I have come to realize recently that my struggles with mental health are always going to be there. I can’t magically make my depression, anxiety, and PTSD disappear. I can’t magically change my brain into a neurotypical one.
It’s indicative of our culture that I have felt pressured to search for a cure for my “diseases.” It’s not only me that feels that pressure but all the people dealing with these issues, of course. I am on the autism spectrum and every time I see someone post about how horrible it must be to be autistic, I feel the blow right to the heart. These people are supposed allies in other movements, yet they can’t understand mental health or neurodiversity issues.
When people like Jim Carrey tweet that they’d rather people die of whooping cough than have a child “catch” autism from vaccines, it sends me into despair. People who think anxiety can be cured by snapping wrists with rubber bands or that depression can be fixed with exercise and diet hurt me so much. These people’s ideas attack the very existence of mental health as a chronic ongoing issue. They think that miracle cure-alls and toxin-flushing juice cleanses can deal with real neurological issues.
These statements fucking hurt me beyond measure. I can curl up in a ball for a few hours just by reading one negative tweet about depression. It sucks, but it is who I am.
I am tired of feeling like I cannot express to the world my depression, my anxiety, my autism. Social media has helped me unlearn a lot of my self-loathing and fear. Twitter has actually proved to be a great escape as I have met some amazing neurodiverse people on there. They have really helped me to understand that being on the spectrum isn’t a bad thing or a disease. It is just a different way of being.
I’ve spent the much of the last two days in bed and watching Psych, battling an immense bout of dysphoria, depression, and anxiety, but social media has provided an outlet. It let me tweet about awesome things and sad things. I learned about the Nicki Minaj/Taylor Swift dustup. (Sorry Taylor, you are in the wrong.) I learned about the untimely passing of another TWoC, India Clark, 25, who was murdered in Tampa. I also connected with some friends over Steven Universe and Marvel Comics.
If this is to be my existence, I can deal with it. I know that I am never getting better and that is OK. I love who I am. I wouldn’t trade transition or my neurodiversity for the world because I have met the most awesome people out of it. I have learned that a whole community loves me for me. That they will understand when I talk about HRT or stimming. I know that when I am going into a depressive state, at least some of my friends will reach out to me and check up on me. I am who I am.