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

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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 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

Balance, Anxiety and Talking Shit

Going to start the blog off by saying that I’ve fallen into the usual trap of writing stuff from one perspective and ending from another. It feels like much of what I wrote last time will soon be contradicted or at least come in to some sort of conflict.

But yeah it’s a been a difficult day. Been anxious from the moment I woke up though I have been able to calm down this afternoon. Sunday struggles have become routine. And Saturdays as well let’s be honest.

You look forward to the weekend all week because you’re free to do your own thing in your own time. It used to be a case of putting pressure on myself to do something that I love and then just not getting into gear. Not finding the motivation to do much if anything until I find a place where I’m at least engaged.

It still is the case to some extent but now I don’t really feel like doing anything. Anything I do enjoy I’ve already been doing too much. Getting bored. Wanting more. More variety. All while being too anxious to try anything new. Can’t think well enough to plan to do something that needs planning and coordination.

These are the conflicts that I feel with everyday. Too tired to do anything that requires preliminary work. Just want to get straight in feet first.

Having a full time job means we good chunk of my week isn’t free but under the conditions of having to do something without much choice.

Under pressure to meet more demands now that I’m in a position of having more responsibility.

Times to knuckle down and do the real world stuff. Times to lose yourself in escapism. Both if those represent a functional need. But they’re in conflict. I wrote a long time ago about needing to find more balance in my life which is hard because of my black and white binary nature.

I need time alone to strengthen myself but I also need time with friends to lessen the burden and maybe have someone to share my life with.

So I started the day with a bad dream. The kind that leaves you shaken and fearful. It’s a dream I’ve had before and it’s impact hasn’t lessened.

Once more I dreamed of her. She was different now and I tried to talk to her but she dismissed me as someone who she had written off out of her life.

It showed me that I still want to be friends again and that she can still hurt me emotionally. I still love her despite everything that happened.

The same anxiety about being hurt that stopped me from staying friends with her.

But I’ve applied the useful advice I’ve picked up. No matter how hard or how long it takes, I sat down and digged deep. What is the root of what I’m feeling? What is the cause? What is the problem that needs to be resolved. How can I try to resolve it?

How far am I willing to go to resolve it. What will happen if it can’t be resolved?

So what it is that’s so important to me cause such anxiety? If the worst case happens, what do I have to fall back on?

I’m willing to put myself out there again so long as it doesn’t derail what I’m doing now which is to forge the relationship I’m building with myself.

Balance again. Balance the demands of caring for others with caring for myself. Doing both at the same time. Any conflict that would prevent that is either overcome or it isn’t.

In this virtual age there are alternatives to IRL friends. Its not quite the same but it’s better than nothing. I reminded of the main reason I fell in love with the Mass Effect video games.

Your squad of loyal friends. Facing up to existential threats with people by your side. People from wildly diverse alien species who share a common bond. They are a family, much closer than the family your born with.

They get to know you and trust you. They believe in you and they would follow you into hell. No matter how much we trust in ourselves having those people in your life makes everything better.

All along I’ve been preparing myself for returning to friend-seeking because I don’t really want to live the rest of my life alone. But I’ve needed to find a place where I’m happy alone. I’ve needed to find some way to deal with loss and that has come from being able to live with myself again.

I’m basically trying to learn how not to be afraid and that has meant dealing with being afraid. So I guess I ask the question what is anxiety anyway?

When I get anxious I get shaky, very shaky. Its like being hungry. I don’t know whether it’s a similar physical issue or not but there’s a sense of being too weak to stay in control. My body just decides to shake and there’s nothing I can do about it.

When I started going to the autism hub I read plenty of related material and the first thing that truly struck me was the idea that may brain goes into fight/fright/freeze/fawn mode. It gets stuck there. A physiological response that is not supposed to happen but does.

For many reasons I frequently don’t feel safe because I don’t have the experience of dealing with whatever sets my triggers off. Coping strategies have been there when really needed but they alone don’t let you actually deal with anything in a way that counts.

