Tag Archives: Depression

Advent Calendar Days 20 & 21

It’s not quite the case that Christmas is cancelled because Freiburg got knocked out of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday, but it’s certainly not the way you want the first half of the season to end. Then again it’s not the fact they got knocked out, more by whom and how. Losing to Bremen was bad enough but doing so because of a goal which wasn’t a legal goal, well that’s going to hurt for quite some time. It’s funny, ever since the season started I’ve been bemoaning the existence and use of VAR and on Wednesday night I was angry because it wasn’t in use. Had it been in use it might have affected the outcome of Gladbach’s game against Leverkusen too, and the player who elbowed Matze in the head would have been sent off like he should have been. Though I’m not sure the VAR would have helped in the peculiar situation of the diving coach. That was truly bizarre, Leverkusen’s coach seemingly taking a dive after a Gladbach player almost clattered into him but just avoided him the end. Definitely the funniest moment from this week’s games.

But there’s point obsessing over it, they’re out and that’s that. I guess I should see the good point of the situation, it’s one less distraction from the all important task of staying in the league. First up after the winter break is Eintracht Frankfurt, a fixture that holds some very good memories indeed. Back in 2015 that was Nils Petersen’s first game as a Freiburg player, first game, first hat-trick. He didn’t take the penalty though, Vladimir Darida did that.

As much as I’m looking forward to that game I don’t really want to be thinking about January right now. Thinking so far ahead counts as thinking big and that’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want to think big or make plans, all I want is for just a few months to have a nice quiet, peaceful existence, nothing more. I’m not making any new year’s resolutions and it’s not only because I see no point in doing so, more that for a while I don’t want anything to happen. Last year I got sucked into thinking everything was fine in December and then everything fell apart in January. So I don’t want the same thing to happen again, I don’t want to make any assumptions.

On the subject of things happening I made a decision earlier this week which surprised myself, not only me but the other relevant parties as well. I don’t know if it came out of nowhere or I’d already subconsciously decided this but either way I made the decision for the next appointment to be the last. It’s not entirely for the reasons I stated on Wednesday though. It’s not because I think I don’t need to talk anymore right now. Actually it’s the opposite, I’m tired of talking. I’m tired of having to go there knowing I won’t really tell the whole truth anyway. And I know that’s partly my fault, it’s just not easy to be honest and trust someone when for years you’ve gotten used to the fact that’s not an option. To borrow a quote from one of my favourite shows The Bridge, “my plan is not to have a plan.”I just want to read books and sleep. Mostly I just want to be left alone. I don’t know if it’s people I’m tired of or rather the pretense I feel like I need to put on in order to be around them. Either way I really wish I didn’t have somewhere to go tomorrow. I wish I’d been brave enough to say no when I was invited. I should be grateful I have friends yet right now I just want everyone to go away.

I want nothing more than to stay inside and lose myself in books, to just escape from reality completely. That’s one of things I talked about on Wednesday, how books are a better distraction for me than anything else. Playing Playstation is a good way to pass time but not to occupy my mind in quite the same way. No, playing games is more like anesthetizing yourself in a way but books are something else. At least that’s one good thing about the past few months, I set myself the target of reading 75 books this year and I’m one off reaching that goal. I just finished reading Going Underground, a book which features an autistic detective. I know, I shouldn’t even be reading books with autistic characters in them when they’re written by NTs because I invariably end up ranting about them. And this one did frustrate me a little, though not as much as Rubbernecker did. I suppose the fact the author actually has an autistic son has something to do with that. One good thing about the book is the writer takes the time to make it clear that Jonathan is an investigator, not a policeman. That’s important because the idea of someone like Jonathan being a policeman is absurd.

I am though unhappy with certain aspects of his character, like the fact he doesn’t seem to understand humour at all and that he’s completely oblivious to popular cultural references. I know some people with autism either don’t get or just don’t do humour. But I hate it when an autistic character is portrayed that way because it’s so stereotypical and it reinforces the view the general public holds that autistic people don’t get jokes. And even more importantly sometimes you come across parents who actually believe their child can’t be autistic because “my son is nice, friendly, intelligent and has a fantastic sense of humour.” Yeah, none of that precludes a person being autistic. I find that so offensive, the implication that we’re all unfriendly, stupid, unfeeling people who have no sense of humour whatsoever. Similarly I find it equally offensive that somehow autistic has become shorthand for “socially awkward/pedantic/weird/obsessive/mean/critical. Basically some NTs are using autistic as a synonym for any trait they don’t like or consider to be a negative trait. And that’s the other trait I wish writers would use less of when writing autistic characters, emotional detachment. Lots of autistic people have the opposite problem, feeling too much. They might not be able to actually express that however.

At least I knew the other book I was reading wouldn’t let me down, Bernie Gunther never has, well not so far anyway. I just finished book seven, Field Grey. From what I read of the reviews it seems to be a book which divides opinions. I have to admit it is the most challenging of them so far but it was interesting, I didn’t find the couple hundred pages of interrogations boring. I liked seeing the puzzle being pieced together and learning what happened to him after the war ended. Though it got a little confusing in the end with all the double crossing, I will admit that. It hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm any, I can’t wait to start reading the next one. I can take some comfort from that, the fact I’m looking forward to something.

Advent Calendar Day 8: The Not so Scary Day of Doom

I should be relieved that the worst didn’t happen, yet I’m only partly relieved. Mostly I’m still angry, angry that some people seem to continually get away with not taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. They think it’s fine just because the worst didn’t happen, that because it turned out to be something of a misunderstanding and disaster was averted it means they don’t need to take responsibility for their mistakes. The fact the more serious consequences of their careless mistake was avoided doesn’t make it ok, not by a long shot. But it’s impossible to make them see that. I guess on this one I’ll just have to take the advice I got, time and time again I’ve been told “you can’t always change what other people do or think, all you can do is decide how you’re going to react to it.”

