Tag Archives: asperger’s

Autism: Anxiety

A careless, piece of shit, unconcerned doctor once told me that there is no way I have any form of autism or any related disorders because I can speak and I don’t “flap my hands”. Instead, I was pressured to continue councilling for help with my social anxiety, which was pointed out had “nothing to do with autism”.

Now, I can throw out a number of quotes and findings by accredited doctors and researchers, putting this sorry excuse for a doctor to shame. But the main point of such “proof” would simply be that autism is a spectrum disorder, and anxiety is a largely recognized partner.

One of my biggest problems in dealing with autism is my anxiety. In certain situations, on bad days, anxiety makes my breath short, my pulse skyrocket, and when I break, total meltdown.

Anxiety can hit me at any moment, and last for a few hours, a day, a week. Usually my anxiety is triggered by something such as a group of people or an upcoming due date. Sometimes, there is absolutely no fucking reason for me to be anxious about anything.

When I do get my healthy dose of anxiety, the following happens:

》First instinct: seek solitude. Now. Now!
》Pray to remain alone. Usually, my prayers go ignored.
》Upon being confronted, anxiety is refreshed and at maximum power. Do/say anything to reach solitude again.
》Upon reaching solitude again, hate myself for being such a pussy.
》Convince myself to get over it and act normal.
》When I launch myself back into the general population, out from under my rock, I usually find that I can’t control my anxiety, and I usually can’t hide it. At this point, it will take one false move, a single hint of negative energy to launch me off the edge of a very steep cliff.
》Red alert! Bad interaction! Sometimes I’ll be able to find a dark corner to let loose in. Sometimes I just don’t give a fuck who’s watching. Whatever the case, I break down in a shit storm of hysterical tears, hyperventilating, shaking, and even hitting or scratching myself. After ten to twenty minutes of that bullshit, I find myself exhausted. Too tired to be so anxious anymore, but still on high alert for near future meltdowns. At this point, I want more than anything to just go away, hoping everyone I ever knew forgot my existence so I can just hate my pansy-ass in peace.

Anxiety keeps me from doing and handling a lot of things. I wonder how much I could have accomplished if I didn’t hyperventilate every time I was in a group of two or more people. I hate myself for being this way. And with only regression to show for progress, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is truly no chance for me to “get better”. I am this way and I better learn to fucking live with it.

The only thing I could hope for at this point is that the people around me would understand. Not necessarily treat me differently, and certainly not pity the flaws and complications I’ve been situated with. But for fuck’s sake, do you know how hard it is for me to go to the grocery store, the bank, or even a drive alone?

I used to think my anxiety could be filed down or “fixed”. I never expected it to be nothing, but maybe miniscule in comparison to what it is now. I used to think that if I forced myself into anxiety-induced situations, that I could desensitize myself into something almost like a neurological. I used to think it kind of worked like desensitizing a horse to a carrot stick, a tarp, or a plastic bag. Once he figures out that it’s not going to hurt him, he won’t give a shit about no damn grocery bag.

But after many everyday experiments, after so many failed attempts, I still have no successes of which to share. My only “success” in apprehensive situations is that I’m able to get away in time for a meltdown, or, on a good day, that I can talk myself out of a meltdown, keeping it at bay as long as I can avoid human contact for the next 24 hours.

My anxiety has been long lived and is quite depressing when I think about it, but I am learning to live with it. I don’t ever plan on being successful in social situations, largely because my anxiety makes it too scary to think about.

But I don’t give a fuck! A small part  of me still believes my desensitization theory is true, but as of today, I have abandoned all hope. Most of my hope.

I’m not really sure what to do about my anxiety. I think the right thing to do is to seek help. But I’m far too anxious to do that alone. Which is a hell of a bind.

