I’m tired – Running on Empty with #Aspergers

 

I’m tired.

Really tired.

It is the end product of a lifetime with Asperger’s.

It’s that simple.

 

A driven man

An employer once described me as a driven man.

I am fairly certain it was not meant as a compliment, but it was an accurate observation.

In my early 20s, a friend commented that I was a ‘really alive person’ and that she had never met anyone else quite so alive as me. From memory this was the day after a particularly energized summer party, where I had been particularly energized.

As a teenager and then a young man, I always invested a lot of energy into socializing, with alcohol being a core component of that investment.

At some level I always knew that if I didn’t keep going at this elevated state, the movie would stop and I would be alone, again.

If Robert Downey Jr made an autobiographical film I am fairly confident I could play the lead role with very little character preparation – and vice versa.

 

Life in the fast lane

I began to see the futility of my high octane lifestyle in my late 30s/early 40s, before I discovered I have Asperger’s.

I noticed that if I didn’t initiate social activity (read going out drinking) there would be no social activity outside of my family.

I also began to realize that I didn’t really care very much for most of the people that I would go out socializing/drinking with and perhaps more importantly, that they didn’t seem to care much about me either.

Towards the end of my alcohol socializing years, it is now clear that the social companionship (if you can even call it that) aspect was just incidental to the alcohol consumption.

So much so, that eventually I was quite happy to go out drinking alone, until that wore out and I switched to drinking at home.

With each progressive retreat from the ‘social’ world, I remember feeling progressively relieved, a metamorphosis that is still in progress.

 

Running on empty

In retrospect, running on empty is a good description of my earlier life but it also captures how I often feel to this day.

I have become more acutely aware of this sense of chronic exhaustion since discovering that I have Asperger’s and it is possible that revelation has exacerbated this condition.

I also need to acknowledge that being the other side of 40, in what is loosely called middle age, may also have been a factor in my increasingly existential thought life and sense of fatigue.

But the fact remains that whether or not my age, or the revelation of having Asperger’s has impacted significantly on my ability to cope, (or at least my willingness to try to cope) I can see that for most of my life I was:

  • running to stand still
  • canoeing with a tennis racket
  • howling at the wind and running against the wind

 

Running on Empty

This is one of my favorite songs from my youth.

It captures much of how I remember my early years but is just as relevant to me today.

You might want to play this while you’re reading this.

 

 

 

I’m tired

Much has been written about anxiety, depression, ADHD and all the other co-morbid conditions that accompany Asperger’s, by me and others.

I have survived and I cope quite well, but it is tiring, oh so tiring.

 

 

 

Dominion!

Video

#Autism Advocacy without borders – my first 18 months

 

postcards-av31.jpg

 

By tomorrow evening, my blog will have registered 40,000 page views since embarking on this journey, almost 18 months ago.

So I want to mark this moment by:

  • taking a look back, at this fledgling blogger
  • looking to the future of this blog
  • expressing my gratitude for the kindness and support shown by so many of you

 

I have a message

I set out to tell my story, thinking that my experiences might be of help to others.

I have long since realised that it was also an outlet for personal talk therapy, which has been and continues to be a source of catharsis.

As I approach my 100th blog post, I have been wondering if I was all talked out.

Was I just repeating myself, like a broken record?

Do I include so much (unnecessary) detail in my posts that readers tune out and close their browser tab?

Are people just tired of me telling them ‘my story’ when they have their own problems that in most cases are far more urgent than my anecdotes?

Comments on my most recent posts suggest this is not the case – and this has been a source of both relief and encouragement.

So I will continue to write anecdotally about my experiences of navigating the strange waters in which I was born.

But I will also endeavour to maintain a better balance with my other ongoing projects.

 

World Autism Project

WordPress blogs offer a wealth of statistics that are a joy to an Aspie with my kind of wiring.

If you follow me on Twitter you will probably have seen me tweeting about the latest countries to record a hit on my blog.

The 2 most recent and very surprising additions to my visitor list being:

  • Papua New Guinea (Irian Jaya)
  • Madagascar

I created #WorldAutismProject to reach out to the non-English speaking world and especially the developing world.

