Depression Is Deadly.  This 1 Tip Will Blow Your Mind You can't win the fight alone. You need help from a friend

Depression Is Deadly. This 1 Tip Will Blow Your Mind You can't win the fight alone. You need help from a friend

Depression is no joke.  It affects everyone differently and for me, depression completely takes me off my game.  I know I can’t focus to write or do any other work, so I sit around and stress out.  That does no one any good, least of all me. Because of this my health suffers, both mentally and physically.

As much as I want to curl up and go back to bed, hoping I wake up and the depression is gone, it doesn’t work that way.  Depression is an ugly monster that follows you around and torments you whether you’re working, sleeping or just sitting around because you don’t feel like having fun.  If you try to sleep, it just sits on the end of your bed d is right there when you wake up

There are blog posts, magazine articles and books all dedicated to overcoming depression, but there’s one simple trick that I was reminded of last night by my friend Jason Cotton on the weekly Mental Health call I host for Good Men Project.  I tried his idea this morning and I don’t know that it helped, but I know it didn’t hurt.

The idea is this.

 

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com depression

Texting a friend to check in and let them know your mental status is important

Find a friend, family member or loved one (maybe even two) that you trust and check in with them on a daily basis to let them know how you’re doing. It can be face-to-face via phone or text or even an email.

In the case of Jason, it works out great as he’s bi-polar and also needs someone to check in with.  I sent him a quick text this morning asking how he was doing and letting him know that I was feeling a bit blah, but I knew that I could power through it.

I also told him that I’d see him at our local comic book shop tonight where we generally gather on Friday nights to play nerd games.  I’ve written before about each of us having an inner nerd and that we need to let it come out and my type of nerd is a comic book nerd.

It helps to have friends who understand what you’re going through and although Jason is bi-polar whereas I’m high-functioning autistic, we share a lot of the same overlapping traits such as depression and anxiety.  I get a lot of what he’s going through and he gets a lot of what I’m going through.  It’s good to have friends who understand.

Friends are key

When I think of having friends who understand and have your back, I think of the TV show Friends.  Yeah, referencing that show proves how old I am, but it’s not just the show that I think of, it’s the theme song by the Rembrandts.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s D.O.A
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
I’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(Like I’ve been there before)
I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)
No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you’re the only one who knows
What it’s like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I’ll always laugh with
Even at my worst, I’m best with you, yeah

 

The lyrics hint at a romantic angle to the relationship they’re talking about, but it can just as easily be a friendship like the one I was talking about earlier.  One where you are friends with someone going through similar things as you. Someone you can share your worst with and you know that even if they may not totally get it, they’re still there for you and can identify with your pain.

 

My challenge to you

 

If you’re suffering from any sort of mental illness or other neurological condition, try and find just one friend or loved one who you can check in with and who you can talk to about what you’re going through.  Once you do, you have no clue how much better it will make you feel.

 

Depression is a bully that you can overcome, but only if you want to.

 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic? 

Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

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.

Songwriters: Michael Jay Skloff / David L Crane / Marta Fran Kauffman / Allee Willis / Philip Ronald Solem / Danny C Wilde

 

Photos courtesy Pixabay

Sick and Tired of Drowning in Depression? Turn the Tables and Be Happy I can't remember the last time I was truly happy

Sick and Tired of Drowning in Depression? Turn the Tables and Be Happy I can't remember the last time I was truly happy

Drowning.  When I think of that word I think of one of the most horrible ways to die.  Flailing around in the water with nothing to hold onto and no one to help you.  You’re on your own in something that seems expansive, yet could be something as small as a bathtub.

Drowning is what it feels like for me on a daily basis as I battle depression and do everything in my power to find the happiness that I know is out there.  It feels like my chances of finding happiness are slim to none, though that’s absolutely not true. 

How do I know this?  I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy and I’ve been searching for years.  The logical side of my autistic brain tells me that if I haven’t found it yet, my chances of ever finding happiness again are getting worse by the day.  The realistic part of my brain tells me that if others are happy, I can be as well.

The optimistic side of me wants to believe that today will be the day I stop drowning in depression and find my happiness, but as always, the day ends with me getting kicked in the junk, finding no happiness and feeling like an idiot for believing it was possible.

Sure, there have been moments where I stop treading water and find something to momentarily hang onto so I can enjoy a few moments of happiness, but it passes.  Once it does, just like Leonardo at the end of  Titanic, I can only hold on for so long and then I start sinking and it’s back to drowning in my depression.

