People are Talking- Part 2/ Starlight Blog Award

I was nominated for a blog award a few months ago. It was actually the 4th nomination I had received that month and I never officially accepted any of them. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the awards or even that I didn’t have the time to accept them. The simple truth was that I didn’t have the time to try to find others that I related to. I didn’t have the time to find blogs that I felt so excited about that I would attach their personas to my own work. But now… I do. Well, I haven’t gained any more time, but I have reached the point of excitement about the work others are doing.

I won’t be so bold as to nominate these blogs officially because they are honestly blogs that need no nomination. These blogs aren’t about making themselves known, they’re about changing the world. My blog is about blogging and living and struggling and breathing. These blogs are simply about being. Sometimes I need to step back from life and just be and that’s exactly what these blogs help me do.

Even though I may not follow the rules of nomination completely, I will respect this award by posting the full rules and answering the questions posed to me. If any of the blogs I post want to participate, I will also pose my own questions for them to answer.

The rules are:
Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
Answer the 3 questions given to you.
Please pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.
Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog please never alter the logo and never change the rules.
This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers
Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers and pass on the award!

Starlight BloggerFirst off, Bumbi’s Mom nominated me for this award. She’s been a great supporter of my blog since she first found me and I am very grateful for that and for her willingness to share my blog on her post.

The blogs that keep me awake at night with their engaging, uplifting, life-captivating messages:

Don’t Stop Sargeant

Early Returned Honor

TWLOHA

Live Through This

Cristian Mihai

Never Less Than Everything

The questions I will answer:

If you could do one thing over this week, what would it be?

I’m not sure if this is referring to something I’d like to do over to change or something I would like to relive because of the pure awesomeness of it. As far as change goes, I don’t believe in regrets or going back in time to change things. Every act brings me one step closer to who I want to be and I would not change mistakes I made because they have taught me about myself and will make me better because of them. As far as reliving awesomeness, I am currently sitting here eating chocolate and wringing my hands between typing moments because life is just hard. I have been completely uncomfortable over the last week and going from moment to moment trying to remember to breathe. But… I would relive every second of it. I would do it over and over again because life is just awesome. Even the hard times are worth reliving because there is beauty in the brokenness.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I decided to start a blog because I wanted people to understand. Everyone in my life seemed to see what I couldn’t see and not what I did see. I wanted to let people know what I saw so that maybe I could get to the point of seeing what they saw and they would understand why it was so hard for me to get there in the first place.

Who or what inspires your creativity?

Pretty much everything- the beauty, the pain, the love, the ache, the tears, the laughs, everything that makes me stop and wonder why I am alive or how the world works or why we are human. Life inspires me.

The questions for my nominees:

What gives you courage to keep on going?

What’s the hardest thing about blogging for you?

What would you change about the world if you could?

Please don’t delete this note: The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from Yesterday After is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.
Copyright 2015 YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo July 5, 2015

People are Talking- Part 1

I started this blog 4 years ago. I almost let it die near the beginning because of fear. I didn’t want people to know that I was still autistic. I didn’t want people to know I struggled with autism because I wanted to seem normal.

It’s interesting to look back at those thoughts now. In the past year, I have posted about things I never thought anyone would know about me. I’ve posted about flapping, self injury, suicide, abuse, depression, anxiety, gender identity, and a lot more. I have gone from nearly abandoning the cause because I didn’t want to talk about autism to talking openly about mental illnesses and the effects of them. The best part though is that I have gone from feeling alone in my honesty and struggles to feeling like there is not one person that doesn’t somehow understand. Everyone who has read my blog and commented or sent me a message has connected with something I’ve shared in some way.

It is truly amazing to know I am not alone in this. I’m not alone in my struggles, but I am also not alone in sharing about them. In the past few months I have read so many blogs and posts that also speak openly about the hard stuff. People are talking about depression and mental illness and anxiety and autism and suicide. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Life is too short to be afraid. Life is too short to go through the darkness alone. Life is too short to fear losing the ones we love because of how we feel. And life is too short to take the chance of cutting it any shorter by not saying how we feel or what we need.

Vulnerable

There are certain things people never talk about. And if they do talk about them, it is generally only with the closest of friends in sincere moments of quiet understanding, or with relative strangers because we’re afraid of losing friends by being honest.

That’s why it is so hard to have a blog linked to my personal accounts where friends and family members of all types of relationships can see what I post. It is like putting a mirror in the middle of the road with a sign that says “please don’t break me.” Every time I post something about autism or depression or suicide, I pray that I won’t be broken. I hope that people will understand. I hope that it won’t make people afraid of being themselves around me or nervous to talk to me or resentful of how I feel or think about things.

