Sailing the deep sea of emotion and understanding

I think I understand my emotions. Yet they blindsight me time after time, leaving me desperate for known land in a sea of confusion and uncertainty.

The more I dissect, the more I get lost into details, the less I understand and at one point, it’s like there was nothing to understand in the first place.

I think I know, but not before long I’m doubting it. There’s a whole symphony inside my head and there are so many instruments, I’m struggling to identify which is which.

Overwhelming, overpowering, makes me want to scream sometimes, all this noise and chaos, and sometimes I can actually hear my internal scream.

I crave understanding yet I know how hard it is to actually obtain it, those moments of clarity might mean little if I change my perspective.

Loops, heights, lows, plateaus. Like some strange force of nature, I move through life organically, ever changing, different seasons from one minute to the other, but the essence stays the same.

I’m in control at not being in control.

I might feel I’m reaching my limits but deep inside I know I’m as resilient as I am vulnerable.

Like a tree, my hardships mould me, pain teaches me, but unlike a tree, I can’t seem to always remember and apply the lessons.

I hesitate around endings and beginnings, I’t seem to always remember and apply the lessons.

I hesitate around endings and beginnings, I’m always in the middle of something or on the edges, walking on border lines, wondering what’s on the other side, reaching the top of the mountain and the bottom of the sea, flowing through space at the speed of light only to fall back on Earth with a bang the next minute.

Expansive. Infinite. I truly understand and grasp only a small part of it. My mind, the universe, the divine essence, the intricate connections and reflections between everything. Blessed to get glimpses, I cling to them like to the ultimate truth.

But what is truth and what is anything, in the first place everything just is, so I’m docking my boat and shutting down the systems and hope that tomorrow I’ll remember: I just am.

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Feeling Everything

There’s an intensity to my feelings that’s hard to explain into words. They’re fluid, they come like waves. Sometimes they bring me up, closer to the sun, and make me shed tears of joy at the beauty of life. Other times, they drown me, silence me, making me confused or depressed or both.

I’m usually not even sure what I feel. There almost always seems to be more than one feeling involved, and this mixture of vibes is hard to understand sometimes.

That’s why I’ve been writing almost my entire life, I guess. Words turn these abstract feelings into something concrete. All the unspoken thoughts that bug me get a channel to materialize.

I’ve been having mood swings and hard-to-describe moods for almost as long as I can remember. My journal entries from when I was 9 years old talk about this mood I don’t quite know how to explain that keeps bothering me. Looking back, it was probably anxiety, creeping on me, which would only get worse over the years, only to finally subside after I’ve learned how to deal with it, although it is a constant companion.

My moods fluctuate greatly throughout the day. I usually don’t wake up in the greatest mood, and by noon I will already experience a variety of short-lived moods, pretty much any mood you can think of. Sometimes they’ll change in a matter of a couple of minutes, just a visiting twinge of anxiety or uneasiness, only to return again later.

I usually try to swim through them and let them flow, but sometimes it’s an effort not to get stuck or affected by the lows. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to feel so much in such a short amount of time.

But in the end, I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the fact that I can feel so intensely about nature and the things I’m interested about. I love that I can still have that childlike awe and wonder about things, day after day, even if it’s just the usual subjects I ponder upon on a regular basis. I don’t need some fancy unknown to surprise me, just take me to the nearest natural spot.

I love the depth of my experiences, even if sometimes I’m very afraid of it and I feel I’m going to lose control. It’s like life is reinventing itself before my eyes, day after day, even if most of the time I can’t express what I see and I can’t process things right away. But the miracle of life follows me every day, even if it shows itself just for a fleeting moment.

Feelings, like the waves. I can never quite properly contain them into words, into actions. All I can do is keep feeling everything and learn how to stop running away from them.

Thank you for reading!

Soundtrack of my alien years

I don’t remember the first time I felt I was different. In a way it feels like I had always known (of course, my toddler brain can’t know… or can it?). But I certainly remember when puberty set in.