Actually in a way it’s worse that what I was worried about didn’t actually happen. Because they screwed up and put me through all this for nothing, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I know I need to let go of this but it’s not easy. I’ve got plenty of my own stuff to stress out about, I don’t need idiots like that adding to the list. It’s ironic that’s for sure, today was destined to be the worst day of the week yet it’s actually the day in which I’ve gotten the most done. Not only that but I somehow managed to be up, showered, dressed and to have eaten breakfast all before lunchtime. And right now I’m writing something which isn’t depressing. Even so it’s not an all’s well that ends well sort of thing. It’s yet another reminder that you can’t trust anyone but yourself, and sometimes I don’t even feel like I can do that. I’m supposed to be thinking of a few things that I can work on to make my life better, they don’t have to be big things, just something that could potentially make my life more bearable. I still don’t have anything for my list, nothing that’s realistic anyway. There are no big strong centre backs like Antonio Rüdiger to protect you, no Hansi either to help keep you out of trouble. I have something for my list but it’s not realistic, at least I don’t see a way it can be achieved. I’d like for life to not lurch from one crisis to the next, for things to just be settled and quiet but that never seems to happen, something always has to go wrong. I don’t have any solutions except to run away and hide, whether that be in a story of my own creation, books or yet another TV show, in this case Grimm on Netflix seeing as how I’ve watched almost everything else in my own collection. In the show the main character Nick can see monsters whereas other people just see regular human beings, that would be great, if you could really see people for who they are. That way you’d never get taken in, lied to or taken advantage of ever again.

Advent Calendar Day 6: The Day of Four Cards

Today as the title implies was something of a bumper day as far as cards go, getting four cards and one sticker, I suppose that’s due to the fact that today in Germany is Nikolaustag. I like getting four cards because four always makes me think of the fourth star, Germany’s fourth world cup win in 2014.  I don’t want to curse anything but add in the sticker and you have five. Plus the sticker was none other than Mario Götze, surely that has to be a good sign. Apart from the cards it hasn’t been a day of celebration or gifts for me that’s for sure. Today I paid the price for yesterday, being unable to sleep at night because I slept in the day, thus missing something important I wanted to do in the morning. The day is not destined to be a good one when you wake up angry. So I can’t really say I’ve done anything constructive today, instead allowing myself to waste the afternoon playing Borderlands. I did at least kill the stupid robot that made me so angry on Monday.

Football wise things weren’t much better but then I don’t really care about that, it made no difference at all to me whether or not Dortmund added to their pathetic two point tally. As it turns out they ended up losing 3-2 to Real Madrid, which isn’t that big of a surprise. I am so glad that Matze left when he did, it means he has no part in the mess of a season that Dortmund are having so far. Tomorrow won’t be much better in that regard, whatever the result tomorrow Hoffenheim are out of the Europa League. Not that I care about them of course, no self respecting Freiburg fan would. I’m just disappointed for Hansi.

Today is one of those days where I have nothing to write about, which I suppose is a good thing in the sense that I have nothing to complain about. Well nothing except for the fact Friday is getting ever closer. And of course I can’t sleep again. Unable to sleep I’m watching Dark on Netflix and finding it very interesting. I watched the first four episodes in one go. I can’t remember the last time a TV series held my attention and that I was able to focus long enough to watch something new. That’s a good thing but it may be cancelled out by the fact the show focuses on the subject of death. Still it’s good to be thinking about something that isn’t in my own head. And because it’s in German I can at least pretend I’m doing something constructive. It doesn’t help me get any better at speaking German but then I don’t know what will. I don’t get enough practice speaking English let alone German. It does make me laugh in a painfully ironic sort of way when parents of autistic children say my experience of autism bears no resemblance to the “real autism” their children has because “you’re high-functioning and you’re verbal, and can do stuff they’ll never do.” Oh how that hurts when you take into consideration the knowledge that it’s only because I can’t live alone that I do talk to anyone in the real world. Were I capable of living alone and were actually doing so I could easily go weeks without having a proper conversation with another human being, indeed even now when I don’t live alone I can go days without doing so. So being able to talk doesn’t really count for much, not when you can’t actually use that ability anyway. I know what their next line of attack would be too. It’ll be the “but you can read and write” line. Yay, that means if I ever sum up the courage to kill myself at least I can leave a note behind to explain why. You’re right, I am “so high-functioning and lucky.”

Advent Calendar Day 5: German Night in Paris

I guess today isn’t that bad a day seeing as how I came up with a title without even trying, though that isn’t the title I originally came up with. I got Sami Khedira’s sticker today and the phrase that immediately popped into my head was “Italian night in Paris” because Khedira plays for Juventus and Bayern played PSG tonight. It’s a variation of a phrase from Inglorious Basterds, the name of the third chapter in the film. I don’t want to say it’s a good day because I don’t want to be that arrogant, not before Friday is over and done with. But as much as I liked the phrase I couldn’t misquote one of my favourite films and then I realised that actually the original correct version fit better anyway in an ironic sort of way, seeing as how Bayern were playing host to PSG. They may have been playing in Munich but it was for Bayern most definitely German night in Paris tonight. Because they only scored three goals and conceded one they didn’t win the group (but then only a real optimist could have expected them to) but they did at least retain their honor after the humiliating defeat in Paris which saw Carlo Ancoletti sacked as a result. I feel bad for Julian Draxler but rooting for his team was not an option, not tonight.

As for the rest of the day I can’t really say it went well because I don’t really remember most of it, and that includes the appointment. I have a feeling I ranted quite a lot but then that isn’t really news. I only got two hours sleep last night which was rather stupid of me and is no doubt why I felt the need to take a nap before watching Bayern’s game tonight. Not something I usually do but I’m glad I did, I felt surprisingly rested afterwards which isn’t something I’m used to. I’m sure I could find something to rant about but I don’t particularly want to. Not least because today I got a Jogi video, so I’d kind of like to leave that untainted.

