Putting on a show

I’m hilarious. I discovered it early in life, and it has gotten me through many social situations. People like to laugh, and when you make someone laugh, they like you more. Sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to be funny, and when I’m by myself again, I’m left feeling exhausted and sometimes a bit depressed. It seems to be automatic. I can’t turn it off, it’s just my natural reaction when I want the people around me to like me.

This has made working very difficult for me.  I’m always either working with customers or coworkers, and in both situations there is pressure to ensure that the people around me like me.  If I have to work a long day, that’s a lot of energy that goes into being charming and witty.  It leaves me with nothing for my personal life but a desire to escape from reality into video games or books.

I think maybe I don’t give myself enough credit for being smart.  I think I would find that a lot easier to lean on in the long run, and funny is a biproduct of smart anyway.

The Answer To Our Biggest Problems

The best treatment for our deepest issues as aspies is not for us to try harder to fit in or modify our behavior.  Much better than a treatment, we have a cure, and that’s to understand that there is nothing wrong with us.  We are different, not defective.  We can do things that neurotypicals can’t even dream of, and our value to society has been demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout history.  We are an elite class of human being, and we should be proud of what we can do.  Once we accept ourselves, we no longer have to tolerate others trying to “cure” us, and they will have no choice but to accept us as well.

What Caused My Depression (and How I Conquered It)

This post is in response to my previous post entitled “The Unhappy Side”, which dealt with the depression and increased loneliness I use to have. Now that I’ve given it some more thought, and read over that post again, loneliness, coupled with underdeveloped social skills, is what likely caused my depression in the first place. I’m writing this new post because that wasn’t something I knew or realized then.

Before I became depressed, I didn’t have many friends. Through most of junior high, and the first couple years of high school, there was only one person I considered to be a close friend. The majority of my social interaction with that friend and other not as close friends was in/during school. Once I started high school, I didn’t have that close friend in school with me anymore. We remained friends, he just went to a different high school than I did.

Sure, their were still other people I knew and considered to be friends that went to high school with me. Although, my relationships with them, unlike with my close friend, deteriorated more and more as time went by. This was largely because of my underdeveloped social skills and lack of good knowledge on how to maintain a friendship. I didn’t keep in contact with most of those friends outside of school, aside from a rare phone call here and there. To some extent, I knew how to keep in touch, like when I’d call them. More often though, I relied on them to call me to talk and/or get together and hang out. This was the case even with the close friendships I developed later in high school.

At least with the latter, as I was developing those later friendships, Facebook had recently been invented. As I mentioned in my previous post, Facebook was a big help in significantly reducing my loneliness, and in turn, eliminating my depression. This is because most of my friends and other people I knew made accounts on Facebook, and eventually became my Facebook friends.

Something else that also helped me greatly reduce my loneliness, beat depression, and improve my social skills was an aspie support group I began attending sometime during high school. I learned a lot from this group. I met other people like myself, who shared similar life experiences, similar challenges, and other things they struggled with. I even learned about the many positives of being an aspie. I discovered I had a lot in common with these people, aside from just having Asperger’s Syndrome. I made many friends in this group, which further aided in the eventual conquering of my depression.

In conclusion, I think I can say with much certainty that loneliness, coupled with underdeveloped social skills, was indeed the cause of my depression. Through the many great friendships I made over time, the advent of Facebook, and more developed social skills, I was able to conquer my depression. I now live a much happier, comfortable life because of that.

The Happy Side

I’ve never been depressed when it comes to being an aspie because I didn’t even look into it until after I learned to accept myself.  For many people, getting the diagnosis is a big part of accepting how different we are as aspies, but I wasn’t raised to dislike who I am.  I was raised to believe that everyone is unique and special, and the differences between each individual and every other individual are things to be examined and celebrated.  For me, the main difference was that I’m highly intelligent, and that’s an easy thing to celebrate.

Looking into aspergers, other positives jumped out at me that I hadn’t considered about myself, like the hyperfocus, the near-photographic memory, the attention to detail, and my heightened senses of taste and dulled ability to feel pain.  Looking at the negatives made me feel good too because I am not socially awkward, and I am not plagued by the sensory oversensitivities that many aspies and autistics experience.

I’ve had ups and downs in my life just like everybody else, but being an aspie has contributed a great deal to who I am, and I’m extremely happy about that.  I beat depression all by myself by utilizing my aspie talents of deep thought and intense concentration.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to create a niche for myself in a society in desperate need for visionaries like me.

The Unhappy Side

Like most people, I’ve dealt with such things as loneliness and depression. I’m not certain as to why, but I initially remember feeling such emotions after being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Depression most so. I think everyone deals with such things at some point in their lives, but like with other emotions, sensations, and whatnot, people with Asperger’s tend to experience such things on a somewhat magnified scale.

What kind of sucks when it comes to the depression I’ve experienced, is that I don’t know what caused it. I was living a great life back then, and I still am today. I denied my depression for the longest time. I hated taking meds for it, as I didn’t think that I needed to. I adamantly believed that I didn’t need them, and that I would be no worse without them. I was able to convince my neurologist of this sometime before I was out of high school. Since then, I haven’t taken any meds for depression, or anything else related to my Asperger’s. Nonetheless, it would be nice to know what caused me to get depressed in the first place.

I don’t really know much that I can say about the loneliness that I’ve felt, and still feel from time to time. It certainly is easier to deal with now, as there are more people in my life that I regularly talk to and do stuff with. That, on top of having a job that I really enjoy, and maturing a lot near the end of and since my school days. Things like that have really been of benefit to my overall mood, as well as my relationships with people.

What’s helped a lot too, I think, is Facebook. It’s helped me to keep in touch more with those I know. Especially nowadays, since most people I know and am close to are on Facebook and are my Facebook friends. The relationships I’ve had and have with people are what really help keep me happy and feeling good. That, and being able to go for days without really needing any personal, face-to-face interaction with people. Most days, the only human interaction I really need and/or desire I can get via Facebook.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time with the people I care about. That’s one of my favorite things to do. Even if I’m just in the same house/building with such people, and not actually interacting. Probably due mostly to my highly introverted nature, I just don’t really require a lot of in-person interaction to be happy, and at the same time, not be lonely and depressed.