Something Good- Day 138 & 139

I have been helping my sister start a blog for a religious project. She is editing Jesus into photos to show how He is present in all aspects of our lives. She published her first few posts and has been excited all day to see how many views she is getting and from what countries. You can check out her blog here.

I also had the opportunity to check out a comic someone shared with me about a superhero with autism. It seems like a cool concept, and I would encourage you to check it out here.

They Know

It is always a little scary to add a new friend on Facebook because it means that they can know. They can know that I have autism and depression and anxiety. They can know that I have attempted suicide and that I have recurring thoughts of suicide. I don’t usually add people to my Facebook because of this. Every once in a while though, someone adds me and I accept because it would be rude not to.

I used to hide everything from my friends, but it got to the point where I decided that I needed to be open with people because I couldn’t afford to not tell people how I feel. The problem is letting new people in. I always have this thought when someone likes or comments on one of my posts that they now know. They know I have autism or depression or anxiety. They know about my struggles.

I am a very intimidating person. I come across as strong and smart and confident. In a way, I am all of those things. But I do struggle. I have things that I can’t do or that are more difficult for me than the average person. Sometimes we don’t want people to know those things about us. Actually, most of the time we don’t want people to know those things about us. We trust very few with our struggles. At some point though, we have to decide to trust. We have to decide to let people in.

I can’t say that it is easy to let people in. I panic every time a new person adds me on Facebook. I get nervous when I know that someone is likely to read my blog posts or to know my story. But in the end, we all just want to be accepted. We want to be loved for who we are. We want to be able to trust others. It is hard, but this is my way of trusting. This is my way of letting people in because I don’t have the words to say the hard things in any other way.

Update

The week of the fourth of July was one of the most stressful weeks of my life, if not the most stressful week. Things had been building for a while. That week was just the climax of those stressors, and I broke over and over again.

My mom had broken her arm the Thursday before. I had passed out in the hospital while trying to help make sure she was taken care of, and just wasn’t feeling well in general that day. A few days later I had to call 911 again for my friend because she couldn’t breathe and wasn’t doing well.

My best friend had a problem with her roommate and had to call the police on her, then called me for comfort and assistance with the situation. In addition to the fallout with her roommate, my best friend’s apartment contract was expiring and the management refused to renew the contract based on her roommate’s behavior. So she decided to move to my state to start over with life and flew in on the fourth. So for that week, we frantically searched for an apartment for her to move in to as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I had a falling out with my brother over not consulting him about calling 911. I broke down and screamed and just kept screaming because I couldn’t stop. And all this, in the midst of celebrations of my birthday and my niece’s birthday and various other celebrations.

Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. I have been overwhelmed for a while. I haven’t done most of the things I usually do. I didn’t do my homework ahead of time because I just couldn’t focus on it. I haven’t written in my journal daily, or gone to the temple or my scripture study class weekly, or completed my monthly visits. That may not seem like a big deal, but for someone who does those things consistently, it shows how stressed I have been feeling. I have simply been struggling.

But I feel like things have gotten somewhat better. I’m not as stressed out. I feel like I can breathe again. Things have been getting worked out. But I just don’t feel like keeping this blog up to date anymore. So I’m going to take a break for a while. When things calm down more and I feel like I can do life again, I’ll probably start posting again.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I plan to take a break from this blog for a while. I have posted quite a lot in the last few months and although it has helped me figure out some things and focus on positive things, it has also been exhausting. I am extraordinarily honest online and excruciatingly vulnerable. This is good for helping people understand and connect, but it also wears on me emotionally and mentally, which in turn affects me physically.

So I have decided to take about a month off from this blog. I plan on posting about Christ and Christmas on my other blog, servicemission.wordpress.com. So feel free to follow me on there if you’re interested.

Anyway, I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year. Remember to not just give presents, but give your presence. Christmas is not about the stuff, it is about the people. Don’t forget that!

Grateful for This Blog

This blog has been an amazing place for me. It has been somewhere I can go to understand myself and help others understand me. It has been a refuge when I didn’t know where else to turn in lonely or desperate times. It has given a voice to thoughts I didn’t know how to express. It has given me a reason to keep trying when I felt like nothing I do matters. It has given me a way to communicate with others. It has allowed me to express my feelings and spread awareness.

