The Night Before Prom

Dear Diary,

I’ve said goodbye to many teachers who have supported me and whom I genuinely care about. My last day is tomorrow evening where I’ll go to prom, enjoy a meal and get my high school graduation certificate.

I’m nervous for tomorrow but also so excited. I have a beautiful dress, I’m getting my hair professionally done, I have beautiful accessories and makeup and I’m so excited!

I’m currently painting my toenails for the prom and I’m going to choose my jewellery – I’m definitely wearing my Elena vervain locket and my Elena ring as well as some of my Pandora charms.

I have a busy day tomorrow so I’m going to get some sleep. This may be the shortest blog post in the history of humanity but I want to record how I’m feeling.

Take care and wish me luck!

Medusa

The nail polish I’m wearing to prom tomorrow.
The beautiful bow my neighbour made that I’m wearing tomorrow!

University Decision: Post-Making My Choice

Dear Diary,

I’ve chosen a course that in part surprised me. I know that I can excel at it and I am genuinely excited to get started!

Of course there are the wriggling doubts, the fears, the nagging voice in the back of my head whispering that I’ve made a huge mistake – which sucks but is also normal. I got into a fantastic course that may not have been my ‘dream course’ but is something that I love and can’t wait to begin.

So yes with the celebration comes slight mourning – mourning for a S1 girl’s dream and mourning for the countless other opportunities that every choice we make in life limits you to.

But despite some sadness and anxiety; I feel relieved. I have a clear view of what I’ve got to do and how I’m going to do it and that feels really good.

I am very happy and I think that this course will not only be badass, exciting and that guarantees a career; but will also make me happy in life.

Only time will tell but today is a good day and it requires a celebration – one preferably when I’m neither sunburnt or exhausted from adrenaline. One thing is for sure; I can’t wait to get started!

Take Care.

Medusa.

University Decision: Pre-Making the choice

Dear Diary,

The time is here – well a mere matter of hours away – for me to decide where I want to go to university and what course I want to take.

There are a few things for me to consider in the next short while. There are things to consider about both my capabilities my dreams and what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life.

I’m an insecure eighteen year old with autism and mental health problems; trapped in the mindspace of a primary one girl, who longs to be accepted and liked by the other kids in the playground. A girl who can’t understand why people don’t like her. I’m someone who lacks confiction in her decisions without letting on to the fact. I’m someone who still struggles to understand how she could possibly be autistic one day and on another day can’t touch her belongings because her OCD is too bad.

This is why I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m going to end up miserable in two ways:

Reason 1: I’m scared that by picking one choice I will be passing up on an opportunity I have always wanted and may never get again. I’m terrified that I am choosing based on fear of the unknown. That I’m using any excuse to not take a leap of faith and do something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. I’m afraid that I’ll end up filled with regret and anger at myself.

Reason 2: I’m scared that if I pick something and take a leap of faith it won’t work and I’ll be disheartened, sad and crushed. I’m scared that I’ll not be able to manage the course either by being not good enough at the course or by having a mental breakdown, or by both. I’m scared that I’ll miss an opportunity to discover what I want to do by rushing into an idea that could make or break me. I could take my time and see, try something and then if I can do it – move on to my dream course (if it remains that).

I’m so scared of regret, I have enough of it from my years of letting my OCD control my life and I don’t want to add to it. But whatever I do regret is always a risk.

I need to spend the next few hours thinking. Will post after I make my choice.

Medusa.

Miss Independent

Dear Diary,

It’s time to start being independent. It’s true, I’ve been over reliant on other people emotionally and in terms of looking after me.

During a phase of about 5 years I didn’t understand what having a family ‘meant’. It’s not that I didn’t have one, I’ve been lucky enough to always have a wonderful family but my brain failed to understand what that truly meant.

So after I realised ( with the help of TV funnily enough ) what it meant to be a family – I started over relying on it.