Historically, your rational brain goes AWOL in the presence of danger but in my case it goes in the presence of change and doubt. Insecurities and worries.

On to masking. I usually only mask when I’m around others because it was the first coping strategy I learnt and because well… it worked. There are many things that I can’t hide from myself. Its usually when I’m in social mode that the mask goes on forcefully enough to fool myself.

Any anxiety I feel is the first thing I actually hide from others because it’s always been a source of shame. In terms of promoting awareness of autism I shouldn’t hide this stuff. If people don’t understand me it’s probably because of how well I’ve hid it all from everyone.

I think to start with, I don’t need to stop masking entirely. Find the balance. Masking has kept me sane and protected me from a lot but it created too many problems.

It was a wild ride when I took that mask off and began to unleash my personal demons on Facebook. No one expected it and no one reached out to me as they were probably too scared about making things worse.

At that time I really just needed someone to reach out to me. I was craving attention to be honest because I’d finally felt the impact of having hid my true feelings away for so long.

Finding the balance. I’ll keep on saying that. Mask sometimes when it’s beneficial. Be honest when it’s beneficial. Don’t make either so routine to lock yourself in.

Of course don’t bottle things up. Easier said than done.

I’ve gotten back into making music and a new track will be done soon. A new concept for my next concept album. The concept is building/forging/finding/strengthening/being/living/loving/ respecting yourself. Putting yourself first. All the work I’ve done has been in isolation but there comes a point when you need to check in with others and have friends to talk to.

To deny that is to fool yourself.

I’ve got a lot to talk about at the moment which will probably be left for another day. Political rants will be forthcoming. Interconnections between mental health and personal politics, particular the identity kind of politics. Not why I’m here tonight though.

Just trying to make myself feel better. Finding the balance again. Sitting in a quiet pub, sipping the third or fourth pint, letting my thoughts into print. I never feel anxiety doing this. Blogging feels like a victory.

Though I still hold my writing to absurdly high standards and wish to do so much more with it, the act of writing feels like the best thing I’m doing by far.

I should just blog for the sake of blogging, even if its talking shit, just talking shit. At least I’m talking. Taking shit, talking shit, talking shit. Here alone it seems I can talk without anxiety.

Fuck those absurdly high standards, wish I could just write and talk shit forever. Don’t forget the balance though, balance the high standards with just talking shit.

Thank you for reading as always and I balance my love for you with love for myself xx

Celebrating more

Blog time, I’ve been meaning to blog more. Got a few small hobbies keeping me entertained.

Celebrated the Man United Carabao cup win. Genuine feel good stuff from the players which has made me fall in love with football again.

I thought to myself, it’s the way the players celebrate every win like it’s the World Cup. Particular Lisandro Martinez who actually won the World Cup just 3 months ago.

Yeah, it’s something I heard a while back as part of mental health advice. Celebrate your wins. Celebrate taking part. Celebrate the lessons from losing.

All the good times in my life have been a celebration of taking part in social occasions. I was never good at the other side though. Dealing with the painful side of human existence.

I wanted to say a sincere thank you to those who subscribe and like my blog posts because it does make me feel good and that’s part of what I wanted to get from blogging.

The good feeling is the reward for having made a positive impact from writing about the stuff I write about. And so I’ll celebrate it as a win every time.

I’ve always wanted to be a respected voice for the autistic community but I don’t know if I’ve really managed to take things in that direction.

Still have many doubts about whether my diagnosis really says much about me. I’ve mostly just been sharing my perspective regardless of how my autism affects me.

Communication has always been my biggest weakness and and I don’t really know how to communicate in such a way as to describe how my autism manifests.

I watched several prominent autism/adhd Youtubers and I get the feeling that they don’t have the same communication problems that I have. For how could they when they successfully carve out a large audience for their sharing of autistic content.