What can we do as high functioning autistics to battle drowning in depression? 

That’s a good question with a not-so-clear answer, considering that although we’re similar in many of our traits, each is unique as autistic individuals.  One way is to get out of the house more and stop shutting ourselves off from the world.  Yes, that’s easier said than done, but we need to make a conscious effort to do it.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com drowning

Sitting in an empty house drowning in depression is no way to live your life.

I went to the chiropractor and comic book store this morning and as I drove away from the house, I realized I hadn’t left here in five days and that was only to go grocery shopping.  That is NOT what I mean when I say to get out of the house.  The kind of getting out of the house that I’ve been doing will only keep you drowning and that’s not what we want to do.

We want to get out and be around people or be surrounded by nature.  We want to get out where we can interact, think about things and feel good about what we’re doing.  I’ve lived in the Ozarks for a year now and though I have a couple people I consider friends, they’re not people that I’ve socialized with.

That means I either need to get out and find people I can socialize with (a very scary thought for the typical high functioning autistic) or I stay at home drowning.  Drowning, in case it’s not already painfully clear, is the thing we don’t want to do.

Find groups, such as Meetup groups, that fit an interest you have or check with your local community center, ask someone you know or search the Internet.  Talking to a psychologist or therapist may also yield some good ideas on how to stop the drowning and grab onto happiness once and for all.

If your psychiatrist has prescribed medicine, one way to stop drowning in depression is to make sure you take it on a daily basis and as prescribed.

I cannot emphasize this enough.  I’ve looked back over the past few months and have noticed a pattern in my life.  Although I really like my psychiatrist, I could do without his support staff.  He’s at a large group and inevitably, every few months appointments get scheduled that are several days after I’ve run out of most of my medications. 

When I mention that this is going to happen, I’m told that I can either take the appointment or I can not take it and wait longer.  I’ve mentioned this to the doctor, asking if he could write an extra refill on my medications so I can get through to the next appointment, but I’m told he can only write so many refills.  

Of course, I can always be notified of the mythical cancellation. so I can get in sooner.  There has NEVER been a cancellation that I’ve been notified of.

Doing something physical is another opportunity to combat depression.  Whether it’s yoga, walking the dog, hitting the gym, kayaking or whatever your thing is, getting out and getting your heart pumping and your body moving has been shown in study after study to lower depression in people.

Find something you’re interested in and do it with other people.  Let’s face it, we’re all nerds in some wayBy “all,” I mean neurotypicals as well as those of us on the spectrum.  Find what gets your nerd blood pumping and engage in that nerdy activity with others. 

I’ve been a comic book nerd for years.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com drowning

Comic Force in Branson, MO

Through my local comic book store, I found that they have Magic the Gathering tournaments with a $5 cost three nights a week.  So, at my age, I’ve started learning to play and most weeks Tye (my autism service dog) and myself will head down there one night a week to play.  

Is it scary to be around a group of people you don’t know?  Yeah, at first it is.  But then you realize that these people have more in common with you than you may think. 

We get slaughtered week after week but I’ve found that the people I’m playing against are extremely compassionate to the fact that I’m a new player, will help explain things to me and will even give me suggestions even when it goes against their best interest in the game. 

When I say “we” get slaughtered, I blame part of it on Tye.  Why blame it on a service dog that literally snores on the floor as I play?  Because it takes some of the heat off me!

So there you have it, a few suggestions on how to avoid drowning in depression. 

This is far from a comprehensive list and in fact, books could be and have been written on the subject.  Consider this a starting point for you in your journey to battle depression.

Now I want to know what you do to battle depression and also if you have tried any of these ideas and how they’ve worked for you.  Use the comments section below to let me know.

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic? 

Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

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 Supportrun 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.

Speaking of Asperger’s Life Support, I host a weekly group Mental Health call with rotating topics for Good Men Project and administrator Chris G. of the Asperger’s Life Support group will be my guest this Thursday night (Sept 13) at 9 pm Eastern/6pm Pacific as we talk about the benefits of online support groups.  Please feel free to join the call and join the discussion.  

The call-in number is 701-801-1220 and enter 934 817 242 to get you into the right call.  If you get there a couple minutes early, there will be a Politics call before us, so just hang tight!  