Along with puberty, came anxiety in depths and lengths I had not experienced before. Feelings of shame and inadequacy. Constant low-grade anxiety in the classroom as I would be confused about the rapid rhythm in which everything changed, especially the social dynamics. Feeling depressed that no boy liked me. Feeling weird that I’m in the main popular girl group but I’m somehow still at the fringe. I have excellent grades in school but the anxiety feels unbearable.

I’m 12 years old. I discover Pink – Missundaztood. It speaks to me. I’m misunderstood too. My friends don’t get why I feel like a lonely girl even if I’m surrounded by friends. I can’t articulate why I feel like this, but the feeling doesn’t let go. I listen to her songs and pretend-sing in the mirror, I cry in bed at night comforted by her pain.

I’m 13 years old. Things are getting more and more complicated. I discover Linkin Park – Meteora. It speaks to me. I earn to find that somewhere I belong. I long to become numb. I want to break the habit too. I long for that freedom as well.

I’m 15 years old and cutting becomes a thing. It relieves the pressure, it gives the pain a concrete manifestation. I discover Nirvana. My stomach hurts too because I’m abusing my body with benzos and I’m not eating properly and I barely get any sleep. My soul hurts too. He gets my pain. I discover Placebo. Brian knows some of my pain too. The cold guitar riffs soothe me. I’m not alone.

I’m 16 years old and the boy I like sends my High & Dry by Radiohead. I eventually dive deeper and deeper into them and they become my favorite band. Thom gets my pain. He sings about aliens and alienation, about the hardships of the system, about how they press down on your soul, pressure you into nothingness. As an adult, I get a new understanding of the lyrics. Slowly withering at an office full time job I hate, I blast No surprises in my headphones and dream of better times.

I still feel different. I’ve only recently discovered why and at first I couldn’t believe it. In a way, I still wanted to fit in. To join the NT fun, filled with parties and unexpected turns and loudness.

But, thing is, I love my life just the way it is. I love my room and my things, my art and my special interests, my books and my yard. I’m not “missing out” on anything if I choose to go to the forest rather than hang with people. I found a bunch of special, beautiful people who love, support and appreciate me for who I am and don’t pay special attention to my unconventional ways. They’re unconventional too, they’re struggling in their own ways too, we’re united by our pain and by our desire to overcome it and make the best out of it.

We all walk alone. We’re all individual universes, perpetually colliding with each other, trying to find bridges to unite them, common languages to speak. There’s so much beauty in just being yourself. There’s so much freedom in letting go of expectations.

So I accept being the alien that I am, knowing that we’re all, to some degree, strangers to one another and knowing that we’re still connected by the life-giving energy that weaves this universe together. Deep inside, whether we like it or not, we’ll always be one.

Thank you for reading!

Jigsaw falling into place

I started this blog guided by a strong impulse a week or so after reading about female Asperger’s. I very recently stumbled upon female aspie checklists and other blogs. The experience turned my world upside down. For a while, my mind was on a loop. Could this really be? Is this it? Seems to be. I’m an aspie. But what if I’ve just been reading too much and I’m desperate about an answer regarding why I feel so different? What if I’m a fraud? If I’m not aspie, then how do I explain my mental state? Then I would quickly go over all the symptoms and experiences that match mine and conclude yes, I’m pretty sure I’m an aspie. 

Then I would eventually fall back into the same thought loop. And the more I read, the more I found that reminded me so much of this or that aspect of my being, the more I knew this is really it, I had just forgotten. Buried under coping mechanisms and years of studying the depths of the human mind and the way humans act, trying intuitively to find the instruction manual that comes with social interactions, trying intuitively to stay away from stimuli, trying so hard not to be hard on myself and feel broken when I would see that no matter what I do, I still feel overwhelmed by daily minor things, I still feel a constant fatigue, there’s still a hungry uneasiness inside that always pulls me in one direction or another.

The checklists hit so close to home, but the real revelation were the blogs. It all seemed so familiar, the vibes I would get from the writings, the recurrent themes that I found myself immersed in as well, on and on throughout my life, like the search for truth, the unconditional love, the feeling of otherness. I could understand so much, and the most amazing moments were those when I would find little specific things about me that would be described so beautifully by someone else, or I would discover that experiences I took for granted are something only we go through.

