No longer must I need it

Greetings it’s time for another blog. That is to say it’s time to go the pub for a bit and that means having to come up with something to write about.

A quick mention of someone famous who I went to school with. He’ll have gained some acclaim today for winning the most lucrative match in football.

Yeah I went to school with Rob Edwards, Who has just taken Luton Town FC into the premier league. I follow his career every now again. Not that I can claim anything other than this small connection.

I’m always pleased him do well because he was a sound lad. He was the heartthrob of our year at school and the star of the footy team. Left our school at 14 to train at Lilleshall centre of excellence where a number of top youth players studied.

The difference in revenue between the premier league and the rest is some £100m at least.

Alas the season is coming to an end. Will be watching the cup final next weekend and then it’s a wait until the women’s world cup.

The weather has been nice this week as we head into the summer months. There’s lots I like about summer but also stuff I don’t. The heat can be too much for me and I find it even harder than usual to get going.

It’s been another day of anxiety today, not sure why but I think I had a bad dream and just struggled to get out of bed again. With the summer comes an increased pressure to do something out and about and pressure not to stay indoors. Days like today remind me how I just don’t want to do these things.

Got no inclination or motivation to engage in social stuff. Not unless I’m with people I like, doing stuff I like, which isn’t usually outdoors.

Another Bank holiday tomorrow, third one this month and the last one until August. For a while now, I think I just want to lounge around doing nothing energetic or productive. I am getting bored but still don’t have the energy to lift myself.

I had planned to go the pub about 3 hours earlier than when I did go. Nearly didn’t bother at all. Tomorrow is a day for what? I just wish I could lounge around whenever I feel like and not feel any stress or unhappiness over it.

Friday at work was quite tough. Had one of those days where little work was actually done, time just flew away and I couldn’t explain why I going so slow.

I find myself thinking about who I was or who I uses to be. We all change but is there a core you that is constant and survives unchanged? I always understood that to answer the question of who I really am is conditional.

I’m a different person when I’m surrounded by people who like me and value my company. That is to say there are many sides of me but I only show the side that reflects how I’m treated by others.

I asked myself during the masking, am I being fake? Am I being dishonest? Not really as far as I’m concerned. But I guess to other people, it comes across that I’m not being authentic.

But then again that is such a big part of who I am. The chameleonic quality to be different things to different people.

I’ve heard that it’s actually a terrible and poisonous practise to reward “good” behaviour because it creates expectations and reinforces coercive narratives. This seems to be how I was raised and it is how I’ve always treated other people.

How can we as a society condemn manipulative behaviours when such practises are embedded into the fabric of everyday life.

Am I going to be forever compelled to be nice to people if I want them to like me? To once more repress the darkness until it escapes my control?

Ultimately I decided that I had to stop trying to impress or please anyone else. Well that’s not entirely true. I still try to make the blog an impressive read. How well that’s going is not my place to say.

But then that’s why I don’t seek to publicise it in any meaningful way. It’s nice to have a space where I can share my thoughts without caring about what anyone thinks.

Of course the one person who I really care about trying to impress has always been myself. Own harshest critic and all that. All those hidden disabilities I keep talking about, I’d like to think that my mind is utterly unique and that there are some things only I can write.

It’s noticeable to me that for the purpose of trying to write an honest blog about my life, I’m still holding back and retreating to my comfort zone. Plus I’m still hesitant to access the demons now. Done with sadness. Done with struggles. Done with self-pity.

I’ve punished myself enough for a lifetime. Never was interested in rewarding myself except for the need for enjoyment to keep going through the hard times.

It seems like it should be impossible to manipulate yourself where there are no secrets. But I guess it happens when the mind is divided, compartmentalized.

I’ve spent so much of my life trapped inside my head that I grew bored of myself a long time ago. I know I risked my mental health because I’d had enough of it all and wanted to experience something new. Falling in love with someone who gave me some affection and acceptance but would probably never have loved me back was the most exciting thrill and I haven’t been the same since.

I have little doubt she was the wrong person to fall in love with but she was the only person I could fall in love with. I saw so much of myself in her. She was an escape from and a surrogate for myself. I would have done anything in my power for her but not for myself.

That’s the difference now. I do things for myself because I don’t want to ever abandon myself like I did with her.

I suspect I was looking for an excuse to justify everything. To avoid finally looking myself in the mirror and acknowledge a lifetime of bad decisions and pointless struggles.

If I have a duty it is to manage my struggles as best I can, whether by coping or avoiding. To actually break the chains that have keep me anchored to pleasing others.

I like pleasing others and always will but no longer must I need it.

I’m getting there. I’m getting there. Can’t guarantee my story will have a happy ending but I won’t ever give up. It’s nearly time, to break free and be reborn. Tiring work though.

I’ve been missing direction in life, just trying to get mentally healthy. Probably not ready to pursue anything specific at the moment. Just surviving on my own. Plenty of ideas of what not to do, few if any ideas towards doing something.

No, I believe I know what will make me happy But there is so much anxiety in the way, so much doubt stopping me. So much need and insecurity.

So little motivation and energy. So little self-beliefs. The vicious cycle spins and spins.

No one to give me the strength needed to escape so I must find it within. Or more accurately, to build it within.

I think my next blog post has to be “what is love anyway and how to make it strengthen us rather than weaken us?” but I’m too tired to explore it tonight.

Yes more rest needed so I will call it a day. Thanks as always for reading xx


The long old journey

Greetings once more, it’s time for another blog.

It should as come as no surprise but I can report this week I have done none of things I tried to convince myself to do. Nothing useful or productive in my free time outside work.

I have worked on my music but, as if often the case, I find myself tinkering only to make the track sound worse and I felt the same struggle to produce the quality goods.

To some extent I am still slowly feeling better about myself as the days go by. I still think I’m doing this blogging down the pub at regular intervals to stop myself from going mad.

Getting stuff off my chest into the ether of online blogging. I’m getting closer to getting back out into the real world again. In fact walking up to the pub I had a brief moment of empowerment, the type I don’t usually get sober.