 

Photos courtesy Pixabay, Unsplash & J.R. Reed

For the First Time In Your Life, Conquer The Path To Your Destiny As a song reminded me, we can always change where we're headed

For the First Time In Your Life, Conquer The Path To Your Destiny As a song reminded me, we can always change where we're headed

We’re men.  We conquer things.  Or at least we try to.

 

This post was inspired by the song, According To You, by Orianthi, named one of the World’s Best Female Guitarists by Elle magazine.  She was born in 19585, the year after I graduated high school.  That makes me feel old!

J.R Reed www.notweirdjustautostic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

Lyrics from According To You

The song talks about two choices she has to make about the direction in her love life and reminded me that I too have choices as to which way my life, overall, goes.  In her situation its, “According to you” and “According to him”.  In the lyrics, she looks at all the factors involved in deciding which path her life should take and that made me think of the decisions we make regarding the paths we choose in our lives.

Autism and its two every present antagonist’s Depression and Anxiety have controlled my life to the point where I sat for an hour last night contemplating whether or not I TRULY remember how to have fun in my life.  My final decision was, “No.  I don’t.”  Something I find very sad.  I need to conquer that and learn how to have fun.

My life is full of choices. I can choose which path to go down, though living with autism, those decisions can be pretty scary at times.  We have to think about our fears, our particular triggers, and symptoms of autism. 

You can put a hundred high functioning autistics and come up with seventy-five different set of traits.  Now there will be a group of common ones shared by a majority of us on the spectrum, but we’re all unique individuals with our own set of stuff to deal with and try to conquer.

As we walk down the path of life we eventually come to a fork in the road.  When we hit that fork comes at different life stages for each of us and for some, we run into forked paths more than once.

I go through depressive periods often.  I personally call them, getting into funks.  Sometimes they’re not so bad and other times they’re downright scary.  While in these funks I’m generally standing at a fork in the path and I have a decision to make. 

Do I take the path that keeps me on the same ol, same ‘ol or do I choose the path that I know is better, but that I’m afraid to go down because it’s something I’m not used to?  I want to conquer that fear, but many times I don’t.  I find that to be sad,

One thing a lot of people don’t know about those of us on the spectrum is that we need/crave routine and we don’t like change.  For some of us, that need for routine is rock solid.  We HAVE to do certain things at certain times and in a certain order or our lives fall apart.  Thank God I’m not that type of autistic.  

My need for routine is more like, I put things on my calendar, plan out what I have to do and when things in life pop up that change that schedule, I get panicky.  How bad depends on how severe the change is. 

My daughter, who just turned twenty-one today moved in with me six weeks ago in order to transfer schools and work.  After living alone for three years, I knew it would be a big change in my routine and that it would affect me in an autistic way, but I was willing to conquer my fears because she’s my daughter and I’m willing to put up with all the scariness and panic because I love her.

But back to the paths.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic,cin Not Weird Just Autistic

Orienthi

One path is the good path.  It may be a little harder to navigate and there may be some potholes along the way, but this path ultimately brings happiness and makes your life better.

The second path is filled with the same crud we’ve dealt with our whole lives.  Littered across this path are the ones of the people it’s chewed up and every once in a while there is a sign reminding us of who we are.  What’s on that sign?  Look directly below.

“But according to me, you’re stupid, you’re useless and can’t do anything right”

Most of us end up on the second path. Why?  Even though we know it’s not going to be fun, it’s what we’re used to and admit it, change is scary.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started down the first path, only to get freaked out and turn around, run back to the fork and jump back on the other path.

I’ve had several issues in my life lately that either are or seem pretty severe, yet here I stand at the crossroads.  I’ve made a conscious decision to work my butt off to put the fear and anxiety of the unknown treasures of the good path out of my head and take that road.  Why haven’t I started down that path yet?  Because it feels like my feet are dipped in cement and I can’t move.  

Now that the decision is made, once I start moving, I need to keep following that path until the day I die.  I have to because in my 52 years on earth I’ve learned that for me, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol simply sucks, sucks.  And that’s something I’m tired of.

What about you?  What path are you on?  If you’re on the first path and have learned how to navigate it, do us all a favor and drop some knowledge on us in the comment section.  I know a lot of people, including myself, who could really use it.

* * * 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic? 

Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

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.

Lyrics by Steven Diamond & Andrew Frampton

Pictures courtesy Pixabay & Flick’r Creative Commons

It’s About Time I Figured Myself Out Getting to know your true self is a key to a happy life

It’s About Time I Figured Myself Out Getting to know your true self is a key to a happy life

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.

