My autism and my semicolon project 

Today, I met with three people, one at a time, in rapid succession.

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing.

My aunt continues on her intractable downhill slide.  Except that the word “slide” makes it sound easy, effortless, and terminal cancer is anything but.  We try not to plan too far out into the future, because we know that a 1,200-mile trip will soon have to be made; the only question is when.

I have a long list of long-term projects going on at work.  All of them desperately need my attention…yesterday.  No wait–scratch that.  Last year.

The humidity and Heat are in cahoots, leapfrogging and mounting, wearing us all down.

What does one do when the pressures and pain accumulate, but the resources necessary to meet their demands dwindle down to fumes and essences?

If there’s one thing I’ve always been competent at, it’s pulling energy resources from places I didn’t know existed.  Nooks and crannies that remain otherwise hidden from view.

Sometimes I want to hide, too.  From the swarms of mosquitos.  From the hordes of to-do list items.  From the plumes of grief.

Asperger’s/autism moulds and shapes my mind like a Play-Doh Fun Factory, sometimes sans the “fun”, compelling me to see What Is, in the black and white in front of me, while simultaneously egging me on to examine the connections between the shades of gray that stretch out toward an infinite horizon.

Irony these days.

My brain is a hypocrite.  “Black and white!”  “No!  Alternative view!”  “Maybe it’s both!  Maybe it’s neither!”

And sometimes it gets to be too much, the grand old Autistic Overwhelm, and my brain threatens to pull an equally-Autistic Shutdown.

I resist.

I’m such a contrarian.  Or so goes the chronic accusation.  Never mind that it’s not even true.

I’m just here, muddling through it, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to make heads or tails of this head-game of life.

Boosting my brain artificially in order to meet the demands, to satisfy the demons, to placate the muses, to withstand past and present (and probably future) pain.  To win out against all odds.  To write a semicolon where otherwise a period might insert itself.

That “period” being what happens if I would admit fatigue and withdraw into a Shutdown of All Shutdowns, a longer-term hibernation, to go off and grab a tub of Legos (how Aspergian/autistic stereotypical is that??), and Just Play. 

To block out the world and just play.

It’s all the Legos’ fault, of course.  They prove just too tempting.

Because it can’t be the fault of my hopeless to-do list, my needier clientele, my incessantly-meowing cats, my handicapped husband, or my dying aunt.

Nobody asked for their predicament.

And I know that I’m not Atlas, being tasked with the responsibility of holding up the world by my shoulders.  It’s not my job to solve all that ails.

But sometimes I feel like it is.

And sometimes I crush under the weight of it all.

And sometimes I forget to say no or set limits or budget my energy.

And sometimes it threatens to give out completely for a while.

Sometimes my body and brain make threats of passing out.

But ever the stubborn warrior, I keep standing, because as long as I can stand, I can fight.  As long as I can stand, I can do something.  As long as I can stand, I can keep writing semicolons.

Semicolons rock.  They’re so much better than periods.

I won’t lie down.  I won’t give up.  I may wonder what I’m doing it all for, and I may not even always do it right. 

But I’m doing it.  

That’s what counts, isn’t it?  Please say yes.  Please tell me that life is much more forgiving than school, where if you didn’t get the answer correct, you failed.  Please tell me that life gives us points for effort.

Lots of points.  I need lots of points.

I try not to be so needy.  I try to stand on my own.  I try to see the beauty in the gray, the silver lining in the storm clouds, the sun rays on the horizon.  

The horizon is far away, but maybe someday I can reach it.

It’s a far distance to travel.

But I can get there.

I just have to remember to put one foot in front of the other.  And never lie down.  Keep standing.  Keep walking.  Keep writing semicolons.

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135 Comments

    1. True 😊. It’s basically a grassroots “viral” can-do mindset that grew out of the addiction and self-harm communities, and has recently taken a broader meaning to indicate that one’s story is not finished yet 😊💚💙

      Liked by 1 person

          1. My interpretation is that it symbolizes an unfinished sentence. Like if the story of one’s life was represented by a single symbolic “sentence”, it could be said that if one faced a big enough challenge, they might be tempted to just give up, which would be like putting a period at the end of the sentence to signal “I’m done; I’m giving up, giving in”. But sometimes when being faced with a challenge, one might just pause for a rest or be temporarily knocked down, but then get back up again, saying “I’m not done yet”, which would be more like the semicolon. 😊. I hope I’m making sense (sometimes my wording isn’t quite right and I have trouble saying what I mean/expressing myself sometimes). 💙💜❤️

            Liked by 2 people

          2. That was perfect, you should teach english. I understood very well. I may need to read a few more times before I can implement into my writing. You’re awesome and the spirit in your writing seems familiar. 🌷❤👌