The beliefs we hold so dear that they come to define our lives and determine our fates. For the first time in a long while, I felt the weight lifting as I finally stopped being defined by the way the world has treated me.

What is it that so defines me? The sum total of all the last interactions. And those are normally the decline of friendships and the retreat into loneliness. It can feel very much like the world has not treated me with much actual kindness but then these sort of things happen to many people.

It’s been a slow process of developing. Having the space to develop away from other people’s influence. I always thought there was no real me. A patchwork identity of external perceptions. A cog in the social system.

A man of and for the people in my life. When I can tolerate being around people. Now I’m just developing my own person away from everyone else. It’ll be better in the long run hopefully.

I’ve taken note of the UKs National Autistic Society and their big convention at the NEC in Birmingham next month. An old friend went last year and recommended it thoroughly. It will probably a case of getting the train there and back but it’s doable.

I don’t know whether it’ll be any good or if I’ll be comfortable there. It might be a waste of time and I expect I won’t talk to anyone the whole time. But it could be great and I’d like to try it out.

Something like that though, I would have to prepare for it a lot. Not make it a half-assed last minute rush.

Mentioning that I haven’t done much recently, I am still tired most of the time. The feeling of tiredness, at least in my experience, is the feeling of a force acting against my very will. But then again my will is usually restless and uncontrolled. Sometimes you do need to rest but it sucks to always feel tired.

Of course I can be much healthier physically, if only I wasn’t too damn tired to do anything about it.

I watched another video from a different autistic YouTuber. This person wanted to express the view that there is nothing wrong with being autistic but unfortunately spoke words to the effect of “I am faultless”. Upon receiving critical comments, she clarified with a pinned comment that she does have faults like everyone does.

It only reminds me how far away on the opposite end of the spectrum I am to these people.

Because being neurologically undeveloped has caused so many problems as I’ve tried to pursue a life worth living. I could say there’s nothing wrong with me if I lived in a vacuum bubble, safe from any conflict in a pure innocence of universal love and acceptance.

My experience tells me that these are the people who truly lack empathy and are the most intolerant. Do you know what? I’d love to live like that, really would. But that’s not the real world.

Of course we all need love and acceptance but we need honesty and truth. We need to be able to discern and make judgements.

You might say I’ve spent too much time listening to abled neurotypicals but, like it or not, this is how I had defined myself. We’re all human but my brain developed differently. What does it mean?

Other people always have given me the context with which to know and judge myself. Of all the gifts given by evolution to be a sentient human being. Why was I lumbered with so many curses? Why did I lack so much important stuff.

Why is not the real question. How else can I really know and judge myself without reference to something real and objective? What would it mean to be autistic if there were no one else to compare with?

Have trouble communicating? Well no worries because there’s no one to talk to anyway. But then what would you have to actually talk about?

No, we are a social animal and a social animal who hasn’t developed social skills is going to suffer.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is this. Who is the real ableist here? There are some folk who would have you believe that autism is not a disability at all but a mere variation.

Discrimination against the disabled comes from those who rather not put themselves out for someone in need and there’s no better way to do this than deny someone’s disability. Particularly those with hidden disabilities.

And how to respect someone’s disabilities without patronising or making them feel very small?

Accommodating someone’s actual need while encouraging them to make the most of the abilities they do have. Treating them like a human being by acknowledging their struggles.

I was deeply in love with someone to the point where I couldn’t accept or allow her to struggle with what she struggles with. Had to fix it, solve every issue. A noble overly romantic gesture but a complete denial of her disabilities. A complete lack of respect for who she was.

But this is the sort of thing I’ve had to figure out in order to come to terms with who I am.

The long old journey.

Thanks as always for reading. I hope to make us all better people at the end of the day but the starting point is myself as usual xx

Work, Rest & Play

Good evening, I’m back for another blog.

Quick note on what I’ve been up to. Working on the music, it going pretty well. I’ve gone back to my earlier track and hacked and rebuilt it and it is in better much shape now.

I can say now that I’m actually working on two songs at the same time and this week I’ll start on the artwork and be working on three parts of the project. I’ve decided to hold off on putting myself back out into the world until at least getting the songs and artwork published. Some pressure to get it done asap but it’ll take as long as it takes to make it good enough.

Some thoughts this week to chew on. It’s a good sign of the progress I’ve made that digging into the my deepest, darkest skeletons doesn’t fill me with dread anymore. In fact it’s been a source of deep profundity. I only normally get this insomniac obsessiveness over a train of thought when I’m anticipating some profound wisdom about something that has a deep logical beauty.

Like a beautiful mathematical concept that has so many facets.

I should say at this point that there has been a eureka moment where I understand the autism related factors and how they made me who I am in conjunction with external factors outside of my control. The deep burning shame I felt about things that weren’t my fault.

It is what it is and will continue to be. What I see differently now is the logical consequences of being forced to grow up too fast and how it left me playing catch up, playing a game I couldn’t possibly win.

Playing is completely the wrong word to use there. Quite the opposite in fact.

I had to work when I just wanted to play.

Even now, all I want to do is play. Even when needing a rest, just want to play. We humans grow up so we can look after ourselves and become independent, become productive and contribute.

Become responsible.

We become agents in the world and perform actions to achieve things. To do something with our lives. I don’t think I was ever prepared for adult life.

The first time I was told that when I grow up, I’ll have to get a job and work for a living, that may very well have been the first traumatic shock.

And I feel like an imposter in any job. I’m not ready for this and I don’t belong here. Only a matter of time until I’m exposed and punished.

At 40 years if age now, I’m still looking for adults to tell me what to do and how to do it. But asking for help is just so embarrassing. It was embarrassing when I was a child let alone now.

Why don’t people understand I’m still a child in an adults body. Why do they think I’m going to do the responsible adult thing? Well I do a good job of pretending.

I’ve heard it said that us autistics like role play and it’s the case for me too. That’s the real difference between work and play. Play is freedom.

The freedom to do what doesn’t need to be done. The freedom from demand and outcome in the real world. To act in the imagined world where reality can be simulated with no real danger, no real consequences for losing.

I was a fairly bad loser as a kid because of how seriously I took play time. Even when playing, you sometimes lose and experience outcomes you don’t want. It’s almost like meaning nothing objectively in reality means everything subjectively.

