Depression & Autism Diaries: Free writing diary 1.

31st December 2020

I picture a slug slowly disintegrating in on itself under a pile of salt.

This picture comes to mind as all the noise in my head gets too much and all the things surrounding me feel like weights pulling me down.

I am the slug.

And the world around me and my own brain is the salt.

But the brain of course is me which means I am the salt as well as the slug.
How a slug that dies from salt yet creates its own salt evolved is beyond me, but here I am.

Perhaps I’m evidence that evolution is a con and God is real and so is the Devil. Perhaps I’m created not by God but by the Devil?

That would be the case if it’s true that God is all loving, wouldn’t it? He wouldn’t create me this way, just to ‘test’ me?

I can’t think of anything more evil.

Sometimes when I listen to religious people I find myself having a thought, ‘The bible is satanic.’
I think it’s been inverted, they think the book they read is the inspired word of God. But what if it was the Devil? To me that makes more sense of some of the horrific things in the bible.

Of course, in reality I don’t believe in God or the Devil.
But sometimes I do ponder, if, perhaps, maybe, the book they preach from has always been an inversion of what should be good and ‘proper.’

I also noticed as I typed this, free wheeling it, no plan, no idea what may come out, that the word inspired has sin in it.

I never meant to type up about God, the Devil and religion. What prompted me to write was the image of the slug in my head and then I figured from there I’d probably talk about nature and my place in it, or my feelings of a lack of place in it.

Or my place in it is a slug or some other kind of ‘pest.’

This is the kind of head space I’m in right now.

It’s been brewing for a few months now, I think. My Depression ebbing and flowing in my brain.

Days forgotten because I don’t think I did anything but sit in the same spot all day.

Days remembered because the stress of something, usually quite small to a ‘normal’ person has gotten to me. Nights remembered where I’ve googled the word, ‘suicide.’

The thoughts that occur in my head that when thought about too much bring on pangs of guilt.

Things like, ‘I wish I didn’t have to carry on living for the sake of others.’  After reading articles about the aftermath of suicide and those left behind.

Also, ‘I wish I didn’t have to deal with the budgie.’ Because then I wouldn’t have to deal with the idea that he may be stressed moving to a new place when I’m gone.

In the end I come to the conclusion that I’m stuck here.
That if the thought of other peoples stress makes it too much for me to die by my own hand, then I guess I have to stick around.

Plus, when I’ve had that thought, what is there left to lose. Do all the things I fear matter when I want to die anyway?

yet the anxiety is still there.

Initially this idea that I stick around for others sake mean I’m trapped so may as well just stick with it all is somewhat comforting. Relaxing even.

But the days roll on and the nights blink by and the feelings of emptiness grow.
Emptiness is the only word I can think to describe it but really it’s a fullness of something, but that something it self can only be described as empty.

It’s empty fullness.

The emptiness is a fullness that becomes restlessness.

And tiny things are irritating.

Everything is a chore.

The budgie keeps me going.
I enjoy his company.

The Jays keep me going.
I enjoy their presence.

But I’m not so sure these days that ‘enjoy’ is the right word.

Because I’m full of empty.

Depression is like being bloated with empty air. With a somethingness that merges towards ‘nothing’.

It’s like when you see a garden with weed crawling through the spokes of wheels.
Have you ever tried to move something that has become an anchor to knotweeds? Whatever they can grab a hold of becomes its hostage.

But according to one source on how to kill off Japanese knotweed, covering the area with a tarp to completely cut off it’s light supply can help.

Perhaps I need to live in darkness until the weeds are dead and I’m no longer held hostage.

All these thoughts

All these thoughts swim
Till they run
Merging and
Words become undone
Falling away
Somewhere hidden
The thoughts gone
But the feelings remain
Without a name

And then a new thought
Falls into view
Only to fall away
Before you really knew
And the feeling grows
But the words, you do not know

And you wonder
Something
Somewhere
The letters of the thoughts
R
u
n
n
i
n
g
.
.
.
.

