Standing at the intersection of Asperger’s / autism and depression (?) [Mental Health Monday]

And I’m not sure which light is which.  I can’t tell what’s green, what’s yellow, and what’s red.  I can’t tell which way I should go, which street I should cross, which path I should take.

All I know is that there is walking to do and designated crosswalks to guide me, but I don’t feel like walking just now.  And I’m not sure when I will again.

I’m not sure of anything.  I’m not sure what I should be doing.  I’m not sure what I’m interested in.  I’m not sure how I feel.  I’m not sure how to start feeling again.

I am sure that I don’t feel like doing much, even things that I have historically loved doing.  I know that my curiosity, about anything and everything, has gone dormant.  I can’t seem to revive my mojo at work (which involves a “special interest “).  New blog post ideas have slowed to a trickle and begun to stagnate.  I don’t feel fresh or flowery.  I’ve begun to rely on the surplus stash of inspiration jotted down months ago.

I might feel like going outside, except that it’s too hot.  Sunny spaces are out of the question, as they’re unbearable and they keep shifting.

Being inside isn’t much better; I pace the place like a caged lion, except that there is no escape to plan, no trainer to outsmart.  It seems as though I’m my own trainer, and I’m going to have to outsmart myself.

I’ve been through depression before.  I’ve been through the cyclic kind, where everything is a cycle, nothing is fulfilling, and I remember always waiting.  No matter where I was or what I was doing, I was always waiting for the other.  I would spend the week waiting for the weekend, and I would spend the weekend waiting for the week to begin again.  I would spend the day waiting for night, and the night waiting for day.  That’s just how it was.

I’ve also experienced the type of depression in which there is a sadness so profound that it becomes debilitating.  I could be very successful without an objective care in the world, but for some unknown reason or another, I couldn’t climb out of the abyss.  As a massage therapist, I could have my schedule packed with clients, working from home, setting my own rules, and calling my own shots.  That’s a massage therapist’s dream.  And yet, I held back tears that often gave me no clue as to where they came from.  I contorted almost physically to hold them back and hold myself together, only for the dam to break the minute the front door closed behind my last client of the day.

This time (and I think this might be a This Time), it’s different.  Maybe that’s why it took me so long to recognize the possibility that this could be a This Time in the first place.

I feel flat.  I feel like a dud.  I don’t feel the hopelessness of the cyclic times, nor do I feel the cluelessness of the debilitating times.  This time I feel an absence of what I’ve come to know as Me, an absence of what, under normal circumstances, Should Be.

I feel as though I’ve gone to sleep, begun to operate in “Safe Mode”, with minimal processes running.  I feel dry, like a desert, and monotonous, like an ocean.  Almost emotionless, which in itself, if applicable to myself, is a problem.

I do know that there are usual suspects in the biological realm: both my parents have thyroid problems, and mine runs on the low side.  I know that aluminum has neurological symptoms and that mine read high when tested.  I know that my brain is still adjusting to the health journey I began a couple months ago.  And I know that antihistamines can slow brain activity, and I’ve taken my share (and probably that of several others) over the past few months, too.

I also know that there are emotional culprits.  Deaths in the family, PTSD, and several other players.

And I’ve had physical pain as well. Which had also necessitated the ingestion of mind-slowing medications.

And then there’s an unknown factor, or several.  Maybe I’m bored with an aspect of my life or two.  Maybe my Qi energy is stagnant.  Maybe although I’ve gotten sleep lately, years of sleep deprivation might be catching up with me.

So many maybes.

Alexithymia, the difficulty with identifying and expressing emotions, is almost certainly at play here, exerting its cloaking and blurring and hiding beyond the horizon effects.

Either way, you may or may not notice a change in how often I write here; that remains to be seen.  I’ll only write when I feel that what I have to say is somehow constructive or meaningful.  Maybe that means significant change, or maybe nothing on here will change at all.

