It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m just starting writing this. No, I didn’t get up early, I haven’t fallen asleep yet. I tried going to sleep a little after ten, but as it’s been for the past month, on a good night I get three hours sleep and not three straight hours. It’s a half hour here, an hour there and as I’ve sat and thought about it for hours on end, it’s because of loneliness and stress.
I moved to the Ozarks from Southern California nine months ago and have met some great people, but only a handful that I would really call friends and of those, two that I’ve ever done anything social with and those things are rare. I don’t blame anyone for this. It’s just the Asperger’s in me.
We tend to not go out and involve ourselves in situations where we meet people and so for days on end I don’t leave my log cabin near the lake or talk to anyone besides my service dog Tye, or myself, masquerading as talking to Tye. I want to meet people and make friends, but fear sets in and I know how to deal with the loneliness, so I do.
I thought for a while about online dating and finally got up the nerve to put up a profile and even sent messages to a number of women, but never received a response. Three women contacted me, but they were all in their early 60’s and as I’m fifty-two, I just wasn’t into it. I even went as far as to put something on Tinder, but the one who connected with me texted a few times and then told me she was too fearful of going out with anyone and wished me luck. Not many women are into Aspies with a purple goatee and service dog, apparently.
The loneliness brings on low self-esteem for brief-ish periods and that contributes a lot to the lack of sleep. The fact that I’ve been sitting at my computer for days on end writing, self-publishing and now trying to figure out how to properly market my book on no budget brings on more loneliness. And stress.
I’m stressed that the book won’t sell because I can’t market it properly and I won’t get it in front of the right people. I stress because I have three more that I’m trying to work on and if I can’t get this one to sell, is there a reason to write the other ones? The answer, of course, is yes, but I still stress because that’s all I know how to do and thus, I don’t sleep.
Loneliness and stress are two things that at times consume me, but I know I shouldn’t let them. I know that my life is so much better now that it was nine months ago, but I can’t focus on that because I’m too busy focusing on the loneliness, stress, and lack of sleep. I stress that I won’t be successful and that I won’t be able to take care of myself financially and that freaks me out like you can’t believe.
I know good things are coming my way and I truly believe that, except for the moments of loneliness and stress. I know I’m not the only one who deals with these things. My fellow Aspies all deal with them, but how am I supposed to advocate for them and write books to help, when I’m dealing with these things?
What I have to remember is that I have Asperger’s and that I’m human. Too often I get frustrated because I want to do everything perfectly, even though I know that’s an impossible challenge and something that will never happen. But do you think that stops the stress from hitting me when I screw up? Or that it makes me want to go out and meet new people when I don’t feel good about myself?
I need to stop letting loneliness and stress take over my life and I need to believe that good things will happen and that I’m capable of getting the current book to sell and the ones I have bouncing around my brain, to sell and sell well.
Belief in yourself is a great cure for loneliness and stress and feeling better about yourself doesn’t hurt when it comes time to sleep, which I’m going to go and try to go (again) in a few minutes. I was hoping that writing this and getting this off my chest would help me feel better and I guess it has a little. Here’s hoping that by the time I crawl back into bed, I feel more than a little better.
One thing that may help me feel a little better is you liking the new J.R. Reed, Author Facebook page as well as Not Weird Just Autistic (yeah, those were stupid, shameless plugs). While you’re at it, follow me on Twitter as well.
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 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.