So why have I not yet followed my own blog-writing advice? I’ve been a hypocrite criticising everyone else’s childishness when I’m far more childish than most.

As I keep telling myself “I’m not ready”. And I don’t know if I ever will be. But I’m no longer ashamed of it. Not willing to beat myself up anymore.

This is something I would never have said before my autism diagnosis. I hear it a lot that autism shouldn’t be seen as disability but as a set of superabilities. It isn’t how I see it.

Now I have a diagnosed medical condition that resulted in a developmental delay that keeps me in a child like state without having fully matured. And it’s me that has to live with it, has to try and function as adult. And has to struggle day after day.

I don’t much look forward to having all my skeletons exposed to the world but it’s probably going to help me to finally get over a lifetime of hurt if I just go fuck it and spill the beans. Wash away all the muck from my inner self and have nothing left to hide.

Other than hiding my naive, vulnerable, sensitive soul from would be predators and exploiters that is.

It’s a test of how truly I can defeat the shame and be at peace with who I am and hence others too.

I’m only going to do that if I decide I want to do it and it doesn’t feel too much like work. And I don’t pressure myself either way. Treat it like role play.

In this regard it’s probably best to just write that in the journal rather than publish on the blog. Maybe publish if it actually succeeds in bleaching the demons and makes me sound cool in a dont-give-a-fuck way.

Anything that helps me shed the rotting corpse of who I was and allows me to finally be reborn is welcome.

Why should I continue to be afraid of public shaming when is stop shaming myself? A gentle reminder perhaps, something to always keep in mind, is that everyone has their own weaknesses and insecurities.

Anyone who would shame me for my weakness is more than likely projecting and deflecting. It would give me great pleasure to dispense justice and twist the knife.

But alas I’ve already been that person who hurts people I care about to deflect. And I’ve been hurt to the point that I don’t ever want to be hurt again. This is why I still believe mental health issues make us all worse people than we could otherwise be.

I don’t wish to stigmatize or demonize mental health struggles but I know more than most that it is a poison that spreads and does so much damage. The moral of the story is that we all seek happiness and fulfilment. We shouldn’t ever hide away from what we do to sabotage ourselves and why.

Use what we do have within ourselves to make our lives better. Work when we can. Rest when we can’t. Play when we can.

It’s your life and you are the boss, whatever happens. If you’re not the boss, rebel against your master.

Thanks for reading. Kindest Regards as always x

The same person I always used to be

How many hours did I spend searching for this track?

Back to the blog tonight. Start with sharing some good news. Having spent many hours looking for the name of this track, it was in my head for a while and I just had to listen to it again.

My memory. I tried every trick I could think of to trigger it. Nothing worked. Driving myself mad. But then I tried looking for the old archive of tracklists for Pete Tong’s old Radio 1 show.

Here’s where a rare bit of fortune went my way. The archive was available as far back as April 2002 and do you know where I found it? The second week of April 2002.

I spotted the name and knew it was the one I wanted. That was my whole tactic. It was just a matter of seeing the name and clicking.

It’s not even that I spend all my time listening to it but to have it in my memory and now to have it downloaded on iTunes. It’s there whenever I fancy it.

I have been making slow progress on my own music. Working on two tracks at a time to try and shake things up. Although what happened was that I got stuck on the first and haven’t worked on that one since.

I’m putting a lot of time and effort into the new one and it sounds good to me but I’m always trying to make it better. I haven’t settled on the sounds I want yet so haven’t started the arranging. Not yet putting the pieces together to make the song.

But I discovered a new technique, using the Delay and Chorus plugin. It’s just more finely crafted this time.

I may have another go with the first track but that needs quite a bit of untangling to get into shape.

It’s gonna be a new “album” or tranche of tracks and they need a new piece of artwork to go with them. That’ll be for the near future.

I’m thinking of creating a new playlist dedicated to the music I loved in 2002. It was when i really became a regular listener to all of Radio 1s dance and club shows.

All of the oldest tracks I remember them playing were all around that same time. It was an intense period of my life. I dropped out of uni that month and the music was my real obsession at that time.

I was growing into a whole new subculture of genre having been raised as a metalhead. Just discovered my love of clubbing which was the love and getting drunk and dancing to electronic music.

Won’t find many autistics who like night clubs and I wouldn’t like them either if it wasn’t for the alcohol.

It feels like in general I’m slowly becoming my old self again. Miserable old sold he was. Fondly reminiscing over a period of my life when I was still young and energetic. Happiness came in intense bursts and the lows were just as intense. But back then I still had my future ahead of me.

I find it harder than ever to find something that holds my interest for a sustainable time. Everything now I just monomaniacally fixate on until I burn myself out fairly quickly.

This despite the ongoing attempt to slow everything down to stay calm. But I’m just very bored again. It’s a familiar place to be and so it feels more natural and comfortable but I’m still bored.

Another long weekend thanks to coronation. Another Monday off. Time to get out and catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while. Something different to do.

I’ll celebrate the royal assassination anytime but I’m not paying any attention to the ridiculous charade.

Bought myself a new pair of trainers last week. Not terribly comfortable at the moment. The hard plastic at the back is digging into my heel. I thought they were too big when I tried them on but having already asked to try another size I didn’t want keep pushing it.

I’m now wondering whether they’re actually too small so they’re not breaking in very well. Don’t know but the soreness is giving me a distraction at least. I can cope with physical discomfort better than mental discomfort.

Things feel more stable now.

Thinking of how I used to be before I was diagnosed. Despite what everyone says it still doesn’t feel like things are better now. Family treat me mostly the same although we’re less close now.

A steady mix of masking my difficulties and completely coming out of my shell when things are going well, that was my way.

I never made excuses. I lived as much as my condition allowed me to. I walked away and buried myself when things become too difficult. I always did just enough to survive.

The most important thing I read about autism while I was on the waiting list to be diagnosed, was how my brain always tell me something isn’t right. It felt a relief to know that it was just inside my head.

But that doesn’t change how I still see the world as something that isn’t right. Always something that needs fixing. Always something that feels not ok.

