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Why Weren’t They Necessary?

Reposting this today from a day ago, because the hyperlinking wasn’t quite matching up properly…

Ok you guys, so on the homepage, I mention that I have definitely have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but that it’s complicated… and that’s true! That’s oh, so very true, as you see, I also have this super-annoying (well, honestly I kind of love it) thing called ‘High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.’ I am autistic, slightly. Enough that it definitely makes thought processes difficult for me, and has severely impacted my life, but if you were to ask the state, they would tell you I‘m not disabled from it (not enough to qualify for it, I’ve definitely tried. Compounded with my horridly chronic migraines, if you were to ask *anyone* that knows me, they would say that I certainly deserve it. Pain speaks volumes). However, I did not get a finite diagnosis on my autism until a few years ago, at the age of 27, (at the time or writing this, I am 29, and will be turning 30 in December). If you have been keeping up, you will now notice that benzodiazepines have literally been a part of my life, for essentially half of my life. So I am walking into very new territory here, and when I say that I feel like a new person, I state that with every intent behind every word. Anyways, continuing on, last year, I had to check myself into a detox clinic for 1,4-butanediol (a legal prodrug to GHB, with some purported activity of it‘s own accord) abuse. While there, for two weeks, I was in a state of full-blown delirium/psychosis (I may make a post on this at some point, it was a very interesting experience, although I never wish to go through it again), and when I got out, I did a month-long IOP program while staying in a sober-living house, and it just so happened that the man who led the course used to work with autistic teenagers. One day, we had a class about anxiety, and I shared some of my struggles over the years about benzodiazepine abuse, and how I would use them to appease some particular symptoms, and immediately the man looked up at me (this was over webcam, think COVID time-frame) and said “son, you haven’t been experiencing anxiety all of these years, you’ve been experiencing sensory overload from your autism!” That hit me like a sack of bricks. It just made so much sense. All of these years. All fourteen of them, I had been popping these pills. Titrating these powders into chemical solutions. Trying to pacify this problem, and I wasn’t even aiming at the right target. And he was right, too ~ I’ve tested his theory. If I deprive a sense, for example, if I wear sunshades when talking to people, it makes conversation much easier. I hate that, but it definitely works, and it’s super convenient for crowds. Headphones are dope, and I’m an audiophile anyways, so I always make sure I have my cans nearby. Simply integrating things like these, have helped immensely in my life. While I definitely do have anxiety, I think that the sensory overload, and the general processing issues that I get from autism have actually been the compounding issues over the years, and I am very very thankful to that counselor at that IOP group for pointing this out to me. If he had not pointed that out, I very likely would have continued just going on thinking my life was destined to be damned with generalized anxiety disorder, and while I definitely know how to navigate through a life with such, I literally have never known a different such experience. It is awesome to know that it is instead just a bit of over-processing. Over-processing is still a ballpark of it’s own accord, and I definitely believe it deserves a post of its own, but being able to have it split into something of itself makes this a game changer in my life, and I am incredibly thankful for it. So I guess that about sums up everything that this post was intended for. I know that I sent quite a few close friends and family links to the blog yesterday for when it went live, so if you guys are here and reading, I’d just like to say “Hello!” I will try my best to continue updating this on a regular basis, and look forward to what this can evolve into ~ much love!

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