Joachim Löw – Bild video 05/12/17

One subject I could rant about is the second series of that stupid TV show The A Word but I won’t do so here for two reasons. First because I think it’s going to need a post of it’s own and secondly for the aforementioned reason. All I will say is this, I am very glad that child is fictional and doesn’t have to grow up with parents and a family like that in real life. Ok I lied, two things. I read the description for next week’s episode. There’s some kind of play at the boy’s old school and it brings his family all together and they all get to see what they mean to him. I am so sick of TV shows and films using autistic characters to “bring the normal people together and make them realise what they have in life.” I’m even more sick of parents of autistic children needing to be shown “just how much we mean to him.” It’s infuriating, the constant implication that we don’t love people or don’t care about them, just because  maybe we don’t show it in the way they expect. I used to be so against the idea of a community comprised entirely of autistic people, these days I’m not so sure. It kind of sounds like a good idea. Maybe then I would have listen to a bunch of normal people who know nothing about autism tell me all about it and what it means. And I just broke my promise, that’s a rant. I guess I’ll have to stop writing there before I taint Jogi’s video even more.

Advent Calendar Day 4

I don’t have a title for today either but that’s not because I couldn’t be bothered to come up with one, more that the sticker and cards I got provided no inspiration. It’s fitting I suppose, getting a player I dislike on what is usually the worst day of the week. I didn’t like Sebastian Rudy when he played for Hoffenheim and I still don’t like him now that he plays for Bayern. It’s not because Monday is the start of the week that I dislike it (though obviously that doesn’t help), it’s more that the routine I’ve fallen into on Monday’s is not a helpful one. I didn’t have to get early today so I decided not to, but ended up waking up at 6:00am anyway, and after that getting back to sleep wasn’t easy. So even though I caught up on some sleep I may as well not have bothered. Thanks to that and yesterday I have something of a hangover, not alcohol induced of course – I don’t even drink. No, it’s more of an anger hangover, the lingering side effects of rage. And now I’m angry at myself for even being angry in the first place.

It never occurred to me before but my appointments are usually on Tuesdays, and now that’s got me thinking as to whether or not that’s why Mondays never go very well. I don’t suppose I’ll have to worry about such things for much longer anyway, after a few months they always kick you off the list, regardless of whether you’ve gotten any “better” or not. This is just like anything else in life, it doesn’t matter what you do or say, the outcome will be the same anyway. And even if you do tell them truth, that doesn’t help either. You share your thoughts of death with them and they judge it to be serious or you actually try to hurt yourself then you’ll get seen by what they mockingly call the “crisis team.” And they are the most useless human beings you could ever hope to encounter. So much so that it makes you wonder if that’s part of their plan, to be so useless that you never bother seeking help again. Or to think even darker it’s to ensure that you see there really is no help there and everything really is pointless. So much so that death is the only realistic option. If only I wasn’t such a coward that is. Because that’s what I’m really angry about, that I could have done it and I didn’t. Right at the last second I changed my mind and I don’t know why.

I did accidentally get an answer to a question I didn’t even know I was trying to answer though. It’s weird how you’re reading the exact right book at the time you need to. After seeing The Snowman I decided to read the book again, partly to cleanse my mind of the disappointment that the film was. Also because I couldn’t remember the details of the plot to work out how much of the details they’d changed or streamlined to make the film work. The chapter that gave me the answer was when Katrine pays Arve Stop a none too pleasant visit, she almost kills him in fact. She almost ended up strangling him and in the process explained to him what the rushing sensation he felt was, that the oxygen deprivation he’s experiencing actually feels good. I answered my own question without even realizing it, the book didn’t give me the answer, just made me see that I had done so. I wrote about that in my death story, about a feeling of not only relief but something more akin to pleasure when the scarf is tightened. A few days ago when talking about stories and writing someone said (well typed if you want to be pedantic about it) that the best stories are often true. I guess in that story there’s a lot of truth and that explains not only why I have two versions with different endings but why I’m so fixated on the one where he doesn’t die. It’s not because I’m glad I’m still alive, more that it’s my expression of anger at that fact. It’s why I’m so fixated on writing about him being angry about having failed and still being alive. In one way or another it often feels like I’m the last one to know about my feelings or why I’m thinking/writing about a particular subject. I will admit one thing, it does feel good in a way to be posting on here again. Even if I am just ranting and feeling sorry for myself it feels somewhat of a relief to be honest somewhere.

Advent Calendar Day 3

Today has been an extremely slow and lazy day, so lazy in fact that I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a proper title for this post. When possible I like to reference at least one of the players whose card or sticker I got but it’s just not happening today. I’m just glad I didn’t get Matze Ginter’s card or sticker, or Lars Stindl’s for that matter. Watching them lose 3-0 today was punishment enough. If I hadn’t bothered to get out of bed I wouldn’t have seen them lose so badly, but on the other hand I would have missed seeing Peter, Marc and Matze Ginter. And then I would have had yet another thing to beat myself up about, god knows I don’t need any more of those. I think you have to keep doing what you’re doing, even if you don’t know why. When the alternative is doing nothing then it’s not really a choice is it? I won’t feel good either way, so I might as well be doing something.

Believe it or not there is one good thing about today (and I mean besides the surprise of Peter doing the pre-match show for the first game). At least I know partly why I feel the way I do. Right now it’s something specific I’m running away from. I don’t want next week to happen and not sleeping or waking up feels like a way to achieve that. Logically I know it’s not but it feels that way when you’re trying to convince yourself to get out of bed. I’m not just scared, I’m angry. It’s bad enough when you have to suffer because you screwed up, it’s even worse when you’ll potentially suffer because someone else made a mistake that was entirely avoidable but for their arrogance and self confidence that they know everything. When in actual fact they know nothing. And what makes me even angrier is knowing that when things do go wrong they never take responsibility, always finding someone else to blame. Even when it’s a decision they have made, a situation entirely of their own making – they still have to find a way to twist it so that it’s anyone’s fault but theirs. I think that’s pathetic and just about one of the worst personality traits a person can have. I hate that I’m even ranting about them, because that means I’ve let it get in my head.