In my case the diagnosis with nothing else but the curse of knowledge. The curse of self-awareness. Never been on any medication for it. Never had any counselling designed with autism in my mind. More of the same.

How is the long term goal of gaining self-confidence and security going? I care less what people think of me but then I just care less about people full stop.

It hasn’t really changed much at all has it? I’m no more or less autistic than I used to be but now I just live more autistically if that makes sense.

Bored. Nervous. Nervous. Bored. Ad infinitum.

Tired. Wired. Wired. Tired.

Such is life I guess. On to the next whatever. One day at a time and all that.

What is next? Fuck knows but I’ll find an excuse to write a blog about it.

But yeah, a door was opened into all the darkness I keep hidden away and I’m unable to wash it all off. Or just unwilling.

Having to come to terms who I really am, well it’s a full journey into the dark heart with no quick way out. People don’t tell you that there are reasons to mask and they don’t appreciate why.

It’s worth asking the question if my masking is an inseparable part of who I am, if it is in fact a part of my autism? As weird as that sounds but I face situations I don’t know how to deal with and my mind just goes blank. My face just adopts a non-threatening expression precisely because I’m trying to take some control.

I wish for a world where I don’t have to but that’s not the world we live in.

But I’m slowly starting to remember which version of myself I like best. The man who says what he believes and doesn’t pretend to be something he isn’t. But also the man who cares enough about people to take part and show people that I care about them.

It’s no coincidence that long depressions occur when I have to put myself first and shut myself off. How then, to stay strong enough? To walk the tightrope between socialising and shutdown?

I don’t have any answers, if anyone else does, answers on a postcard please.

To offer myself some suggestions, let’s find that special something that will help me like myself again. And for that I should throw off the shackles and put myself back out there. But to do it properly I should allow myself to do what I haven’t done for so long.

To forget that I’m autistic for a while and allow myself to be the same person I always used to be.

Thanks for reading as always. The journey continues as will the blog. I hope to find the path that can help anyone going through the same.

Some would say the journey is more important than the destination. It is the journey that I share xx

The Big Self-Talk pt 3

I’m compelled to continue on with this topic for a third part as events of last week have brought some things into focus.

The more time I spend alone, distancing myself from everyone, the harder it is to actually deal with unpleasant situations that arise in the real world outside.

This was the kind of thing I’ve been talking about this whole time. Learning how to actually deal with things instead of hiding away. The time spent by myself, the work of trying to improve myself. It was meant to make me more secure and confident.

Of course I get less confident to be out in the real world day by day. I had another opportunity to confront the past and make amends and once more I bottled it.

I was faced with the biggest decision a while back, to choose to progress outwards or to shrink further into myself and live the rest of my life isolated and alone. I chose the former but my actions scream the latter.

What really have I achieved travelling this lonely road? Just feels like a sheltered existence that is neither fun nor open to the new.

I had my latest 1-to-1 with my team leader at work. It was discussed how I had to pick a personal goal to work on this year and even now doubts are creeping about whether I will realistically make any progress towards it.

I had aimed to become an SME, a trusted team member who is the point of call for the book if business I work on. It was also suggested that I produce a full training manual and establish new processes with one of the senior analysts.

Now that our work is being transferred to a new company next year, it doesn’t really feel like there’s much point now. But I think I was always too scared of the responsibility and I just like working my own way anyway.

Part of my personality involves just being good at my job and i feel somewhat pressured to have to always be growing my professional development.

If I don’t show evidence of professional growth this year, will I be told I’m no longer wanted?

This part of me is looking out for betrayal and abandonment. I’m not sure I would want to work for a company that forces me to do something uncomfortable and would ditch me if I don’t.

This is one of the reasons why I still don’t truly invest myself in anything. How long until I get shafted?

How long until I just give up because things get too difficult?

I’m not happy with life at the moment but at least I’m safe to some extent.

With that being said I still feel lots of anxiety because there’s so much going on that can go wrong at any minute. So much doubt that things will be ok.

So much on the horizon that I wouldn’t be able to deal with. Bad things happen but they can be dealt with in such a way as to help you keep going and carry on, perhaps come out of it a little wiser and stronger.

For all I try to calculate and overthink, I just don’t know or can’t predict the outcomes of decisions to be made. This is where life experience comes in handy and experience can only ever be gained by doing, never by avoiding.

In order for me to do anything difficult, I need to know a few things. How much time and effort? How likely am I to achieve the desired result. What possible scenarios may arise? How can I escape if there is trouble?

When you spend your whole life avoiding such things, knowledge becomes impossible.

Is there anyone who can and will make compromises and accommodations for me or do I have to do all the compromising?

There is much I have to do by myself but how far can I take things if I refuse and choose to isolate further and live by my own rules?

Always the fear in my mind is that I’ll end up somewhere without help and without the means of survival. That I’ll find myself in deep trouble and end up ruining my life.

I haven’t talked about it much on here but it’s an old idea that, sub-consciously, I want to fail. Want to be proved right to be negative. Want to fuck things up. Want to destroy anything good.

In complete opposition to my conscious which wants everything to be good. Wants to be happy. Wants to succeed.

A compartmentalisation of the two sides of my psyche. Still to this day I lump the autism in with the dark side. The mind is good and happy when I can overcome the usual difficulties I have and hence why I continue to see my autism as all that is bad in my life.

And it’s impossible for me to just be positive when my judgements have always been based on outcomes in reality.

Long time readers will know that I frequently express horror at the ableist attitudes of others who don’t understand what it’s like, but I live in my head 24/7. I know it’s not a good place to be.

We’re all subjective beings but other people are the gateway to an objective reality as perceived by subjective beings. Science operates by other people recreating experiments to ensure results are reproduced in agreement.

The truth about me is that my beliefs are heavily influenced by others and my actions mirror the actions of others because that way lies consensus and a shared reality.

Few people can really understand what it truly means to be alone enough to lose grip on objective reality and be consumed by their own subjective ideology.

I’ve always been heavily critical of subjective ideology and the truth is I don’t want to become that type of person that believes all of their own bullshit. I can’t really judge because I’m not above my fellow humans in this regard.

