Hello, my friends! I want to give a shout out to ToadieOdie for her brilliant comments and suggestions. Also to Kuma-chan for dealing with my bullshit. I’m doing loads better today with the migraine and the conflict with my friend. Mostly because I have rekindled my love for reading, yet again. Ah, books, they never cease to give me great pleasure. When I get into a good book, the world around me disappears and I find myself wandering the realms of ink and paper. Yes, I am a bibliophile and I take great pride in that.
Moving on. In group yesterday, we were talking about Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance is accepting reality as it is without bitterness and without passivity. This means that you don’t have to give up to be able to Accept Reality. Radical Acceptance isn’t about approving of reality. You don’t even have to like reality to accept it. You do have to have the Willingness to change, or at least I do, in my opinion.
Why do I have to have Willingness to Change? Because, let’s face it, I am stubborn and Willful and very prone to categorical thinking. If the world isn’t the way I think it should be, I do mental gymnastics to make it that way. It’s not very healthy and I am getting better at it. Honestly, I think the biggest hurdle to me when it comes to Willingness to Change is my own sort of Dissonance with myself, especially when it comes to saying things and then acting upon them. I’m much better at things in theory.
I am also very smart, particularly when it comes to things like reading and writing and learning languages. Not trying to sound egotistical or anything, just stating a fact. I’ve always been told I can do anything simply due to me being a brainy nerd. However, I’ve also always been told by Okaasan that I am not like other people and that I can’t do anything because Autism.
Being in my 20’s and having finally started to sort out and organize my mental/neurological drawbacks, I can safely say to Okaasan, “Fuck You”. It was never my Autism holding me back. It was the lack of encouragement from my maternal figure (my father isn’t in the picture at all anymore since he called me a dyke). It was my own self going “You can’t do that, dude. Don’t even try.” And reality didn’t factor in because I have lived my own little bubble of anxiety and depression with all these labels that brought me down.
I think I finally understand why Charon thinks I can do these things that I haven’t thought I could before. It’s because she doesn’t see the label of Autism or Depression or Anxiety or PTSD or weird little nerdy girl with the glasses and a book permanently attached to her person. She saw me as the smart and capable person I am. Sure, I have to go through a couple of more hurdles than some people. Honestly though, who doesn’t these days?
One of the key points in Accepting Reality was being told that I didn’t have to give up or stop trying. I don’t have to like Reality. Reality just is. I also have to accept that I do have limitations. I will never be able to be a doctor because I have weird spazzing and also I don’t like the idea of dealing with sick people every day. I will never be able to be a retail worker again because the bright lights and all the distractions and it’s just too stimulating for me. I won’t be able to be a professional athlete. I can’t become a pilot or an astronaut or a bus driver or a therapist. Nor will I be able to pursue a career in politics.
You know what I can do? I can continue my Japanese studies and aim to be a translator or an interpreter. I could become a scientist. Okay, maybe I could do retail work in a book store or some place nice like that. Accepting Reality means accepting the things I can and cannot do. It means going “okie dokie, well, I also don’t like what my reality is at this moment, so I can work hard to change it”.
Of course, it’s a conscious choice. Accepting Reality can be easy or it can be hard or it can be middling or it can be any degree of difficulty in between. I don’t have to accept it either. I can choose to go back to my little whiny self and just bitch and moan that my life sucks. I can totally do that. I don’t want to though.
Accepting Reality has this sort of strange appeal to me. On one hand, life sucks and living with Okaasan makes me not have to adult. On the other hand, I can make life not suck so much. Right now, I’m sort of like rodent waiting to leave its burrow. I keep peeking out to see if the predators are all gone and although I don’t really see any, I don’t want to leave the safety of my home. I’m starting to starve, but what if? What if something bad happens?
Well, shit does happen, me. Shit happens all the time and all I’m doing is sitting on my ass doing nothing. Life is suffering, yes, but that’s only a small part of it. If I can just turn my mind and be Willing to Change myself and to start doing things that I’ve been afraid to try, my suffering will lessen. It’s really hard to change. I’ll admit it is and also that I’m extremely lazy. However, most things in life aren’t easy. I was just talking about this.
I can choose to be Willful and have a hard time dealing with life because I don’t want to change and because I’m a stubborn little shit. Or I can choose to be more Willing and have a hard uphill battle through mud and despair, but reach the top and have conquered and be Emperor of my own life for once.
I don’t know about you, but I kind of want to be an Emperor.
-The Sarcastic Autist