Worries

I worry every day. I can’t stop the flooding in my brain. I worry about the fact that only 16% of autistic adults are in full time paid employment, and that only 32% are in any kind of paid work. I worry about the fact that I don’t look autistic and most people don’t realise just how autistic I am. They think I can fix my autistic traits if they keep telling me how to improve myself, but you can’t fix autism. It stays with you forever. I worry about the fact I may lose all my friends one day through my lack of understanding social communication. I say the wrong things often and I don’t understand why it was the wrong thing. I don’t understand other people’s social signals, either. I think I’m losing friends already.

I worry about the fact that 1 in 3 autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health problems and I think I’m one of them because I can’t see properly most days. All I see in front of me are traps. I think about all the ways I could fail in life frequently, and it isn’t enough to just think positive. I try, but then I think about all the negatives of that positive.

I worry about the fact that I want to do something big with my life but that I will never get the chance to. Don’t say I can if I try. Then, I’ll feel worse about not doing it. My autism looks like it doesn’t affect me much so people encourage me to do things that they would never encourage someone with a more visible disability to do. Just because mine is invisible, people think I can do things. I’ve tried to do more with my life and it ended in terrible situations each time, because of my autism. Each time, I remember back to those scenarios, and I think they will happen again. That is why I cannot do what I want with my life. I cannot experience the opportunities many are lucky to grab. It will end badly.

I cannot see any future for myself, personally. I see the future of everyone else around me — but not me. I have no future. One day, I might be all alone and not know how to cope with the world I’ll be all alone in, and that frightens me the most. I fear that I will be stationary, like a statue, for my entire life. I once had dreams and aspirations that burned down before me when I realised I can never complete those.

I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m autistic. No one wants to deal with someone like me. I’m too complicated for them. I’m a mess. I lie to people most of the time with simple texts and funny pictures. I don’t want to be remembered for being a fraud. I want to be remembered for being an author who volunteered with animals regularly, but that is not going to happen. I have had far too many set-backs already. My autism is literally stopping me from getting opportunities (I was turned down by a volunteer agency when they found out I was autistic, despite the fact I could do whatever tasks they wanted me to). I have tried more than once to fit in with society and it did not work out.

The truth is that I’m tired. I feel like an alien. No one understands me. I will not speak this aloud but I will write it in a blog post because that’s what my blog is about. Expressing myself.

Honestly, my pets are what keep me going. Seeing them each day gives me something to smile about, but there’s not much more for me to smile at anymore. I feel alone and frightened about my future. I have my family but they won’t be here forever, so what happens then?

I don’t know.

Lia

 

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Shapes

I have lines on my arms. They resemble a check-list. One, two, three, four. I guess I haven’t reached five yet. If I get to five, will it have to go diagonal like in those check-lists? I don’t want to think about what will happen if I get to five.

My friend has circles on her arms. Big, round circles. I wonder why she has circles and not lines. Sometimes they overlap, like in a venn diagram. I often think about what connects the circles together and why they intersect.

Today is a good day. I have not been cut by any triangles yet. Triangles have sharp edges. They are at their worst when they are equilateral. This means all points are as sharp as each other.

My friend is not having a good day. She has a new circle but it is not on her arm. It is over her eye. I wonder why it is there. Venn diagrams connect circles, so why should it be there? Is she starting a new one?

Just as I open my mouth to ask her, I realise that a triangle is lodged in her brain. If I talk to her, she might well throw it at me, and I don’t want that. I don’t say a thing.

A new line appears on my arm. It isn’t diagonal after all.

Potato and Leek Soup

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I made potato and leek soup!

This was a really challenging task as I have never made it before and am often prone to meltdowns when making new things. Luckily, despite the meltdowns, I eventually made it mostly by myself. My mum did help with one or two things but I did most of it.

The taste test was the best part as it tasted just like potato and leek soup! I was scared it wouldn’t taste how I wanted it to.

As a vegan, potato and leek soup is something that we rarely find is vegan, so it’s useful to know how to make it. The only potato and leek soup I’ve had since becoming vegan was from my aunt, so I’m glad that I was able to make this.

I was very surprised at how creamy it was, considering the only creamy ingredient was margarine and I didn’t even use that much. It was delicious though and I’m so glad I made it.

Here’s to more ventures in the kitchen!

Lia

Meeting People

One of the most terrifying things for me is meeting new people. I don’t know what they’ll think of me and whether they’ll accept me. I’ve struggled with trying to fit in for my entire life but recently I decided I’ll never fit in, so why try? I am always scared that when I meet someone new, I will be awkward. I am a very awkward person and I end up talking about weird things. Sometimes, I don’t talk at all. This often happens when I’m at a doctor’s office; my mum will speak for me because I’m unable to. I don’t know when these bouts of silence will happen (it’s usually when someone is authoritative or scary) but I always hope that I’ll be able to speak when it matters. However, sometimes I’m scared that if I speak, I’ll say the wrong thing.