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s verbal or written. I struggle to find the words that really speak clearly.

I was actually taken to a speech therapist in my first year of secondary school at age 12 as my PT was worried about why I didn’t ever ask or answer any questions in class. I just didn’t really want to or need to.

I suspect though that my mouth muscles didn’t develop properly due to lack of use and I just never felt like I was any good at talking. Mumbling and stumbling over words.

Looked into Hyperlexia because I learnt to read at a young age but I always thought I was just skim reading and I didn’t properly take in or absorb much information.

I got a good skill for learning the meaning of words through the context of how they’re used and I can quickly figure out how to use a new word. But I was never able to find the right word to use when talking about myself or when other people talk about themselves.

Communicating in a normal social way? Don’t do that well. But I don’t think I’ve really wanted to be normal so I talk in a way that makes things harder to understand. If I communicate something that needs to be said I’ll do it in a simple snappy way that doesn’t really encourage further debate.

I don’t think I lack social imagination. Quite the opposite in fact. Overwhelming is how I find social ideas and activities. But the filters are on hard. I don’t find normality all that interesting but I find it extremely hard to share my interests with others.

Too many words. Too many concepts. Too many implications. Too many possibilities. Too many choices. When I’m bored and need something new where all they all? Hidden away behind some dark veil I can’t explain.

I dont like change because my brain likes to understand how things are and routines make me feel comfortable because I can predict what will happen. Changes disturb all of that. Literally disturbing they are.

When my brain resettles and adjusts it begins to feel exciting and interesting but there is always a period of anxiety.

When i was with friends who i connected with it was addictive and I didnt ever want to stop. Sinve things fell apart i had to readjust and learn how to be happy on my own again. Now I’ve basically done that I don’t want to push myself back into socialising because I’ve gotten used to the freedom that comes with being only focused on making myself happy. I’m happy to be own my own now and I don’t want that to change.

Only one subject of focus at any time. Anything else just disturbs the peace.

Its time to get back into music making. I’ve been listening to one of my own tracks, the one I’m most proud of and like listening to. The glimmer of inspiration has been calling. It will be nice to take break from what I’m doing now. My spreadsheet projects.

Blogging is good for me because I feel more empowered when I do communicate something personal. Working a full time job, I now look forward to logging off at the end of the day so I can be free by myself to do what I want to do by myself.

And in that space I don’t need to talk to anyone or struggle with personal insecurities. Blogging for me now, is the best way for me to meet social needs. To get stuff off my chest and communicate without having to worry about anything. I’d still like to achieve a wider reach and get more likes.

Its doubtful whether the blog will ever be professional enough and I absolutely don’t want to sell it to anyone with the usual bells and trinkets. I just want to perfect the writing and let it speak for itself.

With my long term job security now not quite iron-clad, it may be a real option to seriously consider what I can do within the autism community.

What can I actually do for the autistic community. Dunno. Just be myself probably. Be a voice for advocacy and support but above all be honest.

If course I sank into a very dark place over the last 2 years. I simply wasn’t able to offer any kindness, gratitude, any positivity at all. There was simply no option but to react in the way I did and always have done. Only in a much deeper way than I ever had before.

Are you in a bad place? Why don’t you try being in a good place?

Eff off, it took so much time and work to turn my life around. I wish I had the words to explain and describe the process but it didn’t come from anything that can be put into words. Just a 40 year old man slowly plucking up the courage to stop being ashamed of himself and stop caring about what people think of him for the first time in his life.

One small step at a time. One boundary put in place here and there. And all of this without having conquered any of the biggest fears. They still remain. Still avoiding many things.

Some things that will always be a source of anxiety and I’ve reevaluated the wisdom of actually avoiding environments where I don’t deal with things very well. I’ve let go of silly fantasies of magically fixing myself.

Letting go of any notion that I should meet expectations that aren’t reasonable for a man with my condition.

No less than altering the fundamental approach to life to finally reflect who I really am and what capable or incapable of.

