I think about starting over…
So, I have been writing out in the open. I feel like I need to be open with what I have to say, because it is important for others to learn and understand what goes on in the mind of an autistic individual. But this is something I’d rather keep to a pseudonym still (unless I have a 1-on-1 conversation with someone). There are people who know me and love me that would feel I am being cavalier with this post topic, when I am not. (However, they don’t really know me, or want to know what is going on with me, if they can’t understand this post topic and where I am coming from.)
What’s this topic?
I will be the first person to tell you that I am not suicidal. I am afraid of accidental overdoses. Forget purposeful overdoses. I am afraid to get a knife near myself. I am fearful about a loaded gun pointed anywhere near me. If I ever die and it’s not a natural death, you can be rest assured it was accidental.
However, the topic has often floated through my head. There was a PoliSci professor at Arizona State that received a late in life diagnosis of Asperger’s. (This was before DSM5 was released.) A blog post he set to publish after his death recounted how he spent life with other people misunderstanding his comments and motivations, always having to explain what he meant by something, and still being misunderstood anyway. In this post, he said he was not suicidal. In fact, he loathed the idea. But he was wore out. He was done. He had reached his limit of being in a place where he didn’t fit in. My wife read this post, and immediately was fearful because she said it sounded like me. It did sound like me. It DOES sound like me. But I would end up going crazy and being involuntarily committed to a mental health ward before I would ever try to kill myself.
It doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. I have. Different thoughts of how I would do it have gone through my head hundreds of times. Then I get frustrated with myself because I spent so much time thinking about the methods and manners when I would never purposefully try to end myself.
Suicide can be a complicated subject.
So why did I write about this today? See if you can follow me on this one. If suicide is leaving a familiar place that torments you, then why can’t we just leave the familiar place that torments us? I passed by a Mexican food restaurant today that included the greeting “Bienvenidos” on it. The thoughts that went through my head when I saw this sign were comforting. They were of being in a place so different than where I am right now that I am starting over. A fresh start. The thoughts were of being somewhere where I have to re-learn what it takes to live regular life. The thoughts were of being somewhere that I could just re-brand myself as “that eccentric old fool that’s not hurting anyone.”
If it were not for my wife and child, I would have already booked my ticket and packed my bags for some unfamiliar destination a long time ago. Maybe one of these days, I can talk my wife in to making the move anyway.
I think about starting over. I think often about starting over…
Also published on Medium.