Every post is a risk. Every post means allowing myself to be seen as human, and let’s face it, we don’t like being human. Being human is vulnerable. Humans get hurt. They die and suffer and make mistakes. We would much rather feel invincible. And it is easy to feel invincible in this world. We can hide behind our electronic devices, not feel the elements by staying in our houses or cars or offices, and social media is almost designed to make us seem invincible by posting only the moments we want to glory in. It is easy to feel invincible when there are metal, plastic, tangible machines always between us and the rest of the world.

However, most of us know to some extent that we are not invincible. Here is where the gap lies. We have an image of invincibility that we put out to the rest of the world, while silently guarding the vulnerable person that we see inside ourselves.

I don’t want to be like that. As hard as it is to be vulnerable, I don’t want to hide behind walls I myself create. I want to be me always so that no one is surprised when I do something human.

It is hard though. Even though I know why I do this and I wouldn’t want to go back to hiding, it is hard to continue to be vulnerable. What keeps me going though are the messages I get that say, “I connect with what you’re going through.” The times when people tell me they understand or relate to a post. And it reminds me that I have to keep doing this because being vulnerable is the only way out of being scared. It may be hard, but if it helps one person it is worth it. And I know it always helps at least one person, me.

Killing a Butterfly

It’s no secret that I struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, but I hope you also know that I am a hope-seeker and light-seeker. I am always looking for things to be happy about and grateful for and ways to use my struggles to do good.

Anyway, in seeking for light during my recent suicidal thoughts, I had a thought come through a memory. A few years ago, my brother watched “A Sound of Thunder” and told me how in the movie, a butterfly being killed changed the entire future. I thought it was interesting at the time, but in reflecting on this recently, I wondered if I’m like that butterfly.

I consider my life to be pretty insignificant. I mean, I know I have made a difference in some people’s lives, but it just doesn’t seem like I matter that much in the big picture. But what if killing myself would be like killing the butterfly in the movie? It may not matter that much today, but it could make a huge difference in a few hundred years.

If I don’t stay to write my thoughts, if I don’t stay to help a homeless person, if I don’t stay to teach a class, or do my job, or have kids, or get married, or just live out my life, could I be robbing the world of hope that it will need in the future? I know that I’m not a great person and I probably won’t do anything in my life that will change the world, but maybe just me living will change the world. Maybe just holding onto life until it stops holding onto me, will change the world.

I don’t know everything and I don’t know what my life will bring or the effect it will have, but maybe if it just has a butterfly’s effect, it will be worth it.

Why I Blog

When you talk so openly about life, it’s hard not to get anxiety every time someone new can see what you post. I debate almost every time on whether or not I should hide things from certain people, but then I remind myself why I’m doing this… because someone needs to.

People don’t talk about problems that they don’t think other people will understand. And so, people continue to not understand because no one talks about it.

Talking so openly about autism and depression and suicide and other important issues goes against human nature. We naturally want people to like us and understand us, and we don’t want to stand out or seem different. If you’re different, it’s harder to make friends. So we all try to be the same, but we are different and the differences are usually what makes the friendships interesting.

Once you get past a certain level of being different though, it’s like a completely different world. I am at that level. And because I am so different, I blog about those differences. By talking about my differences, I feel like I have been able to see that we are more alike than we think we are. So I continue blogging because one day I won’t feel as different as I do now and that will make it all worth it in the end.

I Need Help

Lately my limitations have really been getting to me. I know that I have more to give than I have the capacity for right now. But if things stay as they are, I will never be able to do all that I want to do. Autism will never go away. People say that there are cures or that they’ve seen people be cured, but it’s a fallacy. We simply learn to blend in better.

And so… I need your help. I need your help to blend in better. I need your help because I can’t do this alone. I can’t teach myself what I don’t understand and what I can’t learn from observing the world I am currently living in. There are a lot of things that I don’t know how to do or can’t do right now because of autism. But maybe if I had some help I could learn how to do those things. Maybe if someone could show me in a way I can understand, I can improve on skills I’ve craved to learn since kindergarten.

I have heard a lot of good things about video modeling and I would like to try it. I would like to do a little self-experiment to see if video modeling can help me get past some of my current limitations.

So… here’s what I need from you:

Take a video of yourself or a friend or even a stranger (make sure you get their permission first) saying hi to someone. It can be anywhere- the grocery store, the mall, work, church, etc. Try to make it as realistic and natural as possible.

Then send me the video or post it on your youtube page or blog and send me the link. If you would like to email me with it, leave me a comment and I’ll send you my contact info.