We shall see. ❤

***

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92 Comments

  1. you speak of the blues
    a place where you have everything to lose
    nose a smell
    hard sell
    like last night with my son
    who would not let me sleep
    he has let paranoia seep so deep in his soul
    he calls me bad names and yells
    and then asks for comfort
    and consolation
    well
    hell
    this shit
    is hard to deal with
    irl my dear

    Liked by 2 people

                1. Ok – I’m happy to respect your wishes not to have it used when talking with you 😊. Although please understand that you’ll likely still see it in posts or in conversations with others 💚. I won’t use it with you; I don’t have the energy to censor myself the rest of the time though 💙

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                    1. Truth – I only know what I’ve read from your blog and your comments on other blogs; you seem pretty cool to me 👍🏼. Sometimes being an ass is beneficial! I’ve definitely had my Ass Moments 😁

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  2. Hi Laina!
    You’ve been very prolific on your blog lately, and all high-quality, very thoughtful posts. So from my perspective you’re doing plenty. Sometimes (and I do the same) we tend to be hard on ourselves because we’re not doing the Usual things. But breaking out of the routine, even if it seems like you’re stagnating, can be very helpful. My feeling is that a person is more likely to grow as a person during a slow period where they don’t seem to be “doing” much. Hang in there and bear with it. You may look back on this period and find that it was useful.
    My (somewhat random) suggestion – stock up on peanut butter cups, make some tea, and immerse yourself in light but entertaining book (Jonathan Unleashed is one I enjoyed lately). Punctuate this with savasana / Yoga nidra.
    Namaste,
    J

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, my lovely! You rock 😘❤️. I think you’re definitely onto something–probably several somethings 😉 Thank you so very, very much for your kind and encouraging words; I love your suggestions and I will definitely take them to heart. I’ll also look for the lesson, the growth process during this time 👍🏼👍🏼. It has felt to me like I’ve been doing simple speed-writing blurbs on my blog of little but fluff (and some reblogs of amazing people!), and little else, but you’re probably right–maybe I *have* been doing more than I think 😁. The question my Inner Skeptic always asks is, “Laina, are you sure that by posting so often over the past few days, that you’re not actually trying to convince *yourself* that you’re doing enough, or maybe lead yourself to believe that if you post quantity, it’ll make up for the lack of quality?” Lol 😉. These are things Meanie-Butt Me asks Fragile, Genuine Me. I think Meanie-Butt Me needs to hush, though because although she’s useful sometimes, she’s not always constructive 💜💙. Thank you for showing me that 💛💚🌈

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think the quality of your posts is very sound, so I wouldn’t worry about that. That’s why I asked you on a recent post: how do you find the time 😉 If I post once a week I’m pretty happy with that.
    Anyway, compulsively *doing stuff* is what gets humanity into trouble, when it’s not done with any awareness. Doing nothing is underrated 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, luv! 💗. You know, you make some really dang good points, especially about compulsively doing stuff without awareness being potentially troublesome, and doing nothing being underrated. I’m in total agreement with you 😁💚💙💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear you are going through this rough patch in your life. Maybe you need a change or maybe you are just being to hard on yourself. I myself have fought depression and it does come in cycles. When all else fails music, a cup of tea with my favorite movie, show or reading a book helps. I also love taking hot baths to reflect and take a break. Either way I hope you feel better soon, it’s important though you have recognized this feeling or cycle you are going through, that is always the first step. Now the trick is figuring it how to get back up and get out of the funk. It isn’t always easy.

    I am a newish regular follower and viewer, but I haven’t noticed any lack of quality in your posts. Keep up the good work, I always enjoy reading them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, thank you so much for your comment! Your message brings much relief and smiles 💝. Thank you also for offering your suggestions! I will certainly take them to heart and proceed with them 🌺. Yeah, this feeling is very much a neutral kind of apathy, and my only clue that it could be a bad thing is that it’s very abnormal for me 💜. You’re absolutely right – it’s not always easy! They say knowing is half the battle, and there’s so much I don’t know 😉💚

      Thank you again, so much, my friend! I really appreciate your reaching out 💙💜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It was difficult to “like” this post, Laina – I’m so sorry to read that your Energizer Bunny status is currently in stall mode. Try NOT to focus on the flat – to the best of your ability, allow it to be a break from the high activity you expect of yourself, like a becalmed sea with insufficient wind to move the sailboat. Let it rock you gently.

    No shoulds – I know you know they won’t help, but remind yourself to avoid them every time you find yourself comparing this state to another. The sun WILL come out – just maybe not tomorrow. Try not to force things and absorb the moonlight until the sun’s return.

    Sending white light and love.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts, dear friend! 💓✨💓. I think you’re totally on to something 😁👍🏼👍🏼. I love the way you think! I believe in all you’ve said and I appreciate every word 💌💌❣❣💟☮

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Easier to say than do – I know that personally – but even a moment of relief is soooo welcome 🙂

        We can lift our moods bit by bit when we incorporate more of the more soothing thoughts into our days and thinking, as long as we focus on allowing vs. resisting – even for a minute. I know that from experience too.

