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

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Dealing With Anxiety

A lot of people with mental health issues struggle with loneliness, me included. We struggle with feeling lonely but also with reaching out to existing friends. We don’t want them to deal with our mental health issues, so we feel guilty whenever we go out with them, so sometimes we choose not to go out with people anymore. We don’t want to be the burden.

One friend of mine, who I have only been out with just us two once, has a tactic which makes me feel a lot better. She basically said that if I helped her with her issues, she’d help me with mine. She told me about her phobias and I told her about mine and we both went out together. It felt like a trade, rather than me being a burden, and that really helped me get through it.

I hate the idea of being the piece of gum stuck to someone’s shoe. I want to be able to express my problems without being seen as a problem, if that makes sense. Most of the time I’m just terrified that they won’t be able to have as much fun with me there.

I really like the tactic that one friend used and if, in the future, I ever have a friend that feels like more of a burden than I do, I might use it again. It’s a good way of conquering something without realising that you are. For instance, her phobia wasn’t even around, whilst mine was, but I still felt more comfortable knowing that, if her phobia ever did crop up, I could help her like she helped me.

Anxiety is affecting so many people, and it stops lots of people from doing what they want. Make sure they know they aren’t a burden and that you want them there. Even if, after telling them this, they still feel doubtful, express your own difficulties and how they could help with them. Perhaps, like me, they might feel willing to go out. It’s just an idea that worked for me and I’m so glad it did because a couple of weeks ago, I had an amazing time out with a friend and my anxiety didn’t interfere with it that much. There were still moments of anxiety, but overall I felt calm. It was a change from what I normally know. I felt more in control.

Thank you for reading,

Lia

Wall

A brick wall pushes against my brain,

trying to keep me sane,

but in reality,

it’s trapping the helps and the whelps

and maybe I need them back.

If I have no tears or fears,

if I have no worries at all —

then what’s left to care about?

You only care when you feel bad,

and I just can’t feel sad.

It’s so heavy, against my mind,

and I can’t lift it —

I need a grenade.

Perhaps, then,

I’ll find a way

to feel again.

Rain Clouds

Everyone has a little box in their brain

full of rain clouds

that will never go away.

They’re the rain clouds

you can’t let fade,

because they’re the darkness

you need to keep.

They’re tightly sealed,

until those days

when you think about them.

My box is full to the brim,

and rain clouds are fighting

to get out every day,

and more are getting leaked.

They fill the parts of me

I don’t want them to fill,

and rain is getting in the way.

My happiest thoughts become

soaked in rain.

And me?

I’m already drenched.

There’s no saving

a soggy piece of paper.

Moving

I’ve lived in the same house for my entire life — 18 years.

Today my parents accepted an offer on our house. It means that it’s real, that I’m actually going to be moving somewhere. A chalet bungalow. I don’t want to leave this house. I really don’t. It’s terrifying, the thought of never being in it again… the house I spend most of my days in, all of my nights in.

Why do I have to leave it?

My heart is crumbling, piece by piece, because this is the house I have lived in for so long. Every second I think about the new house, a part of my heart vanishes, because it’s only going to get closer to the day I have to leave.

I don’t know if I can do it. I’ve dealt with changes before, but never such a massive one. This is the biggest change I will ever face and how can I live with it? I don’t know.

All I know is that it’s scaring me so much. I’ve never felt this scared before, because I always had the security of returning to this house. Now that’s going to be gone too.

The Thing About Selective Mutism

I have selective mutism. No, it doesn’t mean that sometimes I choose not to talk. It means that I physically can’t talk in those moments. I want to talk but the words will not come out. In fact, there’s not much selective about it.

For me, these incidents can occur if I get a certain vibe off someone, and I don’t like them, or if I’m in social situations, particularly in large groups. I have good days and bad days. Some days I can speak freely and other days I can’t.

My mum once took me to a counsellor but my body refused to speak to her, so it was deemed useless. This was because I didn’t like her and found she had a certain tone in her voice that scared me. It’s important that people speak to me in a certain way, and if they don’t, sometimes I won’t respond.

I also usually don’t talk to people at first, until I feel comfortable with them. If you ask me a question, though, I’ll usually respond. Sometimes, it might just be a gesture though, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk. I just need to get into it.

It has actually gotten to the point where my mum talks for me most of the time because she’s worried I won’t say anything. It shocks her when I do speak up as it can be very unexpected. If I’m feeling more confident that day, I might talk more.

I find talking online a lot easier than in real life. It means I can put across thoughts that would never cross my lips. I like interacting with people, and talking to them, but I am normally not the one to start the conversation.

