Are we there yet…?
Happy New Year from Rocking the Spectrum
The Flash Back
There is no point. No real purpose to any of this. Who would want me? Nobody hires anyone with a diagnosis. I’ll probably be on social support for the rest of my life. I’m fucking useless. I just want to be normal, to fit in and here I am, doing anything but. I should just finish it. It’s not like it would be a loss to anyone. Or cut my face up… I can’t pretend to fit the illusion if I look like a monster…Yours truly – December 2017
The Beacons and Torches
Even though the previous is just a compilational excerpt of my memories, I remember the pain and the hopelessness very vividly, as do I with most of my major collapses and mental deroutes. I remember my doctor stared at me, when I told her I wanted to cut my face up (as opposed to “just” my arms and legs as usual) and then she signed me up for treatment, that never really came.
Isn’t it fascinating how – apparantly – cutting the hidden places, like arms and legs, doesn’t call for action quite the same way as if the cuts or damage is very visible? So, what are we getting help for? Really? Our struggle? Or the fact that you’d rather not be faced with the pain of others? If it indeed were our struggle, then why is it not being taken seriously, until it becomes visible? Or attempted to be taken seriously. As said, the treatment never really came. All I got, essentially, were two more doctors independently confirming my autism diagnosis (well, thanx, but I kinda knew that already!)
I’m not oblivious to the fact that those ill mechanisms of my mind are still untreated. I am extremely cautious about self caring for that very same reason and because I know how easily I can snap.
However, I yet again face a December, or rather the end of December a year later and thinking back, remembering, paints me a picture of undeniable rising from the ashes. I may still be bent and on my knees, but I’m getting there – and inside something’s burning, a fierceness I have never felt before – and yet we feel oddly familiar.
I will not add the weight of my life to any one’s shoulders and in all fairness, neither could I. Lost at sea, you might see the slight hint of a beacon in the horizon – but when the entire coast lights their beacons and torches, you start paddling even after you thought you had given up.
Here in December 2018 I am just generally in awe that this entire coastline would bother lighting their torches for me to bring me home.
But I am not there yet. I see the lights, but I am far far off shore. The currents pull me in and push me away, but by God, the lights you all shine is so beautiful. Please… be patient with me.
Minding The Gap
For me, the week between Christmas and New Years Eve is always odd and tiresome. There is the exhaustion from Christmas, the ordinary daily routines that are not yet in place and this big day coming up, with fireworks and new expectations and new breakings of routines.
As you may recall from my Merry Christmas post, this year is the first Christmas I have held, knowing my diagnosis and thereby my key challenges, where I have been strong enough to take decently care of myself – and I was unsure how long I would be affected by the season this year. Usually, the fatigue lasts until mid January.
As suspected, this year turned out differently. I did not steer clear of a reaction, as you may have gathered from my post on Instagram that same day: Dec 25th had me crying on the train home and going into sensory lockdown. But Thursday, the 27th, I went to work, fatigued, but came home feeling this odd fierceness inside. It’s like it had always been there, but somehow the right key in the right door unlocked it. The fatigue was and is still there, but it’s a different version from what I’m used to. I am exploring uncharted waters these days – and unlike what it would usually does to me, I am not scared. I trust that feeling, that fire inside.
These new epiphanies, if you will, has made it more adamant for me to not only do my New Year Meditation, but to actually give it time and give it some proper thinking. I feel that now, more than ever, I need to pay the utmost attention to the thoughts inside. I’m changing…not into something new, but into something I was. What I SHOULD be.
The New Year Meditation
With The New Year Meditation part 1 and 2 I have tried to aim at selfawareness – in other words; what makes you paddle like your life depends on it, and what makes you bend over in exhaustion? What makes you strive for the possibilities and what does it take for you to see them?
I have seen enough shit in this lifetime to keep me going for at least four, so I know a thing or two about locating ressources within, you didn’t think you had. I know what it means to get back on your feet, when somebody has tried to break every – single – fucking – bone in your body.
I will not lie to you – it WILL and DOES hurt and like hell.
But healing, getting back up on your feet, starts with you giving yourself some ME-time and complete honesty. This is not the time for e.g. you to say you have tried it all, when you KNOW that there are things you didn’t do, because you feared the outcome.
Find some paper and a pencil and do a brain storm, or subscribe and get the New Year Meditation and let that one guide you and inspire you to ask yourself additional questions that are exactly right FOR YOU.
You see, the Meditation is tailored for me, yours truly. It’s the subjects and questions I need to address to reach a better gaze at that shoreline. They will likely benefit you but be open to the fact, that maybe other questions will be relevant for you – and if so, let them come.
I firmly believe that deep down we all know our own truths. We just gotta dig through the rubble to reach it. Downthere, in that uncharted place in your mind, you KNOW which questions to ask.
If you’re interested, you can subscribe to Rocking the Spectrum and get your own copy of the New Year Meditation here…
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This is the time of year we reflect and promise ourselves, through resolutions, to make important changes in our lives – only to break those very same promises and let ourselves down.
I’m no different!
For as long as I can remember, I have had a New Year resolution about “writing more”. Getting those ideas down on paper. Letting my mind off the leash.
For as long as I can remember, I have buried that same resolution in presumptions that it wasn’t “a mature thing to do”, “it was stupid”, “I’d never be any good anyway”, “what would people think” and “why don’t I just grow the fuck up and be a little sensible”…
And it would be sensible to focus on career and the likes, agreed?