IJ.R. Reed Not Weird Just Autistic www.notweirdjustautistic.com Music‘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.

J.R. Reed Not Weird Just Autistic www.notweirdjustautistic,com musicI 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.

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

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 Supportrun 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

The Fascinating Truth About Autism and Bitterness Why can't we get over it?

The Fascinating Truth About Autism and Bitterness Why can't we get over it?

I’m just going to lay it all on the line.  When we as high functioning autistics (HFAs) get hurt, excluded, lied to, screwed over or otherwise wronged, whether intentional by the person(s) involved or just perceived by our brains, it quickly turns into bitterness and we have a hard time letting go of it.  We want to let go of it and have the bitterness go away, but as hard as we try, it lingers like one of my autism service dog’s toxic farts.

Let me be clear about one thing.  When I said. “perceived by our brains,” that’s something that’s real to us as autistics.  I can’t tell you how many times this has affected me over the years, but it’s now 1:46 am and I tried to sleep for the past two hours but couldn’t because the bitterness over something keeps churning over and over in my brain making slumber impossible.

It will sound strange, but alternative music played at a high decibel level will normally help me relax and clear my head but not even a heavy dose of Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, My Chemical Romance, Velvet Revolver and a few others could do it for me tonight. This bitterness has a hold on me and won’t let go, probably because I have to come face to face with it in about twelve hours.

As I sat down and started banging away at the keyboard, a Foo Fighters song I like but rarely hear came on and I thought some of the lyrics were fitting for what I’m writing.

Bitterness J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters

Because you’re not the one but you’re the only one
Who can make me feel like this
You’re not the one but you’re the only one 
Who can make me feel like shit

The truth is that, yes, others can make us feel awful but even as autistic adults there has to be some way to put these thoughts that stir up bitterness out of our minds.  But how?

The easy way out is to avoid human contact altogether, something a lot of us go out of our way to do.  But is that really a solution?  Not in my mind.  As uneasy as I generally feel in group settings or one on one with people I don’t know or don’t know really well, sitting at home alone with a flatulent black lab isn’t the answer to my problems.  In fact, it makes me more depressed and makes me feel like no one cares about me.

We could try talking the situation out with the person(s) who filled us with bitterness but I’ve found often that leads to more bitterness and feelings of anger.  To use a sports metaphor, it’s a good option on paper, but when we get on the field, it’s not going to work.

As HFAs, each of us is unique and that means that we each have to come up with a mechanism to get rid of that bitterness and get on with our lives.  As I said earlier, for me it’s often loud alternative music that somehow soothes me and gets the thoughts to go away, at least for a while.  When that doesn’t work I’ve used meditation, breathing exercises and a combination of hot showers and stretching to loosen up my muscles.

My go-to way when nothing else works is often writing, but generally, the writing is full of the bitterness that’s inside me.  Depending on what I’m working on that’s a good thing.  Tonight/this morning it was a good thing because I decided to write about the bitterness inside me.

The reality is that our brains are wired differently than most of society and people either don’t understand what they’re doing to us internally or the truly horrible people out there know exactly what they’re doing and screw with us for the sport of it.  Neither is good, but when you’re tormenting someone so you can have fun, you’re a special kind of a-hole.

As I bring this to a close, I’ll keep cranking the loud music and hope that between that and the writing I can find the slumber I desperately need because I have a very busy day ahead of me and I need to be at my best.

When you get the bitter feelings that won’t go away and distract you from work or keep you from sleeping, how do you handle it?  Share your tips and ideas with us all.  Please.

 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff. 

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.

Photos courtesy Pixabay Creative Commons

Foo Fighters, The One, lyrics by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Chris Shiffett.

Foo Fighters, The One, video.

Spotlight On Bullying:  Depression And Other Genuine Scars

Spotlight On Bullying: Depression And Other Genuine Scars

Bullying is real in the autistic community.

I knew I needed to write something tonight, but I wasn’t quite sure what to write about.  I have couple posts already started, but neither seemed to really float my boat, so I went about doing some site updates and turned on some loud music while I tried to gain clarity on what to write about, the first video, below, Bully by Shinedown, resonated with me from the moment I hit shuffle.  As I listened to the words for the hundredth time, I started thinking of incidents where I was bullied as a child and even recently.  Yeah.  Bullying.  That’s a good topic.