I have connected with some wonderful people from all over the globe, both here and on Twitter, but my blog stats make sombre reading.

 

Whose visiting my blog?

My blog visitors are, understandably dominated by the English speaking club:

79% of my blog visitors to date come from:

  • US, UK, Canada, Australia
  • 60% of these are from the US

7% of blog visitors are then represented by a further 5 countries, each recording between 300 and 700 blog hits:

  • Turkey being the only non-European/non-English country represented!

A further 9% of blog visitors are from 18 countries, each recording between 100 and 300 hits.

  • Only 6 of which could be classed as developing countries

The remaining 5% of my blog visitors represent 101 countries and territories, each recording between 1 and 99 blog hits.

You know the punchline!

 

Although I am delighted that my blog has reach so far and wide, I am a little saddened that those in perhaps most need of knowledge (let alone services) encouragement, friendships and hope, have least access.

So I need your help please.

If you know anyone living outside the English speaking world and particularly the developing  World, WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE IN THE AUTISM COMMUNITY, could you send them an email?

Tell them about the #WorldAutismProject and send them a link to my blog.

Maybe they know a doctor or a teacher that would be interested in learning more about autism and connecting with others (and not just me) in the autism community?

I’m not just looking to fill up my WordPress stats map, I really do want to CONNECT with the autism communities in these countries, some of which are very remote.

If every one of my Twitter followers emailed one friend, who then each visited just one of my blog pages – overnight that would cause a 50% increase in my blog reach to the developing World – 50%!

That’s a lot of lives, a lot of families and a lot of Hope.

Could you email a friend?

 

Autism Movies

One of my other main projects is Autism movie reviews

I was astonished to discover, just today, that this page has recorded more visitors than any other post or page and by a huge margin!

There are currently over 50 movies reviews posted but it has been some time since my last review.

I will be resuming reviews over the next few weeks and looking to add at least one review a month, until I run out of films. 🙂

Here are my other top viewed blog pages and posts, in descending order:

 

Autism Flash Follow

This Twitter project began during this year’s Autism Awareness month, in April.

It was borne out of a need, as I saw it, for much greater inclusivity, in action rather than just words.

Autism Flash Follow is something that anyone with a Twitter account can participate in, year round and on any day.

It is a call for friends/followers to follow the person you are nominating, identified easily with the #AutismFlashFollow hashtag,

I would like to thank each and every person who has participated in this initiative and extended a hand of friendship to a stranger from the Autism community.

For all we know, your kindness may even have saved a life.

Those supporting the #AutismFlashFollow initiative tend not to have large numbers of Twitter followers and this is a very good example of my experience of Human nature:

  • Those with least to give, give the most

 

The future

I will continue to raise awareness of and connect, Autism communities around the globe.

Upcoming country profiles will include:

  • Palestine
  • The Caribbean/Cuba
  • Botswana
  • Bolivia
  • Japan

These will be published individually as posts as well as adding them to the #WorldAutismProject index page.

Please feel free to nominate other countries and send along any fact sheets, website links etc. that you have.

I also plan to raise the bar with this by visiting some of these communities during my travels.

 

My autism movie reviews will be recommencing shortly.

These will be published individually as posts as well as being added to the Autism movies index page.

 

#AutismFlashFollow is ongoing and is enjoying growing support.

If you want to join in, you could start by doing a Twitter search of the hashtag, as well as nominating your own tweeps.

 

Thank you

Thank you for your support and friendship to this fledgling blogger and tweep.

I have been much less active on both Twitter and WordPress these past months and I often go for extended periods with little or no reciprocity.

I do see all of your mentions, RT, post shares and likes and I am grateful that you keep the home fires burning for me.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with work, or worst yet overwhelmed period, with occasional days when just getting out of bed feels like a victory.

Some of you regularly meet me much further than half way and although I may not always appear to appreciate or even acknowledge your kindness, be assured that I do.

 

#WorldAutismProject – Autism without borders

#AutismFlashFollow – Selfless Autism

 

Autism Advocacy – Where the Streets have no Name

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: