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Not Now

During the past several months I've been through a life changing journey. I was broken and put back together again. After breaking my jaw I had surgery to insert a small plate to facilitate the fusion of my two bones (yes, my jaw was in two seperate pieces). This first surgery was only minimally invasive and not terribly painful. But it was a failure. The plate lost screws, which I found in my mouth, and eventually came loose.
So I had a second surgery and this one was absol...utely the most unpleasent experience of my life. The surgeon cut my throat from ear to ear and then pealed the lower half of my face away from my skull and rested it on the upper portion of my face while he drilled a much larger plate into place along the length of my jaw, then sealed the incision with 22 staples. The pain that I felt when I awoke was the worst of my life. I was so swollen I looked monstrous. I couldn't bear to look in the mirror because I was so disfigured. A tube extended from my neck at was attached to a plastic bulb which gathered blood and had to be emptied multiple times a day. It was disgusting.
I have grown so much through this experience. An injury of such severity teaches you a lot about yourself. I discovered I'm one tough cookie and can handle anything life throws my way. I've come through a hurricane and am ready to enjoy the clear skies I've taken for granted.

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Art is just an exterior symbol representing an interior event. As human beings we are isolated by our egos. Art is an attempt to cause others to experience the flora and fauna of the artist's inner world so that they may understand and relate. The further we reach out to others the more we lose the sense of self, shake off that lonely trap and become ever closer to universal oneness. Art gets people back to God by bringing them together, fitting all the fragments of the human puzzle into one gloriously cohesive picture.

Today was a lovely day following a long series of bad days. My mouth hurt a bit more but I also found a little wellspring of positivity, courage and commitment within myself. I went window shopping, applied for outpatient treatment, and baked a cake (Ok, I ate a cake my housemate baked). Then I met up with my friend from inpatient treatment and went to an NA meeting. I've never been attracted to 12 Step groupsfor a variety of reasons but the people there were very encourging and I can relate strongly to the shared expeience of addiction among the group... so I'm taking what I can and leaving the rest. It is always such a relief to have a good day without a shot of dope and realize that it is possible.

I want to thank and bless my favorite person, my grandmother. I was fresh out of surgery with no money for pain or psych meds and she helped me out. In the past I have taken her love, generosity and support for granted and as a result have lost the privelege of our relationship but she will stil help me out in an emergency. I miss her so badly. I am recovering from jaw surgery and want so badly for her to nurse me. Pray I one day deserve a place in her life again.

I'm actually feelibg better after surgery. I'm uncomfortable but not in agony like I was. I'm just exhausted and depressed about having a few bottom teeth remomoved. I'm vain and that was a blow. But my face isn't mishapen like it was pre-surgery. I just can'believe this happened to me. I need lots of love and supportt. I'm feeling low.

Think life has been hard on you lately? I fractured my jaw tqelve days ago and was sent home untreated by a doctor using an etch-a-sketch instead of an x-ray. I laid in bed for nine days feeling like hornets were attacking my face. The the jaw dislocated as I was desperately trying to eat after days without. This time the ER took my disfiguring facial swelling and rearanged teeth as indication of a problem. I just got out of facial reconstructive surgery and am feeling pretty low. Life sucks right now!

I had a really rough day yesterday and nearly left treatment to go get high. Why? I'm afraid I can't really say. The bottom just dropped out and I felt utterly hopeless. I became convinced that I had no chance of staying clean for any significant amount of time. I still don't know if I can do this but I have resolved to stay sober for today. Maybe I'll relapse tomorrow but today will be a victory. If I keep doing the next right thing, one day at a time, I will succeed.

I've lost nearly everyone that ever mattered to me. Sometimes it was my own fault. Sometimes it wasn't. I have become terrified of getting close to anyone. I continued getting high because it allowed me to be surrounded by people while simultaneously avoiding all intimacy. But if I do not stop using I will never again have genuine contact with another human being. I will be safe looking down from my elevated perspective but I will not know love or companionship. I will be lost in a world of self-absorption and hedonism. My recovery is going well. I'm nearly a month sober and gaining insight into myself and my addiction. Keep wishing me luck!…/01-06…/autistics-do-it-better

I actually expected the publisher to refuse this piece but it turned out to be one of my most popular.

