The Diary Of My Mind

Dealing with Stuff and Things

Life can be incredibly overwhelming to me. For many years I have enjoyed watching the news and discussing current events. Current events were at one point one of my focused interests. I could and still can tell you just about every important news story that happened throughout the day. I used to love keeping up to date but lately this has become a chore and in many cases a terrifying experience.

All of my life I have dealt with fear. I was raised during the era of “Stranger Danger”, at the tail end of the cold war. Life it seemed could be ended for everyone at any point and everyone knew “drop and cover” would do absolutely nothing in the event of a nuclear war. Being a fundamentalist at the time added an extra layer of fear because, at any point, Jesus could return and if you were a sinner it would mean hell for all eternity.

Then things got better. The cold war ended, the world began eliminating its nuclear stockpiles, and humanity seemed to possibly be turning a corner. We had our first African-American president, gay marriage was legalized, and universal healthcare seemed to be a very real possibility in our near future. There was no doubt in mine and many others minds that we were entering a world where anything was possible.

Then the debacle of an election occurred on November 8th occurred and all of that forward progress stopped.

I can no longer turn on the news and enjoy myself. Every day a new awful thing has occurred. One day we hear that the President is goading the North Koreans to a nuclear war, the next day we learn that birth control will no longer be covered by insurance, hell maybe whacking seals with clubs will become the new national past time tomorrow? Seriously, how bad is it going to get?

I am not one for hyperbole. I really couldn’t give a shit it the president hates Rosie O’Donnell. If he wants to tweet about how bad the ratings of the apprentice are now, have at it. I don’t care if he eats pizza with a knife and fork, or that he can’t form a coherent sentence to save his life. I honestly don’t care about 90% of what the news makes a big deal out of, but after listening for 15 minutes, my heart is racing, I start sweating, and my breath shortens.

If I could, I would just hide myself away from society.

People are so fucking exhausting. The world is fucking exhausting. Simply the idea of leaving my house anymore is fucking exhausting. Who knows, maybe today will be the day that I’m at a store when some moron starts shooting the place up. The facts are that half of the country wants to make positive changes that could help the country and the other half simply doesn’t give a shit about anything at all it seems.

I find myself joining that side of the equation from the opposite end of the spectrum. I don’t give a shit anymore because the vast majority of people don’t give a shit. Leave me alone to my books, my movies, my games, and my own thoughts. Let me have my dreams of a better world that will more than likely never exist. Do what you want, destroy the fucking world if that what you see fit to do, just leave me and my little niche the fuck alone.

So to get back to the topic at hand, how do I deal with this world and how overwhelming it is at times?

Short answer: I don’t.

Long answer: I really fucking don’t.

The Diary Of My Mind

Why I Can’t Write.

My brain is on a senseless shuffle
I see no end in sight
life is an endless boiling bubble
emotions are my plight…

I honestly cannot tell you how I feel at the moment, which doesn’t equate well to a decent blog. I’ve been in shut down mode for the past two weeks. All I have done is played a video game and sat quietly allowing my brain to be in complete down time. This is what I do when my brain gets too much information for it to handle. Many people enjoy music, reading, a productive hobby that produces something, for me it’s video games.

At one point in my life I didn’t understand why I played video games so damn much, yet today I get it. When I am in a game I don’t have to worry about the outside world. I am one with the game. In a way, it is almost a spiritual experience, if you wanted to use those words. I’ve meditated in the past and that feeling of complete quiet and content emptiness is the same that I can get after a two-hour gaming session.

So that’s what I’ve done for the last two weeks. I start the day with the intent to write but as the hours go by and the bullshit builds up I end up in the same state where I was the day before. Why? The reason is I honestly don’t know how I should feel at the moment.

I’m still grasping my official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, what that means to me and what my next steps are? Having that diagnosis was a liberating experience and yet as the last few weeks have gone by I have had more and more trouble using the old coping mechanisms that I learned throughout life. Three times in the last week I have gone mute, not just quiet but physically incapable of talking for a period of time. This honestly has not happened to me in years.

On top of that my grandmother is still slowly dying in hospice. Her mind has now gone completely and she spends her waking moments crying for her mother to come and rescue her. She hasn’t eaten a thing in two days and the nurses say she has somehow forgotten how to drink liquid. It won’t be long now but I know that she is in agony. I love my grandmother and hate seeing her in this much pain. I only hope her pain will soon be over.

