“Yes”, was the answer that I gave myself just now as I asked this question in the mirror, unkempt and half dressed. I’m exhausted with my own company most of the time because it’s just tiring living in between my earlobes. It is never quiet for one thing, and I don’t think people really appreciate what I mean when I say that. Like, it literally is never a place of solitude or silence. My thoughts are always flying off, chasing their tail in a hapless pursuit of catching what was previously about to escape from the tip of my tongue. Fuck, I’m exhausting myself even thinking about how I think!
So you can imagine my immediate – but somewhat premature – dismay (no, ejaculation doesn’t always follow the word premature. Yes, I’m talking to you, the immature person giggling away (come to think of it, writing the word ‘ejaculate’ is a big step for me. For years I was fearful of the word, the connotations it brought with it were horrifying)) when upon reading John Green’s ‘Turtles All The Way Down’ I began recognising the parallels between myself and Aza Holmes. You see, Aza lives with intrusive thoughts, or, as Green refers to them in the book, ‘invasives’. The similarities between us are blindingly obvious to me, and I sincerely felt her pain when (spoilers) she discovers that her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy Ramirez, had described Aza as exhausting to be around by way of her Star Wars fan-fic.
The numbing pain that hits you when you realise someone else thinks that about you is nigh-on unexplainable. It’s your greatest fear wrought to life, hammered into being and nailing you to the cross, unflinching and raw. Because living with intrusive thoughts all the time is draining, tiring (insert all synonyms here) and it never lets up. And if it drags you down, you can’t help but wonder about the effect it has on the people around you. It must be knackering for them too, right?
And part of me gets it to be honest. I can vaguely remember the ‘old’ me, and I reckon that I’d get pretty fed up if one of my mates was always causing a fuss, asking for things to be this way or that or just generally making life difficult, albeit not on purpose. It’s unpredictable, that’s the main problem. I can be bouncing off the walls, exuberant and jolly like Doug from Up in one moment but then morose, mopey and flat in the next, much like Frodo in his sad-sack-of-shit segments in LOTR. And it is really REALLY exhausting when life is like this on the reg.
I’m flaky; I say no far too often after having said yes when I knew at the time that I really should’ve just said no to save both of us the trouble. I can be/am annoying which I appreciate is an understatement to the people that have ever spent time in my presence. I’m sure people would also describe me as frustrating and infuriating as well if they were being brutally honest. And no, this post isn’t an opportunity to let me know what you really think of me, although seeing as you’re reading this, and by virtue of it being on the internet and in the public domain, I can’t stop you telling me if you so choose. I was merely asking myself, rhetorically, because I know how it feels being locked away with myself.
Last night, I watched Aspergers’ and Me in which nature documentary filmmaker and TV presenter, Chris Packham, spoke about his life living with the condition. It was eye-opening, educational and poignant for me because I recognised so much of my life experiences in his own. By no stretch of the mind am I saying that I have Aspergers’, but I see enough similarities to empathise with it. The seeking of isolation, having a safe space in the world that’s just your own, focusing a lot of love and affection into one thing at a time, the obsessions and thought patterns. And I see how it can be exhausting for those who love and care and are friends with people like myself and Chris, I really can.
So it begs the question, doesn’t it; is it exhausting to know me, spend time in my company, to be there for me?