Does anyone remember my second post on this blog?
I do. It was an incomplete piece of work that was probably sent through because I accidentally pressed Submit for Review instead of Save Draft. I actually deleted it because I was not satisfied with its quality. I figured that I would simply try to write it again.
But as I tried again, I realized that I am running out of things to say that purely focus on my autistic experience. Everything else feels at most partially related. There have been many things recently that I have had an interest in talking about, none that seemed appropriate for this blog.
Sometimes I want to talk about the worlds I have created in my spare time, just to have the ideas out there. As I have said in the past I enjoy building world. Recently I have had the chance to share one with some of my friends by running a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I haven’t been running it too much since I have been busy with school, but it was still an interesting opportunity. That said, not exactly appropriate for this blog.
Sometimes I want to talk about events that have gone on in the world that have bothered me, but that also isn’t appropriate for this blog. It isn’t about politics and the stupidity of other people. It is about discussing mental health and inspiring others by sharing my mental health difficulties and experiences. The point is to show others that even with my condition, it is possible to succeed in life.
Once I got to talk about events, and that was because it was connected to mental health issues. As I have said, this whole trigger warning thing has gone too far to the point where university is losing what I believe is its defining feature. The Marketplace of Ideas, where people gather to share ideas, where good ideas stand on their merit and bad ideas are discarded and left behind. This cannot happen in a place where we protect ourselves from ideas.
This was an issue I got to talk about because of its connection to mental illness, particularly anxiety and depression. I am not overly experienced with depression, but anxiety is something I am familiar with to a certain measure. I most often deal with anxiety when I am made to deal with many people at once, or when I am made to deal with people by surprise. My mind blanks when someone I don’t know surprises me by trying to converse with me, and this is when I get anxious. I doubt my social anxiety is as strong as those with anxiety disorder, but it is a facet of my autistic nature.
I recall last year being cat called as I walked the halls of residence. It only happened a few times, but every time I just kept walking as my mind blanked. It was such a surprise to me that in the moment I couldn’t think of anything other than to keep moving so that I could diffuse the situation as swiftly as possible. Perhaps if I were anyone else I would have had an easier time just going with it, but people make my mind race.
I have wondered for some time what I would be like if I were not autistic, if perhaps my condition has so informed my personality over the years as to make my personality inevitable? There is no way I can ever know for certain, but every time I try I find myself thinking that I would be the opposite of who I am. This opposite is one that frightens me.
Sure my opposite would be a more social and flexible individual, more comfortable meeting and socializing with many people and living in the present. These are all good qualities that I work to develop as I need to, but there are other aspects of my personality that I would not give up for anything.
I am a thinker. I enjoy thinking about an assortment of topics, considering problems and developing solutions. I see the world I live in today. I see the world I would like to live in tomorrow. I hear everyone else’s suggestions of the world they want and how to get to it. It is a grand puzzle that demands time when it doesn’t fill me with anger. I don’t think my opposite would care. I see my opposite as shallow, overly interested in gossip and small-talk. It’s not to say that I dislike people who are overly interested in gossip, but to say that to think of myself being overly interested in gossip disgusts me. I can’t imagine myself being like that, even though I understand it in others.
Perhaps my opposite would care about big issues like I do, but I think my opposite would be overly impulsive, throwing himself into one side of an issue without understanding the other side. Great care should be taken when solving a puzzle, especially one as massive as dealing with big, real life issues. I don’t even mind discussing it with other people. I love sharing ideas. I even enjoy criticism so long as no one is loud about it, since I don’t like loud noises.
The fact of the matter is that I am happy the way I am, and I am happy with where I am going. Perhaps I have some difficulties with certain things like interacting with people, managing surprise events, or other such things. Perhaps with time and effort I will improve, but I would have it no other way. Perhaps this is why the thought of my opposite scares me so much.