Do not assume the worst

editorial image

October, for me-and no doubt this month-was quite challenging for me.  Every week, nearly, there seemed to be something new thrown at me.

Whether it was a brand new (yet ultimately taxing) unit in Shorthand, or arrangements in advance (it could be going to the London Dungeons, or visiting Bloomberg’s newsroom), I think that I could often respond pessimistically. This was due to worrying, and going over and over inside my head. The same goes for social situations.

A lot of the time I have to explain about my background, meaning that I am wary a lot of the time. (I have Aspergers Syndrome-meaning that making friends is supremely difficult, as is eye contact. I am also very literal, prone to asking a lot of questions, and not understanding some forms of humour.)

The irony? I document this on my blog, yet it is so hard to talk about. Mostly as repeating myself gets fustrating, and the subject about “finding a cure”-something that I deplore.

Walking to Brighton station, with someone here on refereed to as S, our conversation veered to learning needs after a lecture. Ready to ‘jump the gun’ in explaing about the Aspergers, S said (something along the lines of) “I use to work with Kids who had Aspergers; how do you find being autistic?”

Dumbstruck. That’s me. This is new territory; they are actually asking me questions! We are having a conversation! Like a proper exchange!

When growing up, a lot of my peers had no idea what Aspergers is. Some of them thought I was a “weirdo”, or even “a freak”. I wasn’t the sort to be at a birthday party, or a club; I’d be at home with a book. The ‘special interests’-fixating on one particular subject-was also a ‘sore point’. Can you see why it is so easy to think the worst?

The same goes for events: going to a panel event, or to a newsroom, I’m out of my depth. And worrying: “What if the train is cancelled?”, “What if I’m late?”, “What if they don’t like me?” It is so easy to become flustered. And it’s still something that I find hard to manage. But usually everything turns out alright! October was full of some great experiences and oppourtunities that I haven’t had the chance to experience before. And if it doesn’t turn out alright? Well, it’s not the end of the world.

Lesson learnt: don’t think the worst, even though it is so easy to do so.

People like S are the reason I write: whenever I post an essay on the blog about an issue related to my condition, the (rare) comment of “My relative has been recently diagnosed, thank you for writing this” makes me smile. These are the people that make it worthwhile.

And people aren’t bad like previous experience would suggest.

Currently I’m reading: The Widow by Fiona Barton.

And listening to: Evolution by Anastacia.