Tag Archives: Skills

Taking the next steps in recovery

As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, I am taking measures to better deal with my depression and anxiety. I have decided to work on that exclusively during my winter break from school.

I’m safe, but I do not like the road I am traveling. Going farther down this path will lead to an inpatient stay at a mental health hospital and that is the last thing I need right now.

That’s all for this morning. I’ll update when I am able.

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.

Overthinking again

I tend to overthink from time to time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, yet it troubles me when it happens. It has, unfortunately, become a habit of mine to react. My reaction is usually screwing up something. This is due to me overthinking something and then thinking some more on it.

Thinking on it, when I am like this, it usually is because I get in a social mood. What I mean by this is I talk to a lot of different people. That then translates to more social cues and interactions. I tend to mess up those two sometimes. I am practicing working on this though.

With more social cues comes more thinking and overanalyzing said cues. Or just missing them completely. That is still super common for me.

I am trying really hard not to overthink stuff. I just do though, and its definitely something that needs work. Then again, I do not know if it is something that can be worked on. It might just be something I deal with from having autism. If so, no big deal, I will just move on. If it is something I can work on, well, then it needs investigated, and ultimately, conquered.

Regardless of how it turns out, it is a trait of mine I would like to work on. To at least better my understanding of the puzzle that is autism.

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.

 

A place that should not feel comfortable, yet it did

I just left New York City. I have been there since Wednesday. I was there because I was attending a conference for journalism. I was quite content there, much to my surprise. Cities are usually a place I do not feel very comfortable in. All the people and all of the sensory things.

I was fine though. Being self aware helped me out for this trip. I had one anxiety spike the whole trip. Not to say there were no stresses, but I did well and had a lot of fun.

My fear going on this trip was that it would be a repeat of last year’s trip and I am happy to say I was wrong. I attended panels and networked with professionals in the journalism field.

I was able to build connections with the rest of the staff for the paper too. I cherish the connections I made this past weekend.

The trip was a success on many levels. I revealed sides of myself that I have never done before. I was communicating what I needed a lot better than usual and I adapted to situations when the need arised.

I am thankful for the group I was able to go with. They are a great group of people. I’m glad that I know them. I never thought I would be at this point in my life. Where I have friends thar legitimately care about me. Before, I did not think I was worthy of that. Now, my thinking differs from that perception.

I learned stuff about myself too during this trip. I revealed my super analytical side to a member of staff and that person is now a confidant for me. I have three now! I never in my life thought I would have such good friends.

Thank you Snapper. I really appreciate you guys.

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.

With great anxiety, comes great opportunity

When anxious there are a lot of things that could be causing it. It could be social situations. social situations or social situations. It could be a lack of sleep
All kidding aside, I have an anxiety disorder that inhibits me a lot. At least it appeared that way.
Spider man
Even Spiderman gets anxiety.
Almost every time I experience anxiety there is something gained from it. This may sound confusing, but what I mean by this is that I am anxious because I took an opportunity. An opportunity that is making me anxious. An example is the interview for my internship. I was anxious during the entire interview, but I got the internship. That means that, in my eyes, I can use my anxiety as something positive.
The way I plan on doing this is by being mindful. Being mindful has always been a cornerstone for me anyway, but I want to apply it in a different way now. When I get anxious I cannot think straight. What if, I note when I start to get anxious and use that knowledge to become hyper aware? I do this to an extent already for my panic attacks, but it needs to extend to my anxiety as well.
Coping with my panic attacks has given me a lot of insight. With my panic attacks I have become fluent in detecting them and dealing with them as they happen. Why can I not apply that to general anxiety? The answer is simple, I can and I should.
My anxiety has been a constant issue for me as of late and I am hoping this new technique will help relieve some of it. It is hard to function at a correct level when you are anxious a good deal of the time. Anxiety can be debilitating and scary, but believe me, you can get through it. I do, I do not do so in an efficient manner though.
With using a new technique it can always go well, or it can go bad. I am going to use the techniques that I developed with panic attacks, but with general anxiety. I am going to try this out for a week or so. Then I will post about it again. Here’s to hoping it works!
For another post I am wanting to do a experiment. I am going to do a bunch of anxiety worksheets, but I want to know what you guys think I should do. I am linking the website that I found the worksheets.
I would like some feedback on some of the worksheets. Do them for yourself, or give them to someone you know. Thanks for reading!