Blindsided

Warning: Tough stuff ahead.  Good, processing stuff, but still tough.

Life is easiest for me when it’s compartmentalized.  I have this, my autism blog.  I have an eating disorder recovery blog, which is set to private, and I rarely use, although I should.  And in my mind, wrestling with my latest diagnosis warrants a third blog… but… just, hold up, here.  That’s not how life works.

In conversation with Leigh last night, it came up that my recent… issues.. points to a specific diagnosis.  It’s rather a scary diagnosis, because people who are labeled with these disorders are typically more or less shunned.  They are viewed as so difficult, so impossible, that any kind of close relationship with them isn’t worth it.

Even if I’m only saying it for my own good, I’m going to say it: I am worth it.

I have a lot to offer… I’m bubbly and engaging when I want to be.  I’m extremely creative and artistic.  I’m intelligent and interesting.. when I want to be, again.  I’m loyal, very honest, and so loving.  I can be a really top notch friend.

… usually.  Suffice to say that when things are bad, they get bad.  When my switch gets flipped, I can tear my entire world apart, piece by piece, in 90 minutes flat.  When the dust settles, I look around, wrecking ball still in hand, horrified; who made this mess?

Oh, my word.  It was me.

This is part of what led to The Email from my church friends the other night.  My reaction to said email was yet another reign of fury.  Dust, now settled, has left me utterly broken.  I stand in the midst of the rubble… peeking around a corner, I ask, so quietly, is anyone still with me?

They are.  They’re still here.  I don’t understand why.  That is simply superhuman grace.

Having hit absolute rock bottom, having torn my world apart brick by brick, I am now searching for the means by which I can begin to rebuild.

I am going through a workbook of a specific type of therapy that has helped people like me.  I’ve used it before and have found it very useful.  I am focusing on this work with my outpatient therapist, and she’s applied me to a partial program that uses it, one I’ve done successfully before.  All good steps.

I’m expanding my horizons, even beyond my comfort zone.  I’m looking for a volunteer opportunity here.  I’m writing again.  I’m involving myself more in my art and less in my need for constant communication.

I’m being honest with myself.  Yes, I have this diagnosis.  But it is one that I can overcome, one that, in time, I can even lose.  I am nothing if not determined, even incredibly stubborn, and I will apply my laser beam focus to rebuilding what I have destroyed.  I’m also being honest with those around my, my family, my friends, my counselor.  Hiding from the issues doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

This post is a first attempt to streamline my compartmentalized life.  I no longer want to view myself as a person with autism, a person with mental health issues, a person with physical disabilities, and so forth… so, let’s just back up.  But I’m quite certain that God doesn’t call me anything other than Lydia, so that’s what I’ll call myself.

If you were to ask me how I’m doing, I’m not even sure that’s a question I could outright answer.  In what sense?  Because the answer to “how has your food intake been today?” and “how has your mood been today?” and “how has your pain been today?” may be three entirely contradictory things.

How am… I?  How am I, not how are my issues?

I… am finding freedom.

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3 thoughts on “Blindsided

  1. Good to see you writing here again, I’m also autistic with mental illness and a physical disability.
    There are many mental illness diagnosis that have a terrible stigma, just like autism has, in reality the people who actually have the diagnosis can be the same as everyone else, most of them are great people, some are not but not because of any disorder, it’s just how people are. This kind of label is supposed to help knowing what kind of challenges someone has, not what kind of person they are.
    I used to read your blog from before and I know you discussed other diagnosis about mental health/illness and there was some mentioned on past posts, sometimes in a hurtful way for people who actually have it.
    It looks like you know not everything people say about autistic people is true and there are a lot of myths that say we are difficult or bad people, it’s exactly the same for mental illness diagnosis, people say awful things about us and it’s not truth, sadly many people only read about the bad side because it’s the most popular side, the one based on prejudice and not on who we really are, even professional descriptions are not real or good many times and it’s hard to recognize ourselves on clinical descriptions.
    Just like autism, there is no way of knowing how a mental illness diagnosis affects someone’s life just reading what experts say about it, it’s very different from what it actually is and how it actually feels like, it’s better to know what the people who have it say about it, that’s how I managed to know that all those horrible diagnosis that apparently only difficult people have are not like that at all and there are amazing people with the most different disabilities and mental illness and while our struggles that come with a diagnosis are hard it doesn’t say anything about who we are.
    Sorry about the long comment, I struggled with acceptance before and what I knew about what the diagnosis I have made acceptance more difficult because it was nothing like who I am, it took me a long time to notice that not what everyone said about a diagnosis is true and there is a lot of hidden prejudice everywhere. I was really afraid of a diagnosis being a judgement of what kind of person I am but it isn’t.

  2. You are so much stronger than your trials! The determination you show, your honesty, your willingness to ‘stretch’ to find something more, to do something more, to be something more shows so much of the beauty that is Lydia. Life is so hard. The journey is rough…the road is unpredictable. But you always come out of it with a great attitude and stronger than before. You are wonderful! 🙂

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