I would also appreciate any other videos you are willing to share with me that have to do with everyday social interactions- small talk, meeting someone new, asking someone on a date, etc.

Thanks in advance for anything you can help me with. I can’t do this alone and I really need help to become better so I really appreciate anything you can do to help.

 

Blog Update

A few weeks ago I posted that I would possibly be changing the direction or name of this blog at some point in the future. If you’re interested in that post, you can read it here.

I have been thinking a lot about how I want to change this blog and what its new direction will be. And I have decided that I will keep the name for now, but that I won’t necessarily always post about autism. I’m just going to make posts about my thoughts and feelings and experiences and then let people decide on their own whether it’s relevant to autism or life in general or just me.

I don’t want to try and figure out what parts of me are autistic and what parts aren’t anymore. I’m not a fraction of a person or a person compartmentalized into little convenient sections. I’m a whole person and wholly autistic and wholly normal and wholly myself. So I’ve decided that this blog no longer needs to only be a part of me, but can become the whole me. I will definitely still be discussing things that make me different because of autism, but I’ll also be posting things that have nothing to do with autism.

I hope that you continue to read my blog and enjoy my posts and I hope that with this new direction more people will relate to my posts and find common interests.

Thank you for your continued support. I am always grateful for your comments and encouragement and that you take the time to read what I have to say. Thank you for all you do.

Changing Autismthoughts

I have come to the point where this blog as it is at the moment doesn’t make sense anymore. The title autismthoughts was meant to reflect thoughts I had about autism and because of autism, and to explain how people with autism might think. I’ve come to the point now though where I don’t think I have autism thoughts. I just have regular thoughts. Yes, I have autism, but does that mean that all my thoughts are autistic?

Having autism is a part of me, like being a Christian or being an aunt is a part of me. It doesn’t change me and yet it changes everything about me. I am not a different person because of the autism label, but autism has been a part of my life that has definitely contributed to who I am today. I am who I am because of autism, but I am not an autistic person or even a person with autism. I am just a person. I am a human being who just happens to be diagnosed with autism.

The thing is, when I started this blog, I needed to be autistic. I needed to explore autism and explore autism within me and try to figure out that part of me that I never really had a chance to get to know before. But now, I don’t have that need anymore. I know who I am and I understand autism within myself to a point that I am satisfied to just be me. I don’t have to have autism thoughts. I can just have thoughts.

So… I may be changing the name of this blog and the direction of it in the next few weeks. If you have any input on the name change or what you would like to see in posts, I’d be happy to receive any feedback from you.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Want me to check out your blog?

I normally wouldn’t do this, but I’ve been super busy lately and so I’m taking the easy way out (Or maybe the harder way; we’ll find out…)

I was nominated for a One Lovely blog award a while ago and I haven’t had a chance to delve into the blogs I follow for some awesome blogs to nominate in return. So, I’m giving you the opportunity to put yourself out there for me to check out your blog and see if you’re the nomination I’m looking for. Just put your blog link in the comments.

And thanks for following! 🙂

Inspiring Blogger Award

Awarded on 22nd Aug, 2014

I was nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award by ambient_memory here.

Here are the rules:

  • The nominee shall display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on her/his blog, and link to the blog they got nominated from.
  • The nominee shall nominate fifteen (15) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

Here are my nominees:

Third Eye View- http://photographsandsnaps.com/

Soaring Strands- http://udesilva.com/

My puzzling piece- http://mypuzzlingpiece.com/

Not the Former Things- http://nottheformerthings.com/

By Lauren Hayley- http://bylaurenhayley.wordpress.com/

Joy no matter what- http://deannenelson.wordpress.com/

Tracie Carlos- http://traciecarlos.wordpress.com/

Autisticality- http://autisticality.wordpress.com/

Invisible Autistic- http://invisibleautistic.wordpress.com/

Emelie’s Voice- http://emeliesvoice.wordpress.com/

The Candid Pickle- http://thecandidpickle.wordpress.com/

All our Lemmony Things- http://lemmonythings.com/

Coffee with a Shot of Faith- http://coffeewithashotoffaith.wordpress.com/

Love Life Walk- http://lovelifesg2013.wordpress.com/

Humble Heart Scribbles- http://humbleheartscribbles.wordpress.com/

I tried to nominate people that I’ve been following for a while and that didn’t already have a nomination and that could be categorized as inspiring. So I’m hoping that I got all the people I wanted to on here. (And yes, most of them are about autism. That’s what I’ve been focusing on learning for a while so that’s what I’ve been reading.)

You guys are great!

Thanks for reading! 🙂