Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again, my cyber-brothers and cyber-sisters. Tomorrow is the day I finally start to get this retesting thing going. Why retesting? Because maybe I’m not really Autistic and you are all figments of some grand paranoid delusion starring other mentally ill persons and a very needy cat. Or, in a more likely scenario, they want to see how much progress I’m doing with all my mental health shit and how functional in society I am. Hell, my anxiety isn’t nearly as bad as it was before. Or is it? I don’t know, I was pretty stoned from 2012 to last August-ish. And drunk. My various heathen gods, I had a pretty serious problem. Glad that’s over with. ( yay being sober! or whatever)
Oh, see there, my friends? I managed to avoid introducing today’s topic! What a way to begin! Why am I touching on Avoidance, you may ask? Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, the one on Willfulness, I’m a fucking queen/king/emperor of all things regarding the Awful Ability to Avoid. And according to my therapist, “Willfulness is the non-acceptance of Reality and non-acceptance of Reality is Avoidance.” Or something like that. I do tend to space out a lot. So, in what context am I even using Avoidance in? All the context, friend. All. The. Context.
What do I Avoid, as an Autistic individual? Well, I Avoid social interactions. I Avoid square cut pizza (shit is not pizza guys, I don’t know what it is, but pizza it is not). I Avoid people I don’t like or get along with. I Avoid doing laundry. I Avoid conflict, anything that might pose an actual struggle for me to do, stressful things, going to the dentist, seeing my lady bits doctor, things that frighten me, but most of all, I do Avoid Reality. I’m sure many of you watched Mythbusters and remember Adam saying “I reject your Reality and substitute my own” at the beginning of every episode. That’s basically how I live my life and that’s no way to live.
Keep in mind, sometimes Avoidance is a very good thing. You should probably always avoid grizzly bears, sharks, serial killers, and that hate group Autism Speaks. Things you shouldn’t Avoid is stuff like hygiene, essential medications for physical or mental health, oxygen, and the ever present Actual Reality. What is Actual Reality? Fuck if I know. I don’t live there yet. I still Avoid my psycho Ex, talking to my godmother about how her telling to pray all my mental health stuff away makes me feel bad, and fucking square pizza. I Avoid anything that I don’t like or that I’m afraid of or that makes me uncomfortable.
In group, we made a pro and con list for Avoidance and Actually Getting Shit Done. There’s a lot of things on the pro list, like it’s easy, it provides immediate relief and immediate gratification, and it’s comfortability. You don’t have to put any Effort in Avoiding, basically. But at the same time, Avoidance brings a lot of bad things to the table via the con list, like loss of self-respect, the fact that it festers like necrotic tissue until it explodes in an overwhelming display of stress and pus and blood, and loss of peace and serenity.
On the opposite end of the spectrum (hehe, Autism pun), we have Actually Getting Shit Done. Some of the things that we listed as pro is the feeling of empowerment, levelling up self-respect and Authenticity, and revealing that we actually have more choices now. The cons are the boringness of Actually Having to do Shit, Having to do that Shit, getting tired or being unmotivated or being afraid of venturing out and doing shit we aren’t used to.
Story time! I really really fucking hate having to get out of my comfort zone. I hate meeting new people and going to new places and having to do new things and talking about shit. It bothers me on such a deep level that I sometimes shut down so I can Avoid doing whatever it is that is New and Scary and Outside-The-Norm. Tomorrow I’m meeting a new specialist for the Autismo and talking about shit in a new place. I really really super duper do NOT WANT to do this. I want to stay home and play with my cat and talk to Kuma-chan and play pokemon. I seriously want to Avoid doing this. But if I cancel with this Argon dude, if I Avoid doing this thing, you know what will happen? I will have to fucking reschedule with another specialist at another location that I don’t know and I’ll have to go through this whole process over again to figure out if I’m still Autistic or if I’m some kind of weird delusional chick who spazzes out and is socially retarded.
Well, I mean, I am apparently delusional about my weight and and shit, but that’s body dysmorphia related to my eating disorder and not really part of the Autism thing I got going on.
Okay, getting back on track, Avoiding this particular situation might make me feel happy for about an hour. Immediately, sure, yeah, I’ll get that “yay, fuck you and fuck that tree and fuck that rock and fuck the price of tea in Taiwan because I am the fucking Champion at Avoiding shit” feeling of superiority that I get when I get my way. But conversely, I don’t want to have to go through all this bull shit again. It only hurts me. Argon couldn’t give a shit if I cancel or not, we haven’t even met yet. My psychiatrist has made it clear that everything is my choice and that I’m all adulty and shit. My therapist would give me that look she gives me and probably give me a good scolding because if I act like a child she’s going to treat me like a child and Avoiding shit is being Willful. I don’t know, some shit like that.
So, do the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to Avoidance? Fuck no. All Avoidance gets me is a deep and heavy feeling of failure, despair, shame, and disappointment. There’s a saying out there that courage is not the absence of fear, but being afraid of something and doing it anyway. I’m terrified of a lot of things and I Avoid a lot of things that I’m terrified of. That’s no way to live life. That’s not a Life Worth Living.
Instead of cowering in the corner and Avoiding everything that’s potentially going to turn out bad, I want to be able to stand up and say “Here I am, Life. Try your best. I’m not going to hide anymore. I am not afraid. I am not ashamed. I am the Authentic Sarcastic Autist and I can do and I can overcome anything and everything you fucking throw at me.”
Because if I can Avoid Avoidance, there’s nothing I can’t do. If I can Avoid Avoidance, I’ll become the Emperor of Awesome, which is a much better title than Emperor of Avoidance. Fuck, I probably won’t have as many shut downs when I stop Avoiding shit. What are my shut downs but the ultimate form of Avoidance, anyway?
But mostly, if I can Avoid Avoiding, I’ll finally be able to start becoming a person with a Life Worth Living.
The Sarcastic Autist