I’m having a tough time getting motivated today. It’s like approaching an escalator that’s moving at a palatable speed, but not quite being able to find the right place or time to take the step required to get on.
It’s like my brain is misted over, underwater–foggy and stagnant. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be only fog and stagnation.
That’s not news, really. It’s been like that, more or less, for quite a while now. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. The latest is a condition of hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in the blood. My brain is in a sustained state of reduced metabolism.
Before the hypoxia issue had arisen, my brain’s Enemy No. 1 was the sheer stress, stress that’s as intense as an adrenaline rush, but remains, sustained, for years and years. Throughout my life, I’ve traded one type of stress in for another. I can honestly say that I don’t know what life would be like without severe, prolonged stress. I’ve never felt un-stressed.
I don’t know what it’s like to not feel stressed, save for a few glimpses obtained through manipulated environments, such as the weight of a therapeutic/weighted blanket or the haze induced by over-the-counter anti-histamine medication.
Some days I can handle it better than I can on other days. I guess today is just one of those in which I feel on less-solid ground.
Or, if I take a wider-angle view, I can begin to make out the very likely possibility that this brain-sludge has been creeping in for some time. Like a poly-microbial biofilm, the kind that insidiously forms on lunch meat that’s been in the refrigerator too long but hasn’t begun to spoil in earnest yet.
Maybe that’s why my posts have been weighted mostly in favor of the nonfictional realm. It’s easier to write about. Fact is fact. Opinion is opinion, and for me, my opinions are fact. Not the opinions themselves–I realize they’re my opinions–but it’s easy for me to state them because the fact that they are my opinions is indeed a fact.
My experiences, as seen through my lens, are also fact (for me). The same goes for the information I’ve come across.
I get frustrated with my brain fairly frequently, because it can’t go on the creative and ethereal tangents and string together unusual combinations of the perfectly descriptive words like it used to.
Other people might not notice the limitations. (At least, I hope not.)
But I do.
I feel the limitations intuitively because I know how it used to be. I know how my brain used to work. It used to make leaps and skipturns and pirouettes easily and without restraint or hesitation. Although I feel a sense of self-confidence since my Asperger’s/autism discovery, I also feel that, in a process unrelated to my spectrum realization, I’ve also lost a different type of confidence: the confidence that comes with mental agility. An agility that I’ve lost and am not sure if I’ll ever find it again.
Now, I hesitate. I doubt. I struggle to think of the right words. I struggle to remember. I struggle to imagine what my mentally-agile younger self would have said, how it would have described “this” or taken “that” linguistic scenic road.
And if I hesitate long enough, I might not even take the step. Sometimes, I give up before starting out. I decide, “not today”. I decline, “not that way”.
And the very strategies I use to try to remedy the situation only make it worse, especially in the long run. Being outside, among nature, basking in the elements, should be rejuvenating and inspirational and rebalancing. But not in the way that I do it.
My brain feels sloppy and wobbly, like a child in the early stages of learning to ride a bike for the first time. Nothing seems quite right, and the tiniest micro-movement could knock me off my tentative, temporary balance.
I suppose it doesn’t help that I know that my writing and tweeting and such are seen by a lot of people, a tiny minority (whom I’ll refer to as The Particular People) of whom have been quick to jump on me (and other people in a boat similar to mine) (not nearly so much here on WordPress, but mostly on social media) for using one “wrong” (extremely common) word here and there, thus negating the message I was trying to convey, the one word standing out like a camera overexposure, obliterating everything else that was supposed to be in what was otherwise supposed to be a cool picture.
Don’t get me wrong; the whole point of starting this blog was to accomplish exactly what it has: 1) to be seen by many so that others could be helped and comforted in the same way the blogs I found early on comforted me, and 2) to meet lots of really awesome people.
I’m beyond blessed to be able to say that I’ve been given both.
But as we all know, you can’t please everybody. No human being is perfect, and that includes me. Especially since, in the grand scheme of things, I’m still one of the newer kids on the block. I’m still pretty green.
