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.

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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.