Hey guys, this is Erik Johnson. I’m kind of hitting rock bottom as an autistic adult, and I just have to deal with it. I’ve gone through the whole gamut of emotions, from anger to shame, to sorrow, depression, anxiety.
Hitting Rock Bottom as an Autistic Adult
Because here’s the thing, we’re living in this back room. My girlfriend and I, and at her sister’s house. I’m almost 50 years old and we’re staying in this back room. See, there’s my computer. There’s my little shrine over there with Jesus, couch, backpacks and a cat. We got a cat so we’re good.
But I want to talk about how I’ve dealt with rocking and how I discovered I had autism, because it was kind of a revelation that you know, I took the autism test a couple years ago, maybe three years now, and I scored at the very bottom of autism, so I think I’m high functioning autistic.
Now, the extreme side of that is you know, like the rain man, you know, where they can barely talk right and they can’t tie their shoes or anything like that, but I think I’m high functioning because I can pretty much be a chameleon around anyone and adopt their mannerisms, their tonal, you know, because I love music.
Autism and Music – A Perfect Relationship
I’ve listened to music just as much as I’ve rocked back and forth. And so I mean, there’s music playing right now. It’s an ambient drone. It’s kind of like white noise. But, you know, I’ve calculated that I’ve rocked maybe 50,000 hours in my life, probably more. And music has always been there.
But I haven’t lived with anyone for almost 30 years, roommates, that is, I’ve always lived with a girlfriend but I’ve never lived with someone’s family before since I moved out of my own house with my family.
So it’s been really rough because I want to be the man of the house. I want to be the alpha male. I saw a tick tok today where this Asperger man said that, you know, people with autism don’t like hierarchies. We don’t like to be told what to do. We’re lone wolves. You know, we’re black sheep of the family. We like to, you know, march to the beat of her drum and do things our way.
One of my dad’s funniest memories of me was when I was like seven we were driving somewhere. a long road trip and I was behind him in the backseat of the car, and I pushed his head over so I could see the highway and he thought that was funny at the time.
But, you know, he had a very scary temper, but luckily he thought that was funny. Because I had to see the road I had, you know, I was bullheaded, and I had to do things my way. And he was the same way. He probably has autism as well. He’s got a lot of the characteristics of that. Being a perfectionist, a control freak, because his dad was an alcoholic.
Autism and Addictions
And when there’s not any control in the house, then you become a control freak later on in life. That’s just one theory because you grew up in chaos so you become a control freak because you don’t want unsafe situations to arise later on.
So I’m a control freak. Every noise in this apartment has to be just right. The sound on the music has to be just right, the fan has to be just right. The heat has to be just right. Everything has to be just right. And it can be crazy. It can drive me nuts.
I know I’ve talked on this channel about how I quit rocking a couple times and you know, at this point in my life, I’m just like, I need it. I need to rock back and forth. I mean, the world has just gone crazy and I need it. You know if I don’t, I’m going crazy here.
We’ve been here a year and a half. We were only going to stay for a year. So we’re approaching a year and a half, and my online business isn’t doing what I thought it would. I’m just scratching my head.
Same with my girlfriend. She has an online business. She’s like, I don’t know what’s going on. You know, we’re both driving lots of traffic to our online businesses and nothing, no one’s buying. At least that’s our belief and maybe it’s a bad belief to have. But things are tight. People are scared.
Rock Bottom with Autism
So I’m just at a total loss. I’m just too exhausted to even get angry anymore. But I want to talk about the bright side of this. Now I was listening to some music earlier. Deftones some numetal from the early 2000s I mean, and that was a great time in my life. I was you in my mid 20s, Alcohol was still fun. I still smoke cigarettes. Girls still thought I was cute. And I thought I was cool. I had a huge stereo system that would invite people over and blair Limp Bizkit and korn and stuff like that.
And so I was listening to some numetal today. It just came up on my playlist and this song is a perfect circle. You know, it made me cry. I was like I knew the point of the song was coming up and I was like, Alright, I’m getting ready for it, and I started breathing really hard, almost hyperventilating. And then that chorus line hit, and tears came down my face.
Because I grew up with music, and music is my life. I already said that. But I feel alive when I hear certain songs. I feel like I’m in my 20s again, because right now I’m living in this tiny room and I need something I’m grabbing for anything that will make me feel good. It could be food, it could be fapping, it could be loud music. Look it up if you don’t know what fapping is, but here’s the good point.
