Escape

Screenshot (3)Sometimes I want nothing more than to escape this body I am trapped in. Like Superman ripping open his shirt revealing his costume underneath, I too want to rip my body open by the chest, step out, kick this exterior aside, and feel free and unencumbered. When the triggers are there and the meltdown is happening, I feel the emotional pain all over. My muscles tense and seize up within me. I feel like uncontained water and want nothing more than to feel held, compressed. My heart doesn’t just hurt, my entire chest hurts. My skin feels like it is crawling and there is this unbearable cry for relief. If it were just physical pain, I would take it, I would understand it. But it’s not. It’s this invisible pain that doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why it has seized my body and entire being and there is no escape. Many times I have chosen physical pain at the end of the razor instead of enduring whatever this is. That pain is easier. That pain is bearable. I have hit myself, scratched myself, burned myself, and cut myself. All for relief. All for escape. Those I confided in for help told me I was sinful, outside of God’s will, crazy, manipulative, making bad choices, evil. I felt guilt, shame, and beat myself up for acting against God. But I was self-medicating. I was self-medicating things I had no idea that was happening to me or that was different from other people. Recognizing the truth behind it and the story in whole has lifted a burden of self-shaming from my shoulders. And although I know that’s not what God wants from me and I’ve witnessed firsthand the improvement in the quality of my life from eliminating those self-injurious behaviors, in those moments, it’s hard to not opt out of the invisible pain by choosing the bearable physical one. In those moments, I want anything—anything—for relief. Even apart from the meltdowns, I long for an escape. I was unexpectedly wrenched out of my happy, safe world and thrown into a dark and cold one bringing in tow a burden of confusion, injustice, and loss. While everyone gets to continue with their life, I am constantly faced with triggers lurching me back. I don’t want this. I don’t want these triggers and to be in this unfriendly world. But I am held captive by living expenses, social pressures, education investments, healthcare, and a plethora of other sensibilities restraining me from walking out and being free of the triggers that hound and plague me. This world is too hard to be fully present in. From the sudden change and following heartache, my threshold is low. Apart from triggers, even the external is unbearable. Light, noises, my clothing rubbing, a vent blowing, I want away from it all. My own skin becomes a foe, my own brain, an instigator. When this world is away, I am fine. When it is out of my thoughts, analysis, and external senses, life is ok. I detach myself from everything. Even joy I don’t want to feel. I want this world to become nothing to me, and me to become nothing to it. For when there is nothing, there is no pain, no overpowering desire for relief of the unresolved, no crippling confusion, no heartaches, no reminders, no triggers, no meltdowns. Nothing. I avoid people, events, engaging. I retreat whenever I can to nothingness, to an enclosed, dark space where I control my stimuli and surroundings. And in this unbearable world, that is how I am happy, that is how I survive. There is a very select few who have permission to pull me out of this space within me. The select close friends who I go to for relief, for help. But apart from that, no one else is allowed. If others were to force me, I’d pull back even more, resist and retreat deeper. For this is my solitude. This is my safety. This isn’t my wish to be like this, this is my survival. This last shift was a bad one, rocking my very core, changing my external environment, workplace, and people I relied on. I am beyond overwhelmed, exhausted, and just want relief—an escape from all of this. But somewhere along the line, somewhere out in the deep distance, somewhere far beyond what I could possibly hope to grasp right now is partaking in the world again, desiring to engage again, being joyful again, and loving again. I just need myself to be numb a while so my heart can rest, my body can regain its strength, and the triggers and memories can fade so I can truly move forward as the rest of the world seems to so easily and seamlessly.

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    • Sorry… there’s no cure… I’m not an expert at all, but I did look into this a while ago for myself. I know people with Asperger’s and Autism tend to benefit from taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, and I know many that take ADD medication. Those seem to curb and lighten the side-effects. And I guess when there is more dopamine in your brain, you are happier about life and things stress you out less.

      I wanted to start taking something myself, but I was afraid of all the prescription stuff because I heard it doesn’t work the same with autism (even though I know people on the spectrum benefiting from it) and I was afraid of the month-long adjustment period I read about. So I started taking a natural supplement for anxiety called L-Tyrosine. It’s an amino acid so it works differently than prescription medicine. and there’s no “adjusting” to it. I also wanted to start with something small. I’m not sure if it works entirely, but I know there’s more noradrenaline added to my brain, so that’s gotta help somehow!

      I came across amino acids when looking up what people on the spectrum were taking and benefiting from. It seemed like a lot of people were doing well with taking a combination of L-Tyrosine in the morning (for anxiety) and 5HTP at night (for depression). (I bought the 5HTP, but I’ve been afraid to take the 5HTP from news coverage over bad doses in the tryptophan ingredient a few years back).

      It seems like natural supplements are an easy start to try. If it’s not strong enough or seems to be working, I would see a doctor about anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. I mean, it does seem like lowered anxiety and lowered depression would make this easier…? Right?

      http://www.autismfile.com/science-research/autism-and-adrenal-stress
      http://www.livestrong.com/article/539256-l-tyrosine-5-htp/
      http://treato.com/Autism,Tyrosine/?a=s
      http://www.autismweb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=145655

      But most importantly, do your research first and know what is out there and what you are looking for before you see a doctor. Often doctors tend to push certain medicines because they get a check with each prescription or because it is a well-known, go-to one, but it might not always be best for you. So be well-informed first and be ready to be assertive and firm in what you need. Talk to others who are taking something if you can.

      Sometimes counseling and therapy can be a good route. I know for myself this would suck. I don’t like talking to strangers about personal things and I don’t respect their opinion as informed if they don’t know who I am. But sometimes it can be a good resource in gleaning knowledge. They can help find solutions for lowering triggers and stimuli that you never may have thought of. There’s things like using a weighted blanket that surprisingly help. Or I found wrapping myself real tight in a towel when I feel overwhelmed or like I’m spinning out of control helps. I found stimming works for me (tapping my foot or circling it in a repetitive motion). Things like this.

      I would also do your own research and read other blogs and just see what’s out there online. Reading what other people wrote made me feel so much better and so much less crazy! And you may also stumble upon tips and things to help lessen these blows and avoid some things.

      I know a constant outlet for me has always been some kind of art. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something creative. Without any art or investment in something creative, it feels like my soul almost withers and dies slowly. I’ve realized I pretty much need it to survive. If I get bored or burnt out of a project or one form of art, I find another. Like writing this blog! 🙂 And that seems to be a good form of “escape” to occupy my thoughts with and to invest myself in fully when I can’t invest myself in this life or the world around me is too hard. Try taking up a hobby or small projects. When you have something that you can control, that is safe, fun, and takes up your busy mind, things are more bearable if you keep your focus on that.

      I hope this helps some what… Sorry for what you are going through.

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