Friday, May 7, 2010

The Return of Q and A Friday

In a comment late last month someone asked me, "Are you sad?" and while I've wanted to have a Q and A Friday there was always something that was going on that had to be wrote upon. This week is the first week in a while that I have the open day so I will answer that question.

The context of the question was regarding to my, "Wanting to play the game" article about wanting to socialize, but not really knowing the rules of the social game, therefore I to do tend to prefer to be alone.

Being sad does happen, but it's almost on a pendulum system in that there will be times that I want nothing more than to have a group of friends that goes out on the weekend. Then, as the pendulum swings, I know I hate going out on the weekend, I don't drink, and most places have loud music on the weekends and I despise loud places.

It's confusing for me because I will want it so bad and every cell in my body will be letting me know that I would be the happiest person alive if I weren't alone, but the times that I were in those situations I was counting down the minutes until I was at home, in my chair, coloring magazine covers (it's a sensory thing. I'll write about it sometime, but what I do is color the covers of magazines with Sharpies, such as Newsweek or Sports Illustrated and then keep the cover after I color the ads of the magazines. To date I have done over 900 covers in just five years of doing it) and playing Xbox.

When I was first diagnosed I was sad. I was so sad that the word sad was the only word that could describe me. I was alone and isolated and in a downward spiral. Relationships were lost (trust me when I say breaking up with someone on Christmas via text message is not conducive to being friends after the fact!) and I pushed all away. I was truly a sad case.

The event that pulled me out of my sadness was my writings. Am I sad today? I will say no even though I do, at times, yearn for those social moments. I have grown to accept who I am and that my vision of a perfect weekend is not coming within 10 feet of the front door.

Don't get me wrong, I do wonder, I do I do I do! but my sadness now is just a curios wonderment.

I deal with my sadness through my writings. I think all that I have written has come from that inner place in all of our minds that handles those deep emotions. I am at ease with that place and am unafraid of it. I know my limitations, but they do not define me. I know that I won't be a social butterfly, but I can express myself through other forms.

So, am I sad? I used to be and while I may get down on myself when I get upset with my limitations I realize that we all have limitations.


  1. Thank you for this answer. I, too, yearn to do things but dread the possibility of actually having to do them.

  2. You shouls considered starting a social group with other young adults who have Aspergers.

  3. A lot of people with autism say that they can't be social butterflies. But, that is a myth in my book. As you said in an older entry before this, sometimes all it takes is to know the rules of the game.

    Right now, I am slowly becoming a world renowned occupational therapist for my work in autism. The knowledge I bring the table is important. But, it is NOT as important as knowing how to be a social butterfly despite having AS and occasional sensory issues.

    1. I use social media A LOT- to connect with my professional peers across the world. I use my existing connections to get more connections- similar to how people using money to make more money.

    2. I learn how to cope effectively in potential sensory bombarding environments. Sometimes I ask for permission to go outside for a few minutes (if I am with people) or just slip into the restroom. They are nicely timed for me because I do need to go to restrooms on occasions and my time in restrooms (albeit only a minute or two) was enough to recoup and go back for another hour or two. Sometimes I will ask a person to go to a quieter area to talk to me.

    3. I rarely drink. But, I break out for these occasions because I want my peers to see the loose, fun-loving side of me that some of them rarely see. Social drinking is not binge drinking. So, if you can only tolerate one bottle of beer, then slowly drink it. If you don't like beer at all, understanding people will respect you for that.

    4. I do know that your agency hires occupational therapists (since I surfed the web site of the place you work)... go out with them as you can tolerate. They usually are super examples in demonstrating social skills while having great understanding of your sensory needs. I am in OT... the fact that I was with them on a regular basis during my initial recovery was huge... as they indirectly/directly teaching me nuances with social skills all the time!