Tag Archives: Depression

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.

Lowered Expectations

These past few months I’ve had very low expectations of myself and the past few weeks that’s been true more than ever. The logic is simple, keep expectations low so that way I won’t be disappointed when I fail to live up to them. This week all I have to do is write one small letter, I know it’s only Tuesday but I’m already beating myself up for not having gotten it done. All this time thinking about it and I could have just written the damn thing by now. Yet it’s not so easy, not least (and I’m aware this sounds absurd) because I don’t know what to say. Or rather I know what to say I just don’t know how to put it, how to make myself come across politely. I’m used to things making me feel stupid in some way but this is something else, it’s making me feel like words aren’t my friends either. It’s had the effect of not making me want to write anything, though I can’t blame that for not posting anything on here, I haven’t felt particularly motivated in that respect anyway. So unmotivated have I felt on that count I’ve stopped bothering to make excuses to myself as to why I haven’t done so, nor did I make myself promises, saying that I would try the next day.

When it comes to this stupid letter however I have made many excuses and found just as many distractions.  First of all falling back on the usual tried and tested methods such as looking for new Jogi pictures, sorting stickers and then resorting to sorting out the ever growing list of recordings on my hard-drive. The latter provided quite a bit of fun, I’d forgotten about all the Copa America games I’d collected last summer and the fact that it wasn’t all doom and gloom. As for new distractions I’ve spent quite a bit of time dreaming about Freiburg’s Turkish defender Çağlar Söyüncü. In my story I paired him up with Alexander Schwolow as friends simply because that’s how I wanted things to be. And it turns out they have quite the budding friendship in real life, at least on the pitch anyway. It’s one of the things which has cheered me up somewhat this week. I always like getting pictures of my favourite players but these were extra special, and just to make it a little bit more fun I made a GIF too:

caglar-soyuncu-alexander-schwolow-freiburg-v-koln-2016-17 caglar-soyuncu-alexander-schwolow-freiburg-v-koln-2016-17-1 caglar-soyuncu-alexander-schwolow-freiburg-v-koln-2016-17-2caglar-soyuncu-alexander-schwolow-freiburg-v-koln-2016-17-3I know I’m getting ahead of myself seeing as there’s still fourteen matches to go of this season but I’ve already made up my mind, the name on my home shirt next year is going to be Söyüncü. In one way I suppose that’s a good thing, the idea that I’m thinking ahead, even if it’s only in a football sense. Thinking ahead to next season means a part of me is planning on being around that long. Even if I don’t feel like it’s true evidently another part of me knows better. I can’t say that I’m feeling any better though because that wouldn’t be true at all. The feeling that I’m sleepwalking through everything won’t go away. Even when I’m watching Freiburg play I feel like I’m not quite all there. I start off feeling fine but the longer the game goes on the harder it gets to keep paying attention to it and my mind ends up drifting.

I thought all those feelings might disappear when I got some sleep but in retrospect I don’t think the sleeping tablets helped that much. For one thing without them I’ve fallen back into my old routine of sleeping in the day and being awake at night, and for another I didn’t like the way they made my head feel. They helped me get some sleep and actually at night-time too, problem is I felt sleepy in the day as well, even with just a half dose. But it doesn’t matter in the long run anyway since they could only be a temporary solution. I’m not quite sure where all this leaves me now or what if anyhing to do next. I’m not keen on the idea of going back there again. I’m not sure listening to someone tell me that at least my speech is good, there must be good things about having autism and that I should just do the things which make me happy is going to help. Great, so I’m capable enough in terms of speech and expressing myself to say that I feel like I don’t want to be alive anymore but I can’t articulate why. And of course I have to live with this, with everything not making sense. I can imagine their answer to that too, things like this don’t make sense to anyone and it’s difficult for everyone. I have no idea if that makes any sense, I hope it’s not descending into rant territory anyway because I said I wouldn’t do that today. I’ve aleady exceeded my rant limit by ranting about Leipzig and last week’s events.

Whatever the answer to any of that there’s one thing I know for definite, I can’t do something because someone else thinks it’s a good idea or it’s what I should be doing. If I write something it has to be because I feel like it. Forcing myself to write could end up making me hate it and were that to happen I’d pretty much be left with nothing. Football is a good interest to have right now but it’s nothing without the stories. If I lost the stories I might actually start to feel lonely. I know I feel a little lonely even with them but not quite so much. At least when there’s always at least one character living in my head then I always have someone to talk to. And I don’t have to worry about what time of day it is. People don’t like being woken up at 4:00am unless it’s a real emergency. And apparently having an existential crisis isn’t an emergency, nor is finding a new Jogi video either.