Even though I’m living with my girlfriend’s sister and her husband, there is a sense of good childhood feelings here because I feel like I’m supported. I’m taken care of. You know, I just texted her this morning. Even though she’s in the other room, I text her and I was like, I’m sorry that we’re staying here so long. You know, and she’s like, Oh, no problem, we love you and we understand and you know, I’m only paying like $100 a month and in rent. And so you know so and get back on our feet.
Back to Basics
But I remember in my 20s I didn’t have any credit card debt. I didn’t have any bills. All I had was a Schwinn cruiser and I worked at a little cafe flipping omelets, and my life was simple. And looking back at that time, that was the best time of my life. It was very simple.
And right now, things are kind of simple. I mean, all my bills equal 700 a month. My rent is 100. I could get in shape. I can meditate. I could. I could read. I could drink tea like I did in my 20s just sip tea and read a book.
But instead, my ego and my pride is tricking me into feeling crappy that I’m living in this situation. You know, I’m almost 50. I need to get my own house. I should have made a million dollars by now. My dad’s gonna be upset. You know, my dad just turned 80 A couple weeks ago, and I’m going to be turning 50 in four months.
I had this huge plan, a fantasy plan that we would meet when I turned 50 and he’s 80 and I would have been self-made millionaire with a nice house. But the reality is, I can barely make any money online. The first time in seven years it’s been a total head scratcher why I’m not making anything online. So there’s a conflict there. I have this fantasy, but the reality is this.
I had to look on the bright side though, and realize that this is the most simple my life has been for a long time. If I can just stop having these expectations, what my life should look like, then I could really embrace just letting go and letting God and accept this situation and make the best out of it.
Because we want to raise our vibration to the point of gratitude and gotta find some joy in something, and it’s pretty cool paying $100 in rent. It’s pretty cool that I can work out in the morning and be undisturbed.
I go in another room in the house and do push ups and setups and listen to music and you know because we know we need our alone time. You know if you have Asperger’s or Autism, you probably need a place to unwind and just be with your thoughts.
So I’m rocking, sometimes 14 hours a day. And I know you guys are rocking too. A lot of you don’t even want to quit rocking. You know, you’re just like yeah, it’s just what I do. It makes me feel good. And, you know, at this point, we should just do stuff that makes us feel good.
I’m not saying go out and do drugs just because they make you feel good because that’s an illusion. You might feel high for an hour but then you’re going to crash and you can ruin your life. So I’m not saying to feel good that way. I’m saying feel good about small things.
At least we have a great backyard, you know big oak trees and grass and I can go out there and I can mow the lawn just like I did when I was a kid. That’s the other thing I mean the simple things I did in my 20s or younger. I look back and I’m like, wow, I wish I could have that again.
Well, tada. It’s right here. But now you’re almost 50, and you have all these plans and they’re not being met. Let go of the plans, the expectations let go of your pride. It’s okay to rely on others, you know.
So I guess that’s my rant today. You know, like I said, I cried just five minutes ago to a song of tears of joy. And I remember the first time I did that with a Linkin Park song in my 20s and it was a summer day. And it was just this song just kept getting brighter and brighter and louder and louder and the chorus was so overwhelming that I just started crying tears of joy. And I’ve never had that before.
So now I can kind of tap tap into it and access it. Not always. Life’s been really hard lately. So this is a good break from from just brutal reality and I’m escaping back into numetal music and you know I got the short hair again like I did when I was 20.
The only thing missing is the Schwinn cruiser and reading more and journaling, you know, typing on an old typewriter, pretending I was Jack Kerouac, writing the great American novel and drinking wine under the stars being a hobo. And I don’t know.
What do you guys think? How are you dealing with life right now? Can you find joy in your life? What do you do? What are your hobbies? Do you listen to music while you rock? What kind of rocking, what kind of stemming do you do? Leave a comment. I really, really enjoy hearing from you guys.
In fact, you’re pretty much my only friends. I walked away from all my friends 12 years ago when I quit drinking, and just been hiding out at home ever since. You know? So it can get lonely sometimes. But then again, I thrive being alone. I mean, I always have a girlfriend or one person in my life. I can’t be completely alone. I would go insane. So, love you guy and we’ll talk soon!
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Erik C Johnson