Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The things you can learn from a cat...

Insomnia is setting in, so what better time to write up my second blog post? I tend to get stuck in an idea for some things I want to write, and this one makes sense to me - that this will be of interest to normies and to aspies.

There is a something I had noticed a couple years ago with my cat that had escaped me with my first cat I had when I was a kid. In petting and playing with "Bashful" (not his real name, he's a scaredy cat), I will scratch the bed or the carpet that puts him into a sort of hunting pose, all crouched down like he's about to pounce on something. While in this pose, I noticed that his pupils get HUGE. A couple things are going on there that I've learned in the past few years, some things that I believe are similar in human eyes - one of those things that someone with Aspergers wouldn't likely have picked up on unless they were told (like I had been years earlier), and this ties into something I wrote in my first post.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I am here. Why am I here? Why are you here?

So I'm going somewhat against the grain of some advice I was given from someone close to me about "shouting out to the world" the fact that I was recently diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism called Aspergers Syndrome, that it would be a bad idea to put this information out there on my Facebook page. Maybe that's true and maybe I might still do that at some point, but for now? I need to start anonymously mashing the keyboard in hopes that some of things I'm going through can be of use to someone else trying to find out if they have this ability/disability too. God knows I could have used more personal experiences about what it's like to have this when I first discovered some info about Aspergers over 10 years ago...

"What the fcuk is Aspergers Syndrome" is probably crossing your mind right now, if you don't know what it is. If you have heard of it or know a bit about autism, you might have the "Rain Man" image in your head (like I did). It's OK, there are a ton of stereotypes, misconceptions, and myths about this syndrome out there. I know because they totally mess with my head, and is the reason why I've been secretive about moving halfway across the country to get a professional opinion on whether or not I have this - and once I did, why I've been so quiet about it. This bottling up of what's going on with me is driving me absolutely fugging crazy, but it's not something I really know how to bring up to people in my life, since I don't exactly display what some would say are obvious external characteristics. Autism and Aspergers are on what they call a "spectrum", where the degree of functioning varies and there is a wide range of symptoms.

"But you don't seem autistic." Even people who know a great deal about autism aren't immune to saying this to me, so I have to explain it here how I've been affected by being an "Aspie". I hope that as time goes by, I'll be able to focus more on the positive and creative aspects of having Aspergers, but for now I'll just mention some of the obvious difficulties I'm trying to overcome.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

About Me

About Me:

I'm a Thirty-something man with Asperger's Syndrome, and I'm one of the many "silent sufferers" of this syndrome: adult who weren't diagnosed as kids who are functional enough to appear normal, but afflicted enough to have significant difficulties because it's not obvious that something isn't right. This is my story:

"You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain -- but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life; You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad... Do you know what I'm talking about?"

- Morpheus

A little dramatic, yes, but the best way I could think to describe this nagging feeling I've had my whole life, that there was just something different about me, that life just seemed to so much more difficult for me than other people around me who seemed to be functioning with ease. It started in middle school, got worse in high school (where I managed to blot the feeling out with alcohol up until my second trip to rehab), was somewhat mitigated by being doped up on anti-depressants for the first four years of sobriety (no feelings, no problem! thanks Prozac...), and finally came to a head as I approached a decade of sobriety. It was becoming apparent to me that things were VERY wrong with my life, but I had no idea why or what to do about it.