OK, so that isn’t necessarily true, but I got your attention didn’t I? I’ve never been skilled in the art of subtlety, so I’ll just come out and say it: Autistic people have sex! If reading
Daniel Watanabe writes, "I am gay and was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder when I was 25. Is it best to reveal my diagnosis to a guy I'm dating before...
"I have said before that I do not believe in autism; I believe in individuals. To be fair, I have encountered enough people diagnosed with autism that I now ...

In honor of my recovery I would like to reshare this video. Getting sober can be both fun and funny. If you've never struggled with addiction this may not make a great deal of sense to you but I hope you will enjoy it either way.

So how many of my fellow homos out in cyberspace like to party with our girl Tina? Well, if you want to stop doing crystal meth you're in luck because I have...

I think it safe to say I was severely over medicated for a few years, taking as many as eight psychiatric drugs at a time. I do not think this kind of extreme polypharmacy can possibly be healthy. I am now proud to say I take only two medications and am doing very well on them!

"There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding." Erik Erikson (1902-1994)

How many of you or your children take an antipsychotic specifically for for the symptoms of autism? Originally used to treat schizophrenia, antipsychotics are now employed for many conditions including autism, though only risperidone (Risperdal) is actually FDA approved for this indication. I find using an antipsychotic is the only way I can reduce my sensory issues and impulsiveness and actually eliminate violent meltdowns. I've had the best luck with high doses of Seroquel a few times a day. Many people would be utter zombies on the dose I take as Seroquel is profoundly sedating, but my mind is so naturally overactive that the medicine simply calms me down and levels me out. What do you think of using antipsychotics for autism and which ones have worked for you or your child?

It recently occurred to me that I've become an orphan. No more family in my life. Gone. Poof! I suppose it is time to build my own family and learn how to keep from driving them away. But nobody ever explains how someone orphaned in adulthood begins to construct a new family. Where to begin?

Do not accept being merely tolerated. Demand to be celebrated, even if you are the only one at the party.

People are always shocked when I tell them I am mildly autistic. This is largely because my developmental deficits are not immediately visible while my social skills are quite strong. This was not always the case. When I was younger I was extremely awkward. I learned appropriate social behavior in two vital ways. The first was that I studied sitcoms like "Friends." These were not shows I had any genuine attraction to but I realized that the characters were adored by man...y for their wit, charm and colorful yet decidedly neurotypical personalities. I emulated them at school, first a bit too literally then in a more general and acceptable fashion.
However, the most socially helpful element of my life was my involvement in theater. I realized that when I portrayed a certain character in a given scene it was vital that I behave in a way representative of that character and suitable for the situation he was involved in. At some point I had a pivotal realization: social interaction off the stage wasn't much different. I had to decide what kind of person the people I wanted for friends would most appreciate as a member of their circle, I would then evaluate each social situation and react in a manner representative of the character I had chosen. Does this seem dishonest? Well, that is what social interaction is - a game of personalities! Actually, it is a bit fun once you realize you are acting as a spy and playing a part. But little by little you grow closer to people and begin to be yourself a bit more while still employing polite and acceptable social values.
I strongly suggest these methods for developing social skills in people with autism who are capable of using them.

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I'm finally in inpatient treatment after three months of waiting! I am blessed to be here and am two weeks sober. That may not seem like a terribly long time but the disease of addiction is symptomatic every minute of the day and must be battled with constant vigilance. I am only on two psychiatric medications and am mentally and emotionally stable. I look so much cuter than I did two weeks ago! All your support, understanding, empathy, and kind words are greatly appreciated!

I had quite a distressing accident the day before yesterday. I fell headfirst down a very long and steep flight of stairs. I was knocked unconscious and woke up in bed ten minutes later. I had a large rugburn on the side of my face and when I saw it I immediately began freaking out. The paramedics came and determined I was stable. I refused their offer to take me to the hospital.
Evetything seemed fine aside from my poor face and sore ribs until the next day when I began ...having massive seizures. They were coming every few minutes so my friend called 911 and I was taken to the ER where they gave me Ativan and observed me for a few hours. After being seizure free for quite some time they sent me home in a cab.
I'm now perfectly healthy but am forced to wear a bandage on the side of my face which is utterly humiliating. How can I ever go out in public like this?

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Autistic Author, Public Speaker, and Consultant. Visit my website at
'My face got fatter while I was locked up. I look like a chipmunk. Ugh!'
'Ann and I at the Kansas Sampler Festival. Ann is a magnificent author and dear friend.'
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