Concerning Disabilities

I’ve been alluding to this in various entries for the past little while, so please pardon me while I attempt to tackle it head on.

You all know that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, but I’ve never really considered this to be a disability before (at least not in my case) and I still don’t. If anything, the unique perspective and (shall we say) intellectual plasticity that this condition has granted me have been nothing but beneficial.

What I do consider to be a severe disability on my part, however, is my Anxiety. It constantly undercuts my ability to do fuck near anything. It interferes with my ability to sleep at night because I can’t stop myself from worrying about trivial concerns. It interferes with my work, because I’m afraid my supervisor will think that I’m stupid if I go to him to ask questions about matters that he deems ‘simple,’ or lazy if I have spent too much time on a problem that he finds ‘simple.’ It interferes with my life because I am constantly unable to interact my peers in a way that is deemed “normal:” I even have difficulty talking to my friends because I find it hard to insert myself into a conversation, or to ask them to provide emotional support when it is needed.

Case in point, last week I encountered a man of my acquaintance outside of the University Library. I happen to sit on a particular board with this student, and he therefore asked me a simple procedural question. I found I couldn’t remember the answer, so I immediately flew into a panic, gracelessly excused myself from the conversation, and spent the next hour or so weeping uncontrollably under my desk, until I had become thoroughly disgusted by my own weakness.

Please understand, I hate being this way. I wish that I could destroy this part of myself; I wish that I scoop it out of my head like pumpkin seeds with a spoon, fry it up and eat it with salt.

Indeed (and I hesitate to write this part), I hate it so very much that I have lately suffered occasional suicidal impulses. The absolute nadir of these came about three weeks ago, shortly after someone whom I love deeply (and who knows me quite well) told me frankly that I was a coward. Now understand, it wasn’t the insult to which I took such umbrage: it was the fact that I could not think of even so much as a single word to say in my defense. Not a single word.

I even wrote a note the next day (while I was alone in my office, as per usual), outlining all of the ways in which I was a terrible person. But of course, nothing came of it; I crumpled the note up into a ball and threw it into the recycling bin. The fundamental fact, of course, is that I don’t want to die.

I want, rather, to live. I want to do all of those things which I don’t get to do now, like work on stuff that absolutely anyone in the world (preferably including both myself and my thesis advisor) actually give a shit about, and have adventures, and hang-out with my friends until three in the morning, talking and laughing and dancing, and walk down the street without giving even so much as a single fuck about who sees me presenting as which gender.

There was, however, one positive affect of the whole ugly incident; I finally came to acknowledge that this was a serious problem out of which I could not simply will myself. And so I’ve sought-out professional help. And there’s the fact that I finally managed to write this damned entry. Surely that, of itself, is a step forward?

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About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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2 Responses to Concerning Disabilities

  1. zinemin says:

    I’m sorry to hear about that! I hope you will get good help. I’ve been suffering from anxiety too, and since 7 months I have been taking a low dose of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med (a SARI) and it has had a very gentle, positive effect on me. I am not afraid anymore of leaving my office, and I sleep better, with no side-effects.
    I don’t know if that is something you are considering. In retrospect I think I have been much too afraid of taking meds and overestimating my abilities to handle my anxiety on my own. The problem is that the anxiety has a really bad long-term effect on the brain and can lead to depression, which then leads to more anxiety. So it is important to treat it well and to start early. For me at some point it was just about trusting modern science and my psychiatrist, instead of believing the horror stories about these (and other) meds one sometimes reads on the internet….

  2. I think it is definitely a huge step in the right direction to seek professional help. Nobody can cure their own psyche. It is as possible as people performing appendectomies on themselves or excising tumors from their own bodies. There are people who are trained to help us with this kind of issues and they do help.

    I’m receiving psychological help and anxiety was one of the main issues I wanted to solve. And I;m happy to report that it is really helping. You will get better, too. I’m sure of that. You need to stick around this planet for a long long time, have tons of fun, and write books about it.

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