I suppose a suitable alternative title for this section would be:
"Have you tried not thinking about every possible permutation of conditions that could lead to a stressful result?"
I joke but as with so many things that are hidden away from the world behind labels such as depression or mental health there is a huge gap in the knowledge of the general population about how these impact the thought process of the individual in question. Most humans have at least some concept about how someone might react to what they are saying or doing. Some are better than others and sometimes it's just a mistake but in the case of some hidden conditions there is no easy How To Guide. This leads to offhand comments like "have you tried just being happier" or "Don't worry I get sad too".
Now admittedly I didn't start this post, while on the walk back from badminton, with the intended target being depression but it fits so accurately to the point I'm trying to make about how it feels to live with Asperger's syndrome.
At this point I could go on a rant about the diagnostic procedure and how for me personally it facilitated access to support that as an unlabeled individual I would never have received whilst simultaneously giving me an isolation complex in which I refused to socialise with people I deemed to be normal because of the added challenges associated with communication.
I could also talk at length about how labels, for me at least, did nothing but help people fabricate excuses to avoid hanging around with me (even when I did manage to find the energy to escape my comfort zone).
No what I actually intended to talk about is the translator job/function/skill that I have developed. I cannot pretend to be the most functional individual on the planet. I mean some days I don't even want to face the challenges associated with eating my breakfast. I am fairly functional in areas that those with ASD level 1 are typically identified as having an additional challenge.
First things first:
Be prepared for an honest answer
So many times now I've ranted to my friends, family, acquaintances or pretty much anybody who'll listen at this point about this. I won't talk generally here but just say that given my experience with others in a similar position this is a common trend amongst us all.
Q: What do you use questions for?
A: Finding out about something..... Oh right maybe also establishing a conversation with someone you don't know?
I don't know how many times have people asked me "How are you feeling?" Only to have these same people act in a shocked or suprised manner when you give them an honest assessment of how you are feeling. Now I've taken to pointing this out with people and making a joke about it but that reaction stumped me for years until I had sufficient personal experience of the other side of the equation to comprehend.
Plus it's rather a well known phenomenon that if you start talking candidly about anxiety, depression, disability or similar people tend to avoid future conversations 😀 not pleasant but true.
Be prepared for an honest answer
I cannot stress this enough. Far too many times have I ended up in the dog house (metaphorically) because I told someone exactly what I'm thinking at the moment. I apologise for the style of this blog but this is genuinely straight from my brain to the page. Only a few moments afterwards does my training kick in and "Oh shit that could be misinterpreted as.... Not again"
So by this stage of writing I had given up on finding a satisfactory conclusion. I've left it for over a week at this stage and I am unable to wrap it up in a nice little bow. I don't think anyone can think like me but that isn't the worst thing in the world. My life sometimes feels like I'm going from one moment to the next whilst still picking up the pieces of the last incident. Other times I can get up and be able to work at the level I believe I am capable of without any issues.
Basically I'm concluding that if I start thinking about this again I'll write another post to compare it to this one