There’s no question of it being anywhere approaching good news at the end of the week, it’s just a question of how bad it’s going to be. I know that now, even without having all the facts. I can put the pieces together that I already have to work that much out. All of this and yesterday’s events has left me wondering what’s worse, bad news that you know is coming or bad news that comes from nowhere? Because this feels like torture of a kind, knowing something is about to hit you, but not quite knowing what. It’s the waiting that kills you. I didn’t have to wait long to find out about the Cologne situation at least. I found that out this morning, waking up to the news that not only are they parting ways with Peter Stöger but that it was already decided before the Schalke game. He got them back into the Bundesliga and into European competition after 20 plus years, yet he doesn’t even get to be in charge for their last Europa League group game. Strange thing is they still actually have a shot in that competition. Whereas in the league I think they’re pretty much done for either way, so why couldn’t they just stick with him?

On the subject of sticking with things I thought after writing something positive yesterday that maybe it wouldn’t just be a one off sort of thing. It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote something properly, Jogi’s little trip to Russia having provided suitable inspiration, his shirt and tie helping considerably on that count. But sure enough when I couldn’t sleep I ended up writing more depressing stuff. I really need something else to write about, something that doesn’t involve plotting the demise of alternate Matze. When I couldn’t sleep last night I got thinking about the whole thing and about a conversation online I had the other day. In particular we were talking about nightmares and allowing other people to help. That’s not something I’m good at, which is a big problem. What bothers me even more is the fact I’m so bad at showing my feelings in front of other people. I can’t be honest with them even when I want to. And when someone does see me upset it’s because I’m in the midst of a meltdown and have no choice in the matter.

I talk to someone twice a month about all of this stuff yet I feel like I can’t be completely honest with them, I’ve seen the same person for several months now yet I don’t feel like I can trust them. Which kind of defeats the purpose of going at all I suppose. On the other hand I feel like I should be able to solve my own problems, that needing help at all makes me weak somehow. In the same way my collections and obsessions make me feel weak for needing them. Because whether I want to admit it or not I do need them. Other people get friendships, relationships and attachments to other human beings, people in real life – not characters or people on TV. And I have my collections. Because even when that offer is there (as it currently is) of actual real life human companionship I can’t take it. That’s a subject that comes up a lot, finding ways of encouraging myself to spend more time with people in real life. So I guess no-one is going to be pleased that instead of finding a way to achieve that I have a new obsession instead.

Advent Calendar Day 2: The Unfortunate Coincidence

It would be today of all days that I get not only Benedikt Höwedes’ sticker but the card of Jonas Hector. How perfect is that, getting them in the same calendar door when their teams play each other. And they end up drawing 2-2 just to make it that little bit more perfect. Well Schalke is only technically Benedikt’s team at the moment, with him being on loan to Juventus. And Jonas of course is still out injured so didn’t play. Though in a way it’s a good thing Benedikt isn’t there because I don’t like Schalke very much and I would under the circumstances feel compelled to root for Cologne anyway, even though they are in the relegation fight along with Freiburg. But I don’t feel too bad for doing so, simply because surely Cologne are too deep in trouble to be of any danger to Freiburg, Bremen or HSV who are also stuck in the relegation fight. At this point forget about fighting relegation, they’re fighting against having the unflattering record of being the worst Bundesliga team of all time. I bet no-one ever thought Tasmania Berlin were in danger of losing that record. But with three points and six goals after fourteen games Cologne are giving them a run for their money.

Rumor has it they’ve parted ways with Peter Stöger though that hasn’t been confirmed officially. I at least hope it’s not true. In the poll I voted in 71% of people agreed sacking him would be the wrong way to go. But then maybe I’m a little biased, I like the underdog after all. I don’t have to worry about the same thing happening at Freiburg. On the news last week the club president said that Christian Streich is going nowhere, that they stand by him “through thick and thin” which was reassuring if unnecessary to hear. For the simple reason Freiburg aren’t the kind of club to go sacking a coach just because things aren’t going so well. Whatever happens he’s going nowhere. Obviously I don’t want to think about them getting relegated but it would in a weird way be funny, a Jogi team and a Hansi team getting relegated together.

As what I’ve written so far suggests today has been all about football. And I know what they’ll say, fixating on one thing to the exclusion of everything else isn’t good, you need some balance in the day/your life in general. But you know what I don’t really care right now. For two reasons, first it got me out of bed and secondly it was a distraction from all the stuff I’m worried about at the moment. It’s a good thing I did get up too, I wouldn’t have gotten my new Hansi video if I hadn’t and I would have missed Peter’s pre-match show. It’s funny that is. Whilst I’m beating myself up for having obsessions at all and worrying how immersive they are I end up adding another one to the list. This one is kind of new too, I’ve never been obsessed with a reporter before. Seems I’m not done collecting things and that includes obsessions. In one way I suppose it’s a good sign, the fact I’m still engaged enough with something to form a new interest and to care about something. Even the stupid psych can’t argue with that. Though something tells me they’ll find something to complain about. They’re supposed to be helping but it feels like they’re doing the exact opposite. Surely it can’t be a good thing that I worry so much about what they think, then again I do that for pretty much every social situation, so it’s kind of hard to tell. I’m not even sure why I keep going, I guess I’m just used to going where I’m told when it comes to this sort of thing. I did at least manage to write something today, only three pages but it’s better than nothing.

Advent Calendar Day 1: King Jogi

Things haven’t exactly been good on the writing front (or any other for that matter) so taking on the challenge of posting every day may not be the best thing to do right now. Not least because the challenge is incomplete anyway because for reasons I don’t understand it proved impossible to get a Freiburg calendar. At first that gave me the perfect excuse not to even bother trying doing this, though I didn’t really need an excuse. The same excuse I use for everything else these days probably would have sufficed, that is the excuse of “I can’t be bothered.”

