Meditation diaries: In which I just ramble and call it meditation diaries only because it was a ‘series’ I started…

Often life feels like you have this constant ‘thing’ chasing you. Be it the Depression, the anxiety the overwhelmingness that seems to come simply from having Autism. I don’t want to call it a black dog, that’s just…insulting to black dogs. Quite frankly if I did have a black dog following me I’d probably be pretty happy with the black dog (unless it was an aggressive dog following me to attack me of course).

Not sure why people use that black dog metaphor, especially when we supposedly love dogs so much. Why would you call Depression or anything else like it ‘the black dog that follows me’? Seems a rather strange one to me. Perhaps it should be clarified that it’s a rabid black dog. In which case that would certainly be depressing because that dog is really fucking ill and will need to be put down.

And dying dogs are a very depressing idea.

I went to a cardiac clinic today to check on my heart. I was overdue my heart check-up anyway but the reason I went today was that I have been having palpitations.

And the truth is the older I get the more aware I’m becoming of the fact my heart condition isn’t ‘cured’ and never will be. Not that I ever thought it would be cured, but the point is the older I get the more the risks of further complications with my heart go up a notch.

And that’s from a heart that was already very much at risk as a child.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m either thankful I haven’t started having heart failure yet, and thus actually appreciating life.

But then there are the other moments when it’s all I can think about, “Shit, my heart is gonna fail, my heart is gonna fail! It’s going to fucking fail!”

And then to conflict that I have the depression that sometimes tells me, “You’re better off dead anyway,” but then that ends up being quite relaxing because then I just sort of start relaxing into this state of mind where “Welp, my heart might start to fail, but whatever. Who cares.”

I know ultimately that my life expectancy is shorter than average.

Some people use that sort of fact to their advantage. They use it as a means to appreciate every day more because their life really is short!

But I struggle with that.

Because the world is often so overwhelming to me. I always feel like a sort of fish out of water trying to navigate through life and social interactions.

This isn’t really a woe is me post. It looks it though.

I mean what I am trying to say is that I do appreciate some aspects a lot more the more I come to the realisation I’m at least maybe early middle age in terms of my heart condition and life expectancy? I mean I could be totally wrong. I could defy the statistics. And last longer than expected

Or

I could die tonight. I could die tomorrow. Or next week or whenever.

And yea sure it can help put things into perspective.

Like when some arsehole screams at you for no reason that makes sense and you’re thinking, “You fucking prick,” you take a breath and you think “Well, what’s the use arguing. We’re all gonna be dead one day anyway. So why argue with a person who won’t even listen to a word you say anyway?”

But I find another part of me, the part of me that is like a terrier with a bone, he wants to grip that bone and he wants to never let it fucking go.

As with all terriers, he’s fucking cute.

But he’s also an angry cunt who barks. Too fiercely.

Currently, I appreciate Jays (birds) and yea, all other birds actually. And dogs. I love dogs. And did I tell you I love Jays?

But I’ve also got some things bugging me.

Too much is changing at once. The local council are changing things. Support is changing. Nothing feels in its place and it feels like my brain is being electrocuted. My life doesn’t feel in it’s place.

And that screaming prick. And others response to it all. “Just ignore him,” Well thats all well and good but I ignore the person 90% of the time. I’m not a fucking brick.

But what really, really, really grinds my fucking gears…

All the responsibility is being put on my shoulders to ignore them. What about putting some responsibility at his door?

I sound like a sibling who’s younger brother or sister gets away with everything, don’t I?

*sighs*

I try to set out to be the image of myself I have inside my head. And I’m always falling short of it.

I’m not a duck either. I can’t let things just let it go like water off a ducks back. What kind of oil would I use to make that ‘water’ go off my back? I don’t have a preen gland that produces oil to make it just drip right off me.

Which is partly why I fall short of my ideal self because I wish to be a duck. If only to have a corkscrew shaped penis.

Meditation diaries: On Autism and Empathy overload.