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Sure 😊. Imagine, for example, Trump. He’s trying to say that climate change doesn’t exist, so he’s going to call on a bunch of “scientists” to try to prove his point, but what he hopes nobody finds out is that these people might have science degrees, but they’re just corporate “lap-dogs” who really just work for oil companies (one would call them “oil company shills”). No worries, luv, you’re in good company; my brain is kinda fried today too 😊💗🌺

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Amen about Trump, my friend! 👍🏼👏🏼👏🏼. My brain is fried from the long day at work, many sources of stress. I have a few chronic illnesses that I don’t talk about much on here (except sometimes), but even though I don’t mention them much, they’re there 💞. I run out of energy but I often can’t sleep. It’s been a really busy week and I’m really happy that I only work a half day on Fridays (we close the office at lunchtime on Friday and go home for the weekend).

            My health conditions include Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, two or maybe three autoimmune diseases, hemochromatosis, PTSD, histamine excess, and Non-24, which is a chronorhythm sleep disorder where the body operates on a sleep/wake cycle that doesn’t match the regular day/night cycle of the earth ❤️💜.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Thank you, my lovely 😊. Nope, no medications yet, except for the over-the-counter/non-prescription pain relievers I take for things like the cervicogenic migraine headaches and tooth pain, but those are other things that come and go 😊💓💜💓

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          6. I do try 😊. I eat very well, strictly organic and lots of fruits and vegetables. I also just started taking some really great supplements like Magnesium, B-complex, and Zinc, along with Vitamins C and D. I walk a lot, several hours a week, and sometimes an hour or two a day ❤️. The Ehlers-Danlos is genetic, as are the autoimmune conditions (which affect my hearing, my brain–known as cerebellar degeneration, a neurodegenerative disease–and probably my thyroid). I’m kind of a mess, but I’m very thankful not to have a lot of pain or have to take a lot of medications or anything 😊👍🏼🌺💖

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Aww thank you luv 😘. Not to worry 💓💓. I’m in a good field to help myself; I’m a doctor 😊💘💜. I’m going to be getting into meditation and I get a lot of acupuncture which helps me greatly, especially with the neck disc herniation (!) 👍🏼💖. I’ll be 40 soon, and I’ve got some great support from my partner and friends (like you guys on here too!) 😁👍🏼💚💜

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Integrative medicine, which is an open-minded, all-things-considered kind of medicine that takes a whole-person approach instead of just patching symptoms 😁💓. It’s really fun and rewarding. I see maybe 3 people a day, so I can give them more attention 🌷. I get tired even after seeing the 3 people, but it’s worth it 😊.

            My birthday is Sept 2; what’s yours? ❤️

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Totally 😊. For a while, he was not supportive; we didn’t really know the extent of the health issues until recently, because it’s hard to tell I have them by looking at me. But he has changed a lot this past year, and it has been very helpful 👏🏼💖

            Liked by 1 person

          10. I read it and i noticed some of your traits and his are alot like mine… I’m so happy you both have each other. Nothing like being with someone who understands you. I did want to talk about the affection area. I feel very deep affection but I don’t really know how to put it in words or rather words don’t fit my affection. Are you still​ awake?

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Yep, probably fading without realizing it but I’m still awake 😊. Thank you, both for reading and for your nice words 💓. He is pretty cool 😉. We’ve been together 18 years now, so we fit each other like old comfortable shoes 😉💜💖

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          12. Lol, that word sounds really familiar. I learned it in school from my favorite teacher. I was actually looking at the assignments from the class and teacher who taught me that word. I don’t want to throw them away from some reason. I’m attached to them.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. That would be awesome! I reckon some teachers do 😊. I’ve remained friends with some of my teachers. One of them, in fact, I have been friends with for over 25 years (!). She even came to stay at my house to help care for me right after my surgery (a hysterectomy) 😊👏🏼💪🏼💚💙💜

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          14. Lol reckon, why do people say that word. I feel like is it origin. 25 years?? I never thought teachers wanted to befriend students. 25 years is a long time. When did you have a hysterectomy and why. My mom had one when I was in middle or high school and I used to make her breakfast everyday before school when she was recovering. Are you ok now? Was it really painful?

