The picture isn’t mine, I just thought it looked really cool and got to the point of the blog, no copyright infringement intended!

First off, let me start by saying that the expression ”You can be alone in a crowd” is so closer to the truth than you could possibly understand, although you may think ‘No way, surely someone would try to talk to you” not so, I should know, I gave it a go one day…just for the hell of it. I went to University and one day, randomly stood in a large crowd during an event to see what would happen, now I didn’t know anyone there at all but I wanted to see if anyone would notice me, try to say hello or anything like that and what do you think happened to me…nothing. That’s right, not a single thing happened the entire time I was there, I would slowly move about the area, walking by people who no one seemed to notice, look up or anything like that, it was as if I was invisible.  Now, I know what your thinking about that…why didn’t I try speaking to anyone? Well the purpose of my little experiment was to try to be noticed and I felt like starting things off by approaching others would have jeopardized that, I want someone to find me and start things off but no one did, I felt very lonely.

With Autism, making friends….well, it’s hard…I’ll say that right now and some without Autism might not understand that, it doesn’t register with them the struggle that someone with Autism might have in this department but it can be one of the most difficult challenges anyone with or even without Autism to face!

  • Fear- Being afraid to make friends was massive for me because my mind would always convince me that no one wanted to be my friend, that everyone had an agenda against me and that would force me to distance myself from everyone, I thought I was doing them all a favor by staying away at times yet I was not because all I was doing was hurting myself because all of those thoughts in my head were not the truth and neither are yours if you think the world hates you! someone out their loves you and if your strong enough, that should make you believe and let you stand on your own two feet, instead of hiding in the corner asking yourself what’s wrong? ignore the negative thoughts and comments because you are beautiful and you have just a right to make a friend like everyone else in the world….who cares if you have a mental health issue or a disability…why should that stop you having friends so no more negative thoughts…be positive and smile
  • Communication– I really struggle with this one, it’s like putting a long conversation with someone together incredibly hard, yet I watch others do it so easily, I’m there like the stuttering, scared guy that I am and nothing ever comes about of it really which sucks because you know it’s your own fault but you want to blame others for not being understanding about it all, even though you surely must know that they aren’t mind readers, how are they suppose to know that your scared, shy or have Autism? I used to get angry because not everyone would make an effort to try to get to know me, I always felt like I was damaged goods or something like that…was I bellow others or something? bit dramatic but you live and learn. Theirs a quote that I read up one day, one that has stuck to me ever since because it is so true.

”You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes” -Winnie The Pooh

I would always assume that no one would want to be my friend because no one would ever approach me which put doubt into my mind and made me feel awful as a person but then it hit me, was I making an effort? Did I ever seem approachable for others to want to introduce themselves to me?

  • Shame- Now I say shame because I have Autism and a part of me would keep that a secret, I mean i wouldn’t shout it from the rooftops or anything…some people told me to not tell everyone and I assumed that others might think I was trying to get sympathy points or that others might look at me differently because I had a label on me that made me different. It was never my attention for others to feel sorry for me or anything, I guess the reason I would tell people I had Autism was…I wanted them to know the real me and Autism is a massive part of my life and I didn’t want to keep any secrets from anyone, although in my lifetime, only one person has ever guessed that I had Autism, she was a bright woman though although it took me by surprise because no one else had ever been able to do it! but everyone else would be like ‘Really, you have Autism?’ I didn’t really care if people changed their opinion of me based on knowing I had Autism, I mean if they did then they weren’t really my friend now were they? I will always say to anyone with Autism

    ‘Do not be ashamed of the true beauty that lies within you, never be ashamed to hide your true self away from the world’ – Matthew Whitehouse

If I could get a message out to anyone, Autistic or not, it would be to make an effort and let your voice be heard, DO NOT sit their in silence and expect people to come to you, go to them and introduce yourself, which I wish I had the courage to do 3 years ago but we live and learn by what we do and what we had wished we had done. For so many years, I sat in silence…just waiting for someone to come up to me but all I really was doing was distancing myself from all and by not going up to others, people must have thought I didn’t want friends but you have no idea how far from the truth that its….even though I have friends….lifelong friends in fact but that never stops me from wanting more.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an emotional person, always have been and I always will be but I want to make all the quiet ones realise that you can do something, you can go out there and make as many friends as you want and no, this isn’t false hope and yes you won’t make friends with everyone but you need to try to speak, join a club or speak to that classmate that you’ve never been able to yet and say hello, try and have a conversation…it could change your life for the better. I was able to do that with people at University…eventually but deep down, I would always feel that I had left it to late, it was after all the groups had been formed and such, don’t get me wrong…I took speak to people but I guess I always felt that deep down, it could have been different, if I had found that brave self and ventured out of the forest and found the others earlier on yet I saw many others go through the same thing during my 3 years so I know I’m not the only one who’s ever felt that the world wants nothing to do with them when it really does but you have to make an effort yourself so they can see you, otherwise it’ll be like your behind an invisible wall and no one can truly see you! Knock down that wall and let the world see you!

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