The words resonated with me and suddenly I had my topic.  Bullying and the depression and other crud that drags along with it for years and years.  And I’m speaking about bullies both on the spectrum and off, though mostly off.

There is such a thing as an autistic bully.  Take the character of Sheldon Cooper from the TV show The Big Bang Theory.  Though never officially said, Sheldon is the poster boy for the arrogant autistic bully that doesn’t realize a bully, because he’s autistic.  Today I’m discussing more the neurotypical bully, as that’s what I’m most experienced with, I’m simply acknowledging that we have our bullies as well.  It’s not just you neurotypicals.  Be cool.

Keep in mind that the word autism wasn’t formally being used until almost ten years after I graduated high school and the term Asperger’s, my time of high-functioning autism, wasn’t spoken of until a few years after that. My bullying was because I was weird, different, odd or whatever they were calling me that day.  There’s an interesting side to the bullying that I just now thought of.

J.R. Reed wwww.notweirdjustautistic.com @NWJautistic bullying

This is what it feels like when bullied–physically or mentally.

I went to public school through fourth grade and then Christian schools from five-twelve.  While I remember a little bullying from the losers in my neighborhood Webelos troop/pack/whatever it is, I don’t really remember any bullying from kids at public school.  I sure as hell remember the bullying and the crappy remarks from kids and teachers at the private schools.  And being set up by a couple kids in eighth grade to get me in serious trouble with the principal that I would eventually prove wasn’t me.

But no memories of public school.  Weird, huh?  It’s almost as of there were students and teachers eviler at private than at public school.

The bullying, mental and physical in middle school and mostly mental in high school, still hurts.  I do my best to push it away so I don’t think about it, but every once in a while, it pops back up for a bit.  The faster I can push it away, the better I feel.

I’ve heard this song, Bully by Shinedown, hundreds of times.  It’s on my Creatin’ Music playlist along with a lot of other loud songs.  Tonight, I guess since I was thinking of topics to write about. I guess I listened a little closer.

Let me be perfectly clear.  I don’t in any way suggest we confront our bullies.  All that will do is create more problems. We’d love to make ’em pay, but they will.  Life will get them.

J. R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com @nwjautistic bullying

The Three Amigos of bullying are anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. This is Chevy Chase, Martin Short, and Steve Martin.

Bullying, whether as a child or an adult leads to several issues in the brain that need to be dealt with.  Quite simply, they’re anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.  These are like the Three Amigos for the autistic person as all three tend to come riding into town together, much like the Three Amigos on your left, only not nearly as funny

We get anxious because we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We know something’s going to happen and when it does, we want to be ready.  Spoiler alert:  We never are ready!

We get depressed because we got pushed around or called names or made fun of, or were belittled by our math teacher for not showing the work the way it was taught.  We get depressed for all sorts of reasons, but it all boils down to the fact that it’s embarrassing, degrading, painful, and yes, for some it leaves scars.

Ah, self-esteem!  I can’t remember the last time I felt really good about myself for an extended period of time.  That doesn’t completely mean that life sucks, but it certainly has its pauses from the good feelings and reminds me just how good the good feels.  Things have certainly gotten better in the self-esteem department, but like everyone, I have my days.

Bullying leaves invisible scars for years to come.

It’s true.  The scars can sometimes be seen on our faces as pained looks, but no one really knows what’s going on in our head.  We’re fighting back those moments where we were bullied.  Back to the boss that called me Forrest Gump for four years, back to the math teachers telling me, yet again, that they don’t care that the answer is right, the work wasn’t as shown.  F.

There’s more to bullying than just what happened at that moment.  We wish that’s all it was, but it’s really just the beginning for us.  And as we fall down that rabbit hole remember ing what was said or what was done to us, we get depressed and lose our self-esteem a few more notches.

Practicing neurodiversity and neurodivergence will help us all in the long run.  Most bullying is done out of ignorance.  If we all work together to educate our part of the world, bullying will slow down to an all-time low, because people will respect one another for who they are.  And that’s the way it should be.

 

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in blue.  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.

An Asperger's Guide to Dating Neurotypicals, book. J.R. Reed @jrreedauthor Bullying

An Asperger’s Guide to Dating Neurotypicals is out on Amazon, Kindle and autographed copies are available for the same price on the J.R. Reed Author website.  If you’re of dating age and are on the spectrum or love someone who is, I recommend this book for you.  It’s written in a simple, easy to understand way and talks about the importance of communication as well as other time-tested principles. 

 

 

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