Those people (The Particular People) are a lot more experienced and well-versed in the disability and anti-ableism movements than I am. I haven’t yet fully grasped the culture, norms, unwritten rules, and lingo of those movements. I’m not sure I ever will. I’m trying to figure out if the benefits of going full-bore, engine-redlining-passionate are worth the immense time and energy.
And what do you do when you can’t fully identify with the concept of (my own) Asperger’s/autism being a disability (for me) in the first place? I might perceive my own status that way maybe 1/3 of the time, which means that a majority of my time is spent confused and, once again, lacking the intuitive knowledge and having to resort to processing everything through my prefrontal cortex, much like I would when interacting with the neurotypical world.
The thoughts of objection and rejection make me hesitate that much more. On the one hand, I want to say what I’ve learned to say toward the more-ignorant of the neurotypcial population: “screw ‘em”. But on the other hand, I have good friends in the Asperger’s/autism community, some of whom can identify with those other Particular People, and often interact with them. The jury is out about whether certain individuals within some of these groups are my New People, but I do know that I can’t exactly afford to start writing people off en masse on social media, because I might paint with too broad a brush.
It seems as though I’m often painting with too broad a brush. No matter how fine I try to make my strokes, no matter how I try to angle the brush to maneuver around “this” or avoid hitting “that”, I seem to collide with something or someone.
That’s also probably why my writing contains so many disclaimers. Anyone who’s been following/reading this blog for any length of time knows that my heart and head are in the right place. As compromised as my cognition might currently be, and as jagged as my heart can get sometimes, the vast majority of my lovelies reading this know for a fact that I try to be a sweetheart, almost to a fault.
The disclaimers that preface and litter the opening lines of much of my writing are written for the benefit of those dropping in, who are less familiar with who I am, who might be quick to misunderstand something or to take something out of context, who click on a link to the post via social media, skim through the post, and begin to form premature assumptions about who I am based on a single word, paragraph, or post.
Human beings as a whole are much more complex than that. And in that respect, I’m no different.
To be clear (here we go again with disclaimers lol), this is not directed toward any of the awesome regular peeps on here. I don’t want anyone to feel as though they should censor themselves, because if I inadvertently cause that by writing what I’m writing today, then I’ve only spread my own predicament.
Predicaments can become contagious.
So, I don’t want that. I adamantly desire to create a free, mostly-uncensored, Safe Space. It can be tricky addressing one particular tiny and specific sliver of people within spectrums of spectrums and layers and layers of people. The natural instinct upon reading something is to begin to ask oneself, “is she referring to me?” And if you’ve read more than two posts on here, you can be assured that it is not you to whom I’m referring when I describe the over-sensitive, over-critical people above.
Indeed, there are several factors contributing to my inertia. Executive Function issues also play a huge role. Probably so does the Qi stagnation my acupuncturist says I have, the lineup of the stars (Mercury retrograde and all), and the tropically damp, cloudy scenery outside that makes me want to hibernate.
It’s days like this where I simply do my best, and hope for the best. I may give every ounce of effort I have, and it might only be “good enough”.
It’s days like this where I really do feel a bit more disabled than usual. It’s days like this when I might “look ‘normal’”, but my internal world tells an entirely different story.
It’s days like this where I try to remember that the only way around it is through it, put one foot in front of the other, and trudge on.
Today isn’t exactly the “downer” day that it probably sounds like. I’m just contemplating, deeply and semi-wildly and probably over-sensitively like I frequently do, and today, the thought-train thrust into a dimmer tunnel. That’s OK; “dimmer” doesn’t mean “impossible”. It doesn’t even have to mean “depressed”.
“Dim” is OK sometimes. If we don’t know dim, how can we know bright?
And besides – there’s always been another end of my tunnels, where the bright light returns again.
Just not today. 🙂
Failing At Asperger’s / Autism…? ~ September 24, 2016
Asperger’s / Autism and Depression ~ From My Perspective ~ October 19, 2016
Building a Depression Survival Go-To Kit [Mental Health Monday] ~ February 6, 2017