So here’s a thing that’s been popping up on the internet in the last few years. Several people I know have come forward with new knowledge that states they are in fact autistic, and this is putting their entire lives into perspective for them, and in some ways – not all but in some small ways and large ones – changing their entire perspectives and lives.

So! Maybe I am too? I don’t know, and I’m not sure what a positive yes result would do for me, but I am starting to notice some behaviors in my adult self that my younger self carried, that I now know how to identify.

Maybe They’re Anxious

Anxiety isn’t something I know how to defend, or identify in other people, but I notice my blood gets warm, I start to sweat and even when I look calm I feel anything but calm.

I am the exact opposite of calm all the time, even though people feel like I am, I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life, but I didn’t know how to identify it as a child, and the adults around me never thought to ask, because they didn’t know to.

Now we know that anxiety can develop after an extreme experience with a traumatic event, and from a variety of other issues that have nothing to do with trauma at all, so it can be confusing to diagnose, but once you recognize a panic attack for what it is, it’s easier to deal with.

Maybe It’s A Panic Attack

My panic attacks range from dizziness to extreme anger and rage tantrums, and they can be incredibly fucking disruptive, scary, and annoying, and sometimes I’m so calm I don’t know I’m having a panic attack until someone adjusts my attention.

So it can be very confusing to deal with and while I don’t have a fix, I am learning to notice the patterns of when I’m having one, and I hope that will help me calm the bursts of anger that come with being frustrated.

I do know that when I’m having one I struggle to breathe, sometimes, and other times I struggle to communicate what I am feeling. Now, I’m learning to find other ways to identify.

One that I just thought of was snapping my fingers to let anyone close to me know I’m having a panic attack, I think I’ll try that and communicate it ahead of time so that my mom and I know when I’m having one.

Stress makes it worse

I really am a hermit and I like being left alone, but because I live in the world, there are people who are constantly in my way. This isn’t their fault, I’m not rich yet, that’s yours y’all don’t pay me enough for this. The point is though, that the stresses even the smallest adjustment to my schedule or routine really throws me off, and the best way to describe it is uncomfortable.

I feel often like I don’t belong in my own skin, and it feels very strange and uncomfortable and almost itchy all the time. There are mental health issues associated with this but mostly it’s just a feeling of “I can’t handle this situation” that sets it off.

Of course, after the situation is handled I often feel ridiculous which only adds to the stress I put on myself when I catch myself procrastinating.

Every day is different, even when they are the same

How I felt yesterday isn’t going to be how I feel today and even cannabis can’t push all the sadness away, so sometimes I’ll cry.

Sometimes they’re sad tears, sometimes they’re happy tears, but I need my supporters to let me cry, or laugh when I need to because I didn’t do enough of that when I was growing up and so now I’m really just trying to clean out the old to make room for the new.

Sometimes again, that means real genuine tears, and other times it means laughter. These are natural and human emotions and we all need to feel them.

The fact that you don’t understand my emotions is none of my concern. You don’t have to unless I decide to share them with you.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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