession or something else, I was on my phone at least five times an hour. I have dropped that to twice or less an hour in gradual phases throughout the past few weeks.

With my experiment that I mentioned above, I dropped everything that was bad mentally by a significant margin. That left an impact on me. This impact enabled me to stop becoming obsessed and to become happy once again. This is not enough though. I need to do more and I am coming up with ideas on what I should do to do better.

I have a few ideas that I want to bounce off you guys. Most of these ideas I got from the website Lifehack. One idea that I really like and I am going to start to incorporate in deleting my social media apps off my phone. This will give me time to have social media on the computer and only the computer. Starting off slow is probably the best idea. So, I will delete Instagram first, then Facebook, then the rest of them.

Some Final Thoughts

Social media can be a great tool to use, but its overuse can be detrimental. I think it was damaging to me, and I want to try to reverse the effects of the fallout from social media addiction. I know that may be too strong of a word, but I need to impress upon myself that I need to do better. When I started this blog, I promised I would be transparent, and I failed that promise. I will do better. One thing at a time.

What is good about having Autism?

There are quite a few symptoms that go with being autistic. Such as having a obsession or sticking to a routine that you cannot break. Such as my undying love for Star Wars. If you would like to know a little bit more about the symptoms, I did another blog post for my internship that goes over it at length. Here is the link. I am not talking about those symptoms today though. I am talking about the good things that we are able to do while being autistic.

Autism pushes us to become better

As a member of the autism community I have learned quite a bit. I have met some amazing people who are also on the spectrum. Noting and reading all these success stories makes me happy. Once someone on the spectrum breaks free of the social anxiety confines, we are able to do so much more.
Take what I did last April during the Spring 2017 session. I got the school to light it up blue for autism awareness. It took a lot of courage on my part to even want to talk to the people who could help me. I had a lot of help as well. Members of the school participated in helping me. It is great knowing that there is a road towards acceptance and understanding that the world is traveling.
Another great thing that happened is that there is a website called Asperger’s Experts. It was created by people with autism to help others with autism. The website goes about treatment for autism in a social model rather than a medical model. What they say makes a lot of sense to me and I encourage all you on the spectrum to check them out.

Life without autism

I know that my life would be different at this point if I did not have autism. I would have graduated by now and I would also have a full time job. I could drive without any fear and I could do what I wanted to, when I wanted to. Am I upset that I have autism? No. It is a lot more complex than that though.
I am glad that I have been able to cope with having autism. It is good that I can label it and learn stuff about autism. A bad thing though, is that I had to deal with being autistic my whole life.

Wait, you like having autism!?

I get asked that sometimes and my answer always remains the same. It is better than being dead. I can deal with autism, I cannot deal with death. Autism is not the worst thing that can happen to you. That being said, I hate having autism. Although I am not upset about having it, I still hate the fact that I have it. The hand I was dealt has been tough, do not doubt that, but at the same time, I have dealt with having autism. Like I said above, I have done some amazing things for advocacy this past semester at school.

Advocacy? How can you do that? Simple, I broke free

With my advocacy projects, I am always trying to improve myself. The only way I can do that is by divulging that I have autism. It is not something to be ashamed of. People who have autism are born that way. There is nothing a person can do to stop autism. I believe that to my core. What a person can do is learn how to cope with being autistic. It is hard, but I believe in you. For those who do not have autism, but are related or a friend of someone who does, read these next words and take them to heart. You can help a lot, and you are one of the reasons that your relative or friend have been able to break out of their shells.
When I broke free of my social anxiety shell it was because of friends and family. Also a general curiosity from others wanting to know more about me. I never talked in high school but a few times. This garnered interest in the big guy, that being me, and people wanted to know what I was about. I felt the curiosity a lot. When I broke out of the shell, the world was a different place for me. I was still shy and scared to talk most of the time, but I made some great friends in my senior year of high school that I am still good friends with today.

Some final thoughts

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who read this. It means a lot to me. It makes me feel worthwhile and that I matter. My thoughts count for a lot when it comes to autism. I think that with some more help I will be able to do more with advocacy and bring acceptance worldwide for autism. Autism is not a disorder, it is merely an obstacle and one I plan on taking down. Again, thanks for reading and I will catch you guys another time.

Autism Awareness Month is Coming Up!

As some of you may know, April is autism awareness month. On April second I will be wearing blue to show my support and acceptance of others who have autism. I will be posting a lot of pictures of the stuff I plan on doing so stay tuned for that.

For those who are reading my blog and enjoying it, I would like to say thank you. Without you guys I do not think I would even bother writing this blog. It means a lot that you are taking time out of your day to read my ramblings. With that being said, I am going to do my best to have daily content from now on. I am not sure what it will be about, but I will try. It might be about Star Wars or video games, but I assure you it still has some value. Those are ways that I cope so just writing about it is helpful for me.

I am concerned though that by writing about many different things, I am spreading myself too thin. What are your thoughts on that? Please let me know. Especially other bloggers.

Now, back to the original topic. I have big ideas for my University regarding April second. There is a clock tower right in the middle of the campus and I want to light it up blue for Autism awareness day. I pride myself on being a self-advocate, but I want to change that to being a advocate for all people with disabilities. I feel like this is my calling. I need to help those who cannot help themselves by spreading awareness of what people with disabilities go through. Like I said in a post from a couple of days ago, I want to be an agent of change in this country.

I want as many people as possible to know my story. So, to that end, I will be writing up my life’s story on this blog. It will take a long time to fully write it, but once it is finished I will post it and I would like as many people as possible to read and share it. I want others to know it is not impossible to attain their dreams.

My initial dream was to graduate High School, when only close friends and family said I could. I did that. Now my dream is to graduate from college and go on to get my masters in journalism. I know I can do it, and I want to be an example to those who feel that they cannot.

April is a special month, and I want everyone to know that I am here. I may be autistic, but that will not stop me, it will aid me.

I will now close with a quote from Star Wars, “The Force will be with you, always.”

Agent of Change

If you have been reading my blog or are personally acquainted with me, you know I am autistic. 

What some do not know is that I also am a advocate for autism awareness. To further my goal of doing this I took some time to step out of MY comfort zone. April is autism awareness month and I have big plans for it. I want to participate in the light it up blue campaign that Autism Speaks does. 

To that end, I decided to enlist some help. I am hoping that I will be able to get the University that I attend, Millersville, to light it up blue. 

I have made contact with a couple of organizations and I am setting up stuff to promote awareness, and I am going to hopefully get a good reception. 

You can help me out by pledging to light it up blue this April! Just wear blue on April 2nd and help me spread awareness.