"I used to have a handle on life but it fell off!”
I read this somewhere ages ago and thought it was very funny. Now I also find that it is totally appropriate to where I am!
Life is confusing. Aspergers is confusing. Put them together and all I get is a lot of confusion. I sometimes feel like a kitten all tangled up in a ball of wool, not able to find the beginning or the end, and when I do manage to find one or the other the only place it leads to is back into the tangled mass!
I remember reading a book called ‘A Short History Of Nearly Everything’ by Bill Bryson. It was really good, and brought science to life and made it interesting, mainly because he wrote a lot about the people as well as the science itself, putting it into historical context. It’s never been a subject I’ve been particularly interested in, but after reading that I acquired yet another obsession, and would go to the library (my most favourite place on the planet!) and get out more books on the subject. It didn’t last for very long: there aren’t that many books of a similar nature to Bryson’s, and there weren’t that many science books (or any other kind!) in my local library, and I soon got bored, not to mention totally perplexed by it all. But it did give me yet another excuse for getting out more books to read!
I can’t remember most of it, though I do have my own copy, but the one relevant bit that has always stuck with me is to do with Einstein. I didn’t know at the time that I had aspergers, nor that he is supposed to have had it too, but even then I felt a sense of identification with his desire to understand and explain the universe, to put it in a neat little box with a rigid set of rules (or laws), and set down a definitive answer that no-one could refute. And for a while it worked: until some bastard came along and threw a spanner in the works, saying that his General Theory of Relativity didn’t apply to everything in the universe – namely atoms! They untidied the universe, and came up with a separate set of laws called Quantum Theory, and Einstein then apparently spent the rest of his life trying to find yet another definitive answer to the whole lot because he didn’t like there being two different sets of rules. It didn’t make sense to him, and it upset his need for rigid order, I expect.
I can understand his being upset, and then being driven by his obsessive need to tidy it all back up again. I’ve had theories of my own. Granted they are nothing so grand as explaining the nature of gravity (and, in so doing, apparently coming up with the single greatest scientific discovery of all time); and they are nothing to do with science, nor will they ever change the world: but, nonetheless, they’ve been very dear to me in explaining the inexplicable, mainly to do with human nature, and they have given me a firm anchor – until, of course, some bastard comes along and blow-torches their way through the chain, leaving me cast adrift once again!
So now I’m trying to give up theorising and setting everything in concrete: it has a tendency to set on me in the wrong place, usually while I’m at sea, and I end up nearly drowning myself in my own theories! (All of this, by the way, is not to be taken literally, you understand?!) It’s difficult to do, though, especially after a lifetime of practice, and the little problem of it being part and parcel of the aspergers. But I persist, knowing that it may take a while, but also trusting that it is possible for me to change. It’s just knowing what bits can be changed that’s the other problem: I have a tendency to try to change what I can’t, and then get frustrated when nothing happens. And, ironically, my main obsession at the moment is with the idea that I can stop being obsessive! Ah well, back to the drawing board (as Einstein might say!)
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."