All I can do now is advise:
》Have anxiety? Get help! Don’t know how? Me neither!
》Know someone with anxiety? For fuck’s sake, be gentle. Not pitying. Gentle.
》Anxiety is common in adults with autism. We are not freaks. We are not diseased. We are different. And quite selfishly, it is very difficult for us to learn how to behave as a neurotypical. I feel like NTs should understand us. Give us a fucking break, please. Patience.

In all seriousness, anxiety and autism are very serious. I’ve done my best to paint a general picture. I honestly don’t know how to handle it, whether having it or knowing someone with it. Please feel free to share your experiences and advise in the comments section.

Thank you for supporting autism. Also, horses are great. If you don’t have one, you should get one. Fuck that, get one even if you have one. Horses need friends too. Don’t buy from breeders, though, they’re bastards. Adopt from your local horse rescue. Those horses are saved from everything, from slaughter to abandonment. Adopt, don’t shop! =)

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Procrastination & Autism

Sometimes, I feel about as reliable as a rubber band. That makes no sense. The point is, I can be severely unreliable at times and I hate myself for it. Procrastination is considered by some to be a symptom of Autism. I totally agree with this. Autism is certainly not to blame. Hell, I’m to blame for not getting my shit done. But sometimes I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve found that the more I have to do, the less gets done. I have a full workload, some of which I wonder about. Will it ever get done, or should I just forget about it? If I would just apply myself and catch up, I would have a shit ton of free time. I wish it were this easy.

I love helping with the horse rescue. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, right next to Eminem and pickles. I love cleaning shit out of stalls and paddocks because I can plug my headphones in my ears and know nothing outside of Eminem and my ponies. I love feeding the horses, cleaning the barn, whatever. But I can’t bring myself to ride my main man Nike. I tell people because I’m waiting for his toe to grow out because he pawed it off when he was sick, but who the fuck believes that? There’s nothing wrong with him. Of course he can ride. I don’t ride Nike like I should because I want to get to know him all over again. I want to learn him and feel him, but I haven’t found a time where we have the privacy of an empty riding arena to ourselves. I want to get to know Nike, not fall victim to the lame criticisms and know-it-all judgement of possible onlookers. I’m afraid of the conflict these situations erupt in my brain, when all I want to do is enjoy Nike.

I do other work for the horse rescue besides clean shit. I help with online and computer work. I write, plan, format. This work I rather enjoy. I’m great with the computer, I can listen to all the Eminem I want without the fear of being interrupted, and I can do it all pants-less if I wanted. So why in the fuck do I continue to put it off? I get angry with myself, just get it done, I try to convince myself. But it’s not that simple.

It took me a while to figure it out, but as it turns out, it’s similar to why I won’t ride Nike. I won’t do the computer work because I’m afraid. Not afraid of interruptions and on-the-spot criticism, but I’m afraid that if I do the computer work that has been expected of me, I might just be noticed by others. This is the stupidest fucking shit I’ve ever heard of. When I figured this out, I asked myself, Really? Fucking really? Is that some sort of lame excuse? No. Sadly. It’s not.

I’m afraid that if I redesign a web page, send out the newsletter, write an email, that it might be seen by people. Yeah? That’s the whole point! I’m still afraid. I did the same shit at a show the other day. I somehow landed the gig of replacement DJ. I have no idea how to be a DJ. So I let Pandora Internet Radio play background music. When it was time to play specific songs for the acts, I would wait, hiding behind the speaker, hoping no one would notice me. Upon reflection, no one would’ve noticed me if I had just started the music when the next act entered the arena. Instead, I waited until they started shouting to turn it on. That got this shitty DJ a few thrown glances. The very thing I was trying to avoid, I totally slipped and fell in.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I still don’t quite understand the procrastination, but it is apparently considered a symptom of Autism, and that kind of makes me feel better about myself. I don’t take it as an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, I hate putting shit off to holy hell and back. I hate being that asshole that promises shit will get done and nothing gets done. I want so much to change it. I’ve tried threatening myself, planning detailed schedules, bribing myself, etc. But I’ve found that I even procrastinate making schedules and rewarding myself with these bribes. For instance, I’ll promise myself a reward of Dennys if I finish my work for the day. But I won’t go because I’m too afraid to go alone.