I hesitate to say it but it’s been on my mind. I think I might actually be mentally healthy now. I can appreciate and show those things I listed above. To show gratitude. To now celebrate everything I’ve done that has got me to this point.

It may always be fragile in the end.

Never far away from having the peace disturbed. Have I just learned how best to avoid and not actually learned how to deal with any conflict?

It’s no longer of any importance to. I don’t feel any urge to change who I am anymore. Or to learn or to grow. That will come anyway, I don’t need to force it.

Maintaining the desire to be great at anything I do without letting it destroy me.

Ultimately I’ll always be highly sensitive to how others see me. I’ll always be hyper-self-conscious around other people.

I’ll probably never be what is commonly thought of as “cool”.

But in my isolation I now see myself as cool enough. Can I hold onto that? Will reconnecting with friends destroy that feeling? I’d rather not risk it right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think I was always more scared of myself than I was scared of other people. In some ways it amounts to the same thing. I react to other people, they are the trigger but I’m the one who fears.

And how I always wished it wasn’t the case. But wishing doesn’t get you anything does it?

Something weird happened. I actually began to love myself despite all my faults. The really important thing I did was merely to put myself first. To finally recognise that I’m only in control of my own wellbeing and to fight for others wellbeing but never at the cost of my own.

So let’s celebrate this victory for what it is. A love denied for so long has now been earned and given.

Thank you for reading and anything beyond that I love you very much.

Jamie xx

Row, row, row your boat

Returning to the blog for a little ramble. It’s nice to be back into it. Taking a rest from blogging in the pub has been good because I feel some things have changed sufficiently for me not to feel bogged down in my struggles.

Been on call for jury service this week though I wasn’t needed in the end. It was rough going day after day being told that I’m still on call. Glad it’s over and glad I didn’t have to go in and attend.

Things have settled now to some extent but I’ve been feeling the usual pressure building up to get off my head drunk and lose the inhibitions.

The next thing to worry about is that I’ll be training a new colleague at work and it will be full training from scratch. It means I won’t have much time alone to work by myself at my own pace.

Work has been stressful recently as we’ve had to rush things in preparation for my jury absence which never happened in the end.

I’ve been taking the pressure off by succumbing to tiredness and lack and motivation to do the usual stuff to keep my mind busy. Spending more time just lazing watching new stuff online.

Still wrestling over the same issues but I think I’m seeing things more clearly and am less conflicted. It’s about time that I restart digging deeper and confronting the emotional pain I still hold.

Ive got a plan now at least. Might not work in any way but it’s a tactic at least. From watch have learned from mental health advice, I am going to have to begin to be my own shoulder to cry on.

I’m going to have to parent myself and offer the support and acceptance and validation and love that I can’t get from anyone else now.

And I need to get a consistent code of behaviour that I can get fully behind. A guide to direct me in my decision making. A system that governs me and is in line with my true values and my conscience.

Recent news that has become a hot topic for debate, with a lot of emotion behind it. Touching on the unwritten rules of public morality or more pertinently, a complete upending of reality in favour of dodgy, narcissistic ideology.

My heart goes out to those who speak the truth at huge personal cost in the face of foul abuse and it’s inspired in me a desire to walk the path of authenticity. To never again hide myself away from social judgement.

Because I’m more aware now of how intolerant and unaccepting people are towards those who say no. Those who rightly refuse to bow down to ideology and rightly defend themselves against increasingly predatory demands.

And to the painful thought that I became very selfish, very narcissistic, very demanding at my worst. I’ve made many excuses, used my autism as an excuse, demanded people understand that I had no choice because of my inability to deal with loss and change. I was never very good at not getting what I want. So most of the time I just don’t ask for anything.

And I’ve never been very good at dealing with criticism. And I absolutely cannot deal with the thought that someone might find me unlikable.

Its a been long, slow process to finally think differently. To begin believing that I’m actually better off being alone than try to desperately please someone who just doesn’t like me.