Clown

I etched onto my face
A fucking clowns grin
An inside out frown
So you wouldn’t know
I was down

But I’m down and out
I took my clothes off
I shaved my hair off
And I walked down the road
Police picked me up
And took me to the hell hole
And they wiped my grin off
They said I was crazy
Said this is who you are
The man with a perpetual frown
So they sewed up my mouth
And pulled the strings
Until my lips smiled
Like the skeleton beneath

They took me to a clown show
And they stood me on a table
Shifted the corners of my mouth
Looked at my teeth and then turned me around
Said I came third
Pinned a rosette to my collar and cheered
But I was the only clown
And then I pinched my nose
And the crowd laughed out loud.

Certified Adult

One of my many recurring dreams involves becoming suicidal (something that happens in my real life sometimes too) to the point that I end up being taken to hospital.
I always end up in the same ward I was on in my teenage years.
As a nod to the fact I’m now actually an adult, the doctors find me a room reluctantly, only on the basis that I will be moved to the appropriate hospital and ward the next day.
The nurses and doctors always tell me it’s time to stop going there and I always reply with the question, “So what do I do instead?” they shake their heads and look at me with a tired, exasperated expression on their faces.
In the dream, I am very aware I’m an adult on an adolescent ward and ironically in real life, the idea of being around adolescents is actually my idea of a nightmare. But this just goes to show how much more fucked up the wards are for adults.

Now I’m categorised as an adult and therefore also classified as someone who should be doing something ‘useful.’

Any argument from me that I don’t cope with the world ‘out there’ and with wider society and all the things expected of us, is met with disbelief and a constant need to try to bolster up my confidence.

But I wish to provide food for thought against this mentality and push to have it be a ‘confidence issue.’

Many of my school reports mention how I’m a ‘good pupil’ and ‘very quiet’ there will also be mention of my clear social problems. Talk of how I need to learn and gain more confidence along with stark warnings that I will ‘struggle to cope in the ‘bigger’ world’ if I continue on my more than ‘normal quiet’ and ‘abnormal social etiquette’ trajectory.
To a teacher actually paying attention, they may also note a slow learning process.

But for most teachers, the attention was entirely upon my lack of social ability and perhaps my apparent ‘loneliness. If I managed to make a friend, and it should also be noted that some of those ‘friendship’s were forced upon me by the teachers, it would be lauded as a massive deal. Little did they know was that a few of my so-called ‘friendships’ lead to more alienation than I had before I met them for one straightforward but tragic reason, I was easy to take advantage of.
It wasn’t me they were congratulating when I ‘made a friend’, It was themselves.

It wasn’t just teachers, it was other kids parents. I knew very well their sons and daughters didn’t want to invite me to their birthday party and guess what? I wasn’t bothered because I didn’t want to go to their damn party anyway! But their parents insisted I be invited. I know it was their parents because kids being kids didn’t hide it very well, especially if their mother was with them. They’d turn to their mother, looking up at her and say, “But, mum!” as they held tight a crumpled invitation that was for me. And their mother in that hushed tone they try to do, “You can’t invite everyone else and leave them out!” They say while they looked at you through the corner of their eye and thought themselves safe from observation becasue I didn’t look at peoples faces. But I have periphery vision, and I’m actually more observant than anyone would give me credit for.
But they, along with teachers, saw a kid who lacked confidence, and through this perception, they forced ‘friendships’ and ideas onto me. They invited me to their daughters and sons parties with a feeling I imagine of having done a good thing.

Through everyone’s mission to make me a ‘confident’ ‘normal person’ I lost confidence.

I became so ultra-aware of my social quirks and awkwardness that my social awkwardness actually became more magnified. Because while I was trying to be more ‘normal’ I was failing and also feeling rather uncomfortable trying to be normal and so I ended up perpetually embarrassed. Which only added to the cycle of more adults trying to ‘bolster up my confidence.’

Fast forward to that year I ended up on the adolescent ward deeply unhappy, self-harming and constantly on the edge of suicide and my confidence really was a non-existent thing.
But there in that hospital was an allowance for my weirdness while also making friends, with talk of once again upping my confidence but in an environment where my weirdness was allowed to be part of my confidence.
I would make no claim that I gained full self-confidence. I used humour, sarcasm as a way of trying to be somewhat more ‘normal’ and soon sarcasm became a way of life for me and I don’t regret that.
My sarcasm comes from a place of finding much of humanities hilarious sayings and thoughts into their logical conclusions. My sarcasm is in effect a very literal sense of humour.
All in all, despite my illness putting me in the hospital it did become a place I ultimately came to feel a sense of belonging.