I always felt I was different but I never thought this is the Aspie experience. I would wonder, from time to time, why I feel so limited regarding certain aspects even though my brain is so sharp and I could do pretty much anything I put my mind to, why it’s so hard to go out, why I’m not growing out of my shyness, why I can’t get rid of this existential fatigue and why it’s so hard to fall asleep at night, when my mind, left to its own devices, wants to explore and won’t shut down.

Jigsaw falling into place, like the Radiohead song. Dots connecting, synchronicity. In the past couple of months I was getting more and more agitated after realizing that my symptoms are still there, only more moderate, even after radical lifestyle changes that took away all the big stress. I wanted an answer. The universe understood. My struggle in the dark had continued for too long. I really needed the light.

I named this blog “borderline aspie” thinking I’m a BPD aspie or a borderline aspie, as in almost-aspie. Now I realize BPD may have been dominant in a part of my life, back when I was really struggling to make sense of the world and was heavily medicated, but now, that the fog of chemicals has long lifted and my life is in much greater order and balance, I now that BPD was mainly a reaction to my experience as an aspie, not understanding what’s happening to me, the intensity of it all too unbearable, the alienation and misunderstanding pushing me further away from myself. As for almost-aspie, I don’t know where the lines get drawn, but from what I’ve read and experienced, I’m just a very well adapted aspie.

Finally, I am ready to embrace my self-diagnosis. I hope I’ll one day afford to get a proper diagnosis from a specialist. I am well aware of the risks of self-diagnosis. But I’ve been playing the loop for too long in my mind and each time, everything points in the same direction. It’s the logical conclusion. These are exciting times! An unexpected plot twist, when I thought I knew everything about myself.

I’m so excited to share these experiences with you, the great unknown audience of the internet. I am scared and I hope you won’t be too harsh on me, I hope I’ll be able to give something back at one point and not just take your attention. I hope this is not a mistake.

Thank you for reading!

Sleep – it’s complicated

Late at night, body tired, mind exhausted and overactive, I find myself wishing to talk about sleep. Something I struggled with almost all of my life and still have issues with, although I’m way more accepting than I used to be and that helps.

In theory, I love to sleep. In the winter time, when my rhythm slows down, I will sleep more than usual and it will be extremely difficult to wake up in the morning. In the summer, my clock changes and I usually won’t be able to sleep for too long in the morning, no matter at what time I went to bed.

But there’s one constant throughout the year(s) that proves to be the most challenging: the difficulty of falling asleep.

Every day I feel so tired and fantasize about how early I’m going to go to sleep and how well I’m going to rest. Night comes, I get sleepy sometime between 8 and 10 pm, and I fight it, I have more stuff to do. Gotta do my bedtime rituals. Gotta read this. Gotta write that. Eventually, exhausted, I stumble into bed, and the minute my head touches the pillow, I know I’m going to have to face it face to face: The Mind.

See, The Mind never sleeps. If she could, she wouldn’t let me sleep either. She goes on and on. Even if I move past the thinking of thoughts (which can go in so many directions), there’s the noise. The indescribable fragments of something, the song snippets (both loved and beloved), the broken radiohead phenomenon, the half finished ideas. The more soliciting the day is, the worse it’s going to be up there. My body will desperately try to get comfortable, switching from one position to another, and sometimes they will all feel unnatural and uncomfy.

I keep trying to monitor the activity and apply breathing and relaxation techniques, but eventually I usually end up just listening to some other thing my mind wishes to say. Then I will probably wake up at about 7 or 8 am and my body will feel too tired and achey to start the day so I’ll just struggle falling asleep again. Sometimes I will succeed, other times I will just waste an hour or two in a weird barely-awake-but-not-asleep state in which my mind is as active as always.

Either way, the minute I wake up, she’s already one step ahead, as active as I left it.

In my teens, it used to get even worse. Then the meds sedated me and truthfully I can’t remember my sleeping patterns from then. But it’s always been tricky with sleep and now, with no treatments in my system, I see that things don’t show any signs of changing.