Normally I would say that the week can’t have been strange because everything is always strange. Yet after last weekend’s events I think I can say just that. I’m not sure what result was more surprising, Dortmund losing 2-1 to Darmstadt or RBL losing 3-0 to HSV. The former resulted in the commentator saying that sometimes things happen in football which can’t be explained. The words stuck with me, as did the fact Darmstadt won at all. Surely given their perilous situation they can’t possibly survive, it makes me wonder if there’s a message in that, sometimes even the loser gets to win. As for HSV that was a different kind of incredible, no-one would have predicted them being the team to breach Fortress Leipzig, or doing it in the way they did. It led to me coining the phrase “Holy Hamburger SV Batman.” Which sums up effectively the weirdness of that situation, and just to make it a little more interesting one of the goals was scored by Kyriakos Papadopoulos who spent some time on loan at RBL earlier this season. He was of course on loan from Leverkusen and he scored against them too. It’s exactly the kind of trivia I love. In that sense I’m glad I still care enough to remember such things. The day I stop caring about random facts and trivia is the day I know all is lost.

It’s not a problem if you don’t look up

I know the title may be a little unwieldy but it’s the only one I liked,  it’s not the only one I could come up with but the others didn’t seem to fit right now. Writing this post (or anything else for that matter) is difficult enough without obsessing over titles, so I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. The line in question comes from the latest Star Wars film and is Jyn’s response when she’s asked if seeing the Imperial flag flying above makes her sad. I also went with it because it’s a fair reflection of how I feel at the moment. Which is why I’ve been avoiding writing anything, doing so requires a certain amount of self-reflection and these past few days the last thing I’ve wanted to do is contemplating my own existence in any way. Actually I’m no more keen to do that now but I did promise the psychiatrist I would at least try to write something. I find his insistence on that front a little odd when I think about it. Not least because they spent the majority of the appointment telling me that being normal wasn’t something to aim for, that there’s no such thing as normal anyway and I should just do what makes me happy and forget about everything else. Well thinking about my existence in any way certainly doesn’t make me happy. In fact right now it’s one of the things which is making me unhappy and resulted in the visit to them in the first place.

A week later I can’t make any more sense of it, I am however despite feeling like some of their advice was conflicting – sure it was the right thing to do. For one thing without it I wouldn’t have gotten my sleeping pattern back in order. All those months of trying to fix it by myself and it was for nothing, the problem was solved by the prescription of sleeping tablets. I’m feeling no more optimistic about anything else but I am at least grateful for finally having gotten a uninterrupted night of sleep. And they did help in the way he promised, he said if I got some proper sleep then my thoughts of death would not be so troublesome. They are still there but they are no longer quite so loud. I suppose right now it’s the best I can hope for. Though I’m not sure I want them to disppear completely. In a strange sort of way I think I find them comforting, I mean knowing that there is an out if I want it and can find the courage.

As far as everything else goes I have no idea, it all seems so overwhelming at the moment. I’m not so naive to think that I can once again start over with a clean slate either. I’ve said that so many times before and it never works out. There is no fresh start to make, just the same chaos I always find myself wandering through. I have no big plans or really any kind of plans at all, I’m not really capable of forming anything like a plan either. Despite having gotten a decent amount of sleep over the course of the past few days I’m too tired to contemplate anything other than what I’m doing right now. Even thinking a day ahead is too much. Lack of sleep is clearly not my only problem, now that’s been solved the other issues are brought to the fore – not least my lack of motivation to do just about anything. It would be so much easier to run away from it all, which brings me back to Rogue One.  It’s not so much pretending the imperial forces don’t exist and aren’t doing bad things, you just don’t acknowledge it. Of course that all depends on not paying attention, on stopping yourself from looking up. And in this case it’s not easy to do that. I can’t realistically avoid the outside world and all that makes me unhappy forever. At some point I’m going to have to learn to take care of myself and how to exist in the real world. There’s not always going to another person there who is able and willing to act as interlocutor of sorts between me and the outside world.