I’d spent so long not being able to emotionally interact with my family that when I finally learned, I went all in. I over rely on family members and people I admire to look after me. I try and do and belief things that exactly align with what they do and belief because I have a lack of self-identity.

It’s time to start taking care of myself. I’m an adult now and it’s time to take responsibility for the cleanliness of my room, my medication and other aspects of my life. It’s time to start being more independent.

Medusa.

Knowing My Limits.

Dear Diary,

I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not doing great at a subject I’ve been sudying for a year. I don’t want to quit it as I may aswell carry on to potentially recieve a pass but I’m not feeling great about it.

I keep thinking ‘I should have studied more’, ‘I should have done this – I was capable of doing this’ and ‘I’ve let myself down’. However in all these angry self-hating thoughts never have I allowed myself to think of the reasons why I’ve struggled.

The lockdowns, the not being able to do my routines, not being able to go to my appointments in person, feeling really unhappy and dealing with my OCD. All these factors and more have all added to my stress and inability to focus.

Despite knowing this, despite logically acknowledging that these things are true – I don’t believe it. I just feel bad. My brain hurts and I feel bad. I could be doing more but I’m going to go to bed.

Medusa.

I Feel Defective

Dear Diary,

DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a very depressing post. I’m feeling very negative surrounding my autism and differences.

Today I feel bad. I feel guilty for saying this because it’s not very positive but it’s how I am currently feeling and so I’m going to share it. I feel like a mistake of a human being. I don’t work properly. I have OCD, low self-esteem and I have autism.

It’s not even autism that makes me so wrong. My problem is myself. There is no escape from being who I am and it is becoming very difficult to deal with. The autism just adds to it.

I feel like a broken toy in a factory conveyer belt. I was the one mistake in a perfect batch of toys and no matter how hard the factory workers try, I can’t be fixed.

My brain doesn’t work properly and I’m feeling more and more aware of this fact every single day. I just want to be normal and I just want to be able to not be autistic for a day to see if what I’m feeling is autistic or just an average emotion.

My brain just doesn’t work properly. Explaining how or why is impossible – a bit like describing a colour to someone who can’t see. All I know is that there is something wrong with my brain and I can’t fix it.

I want the autism to be erased; like how the toy repairman from Toy Story 2 wipes over the signature of Andy’s name with paint, leaving him perfect. I want to be free to not have to constantly fight or give in to my OCD and I want the chance to be an average person who has the average social skills and an average brain.

It feels never ending today. It feels like I’m trapped in my own stupid brain that does not understand how to be a human. My brain does not work and consequently I do not work and there is nothing I can do except struggle.

But what do you do with the broken parts of a toy? Perhaps you make something new out of it. Or perhaps you chuck them in the bin. Time will tell.

Thanks for reading. I’m sorry if this is depressing. Bear in mind that I do not think there is anything wrong with being autistic or having mental health problems – I’m just kind of the personification of “Don’t let me get me” By P!nk today.

Today I just feel so desperately unhappy and it’s hard.

To Miss Out On A Normal Childhood For Whatever Reason

Dear Diary,

On the 27th of March 2021 I will turn 18 years old – officially an adult and I have very mixed feelings about it. On one hand I’m excited to get birthday presents and cake. On the other, I feel a deep sadness.

The sadness doesn’t stem from the fact that this is my second birthday in lockdown and I can’t go out to celebrate-although that doesn’t help. My sadness is to do with the fact that I grieve the childhood I could have had, had I not had OCD.

I grieve every time I held my breath as a primary school student as I entered my bedroom due to the fear that I’d “contaminate” the room with my breath. I regret never using my iPod as a little girl because I was scared that I’d “ruin” it. I regret not playing with my toys because I thought that I was “contaminated” and would “destroy” my favourite thing. And I regret spending countless childhood birthdays crying, refusing to touch my presents and not enjoying being a kid.

A normal childhood would’ve been so easy for me if I didn’t have OCD; if a few neurological connections between synapses and nerves were different, I could’ve had a normal, happy childhood.