It’s hard not being able to talk when I want to all the time. Like the words are right on the edge of coming out, but they just don’t. My thoughts become overwhelmed with words that never came out and sometimes, I might just explode in a fury of thoughts later on to my mum. She doesn’t always like how much I talk to her, but I can’t help it! It’s what is stored up from earlier.

I can come across as rude for not talking when spoken to, but that’s out of my control. I hope this post helps people to better understand selective mutism.

Lia

Expectations

I’m an empty casket, don’t put a body in me. I don’t want something to sleep within me, I don’t want the weight. You expect me to fulfil my purpose, of carrying a body, of being a container for it, but I want to be something else. I want to be free. I don’t want to do that, maybe I want to have nothing inside of me, because then I can fill it with my mind and my soul, without them suffocating.

The body is going in… I’m drowning. I can’t see the body but I can feel it. I can feel the crushed emotions, I can feel the sleeping soul. I want it gone… but, you see, it is my destiny to contain this body for the rest of eternity.

Eternity? Yes. I am to be the home of this body. I can rattle and squeak… but I can’t let it out. I have to fulfil my expectations, the ones I wanted to be gone. I can’t do anything. I can’t throw the body out. I have to live with this weight.

Have to.

Expectations.

What My Depression Feels Like

I’ve been depressed for a long time, suffered from anxiety for most of that time too, though I think the depression started first. I wasn’t even a teenager when it started. I have been on medication for it since I was fifteen, and I’m currently trying to get it changed as I am now an adult and it’s really not working. Not so many years ago, I overdosed on iron pills and spent quite a few hours in A&E, but I had thrown up most of them already. This was my way to get away from toxicity by digesting toxicity. Not my best idea.

I usually talk about my anxiety on this blog. My anxiety is simpler than my depression, because I can understand it. I can understand why I have it and what factors contributed to me getting it. I can understand why I used to be depressed, but I can’t get why I still am.

I guess it’s because of expectations, and what everyone else is doing with their life… and the fact that I can’t just get up and do something. It’s not that simple. Depression is never that simple. I’m at home most days, lonely. I want to get out and do stuff, but I can’t. A heavy weight stops me from doing it.

I want to be distracted, to have a friend come over and distract me, but people that were once my friends are now further apart from me than ever. They’re moving on with their lives, going places. And I’m not. You can’t expect me to just get a job, or to just go to university. It’s not that simple, again. Autism and depression don’t mix. I was never good at interacting with people, especially strangers. I want to volunteer but my confidence isn’t very high. My anxiety also coincides with this. I just feel so alone about all this.

This is just how I am. I’m sad all the time, but I’m too exhausted to talk to someone, because my mouth won’t move. So I type.

Becoming an Adult

The day we become an adult is not the day we turn eighteen, but the day we get our last exam result, and then think “well – now what?” Most of my friends are going to university (some going to extremely high-ranked ones) so they have a little bit of a layout for their life (not much, but at least enough for the next few years) and some even know where they intend to go with their life. They have it all planned out.

But not everybody does. Not everybody knows where their life is going to lead them.

One of the most stressful questions to hear, as someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, is “what are you going to do now?” They mean well but it makes me think about the future and where I’m going and where I’m not going and what’s happening and what’s not happening and — you get the picture. It’s terrifying.

I got good results, results I was happy with, but I happen to be friends with geniuses, which often makes me feel like less of a person too, even though they’re wonderful and I’m happy for them. I just happened to pick up smart friends. I guess I must be the dumb friend, to them, if you think about it. So I’m worried about my results too.

I worry about whether my life has a direction but I don’t want it to, yet I do, all at once. I want to study a degree but I don’t, all at once. I don’t want to be a drifter, I want to be a sailor! But I can’t be. I will never be a sailor, no matter how hard I try to control my ship; it will crash and I will drift on one piece of wood left.

I want to become something, but I don’t.

I’m never going to be what people expect me to be, or rather, what they want me to be. I’m not going to be what I want to be either. Because I will never be strong enough to sail. I just won’t be.

Lia

Small Things

The other day I was out with my parents and we were having lunch, as well as complaining about the fact we were told there were no straws but people who arrived after us were drinking with straws. The thing is, I kinda have to drink out of a straw, for some reason, so it affects me quite a lot.

Then, a man who did not know us at all, got up and went inside. We didn’t think anything of it but a few minutes later he returned with a straw and gave it to me. I smiled a lot after that. It wasn’t the fact that he’d gotten me a straw, though that was nice, it was that a complete stranger would do something like that for me, a stranger to him. 

Small things really matter and the fact that this man did this for me really made my day. He was with his wife and son, yet helped out me. Sometimes, if you do a little action, it can really affect someone in a positive way. Try it. It might just make someone smile.