Tag Archives: Depression

Big Day Today

I am on the cusp of something great. I have been noticing a downward trend in my emotions over the past few months.

This trend is remminscent of how I have felt in my high school years. Back then, however, I could not detect it. I can now and I am taking steps to better myself.

I’ve told a few close friends about this already and I think I’ll keep the specifics to myself as to what I’ll be doing.

Just know, I am determined to defeat my depression, anxiety and paranoia. They have been disruptive lately.

I don’t want anyone to be overly concerned. I have had it worse than this and I persevered each time. I have no doubt that I will again. I will need support during this time, but I really don’t want worry to be a thing for me. I got this!

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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!

 

Drifting along

I have recently made a decision that will impact my life in a good way. The daily struggles of being in college and not being able to afford not even half of what I would like to afford is emotionally draining. That brings up the question, for me at least, why does money have to be a factor in my happiness?

The sad truth of it is that I measure my happiness based on material goods and generally stuff that I buy. That is not a way to live for me, yet it is becoming all the more harder to force myself to think that way. As some of you may know, I am on SSI, which is a government assistance program for people with disabilities or that cannot work.

I look forward to a monthly benefit from SSI. I attempt to work small, low paying jobs to try to supplement what I am missing from SSI and I get help from my parents. Due to my spending habits, however, I am usually in the lower end of my bank account all of the time.

I am used to the feeling at this point, but I would rather not endure the anxiety I feel when I cannot afford something at a store, or get something to eat that I have been craving. Sometimes, I cannot even afford groceries at the supermarket. At these times I ask my Dad for help and I am very thankful to him for helping me.

The fact of the matter is that I need to learn to manage my money better. That is not the purpose of this post though and it causes me anxiety to think about it honestly.

My depression, thankfully, is at a place where I am able to manage it pretty well. My anxiety, not so much, the smallest thing gets to me and little things that used to just annoy me cause things like panic attacks. My panic levels are at places where I can manage them, but they are becoming a nuisance as of late. I have been keeping track of my panic attacks and, on average, I have eight to ten a week. I feel like I am able to maintain myself at this time and I am not super concerned, but it is something that I am going to be bringing up soon with my psychiatrist.

I apologize for not updating this site for awhile; I have been in college and I never really got a chance to devote time to the blog. I honestly missed writing a lot and this has been very therapeutic for me.

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!

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.

Social Fumbling

I try hard to understand social cues and the like. To be honest, I am steadily getting better at it. Then I mess up something and I feel worthless each time.

The “fumble” in question had to do with political stuff. I have a democratic socialist viewpoint and majority of my family do not, or do not care enough.

That being said, I get in debates with various members of my family about the current President, Donald Trump. In my opinion he is incompetent and dangerous. Nothing that he has done has been beneficial to this country. Now, this is my opinion and I respect others rights to having their opinions. I think the critical thinking required to understand politics has helped me.

I hate that politics create rifts between me and other family members. It tears me up inside. I, from a moral standpoint and many others, can not support the current President.

The fact that I brought politics to this blog upsets me. I do not want to be that type of blog. I want it to help others on the autistic spectrum and those associated.

It seems when I mess up socially, I need to process it. I look back at the conversation for hours trying to figure what I could have done. I know this to a frivolous pursuit though. Learning to accept what the past is and using it as a learning tool should be how I approach it.

I am sitting at a table in the house staving off a panic attack because of this. Wishing I could change how I acted prior. Writing all of this is helping though.

I am going to continue doing my best, but I need others to know, I am not perfect. About as far away as you can be actually, but I’m trying.

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.