And get this shit: anxiety. Anxiety is the real crook here. If I wasn’t such a pussy about people:

  • Oh, there’s people at Walmart. Fuck that, I’ll go at 2 or 3am. 
  • Gotta get my oil changed. Eh, fuck that, there’s probably people there.
  • I HAVE TO PISS BUT THESE PEOPLE WON’T LEAVE. 

then I would probably have more accomplishments in my life. Today, my greatest accomplishment has been following most of my schedule rather than blowing it off like I usually do. My greatest failure today was blowing off part of my schedule like I usually do. I’m glad I’m doing the computer work that I need to be doing, but I’m pissed that I blew off riding Nike. AGAIN.

But, I guess like always, I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe I should try blowing off my anxiety rather than my schedule. After all, my anxiety has been nothing but a cruel bastard. Only good things can come out of getting my shit done. Right?

Autism: Deciphering A Conversation

Communication has been one of my biggest issues in dealing with Autism. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked away from a conversation wondering what the fuck they’re talking about. What does that mean? What are you REALLY saying? For me, participation in a conversation isn’t so much give and take or understanding. It’s more like decoding and translating, deciphering. I first have to hear what the person is saying. I then need to decode and translate into something I can then understand. Then I need to respond. Certain situations have me paranoid about my response time so I find one of three things can happen: I’ll either give a prolonged “ummmmm”, repeat what the person said while decoding and translating, or give a stupid answer like “farts” or “I love pickles”. One of many things that annoys the shit out of me is when people don’t say what they mean. I remember once when someone tried to include me in on a prank. I was coaching a drill team when a 30 or 40-something year old man approaches to ask if he could be on the team. My first thought was, um, no? My second thought was to be a bit more pleasant about it. So I mentioned how his horse probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the amount of activity, the running, the flags, the music, etc. I could barely handle it. The fact that he wanted in on the team and that I didn’t immediately shoot him down sent my team into an uproar. They all protested simultaneously until I was ready to start smashing heads from the several protests and conversations happening at once. It wasn’t until the joker told me he wanted to prank the girls that I understood his real intentions. At first I was pissed because he should have told me it was a joke to begin with. But after retelling the story to a few people, I finally started to understand that he obviously wasn’t truly interested in joining the team. But still I think, well how the fuck was I supposed to know that? Sometimes, I get caught in a whirlwind of complaint and inquisition. These situations are among the worst, most stressful situations I can be thrown into: A boarder at my barn approached me, asking why we (our drill team) were hogging the arena, tearing the jumps down, and being so inconsiderate when people are riding in the arena. Why couldn’t we just go to the arena across the street? I was livid. I thought of a time, three or four years ago, where eight or nine of us would ride together in the arena, radio blaring, a few of us jumping, a few running, a few just walking around. How in the fuck did it go from that to this “how dare you use the arena when I’m using it” bullshit? But I think I handled it well. I just told her that we assumed she wasn’t coming back, which is why we took the jumps down, and we stayed out of her way, as we’re expected to when sharing the arena, and that she could do the same. I later told on her because that whole thing was bullshit, but I really didn’t know what to do. I just wanted her to go away before I lost my mind and went for her throat – kidding. But seriously, that was rude as balls. And sometimes, I don’t handle a situation too well: I was cleaning out stalls in the barn one time, and upon running out of wheelbarrows to use, I started piling on the mats. A boarder approached me to ask when I was going to finish because she didn’t want her horse to be standing in it. And yet she put the horse in the stall anyway. Where the horse proceeded to destroy my neat pile and set my schedule back a notch. I was angry because I can’t stand when my schedule to be fucked with in the slightest. I hate when people do stupid shit like that. So I congratulated her on her ability to see and asked her why she would put her horse in there when she saw shit on the mat. Later, I realized, upon reliving the tale, that I am a complete dick and need to chill out or get fucked. Another of the most horrible situations I get thrown into are communicating with familiar people, people I like, people I trust. Sometimes, when I have something to say, I can’t find the motherfucking words. My voice gets stuck in my throat and will only escape to utter the phrase “I can’t”. No one seems to understand that the problem is that I am petrified of displeasing or miscommunicating what I have to say, so I have difficulty saying it. In turn, I get furious for the challenge and either push through it and end up scarred and annoyed or give up and want nothing more than to run away, hating myself for my weakness. More than once, someone will tell me “It’s me. You can say anything.” or “Nothing you say is gonna be stupid”. That’s not the point. I recently took home a new puppy. Here’s how: As much I wanted it, I already passed because I knew I’d be murdered of I took home one more stray. But for the fuck of it, I got permission. Now what? I got the ok and I already passed on the opportunity. The fuck was I supposed to do? All day, I tortured myself, trying to get myself to say something before someone else took the dog. I was beginning to accept the fact that someone else would take the puppy home where it would be tortured for the next ten years and then skinned and used as furry underwear when the person who found the dog asked me what’s up. I froze. I knew this was the chance. But I couldn’t do it. But it was ok. She knew I was fucked up in the head. But I hate that shit. I hate not being able to say simple shit. So I told her I did something stupid. She asked what I did. This was it. Either request the dog or make up a stupid lie and eat a bullet later. I was getting ready to tell her I shit my pants when I ground out, “I can’t, it’s stupid”. It took some convincing, but I was finally coerced into speaking. I told her I was allowed to bring the puppy home. And I wanted it. And she said it was mine, don’t worry about it. As relieved as I was, I couldn’t help being annoyed that it was this fucking difficult to say “I want the dog.” For these reasons, I find it’s best to avoid human interaction. It’s probably not the best solution. But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to obtain professional help with my issues. Regardless, I’m perfectly happy writing my articles on the computer, Eminem playing in the background, or cleaning horse shit out of the stables with my headphones in while Eminem provides me something along the lines of orgasm in my ears, love in my guts. I love my Slim Shady.

