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The Wisdom From Fairytales I Use to Cope With Asperger's

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I’ve been enjoying the series “Once Upon A Time” on Netflix. The ups and downs of the characters and how both the villains and the heroes all have their personal battles to fight make me reflect on my life. There have been ups and downs, bumps in my road, betrayal by false friends, people playing their political games which I never understood, and me, bewildered, knocked down by too many punches.

This is where I am at now. At age 37 I have run out of energy from what feels like a battle every day. Only I am not fighting pirates; I am just trying to cope with the school run or shopping. Actually, that’s a fib, I don’t cope with shopping, I don’t do it at all. It makes me feel sick and dizzy, kind of traumatized. I have Asperger’s syndrome, which in my case comes with a double dose of anxiety and in my adult years, depression.

I have managed to produce three wonderful sons, and I am still full of hope for their future, since I am doing the best I can to prepare them for life and imbue them with confidence and resilience, things I never had. My eldest son has Asperger’s too, and I hope he will find greater ability to roll with life’s punches, despite his struggle with anxiety too.

I currently spend most of my time at home, since I’m struggling with leaving the house. I push myself to do the simple things: get dressed and washed, do the washing, sort laundry, clean and cook dinner. I avoid interaction if I can and rarely even see the people I really like because I become anxious and then afterwards, drained.

I was not always like this. I had a breakdown in July, six months ago, when I felt suicidal, and since then I’ve regressed into a hermit-like state, despite the various medications my doctor prescribed. I think I just became exhausted from the continuous challenges I faced daily (things other people probably take for granted, like socializing, working, shopping). I am hopeful eventually this will change and I will find things easier when my anxiety lessens and the depression lifts.

I suppose if I were in a fairytale, it would be in that part of the story where hope seems rather lost, just before things take an upward turn and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. So that’s what I’m hoping for. I take comfort in my amazing sons and enjoy my time with them. This is the upside of not being able to cope with a career

Life is in a way rather like a fairytale for everyone, being full of twists and turns in the plot, things you don’t see coming, some bad and some good. In stories and films, the bad guys always try to win by destroying hope and self-worth, for this is more powerful a weapon than wounding the body. And the bad guys are defeated when the heroine or hero doesn’t give into this and instead listens to the small voice inside them that urges them to keep on trying and keep going.

Fairytales are a reminder that life will get better if you hang on to hope. Believing in the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing, although the happy ending isn’t always what you imagine it will be. I guess it’s important to remember what we keep going for or for whom we keep going. Whatever challenges life has thrown in our path, we must keep the faith and find our hope.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Image via Once Upon a Time Facebook

Originally published: February 15, 2018
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