Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sleep link & my sleep story

I just found this blog which is pretty good, and in particular this article about Asperger's and sleep issues:

I used to have significant difficulties with sleep, leading to a diagnosis of having a Circadian Rhythm Disorder earlier this year. This is one of many co-morbid conditions that typically appear with AS, according to many people in the community. Anyway, I have had many "cycles" where my sleep will gradually shift itself forward or backward overtime, to the point where I will be sleeping all day and will be awake all night. It will then shift back again a few weeks later, such that things seem to be back to normal and I can be "amongst the living" again. If only it was that easy though...

Monday, April 25, 2011

This class is killing me...

I'm not really sure how or why I ended up taking this "Cultural Anthropology" class, other than it was at a time that I had open. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it sounded even better when I realized it was the transfer equivalent of ANTHRO 104 at UW (ie counts towards 2 requirements with 1 class!), but this class has been a real PITA for me in the last few weeks. I'm rocking an A in it thus far, but we spent a good chunk of the semester not in "cultural mode" but in a "general anthropology mode" before we could dig into cultural ideas.

The past few weeks have thrown 2 assignments at me that are my achilles heel: writing essays based on videos. Couple that with having to look at two different groups of people and write on the "wh" questions (who, what when, when, and especially why), and this could be potential disaster. Luckily it hasn't sent me into panic mode yet. I do have a MAJOR problem with watching videos and interpreting them, but this class has given me a "lens" to look through, which certainly helps, but it's still a bit hard for me to watch someone and come up with an idea as to why they are doing what they are doing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A new assignment (one more book...)

So it's not really an "assignment", but a suggestion I got from Glenis last week. She said she went to an Autism Society of Georgia event, where the keynote speakers were a couple who both read Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends And Influence People", before they met, but read it like it was a manual.

That's an interesting twist on trying to read it, which might make it more interesting. I bought the book many years ago, even before I has ever heard of Asperger's, but had difficulty with the premise of the book. It felt fake to me, so that made it hard to swallow and keep pushing forward. It also didn't help that in my early 20's, I really wasn't much of a reader. I bought the book at some point between 1995 and 2000, but according to the furthest bookmark, I only read about 40 pages. I just read 30 pages today alone!

This time around I'm going to look at like a reference to succeeding with people. It still won't help much with the non-verbal part of communication, but at least it should help greatly with dealing with people in a way that they might like better. I can already see some things I might be doing wrong, mainly with my own attitude (which needs some adjustment.)

Song Of The... Night?


Saturday, April 23, 2011

New book purchase & a clarification

I went to another meeting tonight, making it two in two nights. I had a thought during the meeting as I was mentally screaming at this blowhard who spent half the meeting talking about himself, that I'm not knocking this particular 12 step program. I'm sure it could come across like I think it's a load of crap, but I want to make sure that I'm clear on this. The program itself has saved my life, and I'm fairly certain that I would not be sitting here writing this if it didn't exist. The program itself is definitely not the problem.

Recovery vs Aspergers, a battle I seem to be losing.

I've been on hiatus from 12 step program meetings for almost a month now, maybe a little bit more, as I've been in a bit of a "get the fuck away from me" phase where I just don't have the mental & physical energy to deal with interacting with anyone. However, I may be coming out of that phase, and am feeling like having some friends around would be nice. This brings up a few problems that I've had running through my head lately, as well as some things I've seen happen to other people.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now I have something in my eye...

So I decided to bounce my idea of tossing it out there on Facebook off a group of people on a message board of one of my intense interests. I had "outed" my Asperger's on there sometime last fall during a rough stretch in a post about some political happenings at the time, IIRC.

So I posed the question, asking if this is a potentially really bad idea, or maybe a good one considering it is Autism Awareness month. I got a LOT of really cool supportive responses over the last 24 hours, and then I got this:
I admire your openness about this.  You are not afraid to stand up and ask this question and that kicks major ass.  Some people on here will jump down your throat on the questions you ask on the [politics] board or on other topics but you've got the balls to ask questions.  Good for you.  You are very willing to allow yourself to be challenged regardless of the topic or what spears and barbs are chucked your way. [note: I get *a lot* of shit for my political and economic views]  This might be a product of what you are dealing with but no matter how ridiculous those questions are keep educating yourself.  It does this board a good service to have someone who is not afraid to ask questions.  You're comfortable enough asking those question on a (semi) anonymous internet site.  You are facing this head on.  That is simply outstanding.  You're not hiding from it, you're not throwing yourself a pity party, you've accepted this and are not making excuses.

It does come down to personal comfort and it's going to scare the shit out of you....but just remember, this isn't something that is unique to you and only you.  Sharing your story, when you are comfortable, is going to resonate with others.  Standing up and embracing your challenges could open the door for others to develop a positive outlook like you have.  You've been given a great opportunity to assist others and I think it goes without saying that you have created a greater awareness on this site by sharing your story so you've already made a positive impact.  It does ultimately come down to what you are comfortable sharing away from the friendly confines of [web site name].  Remember that you have found a support network here to bounce things off of if the waters get a little choppy. 
Wow. I definitely don't have a clue how I impact other people, as this wasn't what I expected... at all. This definitely made my day and gives me hope that there is something very positive that I can do for others with what I've gone through. That's a feeling (usefulness) that I've been lacking for quite a while now. I'm hoping that combining that feeling with the sense of purpose in life that I found last fall is going to make my life real interesting in the coming years. :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There, I said it.

I'm seriously thinking about saying something on Facebook about AS. I'm getting tired of hiding it, but I'm also quite leery of some of the responses I might get. It is Autism Awareness month, after all, and maybe a good time to do it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day of frustration & SOTD

BLAH. That's how I feel today. I'm all about some positivity on this blog, but today is just not one of those days. I'm still feeling the after effects of a bunch of little things that happened this week, notably that I'm feeling a bit anxious about being alone (now and in the future), despite the fact that dating is pretty much a non-option while A) living a home and B) having to focus a great deal on my studies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Who is John Galt?

Zooey Deschanel was in a movie I watched last night, at home. I spent a good chunk of my day at the theatre watching two movies: Atlas Shrugged and The Conspirator. I <3 Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart! OK, I simply <3 Taylor Schilling! LOL

Anyway, I used to really hold myself back out of fear of being "that loser who is going to the movies [or whatever activity] alone." Well, not doing these things I wanted to do but was afraid to do them alone left me in a worse situation. I became the clueless guy who doesn't do anything except sit on the sidelines of life. That hasn't exactly been true, but a good chunk of my life in Wisco has been close to that, only escaping that trap and getting involved in some cultural activities somewhat frequently while living down south.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have a crush on Zooey Deschanel

Hi, I'm [insert my real name here]. I'm in a 12 step program. For a good chunk of my life it's been a blessing, in that it's helped me develop a number of behaviours that I needed working on, as well as having a crap ton more social interaction than I would have without being eligible for being in such a program. As of right now though, it's feeling a good bit like a curse and I'm not really sure how to resolve it or if it can be resolved while I still live here.

Cleanup in aisle 12!

So I guess this is progress, I'm not really sure what to make of this. I was in the grocery store today, and was scanning side to side looking for anything interesting I needed, or sales, when this woman was walking straight towards me down the aisle. She smiled and I think she said hi to me, but I don't know because I had my headphones on. I tried to say hi, but it caught me off guard, and I think I just mouthed it without actually saying anything. OK, it caught me COMPLETELY off guard, and I had absolutely no idea what to do since I have no idea what the context was.