Monday, 2 December 2013

Do you like you?

If you're an outsider - which a lot of Aspies are - you're probably lonely sometimes.  Maybe often. Maybe all the time.

You don't have to live alone in the wilderness to feel lonely.  Sometimes, if you're different from the others around you and you don't feel like you belong or are understood, the loneliest place to be is in a crowd.

Maybe you have family that loves you but doesn't 'get' you.  Maybe your interests or skills or values aren't a good match for the community where circumstance has planted you.  Maybe you just feel apart, rather than a part, of what's going on around you.

That feeling hurts.  For all the solitary rebel badass tropes, humans are social creatures and we're designed to be part of a community.  And when you're not - when you don't feel that connection - that can, genuinely, hurt.

Sometimes that disconnection is genuine.  Sometimes we just don't fit in.  That doesn't make you a bad person - some communities aren't welcoming, or accepting, or healthy places to belong.  Sometimes not fitting in is the only sane and healthy thing to do.

Sometimes, we might feel more disconnected than we actually are, because Aspergers can do weird things to our emotions and our social awareness and our biological cocktail of human interaction chemicals.  Sometimes our peers are sending us the myriad tiny signal that say "you are welcome here", but we can't pick them up.  Like the 52hz whale, we operate on a different frequency.

Also, a lot of us are good at black-and-white thinking, and our minds can turn one bad encounter in to a nobody likes me spiral of despair.

Never mind whether other people like you... do you like you?  

Are you proud of the person you are?  Never mind whether others are prettier or cleverer or skinnier. Are you the best possible version of you?

Or is there more you'd like to do?  More you'd like to learn?  New places to see, books to read, experiences to have and skills to master?  Are there things you want to do?  To be?

Do them.

You will never again be as young as you are at this moment.

And, with luck, it'll keep you busy enough to take your mind off being alone.