Maybe I have such issues with confidence because I can’t let myself be subjective. And I couldn’t respect anyone else’s subjectivity.

Maybe this is why I struggle with social anxiety because everyone, myself included, has to be objective and right all the fucking time.

And everyone has to be in agreement otherwise were all just egos believing our own bullshit.

Conflict? Someone must be wrong. Objective reality is breaking down and someone must be wrong to save it. That someone is usually me.

Yes, masking. It’s so much more tolerable to just be like everyone else rather than create a schism by being different and feeling like the only one who believes.

And yet I love when I’m confident enough to be different and subversive. Being unique is what makes you interesting.

I guess the take home message is that I’m too self-conscious of being too different. Standing out not in a good way but feeling like a freak to point adult and laugh at.

I mask to stop feeling like a solipsistic freak basically. To ground myself in a human reality and to feel part of something.

The truth of spending too much time alone is that it feels like there is nothing else out there except what goes on in the subjective experience. But at least there remains a modicum of control.

There is safety and predictability in knowing you are going to fail so why bother trying. But that is so not a good way to live your life.

My brain is still stuck in safety mode but the longer it stays there, the less safe it actually feels.

To escape is to merely switch off the safe mode and take a risk. Best bet though is to be cautious and take things one small step at a time.

There is another way to touch base with reality and that is to experiment. Just do. Something. Anything. Jot down the results and take note of what works.

Thank you as always for reading. It would be good if it helps someone but they are just ideas at the end of the day xx

The Big Self-Talk pt 2

I promised I’d come back to continue Fridays post. Experienced something like falling off the wagon. Derailed my whole mode let alone my train of thought.

Anxiety attacks again. Just exposing myself too much. Sure enough I did just go to bed about 6pm and stayed there until 2.30pm the following day.

We’ve got guests staying at the moment and that has bought more drama and stress than I needed.  I’m bored of life but any IRL drama is just triggering all out terror.

Since I mentioned dialectics in the previous post, it’s something that is on my mind all the time now. Anything that can be good in life can turn bad from another angle. There is nothing left in the world that is a guaranteed good.

Anything that helps one minute can hurt the next. Can be turned against you. Most people can deal with it fairly comfortably but my brain just can’t be flexible enough.

Avoiding blackness is all that matters but I can’t see beyond it. As everyone knows fantasy works best when it’s got a basis in reality. I lost the ability to mix the two and now I’m stuck between oscillating black reality and white fantasy that does nothing to help me in reality.

Always looking to reconnect internally and rejoin the different sides of myself again, get them working together.

The questions I have to ask myself and the choices I have to make are not clear. But the  questions I have to ask are really how I’m going to get the answers I desperately need.

The previous life I miss so much, that’s fine for the time being. There’s nothing wrong with trying to regain it but I have to be honest and say that it’s up to me to actually do something in reality and not just refuse to let go of the past.

Actually live in the present among the real world without retriggering the same old wounds. Without being overwhelmed by the same old blackness.

Aside from the fact that I need to keep my boundaries up against the blackness, I need space and light to operate in. To engage in something that I actually love but not let that love become imprisoned within a wall of darkness.

To find a love that can’t ever be subverted.

To what extend has my own struggle made me more empathetic to the struggles of others? Little it seems so long as my own continue to overwhelm me. I can only empathise with what I see and I stopped seeing other people.

I’ve been watching a lot of Blade Runner reactions on YT in preparation for having another go at the video game. I’m reminded of how much I love the philosophical thought provoking sci-fi.

Something I never really considered before is how the replicants in the movie reflect my own underdeveloped emotional responses. They are portrayed very child like but with extraordinary abilities and ruthless motivations that can come across as intimidating.

In the original novel they were written as inhuman emotionless robots as a metaphor for Nazi concentration camp guards. In the film they have developed emotions that are new to them and feel very raw and animalistic.

In both of course, they are hated for who they are and hunted to extinction.

I’d love to write something like it but I think I struggle with creative writing because it doesn’t feel like it’s anchored in any reality. Just pure escapist fantasy.

There’s no limit to absolute freedom but I live such stringent logic that freedom is one of the scariest things.

Plus I need to be in a particular head space to actually sit down and write. To be comfortable where I am and be motivated to do something useful.

It is time to fundamentally change my entire daily routine. To do what is good and healthy. To keep myself in physical shape and be healthy enough to function in the real world. To touch grass as the saying goes and engage in the real world while but to keep doing things I actually enjoy.

It’s always been difficult to find people who really share my interests. What I’ve learnt is how bad it is to lose yourself when trying to find love.

Actually sharing my life with someone and them sharing their lives with me was everything I wanted in life and it remains that way even now. I knew I wasn’t really ready. I know that I always pushed people away when things don’t go the way the way I want.

Pushed people away as soon as the blackness comes. And once it arrives I feel how much of myself I’ve already lost.

I need to be more realistic about who I actually am but I can’t help the fact that I’m not inspired by what’s realistic. Not inspired by anyone who says “you just gotta be yourself”. But then maybe that’s just because I never had the confidence to actually do it.

It feels so simple and easy to just “be yourself”. Yet it was never easy for me and seeing other people do it just makes me feel like I just don’t belong.

Being yourself feels like an illusion anyway. Who the hell actually knows who you really are? How the hell do you know if anyone is actually being themselves? I know I don’t trust people because I only know masking and hiding. I only know secretive, manipulative behaviour because it’s how I learned to deal with the world.

How I learned to protect myself when no one else could.

I want to escape the trap I’m stuck in but I don’t want to face up to the work I need to do. My actions have told me that the desire to stay in the familiar groove has always trumped the desire to be confident and successful.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the external influences in my life that keep me from flourishing. But then I’ve never ever done a good job when on my own.  Because when I’m on my own I’m looking to someone else for guidance.

How can I listen to my own voice when it produces so much darkness? How I can stop the voice from producing darkness? How can I connect the real world with positivity and confidence when I’m not in control of my own emotional darkness?

Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that things are ok. Despite all the darkness, things can be ok because you just get through it. Do what you have to protect yourself and live to fight another day.