I guess I’ve had to face up to the fact that I had gone from someone deserved support as an innocent victim of a traumatic neurodivergence into someone who was just perpetuating a cycle of traumatic abuse.

Always much easier to see it in others than to see it in myself. Much harder to take responsibility and admit it.

It was all the trauma’s fault but I wanted other people to be traumatised with me instead of working to heal it and overcome it.

I find it easier to be told no, now I’ve started saying it myself. But of course I’ve been humbled by the experiences of others who face horrors worse than my own. Those who face the worst kind of abuse just for saying no.

It’s no secret that my recent experiences have left me feeling disconnected if not oppositional and adversarial to other people. Times like these I feel like it just might be the wise decision.

I am ultimately using this lonely time to rebuild myself and forge myself anew as someone who can finally stop pretending to be someone I’m not and be unafraid to be myself. It may be the case that I’ll never truly be able to do that around anyone I really care about and want to spend time with.

My own wellbeing should be more important than anyone else’s for the simple reason that I’m the one who has to live myself and I’m the one who is responsible for what I do.

Right now I don’t feel like putting myself out for anyone else. I’m not yet ready to do it for myself let alone anyone else.

We’re all in the same boat but some of us feel the crashing waves affect us more. I’ve taken the path of rowing my own boat in calmer waters but I’ve had to row it alone. To stretch the metaphor I’ve been rowing in the opposite direction to everyone else so it feels like I’m a hindrance while I’ve been going backwards.

But at least I can say that I’m rowing in the right direction and I should only choose to row with those who are aiming in the same direction.

That’s an issue I think a lot about. We’re all told that we should embrace what’s different and we shouldn’t judge those who are different by own standards.

I can sum up now why I struggle with people who are different. Because I don’t really feel like I’ve ever had enough people in my life who were rowing in the same direction.

I always have clinged on to anyone who I thought was similar to me and yet I always end up feeling abandoned to row alone, to face the currents of life without help and with only one rickety oar that might just break at any moment.

And well fuck it, at least I get to decide where I’m going now.

But to get back on track I need to overcome that source of pain that keeps me afraid to row because I can’t see any further than the choppy waters.

Stretching the metaphor to breaking point I need to learn how to actually enjoy rowing enough to get back in the boat.

It’s usually my fellow rowers who make the journey worth taking, who make the rough waters tolerable.

I’m a social creature by nature but I don’t know how to row the boat the way other people do it. Do you know what? I never wanted to be like anyone else. But I don’t know how to navigate life and the only thing I’ve learned is how to pretend I know just by copying what everyone else does.

And yet I can’t help but note that maybe no one else knows either. The real reason that we humans look for company because everyone needs a co-pilot at times.

Spend too much time listening to your co-pilot and all of a sudden people start to ask why they put any faith in you and start to look to the one who actually has an idea of where to turn.

Social life is all about letting people into your boat and them letting you into theirs. On the rare occasion that I got invited to someone else’s boat I always chose to set my own boat on fire and then cry over being thrown overboard.

To take the metaphor to its conclusion, it’s taken nearly 2 years to build myself a new boat and to gingerly test the waters again. I’d give nearly anything to have my co-pilot back but I like my own boat now and it needs more time and energy to maintain before I ever leave it again.

The obvious social advice is that I should be proud of my boat no matter what and that not everyone will like being in my boat and that’s fine.

To sum up, I’ve never really let onto my real boat. It sails the darker waters and goes only where I know.

Thanks for reading and excuse the heavy handed metaphor throughout but I felt it was working xx

New Year New Perspectives

Happy new year to all. It’s not something I really feel like celebrating but it’s still a good time to offer that sort of thing.

About time I wrote a new blog, it has been a while. Blogging for me was as much about giving me something to do when sat alone in the pub as about anything else. Last couple of times I’ve just got distracted by actually talking to people and not bothering to go to back and finish.