I’ve accepted this. Luckily I don’t have to wake up at a very early hour and I have a pretty flexible schedule so I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself when I see I can’t fall asleep and it’s already late. But back when I had a full time job, the intense schedule, coupled with the various other problems I had to deal with in such an environment (story for another time), made my mind more agitated than ever. I can’t deal with waking up at 7 or 8 or even 9 every day. It’s not that I don’t want to. I love early mornings and the feeling you get when you accomplish so much before noon. But my mind won’t let me.

I think I’ve always felt tired. Mom told me that after I was born, everyone was worried because all I would do is sleep and I lost a lot of weight because I wouldn’t eat (because sleep). When I was 12 a psychologist told me I have chronic fatigue. This life tires me. All of these stimuli exhaust me, all of these intense emotions, the coping with stuff, the whole complicated mechanism that I’ve built to deal with this reality, the anxiety… and the poor sleep.

I’ve always felt a twinge of jealousy towards people who can fall asleep easily, anywhere. I wish I could escape my own mind through sleep. Seems restorative, regenerating, the right thing to do. But naps leave me groggy and confused, feeling I lost a precious part of the day. Night time sleep always comes with complications. I can’t seek refuge there. Every night feels on the brink. Every morning a little voice says oh, not again. But no matter what, I’ll carry on. Forever tired.

Thank you for reading!

Broken Radiohead Syndrome

My mind often feels like a broken radiohead. There’s almost always something going on up there, and stopping it always proves difficult.

What do I even think about? The trains of thought switch between one another quickly, sometimes I can’t even keep up the pace, I’ll just find myself thinking of many different things between a short time span, and eventually I’ll end up with all of these loops.

The loops. Everything about my life seems, in a way, so cyclical. My thoughts have certain themes they like to touch. Some are long term themes that I find myself thinking about daily for years. Others are short term preoccupations, from anxieties to things I’m interested in or recent events. But some of the most frustrating thought loops are the anxiety circles.

Intrusive thoughts. Bad thoughts. Big fears. Stuff that I thought I had solved a long time ago but still resurfaces the minute I start to feel the anxiety creep in. Worries about the future. Overanalyzing the recent past. Self-esteem bad trips. Feelings of restlessness.

Then there are the scenarios. Anticipating the future, daydreaming about how it’s going to be. Or having fights in my mind with my boyfriend, trying to explain my point of view and make him understand. Going over recent events and analyzing them, reaching to small, more or less useful conclusions. Making alternate reality scenarios, fantasies I know will never come true but nonetheless I navigate them like they’re some guilty pleasure.

And of course, the constant chaos. This weird combination of many kinds of thoughts and input. The chatty voice in my mind, then some song I listened too one time too much and now it’s imprinted for weeks, noises, sudden switches from one thing to another. Random voices, at times it’s not even clear what they’re saying, just barely perceptible. Sometimes I get visuals of comedy skits or funny parody style video songs or other kinds of creations, like witnessing my mind write something amazing, not having the power to wake up and write it and knowing I’m just going to have to let it go. Other times it feels like I can hear my neighbor’s thoughts, when I’m very tired and it’s hot and I’ve worked too much and I can’t sleep. Like a beacon, unwillingly channeling all sorts of information, wanted and unwanted.

The chaos feels like a constant agitation, like a lot of things going on. Sometimes I can’t see anything clearly anymore, I just feel confused and overwhelmed and want to escape my mind.

I keep unconsciously postponing going to sleep every night because I know I’ll probably struggle with shutting off my mind. Breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques help a bit, but it’s a hit and miss. Some nights it might take half of hour to fall asleep, but most nights it will take at least an hour. I don’t even check the time anymore, so I don’t get frustrated and panicked I won’t sleep enough.

In the morning, when I wake up, it’s like my mind wakes up first and I come after. I open my eyes and I can hear the broken radiohead in the background, wide awake even before me. If something wakes me up, I’ll likely have issues falling asleep again.

The forest helps. Art helps. Even cooking. Any creative activity has the potential to give me at least a few blessed moments outside my head. Forgetting about me, truly getting into the flow.

Writing helps as well. If I don’t express what I feel verbally, Mr. Chaos ends up king. I end up failing to grasp my own moods and emotions, chasing emotions, trying to pinpoint them, trying to explain to myself mentally why my mind seems so overactive. I usually use the free flow to guide me through my writings, it’s like I’m downloading precious information from above, it makes me free by transforming me into a channeler.

