Rough few days

It’s been a difficult one to write, this one.

The emotional journey I’ve been on recently I’ve hit a bump in the road, although it feels more like a tree branch through the windscreen. A classic case of making mountains out of molehills.

It’s said that a common autistic trait is the inability to judge what is socially appropriate behaviour. In my case I’m very aware of my own lack of ability. Thus the defense mechanism is to inhibit myself. Constantly.

For all the good stuff I’ve been doing recently, the feeling of failure has been coming from several directions, the worst of which has been failing to build close relationships which make me feel good about myself. Thoughts of hopelessness and despair have really done a number on me these last few days.

Mercifully I feel a lot better today.

As it is World Autism Awareness Week, I’ve been reminded that there are plenty of us out there, all with our own struggles. I’ve really begun to dislike my autism at times and I’ve neglected how important it is to accept myself for what I am. I hope now to be there for others to give proper support for anyone who’s struggling. And spend less time obsessing in my own head.

Which brings me to World Autism Awareness Week.

There’s been a fair bit written “Awareness”. I support awareness when it comes to education and understanding but, rather than offering acceptance and support, some view Autism as something to be eradicated. Despite my own issues around my Autism I can’t help but feel repelled by the idea that we should be “cured”.

So I recommend boycotting Autism Speaks and their #Lightitupblue campaign.

Support these guys instead https://autisticadvocacy.org/

#Redinstead #Lightitupgold #Paleittopurple #Toneitdowntaupe

#ActuallyAutistic #AutismAcceptance #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs

Thank you for Reading

Jamie

Another Update

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been offered the Manual Calculations job, should be starting in a couple of weeks. I’m still worried that it might go wrong, at least I’m not worrying about the job itself.

As for now, I’ve got a little time to relax and prepare and maybe get some art done.

What hasn’t helped is the unwelcome smattering of insomnia that has returned. I have been sleeping a lot better these last few months but all of a sudden my brain seems to think 2 hours of sleep is enough.

On a more positive note, I have volunteered to be part of the steering committee for my local Autism Hub. Hopefully I’ll be part of something to help my fellow service users.

Thanks for Reading

Jamie

The Art of Cinema

I thought I’d do a quick piece on what I think makes for a great film. I do believe that movies a big part of the human art of storytelling, thus a good film should be a believable depiction of some human realm that actually has something relevant to say about real human ideas, cultures, practises, values, etc, etc.

The worlds we create in storytelling are authored by the writer but the reader creates the worlds and gives it form inside their own imagination. I personally think we all should make every to invest ourselves into an engaging and thought-provoking story.

With that in mind though, every aspect of a movie including it’s aims and it’s production and execution can dictate how much we can engage in it’s story.

In my case I’m less inclined to engage in a movie that I know is an obvious cash grab, a movie that exists not because someone had something worthwhile to say.

I’ve become quite cynical over the deluge of comic book superhero fantasy movies because they are mostly exercises in over-the-top CG spectacle whereas I yearn for something more relatable. I’ve got nothing against escapism but it’s much less interesting than something that is thought-provoking and challenging and tells you something meaningful.

Good acting and writing are the bedrock of bringing a world to life. My favourite films this year have been Mary Queen of Scots, Fighting With My Family and Five Feet Apart because I could genuinely empathise with the characters and cheer for them.

I hope to start some of my own regular movie reviews soon. Got a few mental walls at the moment. Hopefully I should be better next week.

Thanks for Reading

Jamie

Quick update

Job interview went quite well yesterday although I have been so very, very tired since then. I was going to blow off steam this weekend but I’m still quite burnt out. Hopefully it’ll be a relaxing weekend of chilling out.

I’m pleasantly shocked to have a handful of likes for my first blog, no idea how anyone found it yet since I haven’t told anyone about it yet but it is appreciated.

Next blog shall be soon, will offer my thoughts about the art of film.

Thanks for reading

Jamie

My ASD

As promised I’ll begin here.

A year ago I was diagnosed, at the age of 35, with Autism Spectrum Disorder (what used to be called Asperger’s), mainly manifesting as systemic thinking and difficulties with interpreting non-verbal behaviours and processing emotions. This has caused great amounts of anxiety and isolation over the years. It is taking quite some time for me to come to terms with it but with a bit of help and guidance I’m beginning to understand what I can do to change for the better and what I can accept as part of who I am.

Some useful advice from CBT was that I am guilty of all 12 unhelpful thinking habits, namely :

Mental Filter (gloomy specs)

Prediction

Mind-Reading

Compare and Despair

Critical Self

Shoulds and Musts

Judgements

Emotional Reasoning

Mountains and Molehills

Catastrophising

Black and White Thinking

Memories (here and now)

All of which are bolstered by rigid systemic thinking.

The worst thing about having ASD is the masking. The all-powerful shield that protects me from the projected judgement of others. The mask is so prevalent that it feels like the real me, even though it has never been, nor will it ever be, the real me. It does nothing but paralyse and imprison the real me.

To defeat the demons of anxiety and hence, to take off the mask, I’ve learnt now to keep engaging with others, to spend time with friends who understand and support me, and to keep active doing what makes me feel good about myself. These are what deprives the demons of their room to operate.

So, job interview tomorrow and I’m actually feeling good about it. When that’s done and dusted I’ll take some time to get into some artistic creativity.

I’ll be back soon.

Introduction

Hi, my name is Jamie and welcome to my blog.

I have started this purely as a means of self expression, so with that in mind, I am going to be talking here about stuff I’m interested in. This is my very first go at blog writing so it may take a while for me to find my feet.

I hope to make this blog as useful/interesting as possible for anyone who wants to read it.

As the blog address suggests, I’ll primarily be talking about Maths, Sci Fi and Horror. I’ll be starting off by talking about being diagnosed with ASD. For now, I’ll be leaving the deeply personal stuff for elsewhere.

Thanks for reading,

Jamie