But seeing the contents of the DFB advent calendar I decided I had to at least give it a shot, even more so when behind door number one I got Jogi’s sticker and Manuel Neuer’s card. In place of the Freiburg calendar I had to get something and seeing as how the Bayern one was too expensive and there’s no reason to get a Dortmund one anymore I took the only logical option, I went with Matze and got a Borussia Mönchengladbach one. Though on that count I was to be disappointed because the Gladbach one is not like the Freiburg one at all, there are no cute little faces behind the doors, just wrapped pieces of chocolate. As for Freiburg whilst I may not have them in chocolate form this year I won’t be abandoning them, even though it looks like they are destined to spend Christmas in the relegation places again and relegation itself is looking more and more definite with every passing weekend. It’s not a lot of fun watching them at the moment but I’m not going to abandon them just because of that. I could never envision following another team anyway, so no matter what I wanted I’m with them.

Ever since I got back from London I’ve been saying I’d write a post about the trip and the game, and post pictures of the autographs I was lucky enough to get. Not to forget the pictures I got of Jogi which are even more precious. But like so many other things I just let it slide. It’s not just that I don’t care about anything, it’s that I can’t even pretend I care. So since I got back I’ve pretty much done nothing. Unless you count of course writing extremely depressing stories late at night when I should be asleep, that I have no problem doing. The helpful insight I got from someone on that count was “maybe you’re writing depressing stuff because that’s how you feel.” No really, because I hadn’t worked that out. Just how stupid do people think I am? Anyway that sounds suspiciously like the beginnings of a rant so I’ll stop that there. Point is I haven’t done a whole lot, I’ve kept up with my Jogi videos but it doesn’t feel the same anymore. It feels like I’m just doing it because I don’t know what else to do. Which is pretty much how everything else feels too.

I’ve tried to resist the temptation of simply sleeping all day but it’s not easy, especially when I can’t get a decent amount of sleep at night. So that I don’t get stuck thinking obsessive thoughts I’ve been spending a lot of time reading, that’s probably the only good thing to come out of all this. The fact I’ve started reading like I used to again. I can’t even remember the last time I got through ten books in a month. That was my target for November, to read ten books. Just so I didn’t feel like a complete failure and that I could at least do that.

Though even that has slowed down over the past few days. All of a sudden out of nowhere everything just came to a shuddering halt, reality once more making it’s presence felt and reminding me that life sucks and this is the way things are. Almost like the universe is putting me back in my place, reminding me not to be too happy after all the excitement of the London trip. It doesn’t seem like it at all right now but I had been trying hard not to feel sorry for myself. But the truth is things have been slipping and I can’t ignore it anymore. Stuff is piling up everywhere, both in a physical and a virtual sense. I dare not even look at my main e-mail inbox anymore because from the few times I have been brave enough to take a peek I’ve seen the ever growing piles of increasingly irate messages.  I should have known something was really wrong when I stopped opening, sorting and otherwise dealing with my sticker collection. When I don’t care about or have energy for simple repetitive tasks like that then I know I’m really in trouble. But still I keep collecting things because what else would I do? I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s not like I’m going to go outside and make friends or something, there is no real life to be had. It’s the collectibles and the stories or nothing. Maybe if I wait this out they’ll make me feel happy again, like they used to do.

The Right to Life

This is long, rambling and dark but I make no aplologies for that. It’s the first real thing I’ve written in a while and I really needed to get it out of my head. I imagine I’ve written some things which some people might not agree with but that doesn’t matter, how you feel is how you feel. Besides I’m tired of other people telling me how I should feel about myself, they have the right to disagree with my view of things but not to dictate how I should feel about all of this.

Many of these thoughts were in my head even before I knew about those comments related to “low functioning” autistic people and how they shouldn’t be allowed to be born, how only “high functioning” people invent stuff and are of use to society. That’s not exactly what I was thinking but it’s certainly the same kind of theme. I don’t want this to be a rant about that because that’s not what I need to get across right now.

I’ve been trying to work out what the problem is (practical concerns aside) and I rightly came to the conclusion that I was letting certain things get into my head and that was a large part of the problem. What I didn’t know was precisely what I’d let get to me. I think I know now, it’s the idea that I’m unworthy of life and that I don’t have the right to live as long as I’m of no economic or social value. Where such thoughts came from is probably not one thing but two, both the current political climate and everything I know about the Nazis. Plus the idea that such attitudes and thoughts are still around even seventy years after WW2. Jewish people no longer have to fear pogroms and death camps and disabled people don’t have to fear concentration camps or being gassed to death in a so called hospital. But for both groups of people in some ways little has changed. Jews are still treated with suspicion in some quarters and certain myths like their control over certain industries dominate even today. As for disabled people I question how far society has come, especially in regards to autism and things like learning disabilities and other neurological issues.

How can you feel like any progress has been made when you read complaints about such people being in mainstream school alongside “normal” children yet the same people bemoan the cost of units and special schools. As well as making comments about how it’s not fair “special children” get so many extras like trips, experiences their kids don’t get and what they deem to be unnecessary extras and special treatment like adjustments in exams and other such things. What their problems are is clear to see. They don’t want those people contaminating their precious children and they don’t want to pay for them either. Which leads to the logic of such people shouldn’t exist, not children and not adults. Education for them is too expensive and that logic leads to life for them is too expensive for the rest of us. That disabled people are an expensive and bothersome cross they have to bear who have less of a right to life than so called normal and healthy people.

I let all of this get in my head, though in truth I feel like it just awakened thoughts and feelings which were already there rather than actually putting them there. I didn’t think too much of myself to start with so I wasn’t very resilient in terms of resisting such thoughts. And all of this lead me to the conclusion that death is the only option. That not only does my life have no meaning to society or any economic value but that it has no value to me either. I started to feel like I didn’t have the right to feel anything good or to have anything at all.

And soon enough there wasn’t anything good to feel anyway. Things which once made me happy no longer did so. Instead they were somehow tainted, instead of seeing things like a good match to watch as something which made me happy all I could think was how pointless it was and how I didn’t deserve to enjoy it. And other times I felt nothing at all, not happy, not sad, just nothing – a complete blank.

