Yesterday I drove to Jefferson City for a presentation. This drive started my Central swing of my Autism Awareness Month tour of Missouri. Before my drive, and while on the first 2/3rds of my drive, I was starting to get depressed.
Someone told me very recently, "Not to be too hard on yourself." and I said only if that were possible. Having the memory I have and having the emotions I have in terms of either being at a 0 or 10 (this means there is no middle ground. Either I have no emotion I feel it to the extreme) every mistake I have ever made lives with me. Please, you the reader, don't get depressed at my comment. This is something I feel is just one of the challenges of being on the spectrum. It is something that is manageable, but at times it is harder than others.
What caused this? Well, the memories of relationships struck again and when they do the impact to my system is large. Maybe it is all the traveling that I have done and the tiredness that comes along with it. I have noticed that there is certainly a connection between tiredness level and the ability to filter the "10's" of emotion. Again, please don't get depressed by this as it is this, and experiencing this, that allows me to do what I do.
I may be hard on myself and I my still beat myself up for relationship disasters that are over a decade old, but it is this that drives me. If I made no mistakes how valuable would my presentations be? It is in error that we grow and by my, "being to hard on myself" I am able to break down not just the what, but the why.
Also, it is in these times that the writing bug bites and I write my best stuff. Again, if I were happy 100% of the time my writings would have no merit. This isn't to say that I want to stay at a "10" but I don't think anyone on this Earth is always happy all the time.
These events come and go, and when I am in one my presentations are always more meaningful and my persona is much stronger. If I were unable to speak my emotions and unable to recount the stories I do I would be well past a "10" on the 0-10 anger scale. Feeling what I do, and the emptiness from my relationship disasters I recount in my presentations, I want to express that so others might be able to understand the way the mind on the spectrum may think. I used to be in that state; unable to communicate how I feel. Now I am the opposite and that too can be a problem, but it is a problem I am glad I have!
Last night 54 people attended my presentation and I usually will not allow myself to comment on if my presentation was good or not, but last night I was on my game thanks to the level of emotions I was feeling. Today I will be presenting at the Thompson Center for Autism's Autism Intervention Conference. As I write this I still feel somewhere near a 10 on the scale of emotions, but I carry this with pride. Again, if I had not made the mistakes I have then my words would be empty. By living, and erring, I have grown and today, once again, I will move onward by giving my experiences of my life and not just the story my the reason why things happened the way they did. Before I wrote and before I presented I would have given anything in the world to not have had the experiences I have had, but that was before I realized it is in error that we learn who we are and I would not trade in any experience because I could not be happier to be myself.