On top of that my grandfather is still an asshole. He has done nothing but make matters worse. Constantly saying he is going to get her out of hospice care as soon as he can and how much of a burden she has caused him when it comes to the bills. It’s all a lie and only meant to make people feel sorry for him. He loves control and this is just one more way that he believes he can maintain control over her life at least for a short time more.

Speaking of that, I have no idea how to reconcile the good memories I have of my grandfather with the new image of him that I have today. I spent summers at my grandparents and loved fishing, early mornings with my grandfather. We spent hours on the bank fishing for bass, crappie, catfish and carp; my grandfather had a special dough bait recipe that he has made for years which was magical when it comes to carp and catfish.

He also taught me how to haggle at garage sales and taught me a lot of what I needed to know when I was early in the ministry. Hell, I wouldn’t even have been a minister if it hadn’t been for my grandfather. I spent a huge portion of my life trying to make him proud which I think I did but now all of that time spent sickens me. I cannot believe that I held him in such high regards for so long after what I know and have witnessed the last couple of years.

To make matters even worse, I have just learned that I have severe sleep apnea. On Wednesday i went to the hospital for a split sleep study. For someone to be considered to have severe apnea they must have 30 or more apnea episodes, periods of the brain waking up for 10 second or more, in an hour. I had 67 apnea episodes. The person conducting the sleep study then hooked me up to a CPAP machine and I was out like a light. The two hours I was connected to the machine were the two best hours of sleep I can honestly remember. I woke up without a headache, something that never happens, and had more energy throughout the day than I have had in a long time.

Anyway, so now I am waiting to speak with my doctor and get my CPAP ordered. The person at the sleep study said that a CPAP wouldn’t just help me but was incredibly important for my long-term health. This has me a bit freaked out but to be honest the worst part is that knowing I can wake up without a headache has made my last few morning headaches ten times worse.

So anyway, I’m mad, I’m confused, I’m not sleeping well and I wish I could make sense of life. I’m hoping to get back into writing soon but the time for that, outside of this article, just hasn’t arrived yet. Maybe soon, but not at the moment. Thank you for bearing with me and your continued support.

Matt

The Diary Of My Mind

Sometimes I Wonder….

I often wonder if I would be different today if i had been diagnosed as a child. I wonder this for several reasons…

I have talked with many people over the last few years, some with an early diagnosis and others with a late diagnosis.  From this I gather more questions about myself.  I wonder how my parents would have been? Would they have treated me differently? I assume my father would have been relatively the same but I think my mother would have been far different. She was already a helicopter mom but would have been ten times worse if she had known I had autism as a child.

Something else that I’ve considered is that fact that not knowing that I had autism forced me throughout life to come up with my own strategies at coping with life. Would I have used my autism as an excuse for not challenging myself to the fullest? I really don’t know the answer to that question.

At this point I also wonder about why there is such a huge deal about labels. I seem to notice from the many blogs I read that people with ASD will call themself an autistic person, while the blogs written by parents prefer to say child with autism. It seems to me that there is almost a sense of shame in the people who prefer the “child with autism” label. I don’t know if this is true or not but it seems to add even more stigma to the word than it attempts to take away.

Life is confusing at times. Maybe it would have been less confusing if I had known about my diagnosis at an earlier age, but maybe not. Would I have been as upset about being different if I had known why I was so different? To these questions I also have no answers, because I can’t put myself in that state of mind.

This brings me to my next item, I hate not being able to figure out the answer to things. I want to be able to just google or pick up a book and understand everything I need to know, but matters of my own mind are far more complicated. Sometimes I love the way my brain works and sometimes I hate the way my brain works. I hate how I get overwhelmed and shut down, but I love the peaceful calm that I feel when a shut down occurs. I love that I can remain silent for hours on end without ever feeling the need to break the silence.

Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts. I’m always told to tell people I am sorry if I offend them, even though I’m not really sorry…once again something I just don’t understand. Is it better to tell someone a lie than for them to be hurt by something I said, isn’t lying hurtful too? Maybe some things I will never understand and I guess that is supposed to be ok, even though it bugs the hell out of me.