There’s one more aspect to all of this I’ve found confusing as well, just as confusing as feeling nothing is feeling everything. It goes from one extreme to the other. From being a complete blank to feeling everything at once and finding it overwhelming. At one extreme you want to do nothing, you feel like you can’t do anything and so you don’t. It takes so much effort just to get out of bed it feels like doing anything more is just impossible. That quote from the Enke book is certainly accurate. The gist of it being in the morning you feel like you can’t do anything and so you don’t. Then in the evening you beat yourself up for not having done anything.

And if you try to do anything and fail or it doesn’t go to plan you end up feeling even worse. But even if nothing goes wrong you still don’t feel right. You might find an obsession related task to busy yourself with but it doesn’t bring you the same joy it usually does. That’s assuming of course you even get that far because most days you don’t. Even just writing about it starts to suck you down into the darkness and to feel like everything is pointless. Now it’s taken me away from my point, which was about going from one extreme to the other.

Maybe the reason it’s so hard to write about it is because there hasn’t been many days like that lately, more of them have been dark ones than anything else. On days like that you feel like you can and want to do everything. You have plenty of ideas in your head and want to write (or type in my case) them down all at once. For a while you feel unbeatable, almost like you’re flying, as if nothing can take you down. It used to happen when I stayed up all night but I haven’t been doing a lot of that lately, at least not by choice anyway. Rather than late nights writing or watching football they’ve been nights spent awake worrying. I hate even thinking that I cried myself to sleep let alone admitting it. I know emotions aren’t a sign of weakness and all that but I still hate it. And now I’m doing it again, writing about the opposite of what I’m actually meant to be writing about.

It’s not so much I haven’t felt like that in a while but that when I do it doesn’t last as long. There hasn’t been many late night flights of fancy or genius story ideas lately. In fact the best idea I’ve had is one borne of the darkness, that idea being Matze trying to kill himself and the story which details the aftermath of that.

I guess I just feel like I can’t win these days, if I write I’m both happy and unhappy. And it’s much the same way if I don’t write and for everything else really. Everything just feels wrong. When I can think it’s like I’m all over the place, like I can’t pick one topic to focus my mind on which is unusual. The constant chatter in my head drives me crazy, a lot of is completely random and just makes no sense whatsoever. It’s even worse when the same thoughts keep coming back again and again, and they just won’t go away. Even when they’re not bad thoughts it’s still annoying.

But none of that is what makes me angriest, it’s my inability to act which does that. I’ve thought all of this through, I know what the options are. Yet I can’t seem to act upon any of them. If I can’t find anything in life worth being alive for then death is the logical conclusion, it’s certainly the only way out of the confusion and torment. So why then can’t I act on it? And I know this is a stupid thing to worry about but I can’t help but think if I talk to anyone about this they’ll take the fact I haven’t attempted to act on my thoughts as evidence that it’s not that bad. Or that I’ll be told to simply pull myself together and stop being so pathetic. The other thing I think might happen is to be told you know suicide is the logical solution to the situation, not only that you’re right your life is pathetic and meaningless and you’d be doing everyone (including yourself) a favour if you did do it. Part of me almost wants to hear that because I want to see if it pushes me over the edge into actually doing it.

I feel like the only reason I’m still alive is because I’m too cowardly to commit to dying or anything else for that matter.  But if I am indeed too cowardly then I need to find a way to make life more bearable, if that’s at all possible. I think I’ve avoided seeking help for far too long, making excuses to myself and finding reasons not to. Plus I haven’t had that many great experiences with so called professionals which makes attempting to seek help seem like a valid option. Memories like that stick, autistic or not. And it’s hard to put your trust in someone after an experience like that.

Even if that weren’t an issue the problem of me finding it hard to actually tell someone what’s bothering me is still there. If only I could have written it down and they would agree to read it then it would be less of an issue. One doctor refused to read it, insisting I read it out and verbally tell him (which kind of defeats the purpose of writing it down). And since then I’ve not really felt confident enough to try again. It wasn’t even my idea to start with yet I’m the one feeling stupid over it. That’s exactly part of the problem, that happened at least four years ago yet I’m still angry over it.

So if death isn’t an option (at least not until I summon up the courage or run out of options) then I need to deal with some of these problems. I’m not optimistic on that count, it’s not like anything or anyone has been helpful before. And lest I get told I need to help myself I damn well know that, but there’s only so much you can do. But I have to try at least, if not just to cross this off the list before admitting defeat and giving up.

It all comes down to this, I’m tired of being afraid of everything. Forget about doing anything  in life, when you’re afraid like that you can’t even live day to day. I’m tired of being afraid to step outside or be anywhere where other people are. Or where unpredictability is a factor to deal with. It would be nice to just go outside without being on the edge all the time, and the same for being around other people too. It’s exhausting thinking over every single word I say and every little thing that happens. I never feel at ease around other people, even people I know and it makes me not want to be around other people at all.

But I keep getting told I can’t spend my life hiding away in my room, yet no-one has any words of wisdom as to how I’m meant to deal with the outside world either. So I don’t know where that leaves me. All I can say is it’s easy for them to preach to me about what I should be doing but they don’t actually have to do it, they don’t have to live like this. I’m tired of people and their expectations. I’m tired of them thinking they have a right to have any expectations of me and to be disappointed in me.

People say do what makes you happy but when they hear what that is they soon change their tune. And I’m not talking about death either, though obviously they say that when that’s my answer too. I mean when my answer is to retreat from the real world, to hide away with my stories, football and films. To collect stickers and cards, and engage in similarly repetitive activities. No-one ever believes me when I say I’d like a job which consists of repetitive tasks and little social contact and I don’t know why. It makes me wonder if they even know me at all. If they’ve fallen for the act I put on around other people. I mean  I know I can’t pass for normal but maybe I do too good a job of getting too close to being normal. So it surprises them when they learn that I like to engage in the same kind of activities my more visibly autistic brother likes to do. Maybe they’ve made the big autism mistake, thinking that because a person is highly verbal at times and intellectually normal they aren’t that autistic. I guess on that count it’s a good thing they don’t know how I act when I’m alone, it might make them most uncomfortable. So I don’t really know what the solution is to that problem. For the moment thinking of such big problems isn’t what I need to be doing. I need to work out what’s most important, to work out the things I can do something about.