I suppose in a way it’s easy for them to sit there and tell me to just do what makes me happy and don’t worry about comparing myself to my peers and my lack of independent living skills in comparison to them. For the simple reason they don’t have to deal with all this, they won’t have to deal with the fallout if something goes majorly wrong. No-one is responsible in that sense because I don’t fall into any of the neatly drawn categories. Not disabled enough to qualify for any government provided services in that regard but too disabled not to need any help like that. All the relevant professionals agree it’s not right and unfair, but none of them care to do anything about it. No-one cares enough to actually speak up about it. Why would they, after all it’s not their problem. I’m not really sure what my point is, I’m just frustrated with it all. And very tempted to just give up, to let them get away with it. The only thing stopping me is the fact I know it’s not right and I can’t let them get away with it.

Retreating back into my own little world and completely giving up would in the short term be better for me, but it’s not the right thing to do. Both for myself in the long term and morally speaking. What else would I let them get away with if I give up on this? Where does it end? I can at least fght back in some way and for that reason alone I should do this. I may not be able to do much but there may be someone else they screw over who can’t fight back at all. Sometimes you have to think of other people too. I am too tired and beaten down to do anything else but this I won’t give up on. Whatever happens afterwards I’m not letting this go.

Advent Calendar Day 13 & 14: Another Double Day

I would say it’s been one of those days but that’s not strictly accurate, technically its been two days. Though it feels like a lot longer. Time seems to be moving very slowly right now. It sure doesn’t feel like only two days have passed since Monday. I knew it was too good to be true, no way was that going to last.  From high to low and back again. I spent most of Tuesday asleep and part of Wednesday went the same way, not because I was tired exactly. More because there was all this time to fill and I didn’t know what to do with it. Everything just feels like such an effort and getting out of bed felt no different, it was easier to just do nothing. I get the feeling hiding from everything is the best option. Monday felt like a good day but it’s like I’m paying the price for it now. Or maybe I just feel that way because of all the changes. Now I definitely feel like the universe is working against me. Last minute changes are never any good but especially not when they’re as big as this. I have no clue what’s going on and neither does anyone else. The only thing I know for sure is there’s going to be many more sleepless nights because of this. Not that it really matters, I’m sure that would happen anyway. Routine can be comforting and at the moment it’s one of the few sources of security I have. Yet at the same time it can feel relentless. Knowing you have to get up day after day and do all of this again. Sometimes it’s more suffocating than comforting. Late at night is the only time I feel anything approaching fine and even then it’s just an illusion. I think I only feel that way because it’s late, there’s no-one around, there’s no pressure on me and I don’t have to pretend for anyone or anything. The minute I’m reminded of reality everything comes crashing down and it all falls apart. Left in my own little world then I’m fine, but you can’t do that forever.

I used to think days like this are just one day, you can get through them because you know it comes to an end, that not all days are like this. But when they all feel this way or when there’s more bad days than good ones, then I don’t know what to tell myself. Why would you want to keep waking up when this is all you have to look forward to? Sure there are good things but not enough of them. And one day won’t they run out? Or maybe they won’t be enough. The books I’m reading probably aren’t helping, they’re full of deaths, suicides and people going missing. Perhaps not the best thing to be reading with the mood I’m in. But reading happy stuff (not that I own anything like that) would just make me feel worse. So I find myself right back where I started. I don’t know what I’m doing or why. And I have no idea what to do with the rest of the day. It feels wrong to go back to bed, again. Yet none of the other options seem particularly appealing either. All I’ve done is gotten up and had breakfast and I feel like I’m done already. If I make myself stay awake a few hours from now I’ll feel somewhat invincible and I’ll want to do everything, I might even actually write something. And as always the crash will follow it. I don’t know what the right thing to do is, or if there’s even a right thing.  I guess you just have to keep on bumbling through it, knowing why isn’t so important as just keeping at it is. I know from getting out of the habit with writing that you take a break and it proves very difficult to get back into the habit.

And on the subject of habits, the calendars. From the Freiburg calendar is defender Georg Niedermeier and he’s joined by Freiburg’s top scorer Maximilian Philipp. I have no pictures of the former and it’s not because there are none, I just don’t like him. They signed him on a free transfer from VfB Stuttgart, and it’s not just where he came from which bothers me. It’s the fact he was part of a Stuttgart defence which conceded 75 goals. But they signed him so they must see something in him doesn’t mean I have to like him though. On the other hand I have plenty of pictures of Max, you never get enough good pictures of him. I can’t wait till he’s healthy again and I can add some more pictures to my collection, and more importantly he can add some more goals to his. And from the Dortmund calendar is midfield maestro Shinji Kagawa who despite his bit part status so far this season I hope stays at Dortmund. Joining him is Turkish winger Emre Mor who scored his first goal for Dortmund in his first league apperance against Darmstadt, scoring the final goal in a 6-0 thrashing:

Maximilian Philipp - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1Maximilian Philipp & Vincenzo Grifo - Greuther Fürth v SC FreiburgMaximilian Philipp & Nils Petersen – Arminia Bielefeld v SC FreiburgMaximilian Philipp & Christian Streich - Arminia Bielefeld v SC FreiburgMaximilian Philipp & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC FreiburgMaximilian Philipp – Freiburg v Duisburg 2Mike Frantz & Maximilian Philipp – Paderborn v Freiburg 120161214_234127-1

Advent Calendar Day 11: A Quiet Sunday

The day was quiet enough in real life anyway, football wise there was plenty of drama and funnily enough yesterday’s title could be used today as well. Both of today’s games was decided by just the one goal and in both it was a late goal. Equally both games were partially decided by a referee’s decision. It’s a reminder in a way that no matter what you do sometimes things are taken out of your hands and it’s not always fair, Mainz being denied their goal certainly wasn’t. As for Schalke you just have to feel sorry for them, even if you’re not particularly fond of them like I am. Last week they had a penalty awarded against them which was nothing of the sort and this week they have a man sent off after just four minutes in what probably was a mistake. It must feel like the universe is against them right now, a feeling I know well. And with that in mind I can’t work out why I made the decisions I made yesterday. I find it difficult to deal with last minute changes when other people impose them upon me, especially when they involve talking to another person. So why would I choose to inflict such a thing upon myself? Was I trying to prove something? Or perhaps I can just write off my poor decision making as being the result of distraction and sleep deprivation. Either way I shouldn’t have done it and not just because of the social element of it. A far bigger issue was having someone in my personal space. A whole day later and it’s still bothering me. I have a feeling it’s going to for a while.

In a way I can’t really explain my room doesn’t feel quite right anymore, it feels like it’s been violated somehow. I used to laugh at Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory when he freaked out about other people being in his room, not anymore. Not only have I never had a social type acquaintance in the house before but not in my room either. It’s not something I’ll be doing again in a hurry. Matter of fact I’m not that crazy about spending time in someone else’s house either. It’s just too awkward, too many unknowns and too much uncertainty. I’m probably being an idiot about it but I feel kind of disappointed in myself. As if I should be able to deal with stuff like this. I’m not a child anymore so why should it be so difficult? Things are meant to get easier as you get older, that’s what people always tell you anyway. But certain things just seem to get worse. I mean I’m an adult and I  still can’t handle Christmas. Last year we tried out the concept of surprise presents, we’re not doing the same this year, just three gifts I already know about in advance. I couldn’t deal with the uncertainty of surprise presents right now and I definitely don’t need something else to obsess over.

Two days ago I thought having friends was a good thing, regardless of how difficult it can sometimes be. Now I’m back to thinking maybe it’s too much and I’m never going to get this right. This how it’s always going to be, going back and forth between two extremes and never quite finding any sense of balance. And this too is one of the issues I have to explain to someone else. How can I explain it so that it makes sense to them when it doesn’t even make sense to me? A few days before and now I’m starting to get seriously worried about  it, worried enough to feel sick about it. My attempts to be positive didn’t last long. Now all I can think is once it’s over there will be one more person on this earth who knows what a helpless pathetic human being I am. It feels like someone judging you, as if they’re deeming your life not worthy of living. I feel that way about myself sometimes already. I find myself asking if this is really living or it’s just an existence, one which isn’t particularly meaningful. Sooner or later I’m going to run out of distractions which is all my special interests and obsessions are. Distractions from the fact I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t really care. I have a room full of collectibles and for what? Each new collection I spend money I shouldn’t on stuff I don’t really need, and it changes nothing. I’m just as confused and lonely as before I obtained whatever my latest acquisition is. Yet I keep doing it because I don’t know what else to do. Or rather I know exactly what needs to be done, I’m just too cowardly to do it. Until then I guess I just keep on doing what I’m doing.

Speaking of acquisitions in today’s calendar was Matze’s little Erik. Obviously they aren’t a couple in real life, let alone in a three-way relationship with Julian Draxler but that’s how I’ll always see them. You can’t unread something like that once you’ve read it. Now in my mind Erik will always belong to Matze. And in Freiburg’s calendar was everybody’s favourite Albanian Amir Abrashi:

20161211_233906-1Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4Amir Abrashi - SCF v RBL 1