Welcome to my first Music Monday post. Though I can’t sing to save my life and I occasionally can’t properly play my iPhone, music is still a big part of who I am. These posts aren’t necessarily about the song as a whole; maybe it’s one line, or maybe it’s the way the song makes me feel or the memories it brings back when I hear it.
I grew up in Southern California on Alternative and Indie music, which is why I like things that others would scratch their heads at. Today may be one of those songs. The Summer Set was an Indie punk/pop band with some catchy lyrics and videos that may be a little young for a fifty-two-year-old but aren’t too bad.
Sunday morning as I was blending my berry smoothie this song came on and per the usual, I listened to the music and the lyrics and started thinking about them. I don’t always think of the lyrics literally, but they make me think and that’s exactly what happened today.
I‘m not a bit too anything to the punk kids or the pop kids. That’s mainly because I’m not a kid and I never was a pop kid, though I did throw down some punk music in my day. I still do.
No. I’m a bit too Asperger’s for the Neurotypicals (NT or non-autistic) and I’m a bit too NT for some Aspies (a PC term for those with Asperger’s). That’s because I was forty-six when I was diagnosed and though I can’t change my aspie-ness, I did everything I could to try and fit in with the NT’s, A.K.A., the “in crowd.” before I knew what was wrong with me.
Like most of my kind, we struggle to find where we fit in. We don’t want to be labeled as the weird ones or the freaks, but we also know that we won’t fit in with our NT neighbors, co-workers and others that we know.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with depression and self-esteem. These are pretty basic traits shared by most Aspies and high functioning autistics and though I get told from time to time that people like my writing and it helps them, I still doubt myself.
I’m doubting myself right now as I write this, wondering if this is just a stupid idea for a blog post about music or if this makes actual sense. That decision is in your hands and honestly, I would LOVE for you to use the comments section to let me know. All I ask is that you don’t be too brutal.
I’m not a prophet, just a guy who shares about autism, neurodiversity and the struggles we face. Being an autism advocate and an author who’s not a big name like Temple Grandin means that yes, I’m not turning a big profit, but that’s OK. I’m in it to help people, though making a living wouldn’t be a bad thing!
I feel as if I don’t fit in anywhere, which is why, like the majority of autistics, I have few friends, stay home a lot and am lonely. That’s not what I want, but after years of being alone, you kinda get used to it.
As far as being too Hollywood to go back to my hometown, my hometown is less than an hour from Hollywood and last week was the one year anniversary of my move to the Ozarks where my sensory overload went from a 20 down to about a 5. That will happen when you leave the hustle and bustle of So. Cal. and trade it in for three lakes within twenty minutes and more trees than you can count. I have no plans on going back to my hometown for anything more than a visit.
I get in horrible depressive funks that can last for weeks, which is why you don’t see posts or social media for periods of time. I stay away from it all because I don’t want to sound whiny. I know that’s wrong and I’m working on trying to get over that. Depressive funks are part of autism and if I’m going to be an advocate for the autistic community then I need to show people the whole picture.
I very recently started trying CBD oil (from the male marijuana plant, with no THC or any of the properties that get you high) and so far I’ve noticed a lessening of depression. I’m still in the, “Is this really working or is it in my head” phase, but I plan on doing a series on CBD oil, so use the sign-up button in the top right corner so you don’t miss any of the good stuff that is yet to come.
When I get in these funks I tend to stay in my own little world and music is the one thing that can get me out of it, but also the one thing I tend to avoid. I know that in the grand scheme of things, my problems are nothing compared to what others are facing on a daily basis with families being torn apart in detention centers, others being evicted from their homes, families dealing with the OD deaths of loved ones and the list goes on and on.
I have to remind myself that my life isn’t that bad, which isn’t always easy. Of course, I can just turn on reality TV and get an hour of what I call “White Trash Therapy.” That’s something that makes you feel better about yourself for a while that you don’t have to pay for, and you still get to sit on a couch!
To get out of these funks, I need to get grounded again, take a deep breath and instead of pulling my head out of the clouds, pull it out of somewhere on the southern part of my body. With my self-esteem issues I can honestly say that, with one exception, I can never remember having my head in the clouds. That one exception is when An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.
In the six years that I’ve known I’m autistic and the nine months I’ve devoted my writing and professional life to autism and working with those high school and up, I’ve done a pretty good job of learning more about who I am and why I am who I am, so yeah, I’m starting to figure myself out.
“Is there a point to this?” You may ask. Of course there is. There’s hope for us all We may not be happy with who we are or where we’re at in life, but we can keep chasing greatness, figure ourselves out and become the best versions of ourselves that we can be. At least that’s what I get when I hear this song.
Don’t forget to use the comments section to let me know if this makes sense to you or not and how it resonated with you!
This Wednesday, August 15 catch me on Autism Live With Nancy & Shannon at 11:20 am Pacific talking autism, my book and neurodiversity. You can watch it here.
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An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart. You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.
Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Support, run by some terrific people. There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple. If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group. They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.
Check out the video and enjoy the music.
Figure Me Out Lyrics by The Summer Set. Photo courtesy Pixabay