I want to not be afraid, or quite so afraid anyway. To stop feeling like everything is pointless and not think of death. To be able to feel something good again, to be able to enjoy something. And for the feelings to last. To stop questioning whether or not I have the right to be alive and not think about how the government could round us all up and put us in camps if they wanted to. I don’t need to be happy, I don’t need to think that big. Just the absence of some of the negatives would be a start. After all I’m used to having to keep my expectations low.

As far as making any real plans go it seems pointless, it feels too big. I don’t whether that’s because I can’t see the point in anything or it’s because the future is like this abstract concept I can’t quite grasp. I know that’s an issue for me, if something’s not happening right now then it’s like it isn’t real to me. But I don’t know which one of them is responsible, or maybe it’s both of them,

The strange thing is as I was typing up this last part of this there was a documentary on entitled “Unravelled: Countdown to Kill.” That particular episode was a about a man named Chris who had Aspergers. He was a genius mathematician but couldn’t hold down a job or really fit in anywhere. As a result of his depression he developed psychosis and wrote an email to his father blaming him for giving him Aspergers and demanded he apologise for that and for reproducing when he had defective genes. When that email went ignored and unanswered he ended up devising his own final solution.

What freaked me out about that is the fact I ranted (in my head to myself) about a similar topic the previous night. I was angry about that too, about people knowing they had defective genes and yet going on to have children knowing they could end up like them. It made me angry to think of knowingly inflicting this on a child. I know what people will say, it’s only Aspergers and not some horrible genetic disease which will certainly result in death. And that’s kind of the point, at least if you have a disease you have an idea of your fate and you get a way out. You don’t get that with Aspergers. There’s only a way out if you take it yourself.

The thing that bothered me the most is the family friend saying she couldn’t understand why Chris was so angry and why he blamed his father. How can they not understand? He’s a grown man who can’t hold down a job, has no friends, no life, and can’t do the one thing he loves the most. The question you should be asking is how is he still alive? Why has he in his anger not hurt himself or someone else sooner? The way people like him are treated in society is it any reason why so many end up killing themselves? They get socially isolated because let’s face it normal people’s talk of tolerance and acceptance is just that, talk, most people don’t practice it. Normal people do nothing to help autistic people, despite autistic people having the disability it’s we who are expected to do all the work.

In the documentary the focus is on him and his failings, all the professionals agreeing that if he had sought help none of that would have happened. That it was his fault, that he chose to commit a violent act instead of getting help. That if he had only sought help everything would have been ok. That he would have worked through his problems, found a job he loved, found the love of his life and bought a home like every good American should. Again he’s the one with the disability. Why is it his fault for not reaching out? How about blaming his father for not reaching out to him? And they are absurdly naive to think all that would have happened. It hadn’t happened so far so why should it happen at all? As long as the focus is on the disabled person and what they’re doing wrong society isn’t going to get it. He was psychotic, he didn’t chose to do anything, he was sick. He was beyond being able to make a rational decision.

None of the people they talked to addressed the failing of society in finding a place for such people. But then that involve them reflecting upon their own behaviour and how they treat such people. It would require them to change their own behaviour and they would not like that. He was a smart guy, super smart. He could have been of huge value to society. Yet all people saw was a strange guy who they didn’t like. And the focus was always placed on him changing his behaviour, never on people accepting him for who he was. And they wonder why he hated himself so much he started thinking eugenics was a good idea. All the time they’ve been putting those thoughts in his head, making him feel like there’s something defective about him by always sending him the message he needs to change his behaviour. Society sends you those messages from every angle all the time and then people act all surprise when you express feelings of self hatred.

How his so called friends treated him shows that normal people don’t care about disabled people. Instead of talking to him about his behaviour or getting advice from someone they simply moved out without telling him. When normal people do things like that it’s hard to tell yourself it’s worth making the effort to build relationships with them. His father’s girlfriend was horrible too. She didn’t like them living with him. Like her opinion mattered, his mother died for god’s sake, how about some compassion? You start a relationship with someone who already has a child you don’t get to dictate how they raise their child, and if they have a problem with that child living in his own home that is their problem. God even I understand that. See this is what I mean, normal people like to say they are so empathetic and autistic people lack empathy and compassion but the truth is they do.

I guess the question I need to answer is do I hate myself because it’s the way I feel, because I’m a disappointment to myself – or is it because I can’t live up to other people’s expectations. I feel like I’m pretending for their sake and I don’t like it. As if they only know the person I’m pretending to be and not the real me. I think I’m happy when I hang out with people but I’m not really sure. And I’m not sure if that doubt is just because of my anxiety around social situations or it’s because I really don’t enjoy them. I wonder if I could be less anxious maybe I would find them less exhausting too. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

I don’t know which one is the real me, or if they both are. I feel happier (not to mention safer) when I’m in my room alone, when I don’t have to worry about looking normal, the only noise is what I want to be there, I’m in complete control of my environment, there’s no element of unpredictability and everything is calm and quiet. In other words when I’m less stressed out. Every time I go out or spend time with other people I always regret it. I feel so tired and beaten down afterwards I question the value of doing such things, of whether or not any potential good which comes from it is worth it. When I’m alone in my room I can easily forget about the outside world and were it not for the cinema I’d have no reason to go out. Lost in my stories the outside world doesn’t even matter.

I always feel like I’m pretending around other people, even people I know. And I hate that, I hate the feeling I can’t be myself.  To be around other people you have to pretend to be something you aren’t. Spend all your time alone and you don’t have to do that. I don’t know, I really don’t. I often think of not doing that anymore, of wasting no more energy on keeping up any such pretence. I hate it when anyone tells me how excited or happy I look and sound because I don’t feel it. I don’t even know why I’m smiling. Sometimes I want to scream not only at them but myself. I’m frustrated with myself for the way I keep pretending I’m fine. I wish I could just tell one person in real life the truth. That I could show my feelings in front of them and tell them I’m angry, confused and scared. But I never do that, only during a meltdown do I let other people see me upset and that’s probably because I’m not thinking straight.