Since being officially diagnosed with Autism it’s been a relief while also being hard to get my head around.

Funny how once you get something you suspected confirmed more doubts than previously come to the surface.

One thing that has often thrown me off course to seeing anything about my suspected autism for a while was the stereotype of autism and lack of empathy. Because I most certainly don’t lack empathy.

But recently it’s come to my attention that the idea of autism and lack of empathy may be a misleading concept.

And I can see how this arises from things I’ve experienced and it makes sense.

See there is a paradox (as with most things human and brain-related it seems!) between lack of empathy and too much empathy.

They can look the same.

Speaking in plain language it doesn’t appear to make much sense. How can too much of something also look like the exact opposite?

I don’t know the mechanisms as to why but what I do know is that when you’re overloaded with empathy it’s a burden, something I regret to say because having so much empathy makes it so that the idea of saying it’s a burden feels… ‘mean’
But for this post I’m thinking of myself, I’m being purely selfish.

I’m going to say it for exactly what it is. It is a burden.

I’ve recently read about different types of empathy and how you need a bit of all three (from my understanding) to actually be able to use that empathy to others and your own benefit.

These are the three types of empathy:

Cognitive empathy

Emotional empathy

Compassionate empathy

Click here to learn more about this

Really from what I can gather the idea is that they should come become one whole. Empathy.

But cognitive, emotional and compassionate are parts of the whole of that Empathy.

What happens when you have an overload of one, making it so that there is no fuel left for the other components to work?

It looks like a lack of empathy.

The person may appear angry rather than caring.

They may withdraw, the withdrawal looking like a person who couldn’t care less.

They may not just appear angry but actually act out in an angry way.

They may be silent and therefore not being able to comfort the person.

They may be abrupt in their sentences rather than being careful about what they say.
I know this because those things are me.

I seem to have an overload of the ’emotional’ component of empathy, leaving little room for the other two parts to make their move.

I become overwhelmed.
An example would be noticing even the slightest change to someone’s patterns of behaviour that may suggest something isn’t quite right. It may also not suggest that anything is wrong.

But once I notice that slight change I go into worry mode. It doesn’t help that actually I have all too often had accuracy in my noticing of a changed pattern and then hearing, seeing later that something wasn’t right!

I noticed someone wasn’t parking their car the same way. It was a subtle difference and when I mentioned it to people, they looked at me like I was crazy. “He’s parked in the same place as usual,” They’d say. Yes, but they were not parked as straight as usual and looked as if they’d very lazily parked.
Turned out the person in question was ill. That’s as little as I know about it, yet I noticed that. And just from that, I felt a wave of worry and care.

But mixed in with that was frustration. I wished I’d never noticed such a change. I wished I could block out those little tiny things that are so subtle no one else notices. Because what I don’t know won’t hurt me, and other people hurting, hurts me.
This leaves me vulnerable though. To people who can only be classified as ‘toxic’ whether it’s their fault or not.

I’m talking about people who seem to constantly need to push their problems out into the open for everyone to see always, who need an almost constant stream of empathy, day, night, months, years at a time.

When someone is bombarding you with signals you should be feeling empathy, when it’s constant I admit I become angry. Because I can’t handle it.

Again it makes me look careless. I may even say to the person “I don’t care,” in an argument but that is rarely if ever the case. Really “I don’t care,” Means “I care too much so shut your fucking mouth and give me some peace.”

When you have so much empathy yet you can’t quite figure out how, if, what needs to be done it just makes it all the more draining.

This tied into the fact that I have my own problems, emotions, thoughts that are also very intense and you have yourself a little Depression cocktail, mixed with chronic fatigue and the aches and pains that come with being exhausted. add more than a dash of anxiety over seemingly trivial things (to other people) and you have yourself a brain that feels like it’s the mint in a shook up coke bottle.

I post this purely to try to raise awareness that (for me at least) it’s not a lack of empathy, but too much.