The same ruthless high standards I set are the same forces that keep me fighting for a better future.

It’s time to work smart rather than hard and actually be effective in making things better. Time to recognise that some things that aren’t fun to do are actually beneficial and worth doing.

Who knows, may be I can make these things fun somehow. To be fun, they need to not be a fucking struggle.

I think I should realise at this point, that the urge to be a good person in all circumstances is not actually what makes me happy. But then I always preferred to be good than happy.

I don’t think anyone can really call their lives a good life without taking sufficient joy for the sake of being a happy human.

Breaking free of the self-imposed prison should be the happiest day of my life but it all comes down to me and if I can do what I need to do.

As long as I can actually believe that I can and will make myself happy then all will be well. Even if that means finding the right people to find friendships or deeper relationships.

Anxiety still is that sense that things aren’t ok. As a physiological response that doesn’t switch off easily, the hardest thing in the world for people like me, is just to feel ok.

Where’s that rational problem solver gone? Where has the human self gone? Buried by the black flood of trauma response.

The solution lies among the stuff I haven’t tried yet or the stuff I haven’t given enough commitment to. But I do not and never have doubted that there is a solution waiting to be found.

Theory and practise. Dialectics and praxis. As good as it is to feel human and feel emotions, nothing you want will ever happen without theory and practise.

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to stop blogging for the sake of taking action but the answer is a resounding no.

This is where I do the thinking required.

The only choice to make is the big one. Do I keep running away and making excuses or do I fucking do something to turn my life around? It takes strength and courage and I keep telling myself it’s too hard. There’s no point. It won’t work.

Other people can and would love to help me but they haven’t been able to touch the deeply ingrained voice of defeat. This is something only I can do anything about.

I make no promises now that I can follow my own advice. But I’m only going to succeed by trying.

I hope this marks the end of this chapter and the beginning of a new one. But I will never stop.

Kindest Regards as always xx

The Big Self-Talk

Something a bit different today. I’ve come to the pub to chill out and write another blog as usual. The difference being that it’s lunchtime and I’ll probably end up getting fairly drunk. Or I’ll just drink til I feel terrible and go home and sleep.

But I wanted to dig deep into the topic and try to find some new conclusions. Or strengthen some old ones.

Is my autism really that bad or am I still in denial? I saw recently some footage on YT of a compilation of respectful moments in football. There some heartwarming scenes of Tim Ream leading the Fulham team accompanied by one of the mascots, a young girl sporting ear defenders.

Tim himself sports a pair in a gesture of support and acceptance. Danny Ings the Aston Villa captain has done the same for a young lad as well.

The video in question unfortunately referred to the girl as “sick with autism” which rather undermined the show of respect.

It got me thinking of how there’s absolutely nothing sick about having severe sound sensitivity. We are just different. We struggle because the world isn’t set up to make us comfortable. It’s run on neurotypical lines.

And I guess it’s always going to be that way. Unless we autistic become the majority that runs things. And even then we are all different anyway with different strengths and tolerances.

Though it may have been nothing more than a supportive gesture that offered consideration and connection, it still felt like exactly what we should be given by those around us.

This is what really hurts me I think, that I’ve got relative disabilities that aren’t visible and the accommodations and considerations that I needed were never given.

Given the diagnosis of what used to be called Aspergers is very much a diagnosis of being different and having struggles due to the fact I’ve been trained to believe my differences made me bad.

I know of people who have a much more severe condition which requires 24hr care. My own condition by comparison never felt like a disabiliy but I knew there was so much so just couldn’t do and have managed to get by without.

Being diagnosed really only gave me license to say there is something wrong with me. I say now that really anything wrong with me is just how I’ve had to live my life, avoiding dealing with things, hiding away. Not fitting in anywhere unless I hide all my pain away. Only ever feeling happy when under the influence of alcohol and chemically killing any fears or inhibitions.

Becoming more and more embittered as I repeatedly failed to make a good life for myself. I’m a clear cut example of someone who always self-sabotages due to the fact that I’ve come to believe that I’m inherently broken, sick, a danger to others if I don’t act “normal”.

The classic story of someone who lives under the horrific assumptions of trauma and seeks to be hurt because it’s familiar and expected.

The sad thing about normality is that there comes a point where you can’t accept what’s different. It doesn’t matter who you are, something will come along that is unacceptable. Some of us have long experienced it and it becomes part of our identity.

There’s something inevitable about becoming what we hate. I see it a lot. I’m still a mirror of all the fear and anxiety I’ve had to endure and when it can down to it, I couldn’t accept anyone else’s struggles.

Shutting down is the main defense mechanism I have and that’s always been my way. But I want to stop doing it. There are always better ways of dealing with things.

I want more than anything to stop living under the shadow of past grievances and be a force for good in the world and that means a lot of hard work to actually change the way I deal with the world.

Yes I have to accept myself and be who I am but who I am is still haunted. I’ve always known that I had to do something to sort my mental health issues out. It meant learning to accept myself but also change something fundamental.

The angel within me, I had thought that he died but he is slowly reemerging again. He represents the part of me that cares about things, about other people. It’s a painful lesson to learn but somehow the truth is that I need to stop mirroring and rise above all the hurt.

It’s part of how my brain is wired that I treat people how they treat me without ever considering that I might just be a good person whatever happens. I could maybe turn the other cheek and understand that other people have their own difficulties and shouldn’t be punished for hurting me.

This takes a fundamental rewriting of my thoughts and feelings that can only come from overcoming the trauma beliefs. I think beliefs can only be overcome and changed by testing against reality but that’s already a terrifying prospect.

When I asked for help I was told that only I can help myself and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. It’s the reason I’m still blogging the same the shit week after week. I’m not yet ready to actually do something new or meet new people or make new friends or talk to old friends.

Whatever I’ve done it hasn’t touched the same old insecurities. Hasn’t lead to any real change. I don’t want to change, but I haven’t been able to move on until I do change.

This has nothing whatsoever to my autism but is the history of my struggle with autism. Or was it just my struggle with being different? Without this struggle would I ever have needed to be diagnosed with anything?

