Hi Booze Zombie! Thanks for your post it made very interesting reading actually, so never apologize for writing a lot, write more if it helps, we all write a lot at times, that's what we use the site for, after all. More information is always better than not enough when people are reading and wanting to help. I find the people who use this site are very supportive during the bad times and encouraging during the good times. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.
I have Aspergers too. I'm a 33 year old housewife, and even though my life is sorted now and I'm pretty stable emotionally, mentally, and socially, it wasn't always that way. I was so socially awkward, even though I had good training and qualifications in my area of work, I couldn't keep a job. I upset pretty much every person who ever got close to me. I've made a lot of enemies over the years and there are some people who have literally HATED me and have told me so. It's partly because I'm too honest, partly because I was very self-centred and suffered from crippling negative emotions and anxiety at times, and partly because I used to try so hard to say the right things at the right times but would always say the wrong things at the wrong times instead. Now when I say self-centred, what I mean is that I was very inward thinking.....like I was the centre of my universe and everything which happened to me, around me, and in my own mind was of huge importance and I would have to analyze every detail. It takes a lot of energy to be that way. I would put so much pressure on myself to behave in the perfect manner during every interaction, that by the end of a college week or working week, I would shut myself away in a dark room (I lived alone) and hide in bed for the whole weekend, often without even getting up to shower or eat. By the time Monday came around again, I often still did not feel I had spent enough time processing and recovering from the week before. It took all the energy I had to seem normal, to appear as though I was coping, and to keep being liked by other people.......and still, I couldn't manage it, ever for more than a few months at a time. I would always eventually lose my job, lose my friends, leave behind a lot of bad feeling, and have to start all over again somewhere new. It's not that I can't appear normal, I just can't do it consistently. I used to feel i'd let myself down, and let everyone I knew down every time I messed things up. -Every time the aspects of myself which I desperately tried to keep hidden would start bubbling up to the surface. And all it would take to knock me down was one bad exchange, one bad event, one thing messed up, and the tall tower i'd built would start to crumble and fall. My emotions would make sure of it. I was completely at the mercy of my own destructive mind and felt I had no control. What did not seem fair, is that underneath the exterior which I tried so hard to promote, was an exceptionally loving, kind, and thoughtful girl who only ever wanted the best for other people and would never intentionally hurt anyone. I was constantly misunderstood. My outer exterior, which tried hard and then messed up and said all the wrong things and hurt people, did not match the person who was inside, looking out. I used to wish I could communicate without words........because my words were so often the wrong ones, but my heart felt only love. However, people judge us on what we say and do, not (unfortunately) on the longings and sincerity of our heart. This, most do not sense. It is kind of like the stare a dog gives when he wants to communicate but cant. That's how I used to feel, like it SHOULD be possible to communicate who I am on the inside but for some reason, all I had were useless words which I used to muddle up or use in the wrong tone especially when emotional or under pressure, and give people the wrong impression. So often, I ended up saying the opposite of what I intended to say. I was the cause of all my suffering but I felt powerless to change it even though my intentions were always good, a lot of people turned away from me and some actively tried to hurt me and It felt like injustice. My childhood was hard, my teenage years were harder, and my 20's were the hardest.
Drug use is common for people like us, nervous habbits, bizarre coping strategies, overwhelming fear and powerful emotions leading to solitary behaviour, and all for a very good reason. Our minds are intricate and intense. We focus on details that most people don't care about, think about, or even notice. We sense subtleties and care deeply. And we are built that way. It's not something we can decide to turn off. But we can get better and better at coping with it and fitting into the world, or rather, molding our lives to fit us. If you think about it, unless you are intentionally harming others, you are perfectly entitled to be whatever you are and not have to apologize for it. You are able to live your life as an adult, just the way you are, and find people and situations which suit you. You can build your life up with those things and you do not have to live up to anybody else's expectations. You can choose to take all of the pressure off yourself about having to fit in socially, and just go about your life in whichever way you please. Once I realized that, my life changed. I found friends who wanted to know me as I am, and enjoyed having a friend who was different and quirky. They are still my friends now. I met a man who was prepared to put up with me and his sense of humour carries our relationship through. He's not a deep thinker, so we suit each other. He doesn't drain me because he's not demanding and is not at all dramatic. He likes his own space and I like mine. He doesn't understand my obsessions or my inner world, he just lets me get on with it. Because of that, I really do love him. We chose to love each other as we are and not try to change each other. I now let him go out to work, because that's what he likes to do, and I stay at home with our daughter, playing with the hose in the garden, painting, dancing and playing with her dollies, cooking and cleaning etc, because that's what I like to do. We don't have a lot of money, but we are happy, each living the way we like and not trying to be anything other than what we are. When you can say you are happy with what you are and what you have, you will feel the way I do and that's what I hope for everyone.
If you are as I am, you analyze your mind, your thoughts and feelings, your actions, what happens around you, what happened in your past, what might happen in your future, what other people are thinking of you, have thought of you, will think of you, how you responded, how you will respond next time, what they think of each other, why you exist, the nature of reality, etc etc........ and you've already cracked it because you have noticed the pattern in your mind. It may cause you a lot of exhaustion to be this way, but it did have it's purpose. It's as though you've been on fast-track learning in this lifetime and that's okay. A lot of knowledge will have come from the intense observation. Hopefully things should start to slow down soon, now that you are becoming aware. You are beginning to see that you are the lord of your own being, observing your thoughts and emotions, but recognizing them for what they are, which stops them from having power over you and gives you back the power. I say it a lot on this forum, something from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; "If you do not make the mind behave as your friend, it will behave as your enemy". It is very possible to take charge of your mind so that you can find relief from your emotions and suffering. All it takes is what you naturally do.....observation. If you become the watcher of your thoughts and emotions without getting lost in them, attached to them, or holding on to them, your thoughts and therefore emotions will eventually become under your own control and will be calmer, still and silent whenever you please, most of the time. This is the meaning of meditation. But whatever you call it, it's the key, I think, to taking control of a powerful mind, and having the freedom to create the life you want without the emotional interference. You could try asking yourself: "Who would I be and how would I live my life if I wasn't affected by or afraid of my emotions?/If I didn't care what other people thought of me?/If I was free to be who I am without judgement or worry?" Because regardless of how you must feel at times, you are most probably an incredibly interesting person to know.....and there is a perfect life for you out there, waiting for you to `grow` into it during the passing of time......if that makes sense.
With love and respect.
..............wow didn't I write a lot!