Hello, my dear readers. I had the hardest time coming up with today’s topic. I’ve also been having a rough time fighting a migraine and just stress in general. Really, I feel like my life has gotten busier and busier and all the things I need to do and all the revelations and self-awareness that my blog has helped me realize is not helping. On top of which, Grandma wants to go shopping with Okaasan and me this weekend. I don’t like shopping with other people. When I get sensory overload, I need a quick out, not a “in 10 minutes” out, a “right the fuck now or I’m going to have a melt down in the store”. It’s ridiculous, really.
So, I just concluded, with all the stress and shit going on, I need to remember to take a little time for me, to recharge my batteries. I believe I mentioned in a previous post how, like a cyborg, I need to recharge after too much socializing. It’s not just socializing, though. It’s the people, the places, the smells, the sounds, the visuals, the smells, the tastes, and the vibrations. Autism is like an awesome super power that just doesn’t turn off, at times. Superman can turn back into Clark Kent. Batman takes off the suit and becomes Bruce Wayne. I don’t have a super hero alias and I can’t just stop being Autistic, anymore than someone can stop being a brunette. I can cover it up, sure, but painting a white rose red still makes the rose white.
This morning, at the crack of dawn, I got up and went for a very short walk. It was literally a half mile round trip that took over a half hour. I forced myself to slow down and to just focus on the Now. It was very frustrating because I just wanted to run and move. Instead, I stayed slow and steady, focusing on my breathing. I turned off my headphones for a second so I could hear the wind rustling through the tall grass, the various sized cars making their various sized roaring whooshes on the highway, the chirping of birds, the hooting of an owl, the screech of the bats. I could hear my footsteps echoing. It was loud. I was becoming overwhelmed in the 30 seconds I had my music off.
And then I turned the music back on and all those noises disappeared. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t see the way the wind makes everything dance around me. I saw the empty darkness and not the flashing neon lights. I can’t just turn off the physical sensations, but it felt more like I was standing in the middle of a babbling brook and less like the roaring of an angry river. I felt at peace and I smiled for the first time in a while. I was the Zen.
I don’t remember who told me this, or if I was just overhearing someone talking at church, but I remember them talking about a painting with a bird having a nest in the midst of a waterfall, being at peace despite the chaos around it. That’s spoken to me on the kind of level a christian gets spoken to by their god. I want to strive to be that bird.
It’s not the act of just being in the Now. It’s not focusing on Authenticity and Self-Compassion and Avoiding Avoidance and all that, even though those are important. It’s also finding the peace and the quiet no matter what the situation is. It’s about being an action, not a reaction. I spend a lot of time reacting to things and trying to not drown in my own suffering and my own hurt and my own preconceived notions. I really want to be able to take initiative and maybe not float on the water, but fly high above it.
Of course, if I’m the bird in this analogy and I’m drowning, first thing I need to do is get to shore. Then I have to dry off my feathers before I can fly. But I believe I can do it. I believe that I’m in the calmer waters that I can handle. I’m the master of my own fate, not a pawn in someone else’s game. That’s not to say that I can’t get stressed in order to fly. Flying takes a lot of energy, from what I understand. But it is flying.
I may not be soaring yet, but I know I will be. And I know you will be too. Let’s, together, strive to be the bird that, despite the rushing of the falling water into rapids, despite the wind and the rain and anything else that tries to inhibit our free-spirits, let’s be the bird that lives amongst the chaos and finds the peace.
Let’s be the bird in the waterfall.
-The Sarcastic Autist