Autism in My Eyes
What is your reaction to the following things? Heights, spiders, guns, pain, needles, death and finally, public speaking. I’m sure some of you are jumping with joy at some of them, I know I am. For example, I have a healthy fear of guns, but I still pride myself on knowing how to use them because it’s a healthy respectful fear not a crippling fear. But the point is EVERYONE is afraid of something, and most of them would love to be rid of the fear.
Well, before I begin let me introduce myself, my name is Eric, I’m 25 years old, I have Asperger’s, depression, PTSD, Anxiety and am both a victim of my own fears and a major ass kicker of fears, all depending on the circumstances. For example, here are some of the fears people in my life know I have or had, the fear of needles, the fear of spiders, the fear of heights, the fear of ice (the type on the ground in winter, not the ice cubes, even this guy needs a chilly drink). I no longer have some of the fears I had growing up, like the fear of bad grades, but I’ve developed others, such as sadly a fear of being left behind, or the fear of being unable to defend myself.
Now I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves, “this guy definitely has seen something, how’d he do it?!” Let me tell you therapy works wonders, but sometimes you get a chance and you just take it and other times you have NO CHOICE but to conquer your fears. Look at me, I had a terrible fear of needles, I mean I actively avoided them at all costs, stemmed from my childhood but that’s a different story. But when I was 22 I got sick and ended up in the hospital with IV’s in both arms, turned out I had Type 1 diabetes, and in order to be allowed to go home I had to prove I could give myself injections from an insulin pen (imagine an oversized pen filled with liquid and with a small needle on the end). So yeah, it was hard but I wanted out of the damn hospital so I got through it with help from my endocrinologist and a diabetic educator. So yeah, I got home and took it easy, the next morning I had to give myself my first shot on my own, I sat there and cried for a few minutes in front of my Grandma and dad, then I just did it, never looked back. Now I’ve got 3 tattoos and I want more, MANY, MANY MORE.
When I was a kid a family member who shall remain anonymous for their own dignity and privacy was as a child absolutely terrified of dying. It never phased me until someone close to me died, then I became afraid of having regrets of not showing my affection enough. Now I’m an absolutely loving and affectionate with everyone, I never hate unless it’s a last resort. Doesn’t matter of that annoying 8-year-old cousin is holding onto my leg and begging me to play him in something or if the adults are talking with me about something I don’t want to discuss, I am always loving and polite if I can be.
So, from this screwed up man to all of you I just want to say, if you truly want to be done with a fear, FIGHT IT! If you are afraid of spiders, like I am and you want to cure it, let a spider crawl on you. If you are afraid of heights bungee jumping should cure it. If you fear public speaking, take a public speaking class. I’m not saying you MUST conquer your fears but please from one afraid individual to another, don’t let it cripple you.
So yeah, fear can inspire or cripple, it’s all on you to make of it what you will. Have a good day and keep smiling.