I wonder now about whether my chronic lack of self-confidence was always just trauma-based self sabotage. To maintain the narrative that I must be defective because the narrative is easier than the work. This maintains the narrative that I’m just lazy so it becomes part of my identity.

How to rise above the black and white world of good and bad when there’s no doubt that my life is defined by objectively bad experiences.

So many questions remain unanswered. What can/should I change? What about me is worth keeping. If I only ask myself and not care what others think, will that just make me lonely and unhappy? If I look to others to make me happy, can I stay strong enough to hold on to myself?

This is dialectics and they are hard but they are worth it.

I think maybe this is the first time I have ever truly used the blog to actually work through my issues rather than attempt to portray myself as an autistic voice people might want to read.

Maybe that’s just because I’ve reached that point now where I’ve not got anywhere else to go with it.

I have always wanted to be calm and confident around other people. Maybe this means in effect that I want to be “cured” of my social anxiety. Well in that case I want to have done it myself without anyone else’s intervention. By the sheer brainpower of my own mind.

I actually like solving problems, by myself.

This is really the only meaningful thing now. I’m so tired of running and hiding. So sick of the trauma narrative. It’s not what’s I consider a life worth living and yet the realisation only comes in times like these when I have to confront it.

I told someone once that I’ve been stuck in autistic shutdown, that in fact I’ve unavoidably been exposed to my autistic kryptonite with no escape and that I’ve been under attack non-stop. And I’ve done the best I can to survive.

The truth is I didn’t really ever feel autistic until after my diagnosis and since then, I’ve become more and more “autistic”, less tolerant of change, less able to deal with anything, less able to actually look after myself.

It feels now like this was all just a narrative. An excuse to hide behind.

I will leave it to the reader to judge whether I’m really much of an autistic ally, to say whether I sound genuinely autistic or not.

I am very much neurodivergent and suffer the scars of not ever being truly accepted. I can speak with as someone who has internalized 4 decades worth of ableism and stigma.

It’s glaringly obvious the one thing I haven’t done yet to help myself is to actually do the work of getting myself clean and healthy. Showing myself that I actually care by maintaining myself.

I may not very good at doing that but I can’t hide from the fact that I refused to care for myself when no one else cared about me. That mirroring again. I disconnected from everyone in the hope that I would care for myself but I had already given up. Lost hope. Decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

Found myself in a horrible situation whereby it was just easier not to care. About anything.

The only thing that keeps me going is the absurdly high standard of quality of life I set myself. But yet when did I ever actually meet that high standard. Just give up. Just give in. Fight another day. We will try again tomorrow.

Except we won’t and we know we won’t. We will do just enough to get through and then we will give up, again.

I’ve drained my battery so this will continue soon. In the meantime thank you again for reading. It means a lot to me xx

Shut the borders and declare independence (Metaphor again, Jim)


Got a week off work this week. As you can imagine I’ve done little worth talking about so far. The best thing I can say is that I went for a walk this afternoon for some small overdue exercise.

Today being the day I got round to my only planned activity of walking and going to the pub knowing I don’t have to get up for work in the morning.

Some possible notion that I might try to organise doing something other than staying at home doing nothing productive.

Resting has always been the main aim anyway as I have my first booked annual leave since before Xmas. Not being able to sleep early always leads to writing the next day off as just resting.

Well I’m here again, blogging to keep myself busy in the pub except I don’t really have much to talk about at all.

My latest distraction has been returning to an old live from my teens. Something I was wildly into once upon a time slowly grew out of.

Yeah so I’m back into the old professional wrestling sports entertainment behemoth now known as the WWE. Been watching some old classic footage and have been catching up with where it is now.

Also interested in reliving the history of the business, the feuds, the stars, from the early days through the periods I originally stopped watching. The business as a concept has always been compelling for one reason or another.

The fictional world of the WWE has a peculiar logic of its own and it’s something I think about studying and recording as an aid to seeing how things unfold.

It becomes a strange macrocosm of a fantasy world that mirrors so much of humanity, especially the dark extremes.

There’s much to hate about it and I don’t know how much time and money I’m willing to invest in it but for now, my YouTube homepage is being dominated with wrestling thanks to the all powerful algorithm.

What the whole thing has reminded me of is how much excitement I’m missing at the moment. The business is fake of course but so long as you actually buy into it, it can be a rollercoaster.

The business was protected for so long but recent changes in the social media age means they’ve dropped much of the pretence and everyone knows now but it doesn’t really matter. Pretty much any wrestler of note has a podcast filled with secret spilling.

You buy into it to get what you want out of it. The melding of reality and fantasy is now just as compelling as anything else.

It’s been a long time since I bought into anything. The old problem remains, losing myself in the process of seeking excitement.

The conflict between emotional stability and excitement of the unpredictable. What I’m doing now is more about regaining the stability so I’m not really buying into anything.

Not sure what is actually worth buying into. Just keeping myself distracted enough to make the days worthwhile.

There comes a time when you realise that the only thing you ever need to buy into is yourself. Whatever it is you do. Invest yourself, your time and energy. Perhaps even your money.

Whatever can be said about my neurodivergence, a big problem has always been that I seem unable to invest myself in myself. To actually buy into and believe in anything I actually do.

Well I know I’m just crap at many things, particular anything that involves performance. I always did like and respect people who can do things I can’t.

But I guess it does nothing to compare myself in this way. Nothing helpful. Just an escape. It could be argued that I create the excitement I feel internally but it comes from something created by someone else.

This is the dependence I have on others. Left to myself I don’t feel much excitement at all. It’s probably true of all of us that we can’t feel excited by our own mental worlds because we can’t really be surprised when we just be by ourselves.

We know only what we know and change doesn’t come from our assumptions. Possibilities and hopes come from something outside of ourselves.

It’s hard to describe but the very idea of performing anything causes such paralyzing fear in me and I think it comes from the idea that I have to go against my very nature to express something artificial. I have a hard enough time expressing anything that’s true let alone fake.

I kind of know this is the reason why i struggle with creativity. My brain doesnt do artifice. I can do routine, predictability, patterns, orders, sets, categories, expectations, etc. Not so good at anything that uses new ideas, such as spontaneity, flexibility or hope.

Why am I writing this blog again? To talk to myself for a bit because I already know it’s helpful but I’m not going to actually achieve anything with it or change anything.

I would like life to be exciting again but I’m not really built to provide any excitement or variety. I’ll just keep on doing what I do regardless. The forces of change have always been other people.

As I learn to be more self-assured and secure and independent, I’m no longer willing to sacrifice myself for other people. But hot damn, I’ll need to gamble at some point.

It doesn’t feel like I’ve reached that point yet so I’ll keep on being me in the meantime. Going AWOL in the face of anything that should or needs to be done and just taking the pressure off.

Yeah I’m still not ready. And still no one has reached out to make things easier. No one to lighten the load. No one to build the bridge I can’t build. No one to offer what I can’t provide for myself.

It’s no longer a pity party for me but it is a justification for why I stopped caring. Every interaction is a two-way street and yet it is one I continue to travel alone. Told at every turn it is a road I have to travel when no one else bothers to meet me half way.

I still need to make the journey but it should be no surprise that I seek to shut the borders and declare independence. The very moment I can be self-sufficient and meet my own needs, I’m gone and you will never see me again.

We humans aren’t like that though and I will always need people around me for various reasons. Variety makes life so exciting.

Thank you as always for reading xx


Greetings. A new blog today but first I do regret the tone of my last post. Needlessly oppositional and a sign of how my mood was slipping.

To balance things out I thought I’d get back to examining and critiquing myself again.

Still a few things to confront on the journey to fully accepting myself. Something I’m coming to terms with about myself. A new source of interest in regard to a realisation about myself. A new perspective to come from and engage in what has been a long term issue.

Fear of time wasted. Fear of time lost. Everything in life that I have lost reduces to the same thing. The loss of fun time.

It’s not time itself I fear, far from it. I love time. I don’t give myself enough time because I’m always looking to do something with my time. To fill existence and fend off the blackest emptiness.

Regrettably the term Chronophilia has been co-opted by nonces as a sanitizing euphemism.

Time is the most fascinating concept. I challenge anyone to attempt to define it without getting tied in knots.

To talk about living in the present at every moment is to ignore the past and the future. I’ve been thinking about how it feels like time stands still despite the fact that time always passes. To connect past and future at the joint of the present is a way to ensure never to get bored of the present.

Everyone knows how time flies when you enjoy yourself but when you’re not, you stare at the clock willing time to pass quicker. And yet it drags more than ever.

There’s something to the way time flies when you’re absolutely engaged in doing something that it feels like no time was lost at all and the present seemed to go on and on.

And so to the artistic and romanticized summary of recent times. But roughly two years ago time itself was shattered for me. The world stopped turning. The future and the past were lost to trauma leaving me trapped as time stopped and died.

Metaphorically my heart stopped beating, everything died around me. Everything changed and nothing was the same. In my heart, nothing has changed, no time has passed. Nothing will ever change again. Time itself has no meaning and the present moment is in a state of chaotic flux.

All is potential and nothing is real. The reason I haven’t moved on and gotten over things is because the moment I do, the world have restart and I will wake up knowing that time has been lost.

I will be older and little wiser, without any momentum to kick on. I will have to think about the future again and plan for things that I don’t actually want in any way, shape or form.

It means I’ll have to start caring again and that was ultimately my downfall. It comes at great cost to invest yourself. Through the transactional lens good things can come your way but it can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Time is the most valuable commodity you can invest because you can never get it back. I’ve spent my whole life trying to hoard as much time as I can because what in life was actually worth giving it up?

One other thing I’m truly afraid of now is confronting how much has gone to rot in the last few years as I refused to spend time maintaining things. How much time will it cost to repair the rot? Can I not just get away with hiding forever?

I’ve come to appreciate avoidance again, it’s an underrated defense mechanism that’s gotten a bad reputation. I’ve tried to address avoidance and tried to overcome it. It didn’t work and I don’t expect it ever to do so.

This is the core of who I am and living my life by my own rules. Avoiding things I don’t like in pursuit of all that I do. Because it doesn’t make sense to waste time feeling uncomfortable.

I was hyper-attached to the present moment, only ever seeking to improve the present moment, extend the present moment, let it evolve in a continuum, let it dominate the past and the future.

Even if it’s the reason I’m so anxious all the time, I wouldn’t ever give it up. I never have.

There have been so many times I wished I could stop dwelling on all the loss and pain. I know why I did and still do dwell. It’s only to keep those moments alive in the present and ensure I never have to say goodbye, never have to let go of the present and never have to face the future.

I’m not hostage to the opposing forces of past and future. I stand guard, eyes on both, chaining them both to the present moment, to the very core of my being.

If we’re all honest, I rather suspect that fear of death is in fact just a manifestation of the true fear of lost time. I remember as a child, the first time I learned of the concept of death. Had a big old cry as I understood I didn’t want to ever die.

Didn’t want to ever lose conscious existence and be no more.

Roy Batty is the hero of Blade Runner because he wants “more life, fucker.” Rutger Hauer understood it so deeply, he adlibbed the famous Tears in Rain speech.

The long search for connection with others has always been about connecting myself to something bigger and deeper. More profound. The connection of consciousness and human experience. Connecting my past to my future, creating a conduit for joy in the present moment.

A gateway for a troubled past to become a hopeful future filled by living in the present moment.

Change can be good or bad. It’s not change I’m truly afraid of but change represents a death and a birth. If change is a natural evolution of something then it is connected. If not then it is a conflict, a separation that only feels like a death.

The darkest demonic inner critic serves some useful functions. Keeps me anchored through times of loss. Keeps me in the present. Reminds me of how good life could have been and tells me when life is too shit to deal with.

I’m slowly turning what used to be negatives into positives by understanding and appreciating what makes me me and why. Everything for a reason and all that.

Time marches on and a thousand other cliches. I’ll do my best forever and always to ignore and deny it. It’s what I do best.

3 hours spent writing the blog and it’s always time well spent. I don’t regret a single second.

Thank you for reading xx