I never thought things would get this big when I started my blog. Less than 2 years ago I wrote my first blog post. At the time I had no idea if anyone would ever read what I had to say.
Part of me hoped that nobody would because the things I wanted to talk about were my biggest secrets.
Still I had to write. Since discovering and accepting my Autism I had been reading, studying, obsessing, watching videos, and learning. There was a lot of information out there that was not consistent with my own experience or the experiences of the Autistic writers that I had found online.
Something began to stir.
Part of me was screaming out “you’ve got it wrong!” Too many of the wrong voices, doctors and parents, were speaking. More non-Autistic people were talking about living with Autism than Autistic people.
The Aspies who were speaking out amazed and inspired me.
The videos were my favorite, but I don’t always speak elegantly and write much better than I verbalize, so I knew this would not be my chosen medium.
I also had a strong desire to conduct my project in secret – so that nobody who knew me well would read what I had to say. My anxiety and OCD can get pretty bad and I knew I would worry too much if I had to face people after writing my blogs.
My biggest fear is fame and being found out. For me survival has always been blending into the background in anxious situations. Being recognized in public would make this impossible.
I’m a bit of a hermit and when I do go out, it is not to seek interactions with strangers. It’s not that I don’t like people either – I just get drained quickly by these types of things.
When I started the blog I never knew it would grow. I didn’t know people would email me. I had no idea I would EVER join Twitter because I really dislike social media.
Every time I log into Twitter I am battling my own anxiety again – afraid to say the wrong thing. People can be very touchy online.
Responding to all the tweets, emails, comments, and everyone’s questions takes up a large part of my day when I can log in. Blogging has become almost it’s own part-time job (without pay). Between working full time and keeping up with my readers there is hardly time to do much at the end of the day.
Still even on the days when I feel too tired and want to give up I feel obligated to log on. There are days when I am feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the emails, comments, and over one hundred Twitter notifications in front of me. So many tasks I want to cry. It is hard to even know where to start with all of them.
I read each and every one. Every email, every comment, every Tweet. I used to respond to every one, but at this point I can no longer keep up.
Most days I love and look forward to the comments but that doesn’t make the large number of them any less intimidating. In honesty I know that on a dark or bad day, reading from my readers will give me greater joy than anything else. They are an amazing support network for me. I feel I owe them so much.
Some days it is completely overwhelming to me and I want to quit. I want my life back – but this is my life now.
When I want to stop I look at the readers, the people I am helping, and the people who still need my help. I can’t stop because there is still so much work to be done even when I am feeling completely overwhelmed.