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?