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          15. Aw I’m sorry to hear that, my dear 💐💐. Yep, resting a lot 😊. Already got a really good start – about 10 hours of sleep last night! Which is unheard of for me 😁🎉🎊🎉. I hope your sleep was restful and that you feel better and better 💓💪🏼💓💜

            Liked by 1 person

          16. Wow 10 hours!!!? How many hours of sleep do you usually get? Thanks for you well wishes. I hope so to hopefully I can force myself to exercise today. I’ve been lacking the energy because of my food source situation, unfortunately. Today, I have to eat bread which doesn’t help with my energy either but its that or nothing.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. Hehe I usually get about 5-6, although several times a week I only get 2-3. So yeah, 10 is huge for me lol 😉👍🏼💖. Oh no, I feel for you about the food situation, my lovely! 💐💐. Do you have issues with gluten? Or is it the lack of protein that’s the issue? Ugh, I’ve been there, my friend. Not an easy situation. 💖💜. I hope you take care of You, dear one 😘❤️💪🏼

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          18. I don’t know if I have a gluten issue, but I been trying to eat less bread to be considerate of my other self. If that makes sense. I think its a lack of fruits, veggies, nuts, and smoothies. Protein as far as meat, eggs, and beans is ok. No it isn’t a easy of fun situation but I hope it’s over soon being poor and broke makes me depressed. I’m trying with what I have to take care.

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          19. Mini chuckle.. I like two hearts anyway, it’s better than an alone heart. Hey maybe your two heart represent internet fung shui. Speaking of fund shui I think cleaning helps with my energy flow, which desperately needs to be done around here.

            Liked by 1 person

          20. Thanks for correcting my spelling issues. Spelling is kind of a problem for me, or not editing before posting. Why thank you, you’re an amazing person too!! Can you tell me more about the Indian version of Feng Shui?

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          21. Oh, and I almost forgot about the Celiac Disease that didn’t cause gastrointestinal symptoms but caused damage to part of my brain instead.

            And the neck disc herniation that causes tingling down my arm into the fingers lol. I’m scared that I might have to have neck surgery someday 😱😖😳💖💖

            Liked by 1 person

          22. I figure I’ll end up doing one or the other, so I try to laugh instead. It’s not a funny laugh; more of an I’m-trying-not-to-cry laugh 💘💕💘.

            I’m so sorry to hear about yours. Disc herniation sucks 💐💐🌷

            Liked by 1 person

  1. 💖💫⭐🌠🌟🏆🏅💯🌺🌼🌷🌸💥💌 You definitely get points for trying. All gold stars!! Don’t forget to put “self care” after one of those semi colons. I usually ignore the self care and now I have strep😷😩; 😘😍💘💞💝💕; hugs to you my cosmic sister & Dearest Dude🌻🌴😎

    Liked by 2 people

          1. I used to exercise daily. Life happened & I stopped. Trying to get back into it but it rough. I keep looking at all my cute shorts that are too small now. You’d think that would be motivation. Naw…. I just wear my elastic waist ones😂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh yeah! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. One of my biggest goals is to get back into karate at some point. I’m so afraid of injuring my neck further though, but maybe just maybe, someday… 👍🏼💘🐉💕

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I have bulging & herniated discs in my neck. They haven’t changed in 15 years (15? OMG old) my c-spine curve is gone. Straight line. The herniated & the bulges are toward the spinal cord too. You’ve got EDS though so, yeah, be careful!! Talk to an orthopedist first

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  2. Life goes in peaks and troughs, that’s what I’ve learned. It’s difficult to imagine, when you are in a trough, that there is going to be a peak (or at least a slightly elevated plateau) ever again. I know this from myself and my periods of depression (probably not proper clinical depression, more like down in the dumps). I always think, this is it now for the rest of my life. But if I understand your metaphorical semicolons right, you at least see the possibility of a peak when you’re in a trough. I think it takes a lot of mental strength to see that, and that’s quite admirable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You nailed it 😊 and I thank you very much for your kind words 🌷💓. You’re so right about the peaks and valleys, and yep, when I’m in a valley, I’m trying to look up at the mountain in front of me and figure out a way to climb that sucker 😁💞👍🏼💘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my, it looks like I missed some great conversations! ☺Yes, indeed, there are points for trying! If there weren’t, none of us would receive much of anything! Really, all any of us are doing IS trying. Some are just not as forthcoming about their struggles. This is one Aspie trait I love-we are largely an honest group of people, especially about ourselves. All I know to do is to keep looking to the semi-colons, swinging from one to the other like one of those crazy folks on American Ninja Warrior.😊 Sometimes, we may have to hang on one for quite a spell before we can make the leap to the next, but, somehow, we find the strength. Keep swinging, friend. 😀❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, my lovely! Your words are so incredibly encouraging 👏🏼😘❤️. Yep, totally agreed, especially about the self-honesty part! Oh yeah 😁. The ninja is one of my favorite concepts! 👏🏼🐉💘. Strength and love to you, my pretty 😘💕🌺💕

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