Saturday, August 9, 2014

Aspie group today

Ramblings from FB about the Aspie group I went to today and my evening

I probably have very little typing ability left before my hand starts bothering me again, so I should get this out while I still can.

I managed to sit and do nothing for a while, which is very unlike me. Let my thoughts run thru my head without judging or reacting to them. YAY! And read 2 chapter of a good book. I would have done more, but my back was getting sore and I could not find a good position to be in. Oh well, Patience I suppose, only way to go if you can get it.

I had a very full day!

I was with Rob and others from noon to 9pm. I went to the Aspie group for only the second time in seven years. I did markedly better this time than last, but the different structure probably helped a lot too. An engaging and intelligent guy I had never met did a presentation on Aspie social cues and problems with that subject. I found it hard to listen and sit still at first, or keep my body calm enough to listen, but then I wandered to the other side of the room, sat there and found that now I could actually understand the words. I then did a reading of one of my favorite essays on being Aspie that is published in the book I wrote. All those weeks of open mic night paid off, because I was perfectly able to read the essay without any preparation or much anxiety, used to delivering essays to an audience whose reaction I was never sure of and Thank God usually couldn't SEE due to the lighting on stage... Helps with stage presence. Ha. I felt strangely natural talking in front of a group,  actually, far more natural than usual, far more confident than usual. I love giving presentations because I can be calm enough to consider things like tone of voice and how the words are coming across. Normal interactions you have to REACT SO FAST and so much anxiety cannot pay attn to tone of voice. Reading an essay though? No anxiety because no worry about social rules. You have the floor. No anxiously trying to figure out when to respond, what they're thinking, what to say, OMG WHAT ARE THEY THINKING, when am I supposed to talk, what did they mean by that? You are just reading, and it is such an easy form of social communication for me, such a natural, delightful, almost luxurious thing for me to do. I can actually focus on trying to make my tone of voice fit what I am reading. Or it has been lately at least. I pray for more opportunities to do so.

There were a couple more outgoing members of the group present and I was thankful for this, as the group does usually tend towards the introverted side. There were actually four women when I walked in and I thought I was seeing things. There is usually just one or two. Half the people when I walked in were women. Knock me over with a feather, as they say.

While the place was not easy physically in terms of sensory reactions, it was tolerable as long as I was engaged, which fortunately I was and remained so for the 3 hours I was there. So that was a win.

I was thankful for time to decompress after. Got groceries. Walked with Rob on the Western Prom. And managed to sit and do nothing when I got home instead of intensely trying to cover up and offload my emotions. Sanity, if that is you knocking on the door, please make yourself at home and stay a while. =)

But the best part of the day actually came after Rob and I came back from our walk on the western prom. Lingering by the door and talking, we saw an older woman walking by. She said "I don't know how I'm going to make it home, they pumped me up with drugs," to no one in particular. I noticed the wristband on her wrist and was mindful of being 2 blocks from the hospital. Always eager to engage someone, I asked her "Did you just come from the hospital?" Indeed, she had come by ambulance earlier, and had no ride home. She felt like she couldn't walk any further. Instantly sympathetic, and feeling perfectly safe engaging with her, I asked her if she had money for a cab. She didn't.  I asked her where she lived and it was less than a mile away.

Always on the lookout for opportunities to make the world a better place for someone other than me, I told her I'd be glad to give her $5 for a cab, because I knew it wouldn't cost more than that for a mile. She was so grateful. She was all talking about how there are good people in the world and how thankful she was, and I just ... was taking in her energy and so happy for it, because honestly, it is the gritty, real, down to earth, non-pretentious non-perfect people that make me feel instantly comfortable, and I almost never find them. I was so happy to be able to help someone. My money and phone was upstairs, but R and I split the $5 to pay her and R used his phone to call a cab for her, which came within 5 minutes. She was a lovely, enthusiastic, vibrant personality experiencing a hard time, and I just felt... I felt like life was worth living having helped this other person, like all of my anxieties and fears for the night ahead melted away in the face of this one single undeniable fact - SOMEONE ELSE WAS GENUINELY GLAD I EXISTED, that she had met me , and that I, of all people, who am so sick and tired of depending on other people to help me, was finally able to make the load easier for someone else tonight.

Yea. I gotta find me some volunteer opps that work w/ my sensitivities cus I think helping others is only way I'll ever find a meaning in life. I WANT a meaning in life. If I can find a way to get over my body's limitations.... I will certainly do so.

1 comment:

  1. That was a really touching story about the woman from the hospital trying to get home. I have to say that there are others of us who are glad that you exist! I really appreciated your reading in the Aspie group. I love your writing, and I love you reading your writing!