Greetings from the other screen, dear readers! I have been having a hard time today. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and then I had an epiphany. I am so tired. Like, insanely tired. I ended up taking a 3 hour nap with my cat. I am still tired. I think I may be depressed. Well, what better way to get out of a depression funk than to meditate on it. All. Fucking. Day. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
I haven’t been Authentic with my therapist and I see her tomorrow. I love seeing my therapist. She’s arguably the smartest person I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of people. She’s got a lot of compassion for others, she has a kid, and she makes me think. Not a lot of people force me to think on things. I mean, it’s not as though she is literally taking control of my thoughts, however, she does say things that challenge my life-long beliefs. And one of those things has been that I deserve a Life More Worth Living. So, of course, I didn’t believe her. I have a complete lack of Self-Compassion (oh, my various gods, look, it’s capital). Talking to my friend Kuma-chan, who is very good to bounce ideas off of, I realized that Self-Compassion is essential for having a Life More Worth Living. And in order to be Authentic, one must have a certain degree of Self-Compassion.
You must be wondering “but Autist-chan, surely you have a little teeny tiny bit of Self-Compassion” and the answer is no. I don’t believe I have any. This last week, I’ve spent countless waking moment telling myself that Authenticity is Key. Even my godmother has noticed me saying things and people have noticed that infintismal change in my actions that my decision to be Authentic have brought. I’m more open to people. I’m less likely to hold onto the fear and shame that I tend to cultivate in my own garden of self-pity and regret. However, I’m still feeling shame that my own Authentic self is such an autistic spaz much of the time, what with my constant ‘stimming’ and my weird tics and habits. So, this is where my Self-Compassion is going to be coming in. I’m going to be trying to catch myself when I’m doing the negative self-talk. If I can interrupt my own thought processes that feed the weeds in my Garden of Self, then I can begin to kill those weeds and actual work on growing my flowers.
Anyway, so being that Self-Compassion is Essential, I have been wondering what I’m supposed to be doing to ‘cultivate Self-Compassion’. I’ve also been wondering what the fuck Self-Compassion even is. I’ve come to the conclusion, and I will be discussing this with my therapist tomorrow, that Self-Compassion isn’t necessarily Self-Love, but rather, Self-Compassion is the practice of saying it’s okay to be imperfect and that it’s okay to be myself and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Self-Compassion is the practice of letting myself be myself without negative connotations. If that makes sense to you. For example, Self-Compassion is saying that yes, my Authentic Self is a girl who is a complete spaz and someone who doesn’t have it all together, and that’s okay. It’s okay for me to be a work in process. That’s Self-Compassion.
“But Sarcastic Autist-San,” you may be saying. “How the fuck does that tie in with you being depressed about your therapist thingy?” Well, my friend, be prepared for a dark glimpse into my own self-hatred. I really fucking hate myself. I want to die most of the time, but don’t want to kill myself because I don’t want to make other people sad. I think I’m a fat worthless waste of space that doesn’t deserve any food or compassion or love or even respect. And that makes my therapist sad. Which makes me sad. I don’t like making other people upset. For the last several months, my therapist has made repeated comments on my tendency to just coast through life, rather than make any real changes. Well, of fucking course I just coast. I hate myself and I don’t see the point of any of this. I truly thought I was just a stupid fuck-up who couldn’t do anything right. Then, a few weeks ago, I got the Habitica app on my phone and now I’ve flossed my teeth every day for the last two weeks. If I can floss every day, I can do anything. It’s a weird thing to suddenly get me to think I actually have the power to change, that I don’t always have to be reliant on other people, but hey, whatever works right?
Since this last Monday, I’ve been actually actively working on bettering myself. I’m trying for the first time in my life to be something other than the product of other peoples’ wills and desires. I can be me. I’m sad that I couldn’t be Authentic before, that I always allowed myself to be dragged down by the thoughts and opinions of others. I may not like myself yet, but now I have at least lifted the veil that prevented me from seeing my own awesomeness and the way my awesomeness affects other people. I cannot put into words how great it feels to realize that people aren’t actually lying when they tell me I’m nice, that I’m a compassionate person who legitimately cares for others. I may not necessarily understand why people say that, but I don’t doubt them or laugh it off nearly as much. Just practicing Authenticity for the last week, being able to be me and to share my thoughts and feelings without feeling shame about them has been an amazing experience.
Now, in no way am I saying that you have to do everything I’m doing in order to feel better about yourself. I don’t know you so I don’t know what could work for you. I’m saying, that for me, this is a life-changing practice and I highly recommend giving it a go. And it takes practice. It’s an active thing I do. I constantly remind myself to be Authentic and that Authenticity helps prevent feelings of shame and failure. I hope that one day, you too will find a practice that helps you become the best you you can be.
Food for my thoughts,
The Sarcastic Autist