But I’m doing other things now and don’t really take the time to reflect so much.

Spending much more time playing games, actually doing stuff for fun and enjoyment. Taking time off from worrying and not having to be productive.

On the road to recovery and if there’s anything I wanted to share that might be useful advice it would be to share how my perspective on mental health has changed. Hard to tell whether this is what happens when you heal or if it’s a necessary step towards healing. But I feel different about a lot of things.

I’ve taken this logic from physical health but I feel it’s beneficial to look at my long history of depression not as a sign of being broken but as a sign that my brain is healing, doing what it needs to do to recover from the many blows of life that cause emotional damage.

It’s hard to picture but thinking of the emotional devastation as a literal mental injury. Just as a broken leg causes physical pain that represents the body healing, does the mind heal the same way? Does the emotional pain of social loss and rejection represent a genuine injury to the brain and does the pain represent the brain healing?

With my brain being the way it is, it’s easy to understand the concept that I have no choice in how my brain reacts, and how long it takes to recover. No one chooses to be depressed, I feared the loss of any control over my mood and felt like I was trapped in a state of extreme negativity. I didn’t ever want to be depressed and don’t want to bury myself in darkness.

In the spirit of gratitude I now see the depression as something that protected me by shielding away from further pain and emotional damage, allowing me to heal. It feels strange to say that I don’t hold any anger or despair or sense of injustice over my neurodiverse condition. For the time being I’ve accepted this is who I am and I’m no longer looking in desperation to find some way out.

Long term goals for the new year are to finally find my own place and hopefully that will help me to quit the cigs and give me the space I need away from the stresses of life.

As for the future of blog I’m going to refocus. Want to talk a bit more about ADD in conjunction with Autism as I’m fairly confident I have both. Not been diagnosed with ADD, very self-diagnosing at the moment. I’ve been listening to the stories of those who have both and I see more of my own story reflected back.

I think that a lot of my trauma stems from the fact that I never really felt like I belonged anywhere, that I had a tribe of people like me. Had to hide my true feelings in order to make friends and feel like I fit in. I don’t think I truly ever fit in at my local autism hub. Felt like I was still too different. Had to put on the chameleon suit to blend in.

It’s the real reason I’ve shut myself away the last 2 years, to find the real me by closing off any outside influence. The path to mental recovery has taken me back to who I always was, doing what I’ve always enjoyed. Relearning to enjoy what I had stopped enjoying.

If I’m being honest I tried to embrace every new idea during the dark times, grabbed out for any idea that promised to help me. Watching all the youtube vids aimed at providing support for mental health struggles. Would have tried everything with only a couple of exceptions. Nothing really stood the test of time, nothing really felt comfortable about it. Since everything necessitated significantly changing my behaviour in some way it felt more and more like an imposition of someone else’s idea of beneficial behaviour that just didn’t suit me.

I’ve always had a smidgeon of internalised ableism and I’ve never felt comfortable at the idea that I might be disabled. These days the notion that I need help or that my behaviour is unhealthy and should be corrected just feels like a plain old insult. But I started following some disability rights campaigners on twitter and the dignity they carry humbles me a great deal.

The one thing in the world that truly angers and horrifies me is the exploitation of the most vulnerable in society by those who have the most power. My heart will always belong to those who work to even the playing field. More so to those who call out and oppose the exploitation.

My words have always rang a bit hollow because I never really did anything to stand up for anyone. Felt like I was too weak and vulnerable myself. I know I always needed to support myself better before I could support anyone else. Who knows, I may never get there.

Actually standing up for myself is paying dividends now though. I may always see myself as less able than others but accepting that I am just different and have different abilities, I don’t feel disabled anymore and I don’t feel like I need to make excuses and I don’t need anyone else to understand or accommodate me.

I do however need to support myself and do what I can to make life manageable. Over the years I’ve mastered the art of getting through the day with as little work or effort as possible. Medicated myself with caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. And who’s to say that I could have done it any other way?

What really is behind this new perspective? I doubt it just arrived spontaneously, like everything else there’s a reason for it.

I think it comes from an emerging self-respect. Actually now taking ownership of and responsibility for my daily struggles means I can put myself first. I can filter out the judgemental voices so I can hear the loving voice of support. In fact I think I stopped judging myself completely when I realised that I’ve only ever put 110% into anything worth doing and I only ever failed when I lost sight of my true self.

In fact most of the time failed at stuff I didn’t really feel comfortable doing anyway.

Writing this now I don’t feel afraid of the future, not afraid of being sad or bored, though I’d rather not be. Plenty out there that I am still scared of but taking ownership of my mind, my internal experience, being the boss man in charge of my own head. That is the way to keep the fear of other people at bay.

Thanks for reading as ever x

A little more prep talk

One more post for this weekend. Still finding it hard to motivate myself to control. Still doing the work of understanding how and why things happen. It feels like a curse but I find myself unable to move on anything until I can 100% guarantee things will out well for me.

To that end I’ve reevaluated my personality again. 6th or 7th time now. But the latest model is interesting. It feels deeper and besides it’s telling me something I didn’t want to hear. But in a way it might still be a comforting lie.

So I guess I’m now typing myself an ENFP with an INFJ shadow. It makes total sense because I am attracted to the INFJ type. They represent my ideal partner I think. Normally this expresses the idea that they represent the personality within me that I don’t like using so I would benefit from them doing the shadow work for me.

What can I say? I wanted to be an INFJ because they represent everything I look for in someone else. But because they are so different and they represent the part of myself I don’t like, I have difficulty with what’s different.

So what I did in effect was to try to become more like an INFJ to fit in and belong with another INFJ. And for that reason I became someone else, someone who wasn’t really me at all. This is exactly what happens when someone loses themselves trying to seek a relationship.

And in a way I stepped into an alternate persona because I was so lonely and had to rely on myself to provide the company I needed.

And so my crush who I had thought was likely an ISTJ (like my own dark superego), she may well be the INFJ I was looking for. It explains why she still represents the dream partner for me.

To cope with the pain I began to see her as the hateful figure. I began to hate the qualities I saw in her which were similar to mine and consequently I began to hate myself more because of it. I was falling in love with my own shadow while falling into hate of my true ego.

I think im becoming less scared of finding the truth now I’ve started to be more compassionate but I’m still very afraid of putting myself back out there. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep my identity stable if I look for the happy life.

I’m slowly accepting the fact that I’m crap at talking because I tend not to be very authentic. My mind is too damn flexible. It’s useful to be flexible and the world needs people like me but I don’t want to do all the talking. I want to keep some things secret and private.

Sometimes I just don’t want to talk at all.

I’m slowly accepting that I am the shyest, quietist extrovert, that I need people around me but I get too overwhelmed by being around people. I’m having to consider the notion that I never will be mentally healthy enough to pursue a happy, healthy life.

I may end up lonely and miserable for the rest of my life or I may keep going further down self destructive paths to keep myself occupied.

My latest brainstorm has been curtesey of a CS Joseph YouTube vid. One truth I’ve been running away from is that I’m not actually very smart. I’m not naturally talented and have to work to get good at something.

Impostor syndrome is real with me because I think I’ve self-hated on this so much that I’ve taken pride in being smart. My brain just knows I’m not talented, waiting patiently for me to get found out.

The truth is that I don’t want to do the work. Don’t want to have to. And I must if I am to turn things around. What if it doesn’t get the results I want? What if its a waste of time and energy? I’ve wasted so much of my life already.

To finally solve my mental health, I’ve worked to learn. I’ve studied. Committed to the long game. Not gonna settle until it’s done and dusted. Though this hasn’t felt much like work. The real work is still to come.

When I actually believe in something I will become a workaholic, always sacrificing balance. Not looking at how my actions affect other people.