        Wishing happiness and energy for you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!).
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oooh I like the way you think! (Have I told you that? 😉😁). So true! Today is a Day of Allowing for me; and Soothing, too! There’s so much benefit that can come from soothing things we say and do with ourselves. I know that I, for one, frequently underestimate the power that I have to do this 💚💙

          Liked by 1 person

                    1. That would be a fun way to use them for a great many people, but wouldn’t work well for me personally.

                      Because I tend toward high distractibility I have had to teach myself to sort of “ignore” parts of the screen that are not directly in my path of focus, so I print my signs and put them where my eyes can’t help but see them as I enter the room or check the time.

                      Whatever works, right?
                      xx,
                      mgh

                      Liked by 1 person

  6. So much the same… I’ve been having a rough few days/weeks/month?… I’ve just blamed it on the horrendous heat. Something about this time of year too. Maybe something astrological? I dunno. Write when you want to. Don’t do it if you’re not feeling it. You don’t want it to stop being fun & start becoming a chore. Watch some Beevis or Family Guy. Adult Swim. Laughter helps. It doesn’t solve everything but it helps. Eat a gluten free brownie. They help too😜 I’m here for you my Cosmic Sister ☯😘💥 🌟💫💖

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are amazing!! 💓💓💓. Yeah, I totally hear you–heat, astrological transit, the whole works! It’s funny–all of those crossed my mind too 😉😁💝💝. I love your suggestions, too, and I think I will do just that! I’ve been putting people’s advice into practice tonight and it’s been really cool 😁. You rule, Cosmic Sister 💕🌟💕🌟💕🌈🌈☮💞💞💞

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel your pain, having ASD that runs comorbid with major depressive disorder. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate the two. It almost seems as though it’s a prison of sorts. Sometimes the words flow from my fingertips, others it’s like I have to force them to come forth. Some days/weeks/months are better than others, but the pain never leaves me.

    I often sit awake at night and wonder how much more of this can I take? Will it ever end? When do I throw in the towel? At what point do I say “fuck this, I quit?” Or do I continue to be a martyr for the sake of those who care about me and who would be saddened by my passing?

    Yeah, I feel terrible right now too. I admit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know This Place, the one where nothing is fun, and every time you think of something you might fancy doing, thirty seconds later you realise that you don’t fancy it at all. I’m not often in This Place, and when I am, I’ve only come for a brief visit. I’m in The Other Place at the moment, the one where you are always on the verge of tears, you are barely hanging on by your fingertips and life in general is just TOO MUCH.
    Sorry I can’t say anything encouraging, except that these things really do come in cycles, and what went down must eventually go up again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true, my lovely 🌺🌺. I’m so sorry you’re in that Other Place. I’ve been there, too, and it hurts. Please (do your best to) take care of You, dear one ❤️. Gentle virtual hugs coming your way, if you like them, and sending warm supportive thoughts for happier tear-free times 💞💞. You’re totally right–what goes down has to come up sometime 💟🌷💟

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the virtual hugs ❤️ It’s not all bad, it goes up and down even within a day. Mornings are the worst, evenings are more relaxed. Take care of yourself 🦋🌷and we will come through it! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Laina, however and whatever you write is good, but focus on taking care of you. If your blog is for you, if it’s therapeutic for you in some way, that’s key. If it’s not, or if you’re writing mainly for others, there’s no need to push yourself. Selfishness is a good thing.

    I agree with Madelyn up there: maybe use the down time as down time, nurturing time. There’s nothing that says you *have* to be busy all the time. You’ve written in the past that you tend to push hard with little quality sleep, so maybe establishing some healthier sleep habits could be a good thing, and enough of a challenge but not too overwhelming, and …. — in the end, my “advice” is just talk for me hoping you’re okay and taking care of you. (((((Hugs)))))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, my lovely 💙💚. Truthfully, it’s not so much the blogs as it is my professional life and non-blogging personal time activities 😊💚. My job is based on a “special interest”, and I’ve always been self-motivated, which is why this apathetic feeling is so out of character 😊. Your points are really well-taken, though! 👍🏼👍🏼. I think you’re totally onto something, especially with the pushing hard on little sleep 💟💟. I’ve been able to do some additional thinking and I think I have a theory as to what has happened and maybe even how to address it. 😁💗🌸💗