Autism: Equine Therapy

Horses are magnificent creatures. Horses are gorgeous, intelligent, and capable. Having the advantage of being around horses has done wonders for me. I’ve learned a lot about reading thoughts and feelings by watching their body language. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as humans. Humans are much more complicated and I’ve learned that a shrug, for example, doesn’t always mean “I don’t know”.

Horses have taught me a million things, but the most important thing I’ve learned in my experience is that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Particularly given my current level of anxiety, the tranquil environment surrounding horses is imperitive in my own success, not to satisfy my obsession with horses, but to continue to learn and understand that there is nothing to be afraid of. The simplicity of a horse’s feelings, emotions, and reactions along with the complication of their bodies and altering behavior, introduces a while new light on autism.

Personally, horses have taught me many things, including how goals are executed, how to read certain feelings and respond accordingly, and they even introduced a sense of bravery without which I’d find myself still locked away from the world, afraid of any sort of contact beyond the walls that held me safely for so long.

Today, I am able to go outside with little question, drive myself places I need to go, have a conversation over the phone or in person, order my own food, and other seemingly simple tasks that I never thought I would be able to do. However, on a bad day, when my brain is a scrambled, confused, anxious mess, I find most of these seemingly simple tasks damn near impossible.

The only thing horses seem to lack in is direction. But that’s like getting in a car and expecting it to magically drive you to destinations. It doesn’t work like that. Good horsemanship is maintaining a place higher on the heirchy than any horse. Fear, submission, exception. These things will get you run over, stomped on, kicked. A horse with no respect for a person could be dangerous. The only thing I can’t seem to get out of horses is instruction. Horses, as herd animals, require instruction, which thankfully, can be learned, as I have done. But their way of providing instruction is by taking advantage of the weak.