So I’m purging it all here, among other places. Ever since I read those aspie checklists, I’ve been feeling an intense internal agitation. I’m trying to soothe it with every means I know and I’m trying not to take things too seriously, but nonetheless, the question remains. What’s up with all of these feelings?

Thank you for reading!

Hello, world! Please hear me out

I have to speak my mind before it’s going to implode.

It’s hard to know when to start. Revelations sometimes fall one after another and in trying to pick one, I lose them all. Gotta stay quick, in this race with my own mind, I against I, and more often than not a big chunk of my time goes trying to turn I towards I, together, all parts of me, united as one.

I’m starting this blog because I cannot stand asking myself the same questions on and on. Am I aspie? If I’m not, then why do I feel like this? Why do I care so much, since I don’t even fully take western psychiatry seriously? What I’m expecting for this blog is not as much an answer but a way to verbalize my feelings and inner workings and putting them out there so maybe, maybe, I can connect to someone who feels the same.

I know I’m not unique and I know that so many human experiences are universal. I’ve been trying to explain to myself why I feel like this my whole life, and only very recently did I stumble into the fascinating world of female Asperger’s. Looking at some symptom checklists, I was in awe. This hit so close to home. Sure, not all of it, but there were certain aspects that described me in a way I had not expected. I’ve had a lifetime of mental health issues, treatments with meds, a diagnosis of BPD, major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder & other variations of the same theme. I’ve been suffering one way or another since I can remember and the road was filled with bumps and unexpected turns. But this is a story for another time.

Why do I suspect I’m aspie? I’ll keep talking about this, but here are the highlights:

I’ve always been an extremely sensitive person. Ever since childhood, I was easily touched by any kind of violence and a change in the tone of voice. I taught myself how to read when I was a little over 2 years old and I was a very chatty toddler. From age 4-5, I became more and more shy. I played a lot with myself, I had imaginary friends and a very vivid imaginary life. I hunted ghosts, I talked to God. I had a few kids I played with, but many interactions were leaving me confused and in tears.

In school, anxiety started to creep in. I wanted to fit. I wanted to be good. I wanted high grades. School was easy for me, I had no difficulties learning, but that didn’t stop anxiety to creep in and tell me I’m going to fail and wet my palms before every test. Maths was especially challenging. Even though my grades were always good, maths used to panic me really bad. I would get lost in the numbers and feel I can’t keep up and inadvertently end up in tears. Languages, on the other hand, were a breeze. English is not my native language but it was easy to keep up. My native language was a great passion and I would read a lot. I began writing fiction at a young age, my first short piece goes back from when I was 9 or so. I kept diaries, recorded all my feelings.

I had one best friend and was in another group of girls. My best friend was kind, the others, not so much, and I would end up in the same situation over and over again. Confusion. What did I do wrong? Why are they treating me differently today than yesterday? Why am I not fitting in?

Things escalated throughout puberty. They put me on xanax when I was 12 because my anxiety was getting out of control. Not a good idea, giving downers to children. I began cutting when I was 15. The pain I was witnessing, fueled by winter and benzo abuse, would be too much to bear, it needed physicality, release. Substance abuse was a daily occurance. I did not understand where my pain came from and what to do with it. It was all too much.

My friends shunned me. I became an outcast. I tried to kill myself when I was 18. I tried again 3 years later, this time almost successfully. Afterwards, a reset button had been magically pushed. I started recovering, re-discovering who I am.  I learned new coping mechanisms. I eliminated all the stress factors I could. I lived in a healthy manner. But something seems to stay the same no matter what I do. The incessant brain chatter. The intrusive, repetitive thoughts. The loops. The anxiety, coming and going, visiting me when I expect it less. The feeling of fatigue, of sometimes having the weight of the world on my shoulders. The sensitivity to so many things: light (frowny face), sound (turn the music down, please!), certain foods, heat, and then there’s the emotional sensitivity.

Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings that I can’t even describe. There are things going on inside that can’t be explained with words. A certain vividness of feeling. I get a tear of joy when I’m excited about something. I get a tear of love when I see videos of animals bonding with humans or sometimes just having an interaction with a loved one. I get a tear of mixed feelings listening to a song that reminds me of the past and the present. I can’t not be touched by characters in tv shows and movies, I just can’t hold my tears. I have severe crying meltdowns when fighting with my boyfriend because he has the worst coping mechanism for someone like me: being mean and distant, like boys often do. I just melt. Too much to handle. All the extra energy seems to find a way out through my eyes.

I love nature. I spend a lot of time in the forest. I talk to plants and rocks. I need to express myself constantly, I need to create, whether it’s writings or photos or drawings or clay. My main work consists in writing about the environment and I’m up to date with all the current issues we’re facing and I feel very strongly about all of it. (yet another story I’d like to share) I’ve always nurtured a deep love and respect for animals and the natural world.

I have a deep innate sense of justice. My main mission is bettering myself and offering more to others. I get immense guilt trips whenever I perceive I said or did something wrong, especially to someone I care about. I’m very self conscious and self aware, I feel like I’m constantly on a stage when I’m walking in public places. I have a deep longing and appreciation for truths, I keep seeking them within and guiding myself through life according to some deep moral values that I try to respect, belittling myself when I don’t.

I’m deeply passionate about learning things. I’ve read so many different things in this life, from all sorts of literature to articles regarding a variety of subjects. I just really like knowing stuff. I’m like a random trivia generator, spurting along new information to my hopefully interested friends. I can talk for hours about climate change, the metaphysical ways of life, the ways humanity went wrong, capitalism. I’ll just keep sharing my latest reads and get all enthusiastic about the end of the world like it’s the most exciting event you surely can’t miss. I’ve been told to slow down, that I talk too much, that I talk too loud.

I see through the bullshit of society. I see the ways we’re being manipulated, the ways it’s all going wrong, I sense the reasons behind, even though I always remember I can’t really know much and that’s okay. But I wanna know. So I keep searching, and I’m happy when I find people who are on board. I don’t have many close friends, but they’re more than enough. We don’t see each other often, mainly because of distance, but when we do, it’s always magical sparks for me. I still get self-conscious with them sometimes, I still overanalyze things I could’ve said or done better,  I still don’t know how to react on the spot if things are serious. I’m a self-help book filled with advice but it’s hard to really grasp the dimensions of the other’s experience. It’s even hard to grasp mine, it just seems too big to hold in this small human body.

As for others, I’m always curious to find new perspectives. Something to get me out of my head. But I can’t say it’s as stimulating as talking to someone who gets me. I get impatient. If I’m getting certain vibes, I will get anxious and highly self-conscious and overanalyzing the whole thing. I’m never fully relaxed. I can’t keep up the small talk for too long. Hanging out in large groups isn’t my cup of tea. Crowds are some of the most tiring experiences. I avoid large stores and chain supermarkets. I avoid busy streets. I avoid going to the city, unless it’s for meeting friends or solving things. You won’t see me just casually strolling on the streets, but you will meet me casually hiking on some forest path. Even going out to the nearest store still gives me a little twinge of anxiety.

I noticed the tendency to mimic others. If I spend more time with someone, I’ll pick up on stuff. From accents to words and other little stuff. I have very high empathy and it gets to the point where sometimes it’s physical. I can barely hear someone telling me about violent, painful or unusual acts. I hurt when I see my dog hurting. I almost feel the pain of a deforested hill. I highly empathize with fictional characters and if I watch or read something for a longer period of time I’ll feel as if I’m part of their lives, as if we’ve been hanging out a lot.

My brain sometimes feel like a broken radiohead. Channels opening, data pouring in, interference going on in the middle of the night. It’s a constant struggle to keep up with it and to hold it back when it gets too much.

This is all a very condensed, leaving-details-behind intro story I was really eager to share with you, dear readers. I hope you won’t take it the wrong way, I hope you won’t misunderstand me. I’m just trying to see the light, writing works but I feel I’ve kept it to myself for so long. Maybe putting myself out there will bring some clarity. Maybe I’ll find my answers in the way I expect it less. Nonetheless, welcome to my journey!

Thank you for reading!