On Monday, I met new people and it was very scary for me because it’s not something I do a lot. Afterwards, I was depressed and anxious because I worried a lot about every single thing I had done. This always happens to me but, after a few days, I get over it and am much happier. I begin to think clearly and realise that I wasn’t so bad after all. I talked to them, quite a bit, and, whilst I might have said some weird things, they didn’t seem to mind. I think so much about myself. Someone pointed out to me that the other people are probably thinking about themselves too so will not judge me. I think this is a good point. I think about myself, so they will think about themselves. We all worry about what we say or do but, in the end, no one else cares.

I think meeting new people is an important part of life and we all do it. I don’t do it very often due to mainly spending time with my mum, as I’m autistic. However, I think that I should try to do more things that are out of my comfort zone. I need to be brave. One day soon, I think I will make a recipe by myself. I usually ask my mum for help but I think I will try and do it all by myself.  That’s one thing. Little things can help me gradually become more independent.

Lia

Straws Aren’t That Bad

I’ve been a vegan for five years and, in that time, I’ve learned about many advantages of being vegan that I didn’t know when I started. The truth of why 15-year-old me went vegan is because I love animals and I didn’t want to be responsible for their suffering anymore. It’s that simple. However, I have come to learn that there are other benefits too. Health is one; I’m just less at risk of heart problems and certain cancers because I’m vegan. The second biggest benefit to animal welfare, however, has to be that I’m doing a lot for the environment.

I see a lot of eco-friendly people around, saying how they have swapped straws. The truth is that straws are not the threat. They make up around 0.03% of all the plastic in the ocean and, whilst you may help the environment very slightly, the difference isn’t really all that significant just by changing straws. If you really want to help the environment, then remember that at least 46% of all plastic in the ocean comes from fishing nets. They are the single biggest threat to fish. It’s time to stop supporting the fishermen that put them there, if you want to keep the entire eco-system safe. I’m not suggesting you go vegan because I know that many people have different excuses for not becoming vegan but I am suggesting that you think more carefully about how to save the environment, if that’s your goal.

I see lots of disabled people struggling with plastic straws being swapped out for paper or metal ones and I can’t help but think that the companies swapping straws should instead be saving the environment in other, much more significant ways. They say every little bit helps but for such little impact, I do not think disabled people should have to suffer.

Cutting out fish from your diet is the first step you can make to a more environmentally secure future. Plus, you can get so many fish alternatives these days! My personal favourite is Sophie’s Kitchen fishless Smoked Salmon.  I love it on a bagel with vegan cream cheese and watercress or salad leaves. I also love Gardein fishless fillets. Vbites and Quorn also have fishless alternatives which are delicious. You can get Gardein and Sophie’s Kitchen from Sainsburys. Quorn can be found in most supermarkets. I get Vbites from Holland and Barrett though I’m sure other places do it too.

I hope this post made you think a little about the fish in the sea.

Lia

I exist

Another day.

The birds are singing, the cats are howling, the dogs are yapping. Everyone is up but you. You lie in bed, stiffened by the thoughts that tighten the ropes around you. You’re still, motionless, yet completely awake. You want to get up, to have a life, to just say hi to someone, but you can’t. Your body is paralyzed by the cuffs of sadness. You find no meaning, no reason, to exist but you also find no meaning, no reason, not to exist. It is as if you are caught between the two. This feeling means that you do not want to die but you do not want to live either. You are caught in a bind that strangles you with every breath.

Every day that goes by, you feel the knots tightening, until you’re almost completely wrapped up in them. You can speak, you can move, you can live, but you don’t. You become just another blade of grass. Your presence is not acknowledged, not anymore. You don’t exist… but you do. You know that you exist and you want to scream it from the rooftops but, again, you don’t. You won’t.

“Help…” you utter, still tied up in bed.
And with that, the ropes burn, leaving scars on your arms. The scars will never leave your arms but they will fade overtime. You realise now that you are finally free to speak, to move, to live.

You get up, you go outside, and you scream.

“I exist!”

You can breathe again.

Jealous

is it wrong to be jealous?
to want to enjoy what you like,
to want to experience what you see,
to be able to be by your side,
and not just an extra part.
is it wrong to be yearning
for a part of your life?
i want to be like you,
i want to be happy
and smart and fun
but im just me.
no one wants to be me.

Depression Is Why

Depression is easy.
When people leave you behind,
When they wish you well,
But don’t do anything to suggest
that they mean it —
When you’re left all alone,
Just a lonely girl in a room alone,
They’re going off to places
and you’re in the bathroom
crying,
but maybe they do like you;
they just don’t understand.
You want love, you crave it,
Like a cat or a dog,
It’s your energy, it keeps you going,
But seeing them happy
makes you smile for a moment,
Only a moment,
as you realise,
you’ll never be good enough
because you’re you and they’re them.
They can go into the world and embrace
the love of everyone around them,
because that’s what being normal is —
and you aren’t like them,
that’s why they left you alone.
You’re different.
You wouldn’t get on with the world.
Depression is why.
Anxiety is why.
Autism is why.
That’s why you cry,
You want to be a part of an art gallery
but you’re just the frame of a painting;
you’re there, to make the painting
look nicer, but the painting is the main
attraction.
What’s wrong with you?
You should be happy!
Depression, that’s why.