“I have this tight feeling in my chest,” my partner messaged me the other day. Immediately I start worrying about cardiac issues, even though she’s relatively young for that. Thank goodness she works at an urgent care. “All my vitals are normal, though.” Huh, so what the heck is going on? “Is this what anxiety feels like?” I laugh. I have to laugh. How did … Continue reading Invisible Struggles
“Humans are social creatures” is a thing you will hear and see over and over again, particularly in any article or opinion piece about human beings. Everyone seems pretty settled on this, even Aristotle thought so, which has me perpetually wondering what the heck is wrong with me. “Be social” is actually an item written in my daily habit and chore tracker. I didn’t add it … Continue reading If humans are so sociable, then what’s my problem?
“Look me in the eye!” someone will say when they’re furious or deadly serious. Though we don’t often unpack it, eye contact has power. To look into someone’s eyes and have them look back at you can be intimidating for the same reason it can be exhilarating: it’s a moment of pure, unadulterated connection with another person. So it makes sense, then, for autistic people for … Continue reading Eye Contact
“Normal.” It’s a word that gets thrown around often. We act as though “normal” is a fixed point, a goal that can be achieved, or an object that can be obtained. But “normal” is nothing if not relative. Normal means merely “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.” What is “normal” for you can be completely foreign for the person who lives right next … Continue reading The New Normal
Confidence is sexy. Don’t ask me where I learned that, it’s just one of those things “everyone knows.” Surely you’ve learned this too, either in conversation or directly. As a person who’s never had much self-confidence to speak of, I can’t tally the number of times well-meaning friends have instructed me to simply “Be confident!” as though that is actually helpful life advice. They act … Continue reading Don’t Hate Me Because I Hate Me
On my last day of high school, I wore the most ridiculous outfit I could assemble: striped tights and armwarmers, one black ballet-flat and one white, a loud skirt that looked like it had escaped from a modern-art museum, my black work polo and my name-tag that read “Melon Girl” (my job at the time was at the local supermarket assembling those overpriced fruit-and-vegetable party-platters), … Continue reading Freaksaurus Rex
Do you have a friend who struggles with their mental health? Do you have a GREAT piece of advice for them? Did they ask for that advice? If not, let me assure you, the best thing you can do is KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. I’m a little surprised I need to say this in 2018, but unsolicited mental health “advice” is literally never helpful. It’s not … Continue reading Ask and Listen