Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired? Have the Courage to Conquer Fear and Fake It 'til You Make It

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired? Have the Courage to Conquer Fear and Fake It 'til You Make It

Believe it or not, I’m not as comfortable with myself as most people think I am. Even with the purple goatee, a large, colorful collection of Converse and an array of cardigans and vests that I love to wear. The truth is, that most days I don’t feel good about myself and frankly, I’m sick and tired of feeling that way.

I’ve heard all the, “Fake it ’til you make it” speeches and I know people are right when they tell me that. I do try to fake it, knowing that one day I too will finally believe it long term, but for now, my belief comes in short bursts.
I’m sitting at my desk on Sunday morning drinking coffee and listening to music through my headphones as I piece together what I’m going to write when Falling For the First Time by Barenaked Ladies (one of Canada’s better exports) came on.

It’s a song I love and have heard probably a thousand times before, but as I listened to the lyrics (which will be in blue and a larger font) it hit me that these lyrics tie in with what I’m writing about. So, grab your beverage of choice, sit back and read this because I’m only going to write this

One Time

 

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com sick and tired

Sometimes we fake cool even though we don’t feel cool.

I’m so cool, too bad I’m a loser

I’m not really cool, at least not in my mind and I don’t pretend to be cool. However, I’ve been told that with the bright colors and black porkpie hat I’m generally wearing, that I come off as someone who has a lot of self-esteem and is very comfortable with themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, I enjoy being me and I won’t deny that to anyone, but more often than not I feel like I’m a loser rather than a winner. That’s a stupid thought because I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but the last ten years or so have been, to coin a hockey coaching phrase, a gong show. In other words, pretty bad.

Every day the self-esteem is getting better thanks to a couple trusted friends and colleagues, but I’d really like to find some kind of Disney Fast Pass so I can make it to the front of the line faster and put all the negativity behind me for good. Why? Because I’m sick and tired of feeling that way. But for now, I do my best to put on a happy face and fake it, knowing/hoping one day I won’t have to put the happy face on because it will already be there.

I’m so smart, too bad I can’t get anything figured out

With my Asperger’s comes a very high IQ, but to be honest, that doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t have a college degree and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at a set of directions or instructions on how to do something and had a big question mark above my head. What good is a high IQ if you don’t do anything with it?

I’m not saying there’s nothing I can’t figure out, but it does frustrate me that I was born before the word autism was used in schools and that trying to go to college was a joke for me. I tried to learn, but couldn’t figure things out the way the teacher was teaching it, so I would leave class confused because the teacher didn’t have time and would generally tell me that if I was paying attention I would understand.

Comments like that erode your self-esteem as did the teachers in fifth-ninth grades who called me weird stupid and lazy. I was sick and tired of hearing the comments from them and hoped high school would be better. Nope.
The high school journalism teacher told me to take another class because I didn’t know how to write and never would. I think I’ll dedicate my next book to her.

I’m so fly, that’s probably why it feels like I’m falling for the first time

Yeah. I’m not fly. I’m probably the anti-fly. Although I do love the Offspring song, Pretty Fly For a White Guy. I do have my moments of fly-ness, though they’re few and far between. Truth be told, I’d rather they be many and constant. I guess I’ll just have to fake being fly for a while–whatever that really means.

There are times that the self-esteem gets so bad that it feels like I’m falling into that pit of despair for the first time and I can’t even begin to tell you how bad that feels. It’s like a narrow well with nothing to grab onto to pull yourself out. That’s why we need a support system to help us out when we fall into that pit of despair.
As much as we want to hold things in and, well, be a man, it’s not logical to do so. If that’s how we’re going to live our lives then we’ll be in that well for a long time. Personally, I’m sick and tired of falling into that well.

I’m so sane, it’s driving me crazy

I’m high-functioning autistic, have had a stroke and am ADD. As my psychologist likes to joke, I’m a certain kind of special. When I think of these lyrics it reminds me that there are times when we as people with mental health issues find that we’re doing good and think we don’t need our medication anymore, but that is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.

If we stop taking the medicines that help stabilize us and keep us functioning at a normal level, it will absolutely make us crazy. Trust me. I know about this one from first-hand experience. Actually, a couple of first-hand experiences. If you’re not comfortable on your medication and want to try something more homeopathic, talk to your doctor first. Don’t play Russian roulette with your mental health.

J.R. Reed www/notweirdjustautistic.com sick and tired

When we lose our direction in life, it’s not a map that we need.

What if I lost my direction? What if I lost my sense of time?

Get back with that friend or network of loved ones mentioned earlier, you know, the ones who can pull you out of the well. Let them help you get back on the right path because as much as you want to convince yourself you can do it alone, you cant.

Recently I started taking my own advice and started texting a friend every day who needs a support system as well. It works out great for both of us as we can check in with someone who has an understanding of what the other is going through.

I’m so done, turn me over

That’s it. We’re done. The bottom line is this. You need a support system, even if that system is only one person and you have to do your best to fake it ’til you make it. I personally find that difficult, but I try to do it almost every day. Eventually, it will stick and life will be like walking on sunshine!

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 Ed Robertson & Steven Page
Photos by Pixabay

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

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