My Depression remained ever-present and still remains to this day, and I doubt it’s a thing that will ever truly go away for me.
I remember sad times in that hospital, I remember moments of emptiness as I lay in my bedroom after having spent the earlier evening joking with other patients.
But I found my sense of humour in that hospital because I was finally able to use my creativity in an environment that seemed to fit me more than ‘mainstream’ schools and environments.

And what I have learnt is that ‘out there’ in that wider world I truly am a fish out of water. And while therapists, support workers, social workers may want to push an idea of growing confidence I hope they’ll pause and think.

Too quick are they to jump to that idea rather than see that maybe I’m right. And maybe me not being able to be ‘out there’ in that wider world is okay.

I know that for me I only seem to ‘progress’ in specific environments and once you take me out of that environment I’m like a fish out of water.

So obsessed with the idea of being and becoming ‘useful’ we have become that we want to try and make people fit a square peg through a round hole.
We want to get people like me to a certain point of ‘functioning’ and then say, “Farewell and good luck.”
And if I say I don’t think that day will come and or should come for something that is lifelong I will be labelled as someone doesn’t want to help themselves. Someone reluctant to try.

But I’m not saying I don’t try or won’t try, I’m saying that when I function my best I’m not functioning my best because I’m now suddenly ready to be ‘out there’ it’s because in the best environment for me.

And it’s not to say that I don’t wish to challenge myself, but rather that so many ‘normal’ things are challenging for me.

When we say, “Farewell and good luck,” What do I do then?

Autism: Instructions and executive dysfunction

I read somewhere on my travels through autistic information, that it’s usually best to tell someone with autism what to do when giving instructions rather than what not to do.

I remember when I read that I had a light bulb moment.

It resonated with me, a lot!

The number of times I look like a bumbling fool when being instructed to do something where they have told me a whole list of things of what not to do is uncountable.

I’ve spent my life looking like a clumsy, bumbling idiot, seeming to be unable to follow the simplest of instructions.

There are a few reasons for this. Giving me a list of instructions is overwhelming to me, I don’t know quite why. I can’t quite fathom what it is, only that my brain just goes into an explosive mode. It’s like the list is swimming in front of me with of all these possibilities and even though technically the list may be ordered well, my brain seems to perceive it as chaotic and a mindfuck.

The other reason is I have always struggled to keep up with the sequences of the instruction, especially if it’s verbal.

You could simply state to me how to do something seemingly very simple, by the time you’ve gone through all the instructions and sequence of events to land on the finished idea/product etc, my brain has forgotten a lot of the previous steps you told me already. I’ll often find myself remembering the last instruction only, the rest has gone.

And then if you tell me what to do, and then say what not to do, all I can remember is what I’m not supposed to do.

In fact, for some reason, it doesn’t matter which comes first if you tell me what not to do first and then tell me what to do, or the reverse, I still seem to struggle the moment someone tells me what not to do.

Some instructions are literally only based on what not to do! And with these I become dumbfounded. It’s not that I don’t understand not to do the thing you just told me not to do, it’s that I can’t seem to extrapolate from that, what TO DO instead.

I realise how this sounds. It sounds like a person who is not only dumb but also has no creativity.

It’s not that there is a lack of creativity, but that my creativity can only bounce off what I do know.

Since I read that sentence about it being best to tell us what to do, rather than what not to do, I’ve tried to make sure that anyone giving me instructions or whatever tells me what to do only!

By that, I’m talking simple things.

For example, my mum is often the person who drives me to appointments during the week. When I need to book an appointment I often need prompting and reminding, but I also have to book appointments on days she can drive me.

In the past, I’ve been given a list of the dates she can’t! And it always messes with my mind! So last time I told her only to write down the days she CAN do.

And it was much easier for me.