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Depression is so real! Having experienced its devastation one cannot help have empathy for those encountering it. We must be sensitive to it because us humans are so good sometimes at masking it out of fear we would be labeled “crazy”. We think nothing of talkin with others about our infection but heaven help us share the symptoms of depression because they might think we’re abnormal.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Absolutely! I had restless leg secondary to anemia and it sucks! But for me, depression was/is so much worse (that’s just my experience, though) 😊😊. I remember when there was *so* much stigma attached to being on antidepressants; that has gotten a bit better now, but mental health is still such a loaded topic, and it really shouldn’t be. It’s still regarded (by outsiders) with so much judgment. And yet people talk about all kinds of TMI with no conscience! But heaven help if someone discloses that they’re bipolar! 💜💜. I would love to see a more “functional” approach taken toward all conditions, physical and mental/emotional (!). By “functional”, I mean that it would be a lot more constructive and helpful (and less stigmatizing) to say that, for example, instead of “generalized anxiety disorder”, to describe succinctly what’s actually going on, such as “COMT SNP compounded by Magnesium deficiency” (which is a major etiology of anxiety) or “cortisol hyperactivity aggravated by post-trauma neuroplasticity”. Instead of saying “bipolar disorder”, it would be a lot better to say “lithium deficiency” (which is a thing!), or perhaps “dopamine receptor turnover”. Descriptions made with neutral non-judgment are so much more helpful and less othering than labels 😊👍🏼💖💖

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Yes, depression, when it grips one it is horrible. Many years ago I was burning the candle to the middle and it griped me. I thought life was over and the stigma was demonizing even back then and get this I was in a very high stress field of social work. This was when I met God. I was able to take the experience and apply it in my work to help so many. Sometimes our adversity can be someone else’s latter up. I vowed to do everything in my ability to take note of people and the numerous staff I was overseeing to help them be aware of how quickly it can lay hold of you. Yes look at the title “bipolar disorder”. In itself it implies you are a loser. The DSM board needs to take a look at their labels.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh wow! I love how you found God; I feel for you in the way you had to find Him/Her(?), but I’m so happy you did. I totally agree with you on the DSM thing, too! Oh my, what a mess that (still!) is! 🙄🤔🌺💓

              Liked by 1 person

  11. Take time for you right now. You are brilliant at answering comments, and it’s much appreciated, but it must be exhausting, I don’t know how you find either the mental energy or physical time. It’s great that you stay so engaged with your readers, but are you putting too much pressure on yourself in this respect? No one is going to mind if you posted a little less often, because we all know that when you do it’s always top quality and relevant. In trying to please everyone else, I fear you may have forgotten to take care of you. Also, have you tried mindfulness? It took me a little while to get to grips with it, but try the Mindspace app, there are free sessions to get you going and you can repeat them without paying if you want. I’m really starting to feel the benefit now, a few months in, although I didn’t really do it regularly to start with. So my go to methods for better mental health these days are running, until all I can concentrate on is my legs that won’t go any further, and Mindspace. And I’ve even managed to reduce my medication now 😁. May or may not work for you, and I don’t know if your physical health allows running (I had a painful hip problem for some years until a total hip replacement nearly 4 years ago, could barely walk, let alone run then, but I wish I’d tried meditation at the time), but both are almost free, so what do you have to lose? Mainly though, take time for yourself, you deserve it, you truly do. X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so, so much! 😘❤️💞. I definitely think you’re right – I put a lot of pressure on myself 💚. The time comes from a few places 😊 – I have Non-24, a sleep disorder in which my body runs on a ~30-hour time clock instead of a 24-hour one 😊. And I’ve had to take some time off work for health reasons 💙. So yeah, there’s a lot of excess energy to spare (I’ve had it measured; it’s the equivalent of 2-2.5 people lol), but the problem comes in when I couple that with LOTS of internal pressure 💓💓

      And sometimes the energy gets bottled up and diffused in an unbalanced way every so often. And, strangely enough (and I don’t know what to make of this) acupuncture has frequently helped that energy unwind from its bottleneck and straighten out again (!) (this was true this time, too! 😳❤️)

      I think mindfulness is *so* important, and I really, really appreciate your suggesting it. I also very much appreciate your recommendation of the Mindspace app! That app is getting downloaded *today* 💜💜

      I’ve never been able to run (another one of my health mysteries, of which there are several lol), but I do love walking! Walking increases my focus and mindfulness a whole lot. And you’re right – can’t beat the cost of either one! 👏🏼👍🏼😁❤️