Whether you had mental health problems, family problems, suffered a trauma, were bullied or anything else that stopped you from enjoying your birthdays and your childhood; it can be hard to accept that you’re growing up.

I wanted to be “uncontaminated” and the way I thought other girls were like. I wanted to be able to touch my toys without showering and holding my breath before hand. And now I have managed to deal with my OCD enough to be able to touch my belongings but it was too late.

I’m nearly 18 and I no longer receive toys for birthdays and Christmas’s. I’m nearly 18 and whilst I lack the motivation to play with action figures or dolls – I grieve not being happy when I could have been and when I wanted to be.

Comparing Yourself To Other People On Social Media

Dear Diary,

Social media has positives. It allows us to communicate with family and friends for free. But it does come with a lot of negatives…

Whether it’s mother’s competing over whose child can make the best macaroni rocket picture or teen girls obsessing over other people’s appearances – social media has made an enormous impact on millennials and generation Z.

Something a lot of girls do is post pictures of themselves with friends. It fascinates me how most of the time the photo isn’t a memory, an event or because they’re having a good time – it’s done with fake smiles to tell their followers that they are friends and are having a great time. When you’re a teenage girl and you see two of your friends hanging out without you – it can really hurt, but at the same time many people feel obligated to post these pictures. Of course you should never not post a selfie with your friend just because you’re trying to make others feel included – all I’m saying is be yourself and don’t feel obligated to share pictures that are simply there to show you have friends – if they are true friends they’ll like you even if you don’t tag them. Also if you are one of those people who feels hurt when they see other people in massive group selfies – ones where you are neither invited to be nor part of – remember something: However happy they all seem in that photo, they are seldom that happy and friendly when the camera is off.

I’ve noticed that many very young girls’ Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles are of them doing the “duck face”. Young girls as young as nine are seen pouring in a provocative manner and it is really bizarre. There is something very wrong with our society when little girls are pouting on their public profile pictures.

Being a teenager is hard, growing up is hard. Growing up with social media – is terrible. I used to have Instagram (a personal account that followed my classmates etc) but all it did was make me miserable. I never even realised how miserable it made me until I was forced to take a break from it by my Mum. It had become an endless cycle of seeing other people’s perfect lives, bodies, friends and lifestyles and it made me upset. I saw the girls in my year with friends out together and celebrities looking stunning.

But when I took a step back from Instagram, (don’t get me wrong the first few weeks were frustrating, my thumb was aching to like the latest posts and scroll through my feed) but after a while, I felt relieved. What you don’t know can’t hurt you and whilst I wasn’t up to date with who was dating who or which Kardashian posted which naked selfie – I was happier.

I still look at social media but I do it either through my blog or anonymously without following anyone I know in real life. I don’t use Instagram at all other than for my blog-though I barely use it for that either – because it just makes me upset.

Talking about looks and appearances, whether they’re celebrities or classmates one thing is consistent across social media, most people look perfect. Despite the irrational idea that these celebrities really look that good at every angle at every moment. In short, no, they don’t.

To prove how easy it is to manipulate the way we look online I’ve done a little experiment of my own. I took a few pictures today of myself – not looking my best. I gave myself 25 seconds on each photo to edit or use a filter and this is what I did. Bear in mind this was in 25 seconds, imagine what someone could do with professional assistance and time spent on getting good lighting and angles.

I was wearing some light mascara today so my eyelashes are darker than usual.

So my advice: put your phone down, take a break from social media and do something fun. Whether it be listening to music, reading a book or making a scrapbook-just stop comparing yourself to those fake pictures.

Medusa.