Instruction, or help, guidance, is a thirst for which I am parched. My throat aches for a sip, though I am afraid to drink. Seeking professional help with autism has not gone well for me in the past. Since I had given up, I decided all I need is horses. But there are some things horses can’t teach. I finally broke and requested help. Today, I wait anxiously in the queue.

For the most part, I think horses are a fantastic means of breaking free of the autism ball and chain. However symptoms are always subject to remain or return, I think exploring the equine world is still wonderous in conquoring some of the symptoms that cause complications in everyday and long term life.

For anyone with autism or knowing someone with autism, I highly recommend equine therapy. If you’re looking for a solution, then you’re doing wrong by autism. In my opinion, autism is a gift and a curse. It takes a strong person to learn to live with autism. On bad days, though, I myself find autism the worst fucking thing I could have possibly been cursed with. Either way, learning horses is a great way to strengthen strengths and weaken weaknesses.

Nike, a beautiful black thouroughbred, came in to my life a few years ago. I’m ecstatic to have him back in my life today. Nike is with a small newborn rescue whose determination to save every horse is a true inspiration to me. I recently began a campaign to save Nike, the beautiful black thouroughbred,  in hopes of providing him a healthy life and promising future. I hope everyone feels the same for him and would support him at http:// http://www.crowdrise.com/SaveNike.

I also hope people living with and around autism and similar social disorders consider horses as a means of strength encouragement. I would love to answer any questions in hopes of helping autism, horses, or any variation. Hoping for the best!

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A Quick Intro to Autism

I tried to think of something nice to say about Autism as I created this blog… dedicated to Autism. I couldn’t.

But then I thought, why should I? I can’t think of anything relatively good or relatively bad about Autism. Matter of fact, fuck pros and cons. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is NOT a disability. ASD is simply a difference, a subspecies of neurotypicals (NTs, people without Autism).

ASD is a different way of thinking, a different way of acting, and a different way of life. One common symptom of ASD is extreme interests, or obsessions in things or hobbies.

Personally, I am happy with my Harry Potter obsession. I am overjoyed with my obsession with Slim Shady. My obsession with Autism, however, I just find ironic. I think it’s like a person being overly fond of his middle toe’s cuticle. Talking about it. Tatting it. Marrying it. Whatever. Ironic? No, bad example. Weird.

Anyway- ASD is generally defined by the holy trinity: social difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and obsessions.

Social difficulties in ASD are often attributed to difficulty in understanding body language and intent, which is apparently nine tenths of the law when communicating with someone. As far as I’m concerned, when a person is talking, that person should say what they mean. No hints, “small” lies, or any of that other bullshit.

Repetitive behaviors in ASD includes everything from hand gestures to scheduling. For instance, a wrinkle in my schedule is a domino effect. Soon, I’ll find myself quite unreasonably upset, shit all out of whack, like an apocalypse in my brain.

Obsessions in ASD usually means a limited interest. People with an ASD generally have a small range of interests. With the interests we do have, we take them very seriously. I, for example, am highly offended over any negative comment toward Slim Shady. I can’t usually tell if people are joking or using sarcasm, but that is hardly the point. Don’t fuck with Slim.

The holy trinity of ASD isn’t the entirety of ASD. There are several other symptoms to the disorder, and no one person with an ASD will ever have all the symptoms. People with an ASD tend to differ greatly. This, I find interesting. How can two people with the same disorder be so different? Well, I found, “spectrum” is the key culprit in this scenario. When placed on a spectrum, any spectrum, such as a ruler, one point could be pinned at 4.2677 inches. Another point could be pinned at exactly 11 inches. They are two completely different measurements, even being on the same unit. While one person with an ASD cannot function without assistance, another can be considerably independent, struggling mostly with, maybe, social complications.

On a more exciting note, I made a fart joke a few days ago. I could not stop laughing. Holy shart, it was hysterical.