I am very grateful for this experience. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to be a voice for change and awareness and education. I am grateful to feel like I have made a difference, even if it has been relatively small.

I am not sure about the future of this blog at the moment. With the changes happening in my life, I am not sure if I will be able to maintain it or keep posting regularly. Whatever the future brings though, I am grateful for the experiences and friends and acquaintances and everything good that has come out of this blog.

My Story- Introduction

Have you ever been so different that you just wished you were the same?

That has been the story of my life. When it comes to being different, I have experienced quite a lot of differences in my life. Racial differences, political affiliation, religion, gender stereotypes, disability, speech deficits, intelligence, poverty or lack of government benefits have all been part of the thoroughfare of differences that marked my young life.

No matter where I have been or what I have done, I was always different. I was the exception to every rule, the outlier, the odd one out. And I knew it. I have always known it and will likely always feel it. Not that I can’t blend in, I just know things others don’t know, I have experiences others don’t have, and no matter what group I am in that will always be the case. I know that’s a truth for everyone, but sometimes your differences don’t matter as much as other times. In some groups your differences don’t matter as much as in other groups; I have yet to find the group where my differences don’t seem to matter.

At some point, you learn to accept your differences and live with them. I am close to that point, but I’m still working on it. Growing up, I just had so many differences that I would give them all up to just be the same. I would have given up my intelligence, talents, athletic ability, anything good about myself just to fit in. I wouldn’t do that anymore, but when you are bullied, lonely, teased, and simply ignored as a kid, you’d do anything to be normal.

However, it is only through my differences that I have learned to be myself. When you are so different that you can’t even blend in by conformity, you learn to be who you are and not buckle under pressure because acting like everyone else will never allow you to fit in anyway. Through my differences, I have also learned compassion, sympathy, understanding, courage, perseverance, and ultimately love (which I am still working on learning every day.)

So, welcome to my life. I hope as you read about the different stories that have made me, me, that you will find hope, inspiration, and connection. I have never before shared the many stories that have made me who I am. As I write, I will be discovering along with you the person that created autismthoughts, underthesurfacepoetry, and servingaservicemission.

Day, Month, Year

Yesterday was Autistics Speaking day and National Author’s day. This month is National Novel Writing month. For someone like me who hardly remembers to celebrate anything, it’s also simply November or the month that hosts Thanksgiving. And since Thanksgiving is this month, it’s only logical that it should be National Thankfulness month.

Anyway, to get to the point… I have been thinking a lot lately about my story- my life story, my story with autism, my story with depression, etc. I’m not sure where I classify myself in terms of being an autistic blogger. I hardly consider myself to be a blogger, much less an autistic blogger. I’m simply a not-so-normal normal person living a relatively uneventful life, who just happens to write through a couple blogs. But all of this classification and days, months, and years of different celebrations and notifications has gotten me thinking that maybe it’s time to write out and tell my story.

I’m not sure how long it will take me or when I will start posting it, but over the next few weeks, I will start writing my story and begin posting it piece by piece until it’s all written out and told online. Hopefully one day I will also have the opportunity to tell it in person, but that is a story for another day.

Grateful for Honest Voices

I’ll continue with my letters tomorrow, but today I wanted to talk about something else for a minute.

I have felt very alone for much of my life- alone in my struggles, alone in my journey, alone in my loneliness. And when I started this blog, I felt alone in my openness. I stopped blogging for about a year because it felt too scary to stand alone in my honesty, in my vulnerability, in my humanity. I was scared to tell people that I was different. It’s not like it was a secret, but saying it or writing about it seemed like social suicide. And let’s face it, my social life didn’t need anything else to help it plummet faster.

But I am so grateful that I’m not alone. I am so grateful for all the other honest voices out there. I am so grateful for all the people who have shared their stories, who are sharing their stories, and who will share their stories. I am so grateful that this isn’t a one way conversation. I’m grateful that I’m not just a voice lost in the vast world of the internet. I still am just one voice, and a relatively small voice at that, but I can unite my voice to the many voices. I am so grateful for that.

So, thank you. Thank you to all of you who put yourself out there. Thank you to all of you who are honest voices. Thank you for being voices I can unite with. Together, we might just make a difference.

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.