Perfection and Wanting To Fit In

“I’m not like other girls” is usually said by edgy teenage girls with perfect makeup, hair and clothes to their hot love interest in a teenage movie but, I am actually not like other girls. I’m autistic so fitting in was never really in the cards for me and I longed to be the same as the other girls in my class – or more like the way I thought they were. My ocd basically consisted on “I’ve never seen a celebrity or person I admire do this” therefore doing it is “contaminated”. I washed my hands till they bled because I was half convinced the other girls and celebrities never had sticky fingers, never spilt food on themselves and never touched their belongings when “contaminated”. The girls that my autism, my ocd and myself want to be like is the perfect girl. This made up Disney channel character who never has ear wax, snot or any other human functions. The girl that is perfect on every social media platform and never has acne. Of course this girl doesn’t exist – I know that, I just wished I believed it as I still yearn to be her.

My ocd is centered around my desire to have friends and be accepted – something that is a result of being autistic and being bullied when I was young. I can remember the first time that I washed my hands before touching one of my belongings because I was worried about ‘ruining’ it. That way of thinking is still with me. I feel like I am the problem.

I still have the juvenile dream of being this perfect person with perfect things. I want to be perfect and “clean”. But I can’t. And whether I believe it or not, the truth is no one can. Of course as much as I know that no one is perfect, there is a big difference between knowing and accepting.

I’ve got OCD and instead of accepting that I was bullied by mean girls in primary one, instead of accepting that I have had problems making and keeping friends because I’m autistic, I have created a narrative where I think I must be, look and feel perfect in order to be accepted and liked by the other girls. But the sad thing is no matter how many times I wash my hands and avoid touching my belongings as to not “ruin” them; it doesn’t solve the impossible problem. That I am me. I sometimes struggle to make friends and I will never be able to be in a romantic relationship, get married or have kids because I’m not that type of person. *(Both of these things are not due to my mental health problems or autism- people with one or both can happily sustain relationships – this is a me thing.)*

So perhaps it’s time to stop lying. Perhaps it’s time to accept that I’m autistic and I’ve got OCD, depression and low self-esteem. Perhaps it’s time to realise I’m genuinely not like other girls and can never be. I am autistic; I am a blogger; I am a teenager; I am a good friend; A hilarious family member; Lover of jewellery and books and tv; I have back acne and weird toenails; I’m a scrapbooker; And I’m spotty, smelly, often have a uni brow and my social media, my work and my life are not perfect. Perhaps I need to start accepting this and perhaps one day I will.

No filer. No makeup. No good diet – No joke I’ve eaten my entire body weight of chicken McNuggets over the past month.

The Effect That COVID-19 Has Had On My Therapy/Recovery

Dear Diary,

It’s one o’clock in the morning as I am writing this draft and only one thing is on my mind: I wish I could speak to my psychologist.

I’ve done two or three zoom calls months and months ago which went well, however the real thing is no doubt better for a number of reasons. The first of them being that it’s awkward with internet connection; especially for someone like me whose house is notorious for having dreadful WiFi and secondly, because I would not be comfortable talking about intrusive thoughts over the video call – it would feel weird for me.

My psychologist who I have not seen in at least five months by my own reluctance to zoom- and my previous improvement in dealing with my OCD which also meant less need for appointments- is a child phycologist and guess what? Soon I will no longer be a child.

I was supposed to have more time with my psychologist over the last year. A pandemic was not supposed to happen and intervene in my improvements. I wasn’t supposed to have to grow up without being able to visit my therapist because of a virus. I suppose a lot of people will be feeling like this and I know that I am very lucky in the grand scheme of things – a lot of people have had to cope with a lot worse this past year.

I wish I could make it all go away. I’m feeling exhausted by lack of sleep, guilt, worry and regret. I wish I could give being normal – whatever the hell that means – a go for a day and spot the difference. I wish that I could’ve worked out some of my problems with my psychologist and psychiatrist (who are wonderful doctors and people by the way) during the past year in a world where the pandemic never happened. If wishes were horses.

But I can’t change what has happened. I can only sit here, in my pitch black room after resisting the urge to give in to my OCD. My skin spotty and hair slightly greasy due to the poor dietary choices I’ve been making lately. I can watch the shadows form around the light of my iPhone screen, my Alexa playing the soft sound Distant Thunderstorm in the background and hope that somehow, tomorrow will be better.