These last three months of 2018, something has dawned on me…
Try replacing “writing more” with “breathing”…
Now all the same presumptions sound pretty damn daft, right?
And this, the dance of opposites, is really the conundrum…
I don’t fit into those fine same-size boxes with neatly cut labels. I have tried to – forced AND by own desire. But it doesn’t matter how much you yell at me and tell me to fit a size 6 when I’m a size 14 – when my foot reaches the knee of those jeans the fabric tears.
It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world or most of it can fit a size 6 – I and my fellow oddballs STILL won’t fit!
It makes sence to most people, this physical metaphor, but people tend to be blind to this when it comes to psychology. So let me spell it out for good measure (no pun intended):
The boxes YOU fit, are meant for YOU – the boxes I fit are meant for ME. You cannot push a square through a triangular hole! We had shape sorting toys as kids to TEACH us this, for Gods sake. Come on!
Yes! I am 40 years old and I just dyed my hair turquoise. Guess what – it will be purple next.
Yes! I am 40 years old and I sleep with the lights on because I don’t like the shadows in the dark.
Yes! I stretch my ears and have been known to making my very own dreadlock wig. TWICE!
Yes! I sleep with a teddy bear, because fidgetting the fluffy ears keeps my brain calm.
I’m 5 years old, 17, biologically 40 and sometimes in some senses one effing 100 and 20 years old.
I do NOT fit the artificially constructed normality because I was never part of it in the first place. I never signed the goddamn agreement – fuck that, no one ever showed me the terms to agree ON. And why should I agree to them?
I HAVE – however – quite literally been tearing myself apart for at least two decades trying to blend in and fit the uncomfortably tight boxes JUST to be worthy of loving, to be accepted.
I am sorry for the charades, I am sorry for making you think I “settled” – but I will not live my life in the shadows of a reflection. I will not deny myself freedom for the sake of conditional approval. The cost is, as it turns out, way to high. The mirage must go.
If you cannot unconditionally love me for my quirks, my oddities and crooked edges – you never really loved me at all!
And let’s turn the tables for a sec – if my bloody hair colour or other harmless quirks offend you, then the issue is not with me, but yourself. This might be a good time to ask yourself, what you are denying or neglecting about yourself, to make something slight seem so big.
It’s a process. I’m slowly finding myself, digging myself out of the rubble and I am recognizing the person, the woman, I used to be, before it became adamant to fit in.
More importantly: I can hear the woman’s joy.
Do not tell me to silence her laughter!
Do not tell me to turn my back on her! Not again! She’s been left under the rubbles for far too long.
Trust me on this one: the more I look like you and the more I blend in – the worse off I am on the inside.
So – exactly how important is it to you, that I fit your size 6?
And can you blame me, if I turn my back on your disapproval?
Goodbye Forever 2018 – Welcome 2019…
…oohh, I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings. Not that I will complete my journey and paddling in this coming year, but I’ll get a little bit closer, I’ll be digging a little deeper in those rubbles – and maybe – just maybe – I will reach a point where I can touch the fingertips of her hand.
Which leads me to some of the lyrics from the Volbeat song (what, you thought I just found some random tune for ya? Oh, how poorly you know me :-* )
Take the arms that embrace
no more being afraid
Feel the sun on your face
or goodbye forever…
Volbeat, “Goodbye Forever” from Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie, 2016
I will continue writing, breathing, being odd – and I will not lose sight of ME. This is a promise and unlike previous years, I will honour that promise and have the self-respect not to break it.
It will take some practice standing up for myself and that’s okay. Mastering something takes a little time and effort. I do not expect overnight miracles. Neither should you in whatever struggle you are facing.
So, to answer the headline of this particular rambling:
No, we are not there yet – but we are just a little bit closer than last you checked. And we will get there eventually!
I would like you to trust that you can reach your goals. I would like you to have the confidence and determination it takes, to not take shit from anyone.
I would like you to be YOU. That is when you shine the most. And please, do share your successes, your hard learned lessons and if you are brave; the flaws and failures. Someone outthere needs YOUR voice and YOUR lit torch held high on the coast. None of us were ever an island.
Those highpitched words aside – what I really wanna do, is just basically give you a hug.
A good hug.
Not one of those feathery halfhugs, where you sort of bump shoulders.
No, I want to give you a good, long and warm hug, that you can feel for at least two days – preferably without hurting you physically.
Then I’d like to offer you a cup of coffee and sit down with you and listen to your plans for the new year. Not resolution style (that never works anyway) – but just the plans you have and where you’d like to go. What are your dreams and what are your goals (because there is a difference you know!).
In fact, why don’t you take a few minutes to share a bit in the comment section, put some wants and desires outthere in the universe and see what happens.
THEN I will advice you to think “safety” when you reach the fireworks at midnight. I warn you – if you don’t follow safety procedures and end up short of a pinky (pun slightly intended), I will NOT pity you. Not even if you raise with a middle finger.
That being said…..
Happy New Year, cupcake…
I look forward to spend another year in your amazing and loving and supportive company.
And remember this…..
When LIFE throws SHIT at you
You make KICKASS manure
And grow some BADASS SUNFLOWERSYours truly, December 2018