And so the work that I have done, I want it to be reflected in others. I want so desperately for people to see who I am, want I have to work with, what work I am doing now, and I want people to show compassion and above all respect for how much work I have to do and how hard it is for me to do it.

That I only have so much to give and that I don’t have any choice but to run away and hide when things get too tough to handle, which is a lot.

That I spend every hour I can trying to figure out how to be less scared of life and that maybe I actually do need things from other people to help me feel safe.

Maybe I’ll stop bitching about how hard life is when it actually makes things a little easier. Because if who I am, I will always make life harder for myself until I figure out how to get the best out of it.

I should use my extroverted intuition to see life’s opportunities. The problem is that I don’t see a path that takes me anywhere I want to go. But I should continue to rebrand myself and find the identity that really brings success.

For now I’m continuing to wallow in filth, not wanting to do the work of organising my personal space. It’ll come when I start to feel better. My wounded inner child still needs some attention and he just wants to play.

I’ve finally started playing Cyberpunk 2077. It has plenty of faults but it’s still my type of game and there’s been some really cool stuff. It’s rekindled my creative imagination a little and I have to be honest, it feels good just to dip into the futuristic fantasy world again.

We all need that space to play without having to worry about anything. To take a break from dealing with the world’s challenges.

In games like this, you can escape yourself in the virtual world and become someone else. A badass power fantasy that is invulnerable.

I can forget about all the real world problems and achieve things in the virtual, making liberal use of the save game function whenever virtual death occurs.

So to sum up, im getting closer to figuring out who i am but the work to do is how to be myself around others, how to be secure enough to hold onto myself without having to defend myself by hiding away.

How to find people who get me and like me for who I am? How to go out and find somewhere to be myself and get some happiness? How to not be afraid of the outside world.

Hopefully I can be empathetic and be able to connect with people but always to make sure that I be honest authentic when it comes to expressing myself. People can be so difficult to understand, it’s very easy me for me to just say that people aren’t worth the effort but they are.

They say that the healthy way to do it is to say that if people don’t like you it’s their problem and you shouldn’t take it personally. Move on to  somewhere else. Treat them as a stepping stone.

It not how I look at life. Maybe it should be but it’s not me. I had to move on but it was never what I wanted and I guess I’ve learned that I should have just been honest and said that I wasn’t happy instead of holding on and having my happiness taken away.

But then I understand better now that everyone has their faults and I need to embrace imperfection and always see an opportunity for growth.

F’king hell maybe that’s the secret that has eluded me for so long. Every fault, mistake, hurtful action, is an opportunity to grow. It is a potential for something better, wonderful even.

We all have so much potential, the question is how to unlock it. Yes I’m probably a little scared of how much potential we have.

I’m a great believer in the idea that we all are aiming towards becoming more than our selfish selves. To fulfill life’s potential by shedding the selfish existence and producing something that goes beyond selfish desire and brings something to the greater communal humanity.

We all know the poisonous influence of those who only live for themselves and take everything they can from others. If they have truly chosen the selfish path then they are not deserving of anything.

Those who have given in to fear can’t be helped. This is why I fight so hard to overcome what I can. And here’s the truth about how my social anxiety works. It speaks to real fear that I can’t be helped. That I will keep giving in. That I gave in yesterday and I will again today.

It killed me to see my favourite person give up on me but she did. People like me can be helped but we often need people to stand with us, to see we’re struggling, to acknowledge that we want to grow but have lost our way.

At the end of the day we have got to do it ourselves, to have that desire and drive. People will stick with you if you don’t give up, but they will ditch you in a heartbeat if you do.

My words speak of never giving in but my actions don’t. People aren’t mindreaders (well maybe some of us are) so they will judge you by your actions.

Compassion is everything and my experience has taught me that people can only show compassion to those who demonstrate their struggles visibly and openly. And who show their kindness when they can.

Thanks for reading. My hearts goes out to you

Jamie x