Even more I wish I could tell them I’m angry at them for saying how smart I am. Because I don’t feel smart and they are part of the reason. I feel so stupid when I can’t understand what they’re saying and I can’t tell them that’s the case. Too many words and I get lost, half the time I don’t even understand what I’m saying let alone someone else. Part of me wishes I never had to talk out loud again, not to anyone. It’s not the only reason I’m angry with them. I’m also angry because they say one thing and do another, they say things they don’t mean and don’t stick to agreements. Life is confusing enough without so called friends making it even more so.

A Step in the Right Direction

I’m not sure why I decided today would be the day I break the bad habit I’ve let myself fall into of not writing anything, if it’s out of guilt that I’ve not posted something with actual words for over a month or if it’s something else. There are several other reasons which could be conributing factors, the sudden and unexpected change in my mood being one of them. The main other one being the reconstruction project I’m currently engaged in which turned out to have an unexpected silver lining. I’m still surprised at how I reacted to that; to the news I had to start over what has essentially been a three year project and that part of it had to be done in just under two weeks. I didn’t freak out about it, just got down to work and made a plan. I think that might have something to do with the improvement in my mood. It’s been so time consuming that Ive had little time to wallow in my misery or think about anything else, having something to focus on has been most helpful. I’ve been warming up to the idea of writing something for the past few days, indeed the words for the prompts of the past two days would have worked perfectly for me. But I didn’t want to force the issue, whether it’s a blog post or a story listening to your instincts is important, if it feels right you’ll just know. Hopefully some of those same instincts will return for other purposes too and I can get back to finishing some of the stories I’m in the middle of.

I haven’t gotten much of anything done lately, the reconstruction project aside. Other than keeping up with the Bundesliga which I couldn’t even think of giving up nothing else has seemed important. It’s not like I haven’t had ideas for stories, just no motivation to write them down. It’s far easier to play out scenarios in my head rather than wrestle with getting them down on paper, in much the same way it’s easier to talk to characters in my head than to real life people. And when I do talk to the latter it’s always about my obsessions these days which probably isn’t a good sign. Apparently that’s a sign of anxiety but then I’m almost always feeling anxious about something so that’s not really helpful. Then again I don’t have much time for so-called professionals right now. I’m pretty sick to death of them and their so-called knowledge of autism. I know they aren’t all that useless but it’s not always easy to remember that. Last week’s events helpled a little on that count, it’s not often I get to meet a professional who I think could actually be helpful. Talking to them is other step in the right direction mentioned in the title. Because not only did I do something I was not entirely sure about but I did so by myself. And that is new for me, going to an appointment like that without taking a trusted adult. Whether it turned out to be useful or not just getting out of the house was a good thing, I’m spending far too much time inside these days.

This week I got that out the way first, going out on Monday so at least I didn’t have that to beat myself up about. I had to make myself go as usual but it was worth it, no matter how bad I feel turning down the opportunity to see a Franco Nero film at the cinema is not an option. Had I known the exact plot of the film beforehand I wouldn’t have gone to see it but it’s a little late for that now. Seeing a film about making the most of life, death and coming to terms with your own mortality probably isn’t the best thing for me to be watching right now. And given my reaction I’m going to say it wasn’t such a great idea. I’m still kind of embarassed about that, I hate people getting upset and I hate it even more when that person is me.

The thoughts which appeared in my head during the film were even more troublesome. Why I would suddenly start thinking of that story again I don’t know. I’ve still been thinking of death over the past few weeks, that hasn’t gone away. But I haven’t been actively thinking of carrying out such an act. Strange thing is it’s not Matze I was thinking about, rather it was afterwards, what would happen to his parents. I don’t know if this is just me working out such things in my head so they make sense to me, or if it’s me talking myself out of it. Or perhaps I’m just curious what happens afterwards, this might be me answering the question the psychiatrist put to me. He asked me what I thought came afterwards and I didn’t have an answer. I know he meant for me but obviously I’m thinking about other people too. Two thoughts in particular got stuck in my mind during the film, would his parents be angry if he didn’t leave a note and what they would dress him in for his funeral. Morbid thoughts I know but I couldn’t help it, they really did come out of nowhere.

What it means for me I don’t really know, I haven’t let myself think too much about it. I’m trying to balance the need to keep busy whilst not pushing myself too hard and doing too much. Because I’m very aware this seemingly good mood I’m in could disappear in an instant, I need to be prepared for that, for everything to come crashing down again.The last post I wrote was about that, keeping my expectations of myself reasonbly low. That hasn’t changed any, I still need to be careful of not expecting too much. At least after what happened at the weekend I won’t be pressuring myself to socialise more, thinking I could change my routine that way is just about one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever had. On the matter of good ideas my current choice of book probably isn’t the best either. The Robert Enke book has been on my mind the past few weeks, it’s only logical I suppose. I’m trying to work out if I’ve got anything worth living for and in doing that I can’t help but think of him. I can’t stop myself from wondering if he couldn’t find a reason to stay alive how am I meant to? Weird thing is he committed suicide on the 10th November 2009, and the second chapter of the other book I’m reading starts on the 10th November 1938. It’s even stranger because the book Winter Men is set in Germany and it starts with the death of the main character and you soon learn his brother killed himself. What interests me is Gerhard thinks he’s the coward for not doing the same thing, more to the point he envied his brother for being able to. It’s strange because suicide is seen by some people as the coward’s way out. I agree with him, I don’t think it’s cowardly. Carrying on living a shadow of a life because you’re too scared to do anything on the other hand, now that’s cowardly. I spend all my time losing myself in other people’s stories so I can run away from the fact I don’t have one of my own. All that time spent creating stories for other people and I can’t work out what I should do.