      Aww nuts. My iPhone said my card was declined when I went to buy the app ($1.99 USD; I didn’t find it in the Apple Store but it was accessible here: http://www.mindspace.org.uk/mobile-app/) so I gotta go talk to my partner and see what’s up with that 😳😳. But I will get this resolved and grab that app 😎😎

      Thank you so much for all your kind words! I totally appreciate your support 💖. I will take your advice to heart and I won’t write today. I’ll see if my brain will do it easily tomorrow 💚💙💜👍🏼👍🏼

      Like

      1. For me, I have SO freaking much happening. Muscle disease, bone disease, PTSD, anxiety, seizures, Tourette syndrome (and all that goes with that), insomnia. And so I go through this…well is it this? Is it that? What is it? Why am I “off” today. Sometimes I never find out the answer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh wow! That’s quite a full plate, luv ❤ I can relate, at least a bit – Celiac, EDS, PTSD, Hashimoto's (early-moderate development), and Non-24 (chronorhythm sleep disorder, misdiagnosed for a while as insomnia) ❤ ❤ I can totally relate to the "why am I 'off' today?" – you're so right! Sometimes I never know, either – it makes it a lot easier knowing I'm not alone! Thank you for this ❤ ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Laina, I’ve been neglecting your blog. My apologies. But, once again, your posts save the day for me. I’ve made a consult with my therapist to discuss Alexthimia. She’s not as proficient in Asperger’s/Autism as doctors of years gone by, so I’m not holding out much hope for an open dialogue with her.

    Lately, 1000% of my energy goes to work because, frankly, it’s how I deal….with just about everything. Excelling in one area blunts the pain from other areas (depression, fear, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, etc.). I’ve always conducted myself in a way that shuts emotions down, rather than trying to articulate them, talk about them, feel them, sort them (you know, the healthy way!). Instead, I prefer distraction above all else.

    Though you have Alexthimia markers, I find that you, Devereaux, and coccoon are my true heroes in the way you all articulate yourselves. The challenges you face, I know the work that goes into your writing and I see the gift in the time and care you take to make things so clear for us. You’re such a leader in this regard.

    I may not be able to write my feelings/emotions, express them, but somehow, you, a bright, beautiful stranger (and now friend!) has inspired me to at least start thinking about them in a voice that calls for words on paper now, instead of remaining locked away like so much mildew in a dank cellar. 🙂

    Thank you, infinitely, for your “guidance.”

    Always,

    K

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl, you are the bomb 😘😘. No worries about the blog; it ain’t going anywhere 😉😘❤️. I’m so happy you enjoy the posts! I’m also happy to hear you’re taking care of You 👍🏼👏🏼😁. I very much hope that your appointment with the doctor goes well 🙏🏼🌈.

      I can relate to what you said about work, too. That’s exactly the way I was until very recently, and probably how it will be again 💚💙. It can provide a great distraction, and if that’s what you need to do for the time being, then I say go for it 👍🏼👍🏼. We’re always always here for you when the words come and the schedule allows 😘❤️❤️

      I consider you an amazing friend, too (thank you so much for that!), and I think you’re an incredible person, something I don’t say lightly 😁💜💙.

      As always, thank you so much for your kind words! I cherish them always, and my gratitude is infinite back to you 💞💞🌈🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hang in there, you are not alone as you know 😚 It’s always lovely to read your posts and I love your honesty always ❤ Let those feelings run through, observe, document but know they’re not you. It will change, it will pass, you will find the spark again. For now give yourself permission​ to just be and feel it all. Look for the insights within those feelings. Much love 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My own view is that depression is often linked with intelligence, and with over thinking. Aspies by nature overthink things, I know I do, obsessively. The more you think the more it depresses you. I dont know about clinical depression but many of the symptoms I’ve known all my life, I cant remember being any other way. What does that make me? No idea. I just get through doing the things I like, music helps, other escapist tools like books and films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally! 👏🏼👏🏼. And I think it’s because we perceive so fully and we know how unnecessary so much of the world’s BS is, that it’s easy for so many of us to fall into depression. I know I overthink the hell out of things (lol), and I’m all “this BS is totally pointless; why does the world *do* this??” And then I realize that although I can be the change I wish to see in the world, my sphere of influence is rather small in the grand scheme. Which makes me depressed about the way the world is 💙💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, its a vicious circle isnt it. I have tried to stop seeing whats going on in the world, as it makes me so angry, depressed, useless and resigned to the mess we are all in. Maybe we can see what needs changing clearer and get frustrated at the annoying refusal to see it by others.

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