When It’s Best to Not Speak Up

I tend to have regular periods of down time, that is… feeling really defeated, really overwhelmed… like a total and complete failure. Actually, I feel like that all the time but sometimes it really drags me down more so than others. The struggle I have at these times is whether or not to reach out for support or words of encouragement or just keep it to myself.

Most of the time, like 99% of the time, there are no words of encouragement that will get me out of it… pretty much, I just have to ride it out until one day I wake up and the feeling isn’t so bad.  Still, I tend to keep hitting facebook or twitter or anywhere and everywhere with some rather negative and depressing messages because there is simply nothing else that I can write.

The end result is that a few times a day, I end up typing out something that I really want to hit enter on but never actually do. People are going to ignore it anyway, or not know what to say or in those rare times, actually say something nice to me and I’ll dismiss it anyhow.

The point I’m getting at is, in the Autism community online, we are all there to support and motivate and share stories… we’re also there to help pick each other up when we’re feeling down but sometimes, when you are just going through a rough patch, it’s best to just keep those sites closed, or keep the keyboard away from yourself.

I could go into a bunch of ‘techniques’ to perk yourself back up, such as getting out of the house, indulging yourself in something you enjoy, what ever… but it’s so much more simple than that. If you know that you may wake up feeling better tomorrow or one day soon, then just don’t speak up until then.

People won’t forget about you, people won’t have lost interest in you… there’s no harm in taking a breather even at the best of times, so don’t feel bad taking a breather at the worst of times too.

Now, that’s not to say that when times are truly difficult that you can’t feel terrible and reach out for support and help… that’s different. I’m just talking about the low patches we all get at random times when we just feel defeated and your only intention is to share negativity with others.

There’s an old expression: “Don’t drag everyone else down with you”. It’s a very difficult urge to resist but sometimes just knowing you resisted that urge is enough to help you feel a little bit better about yourself and thus, break out of that funk.

I have a lot of experience with this, I get into those ‘moods’ a lot. If you don’t see any updates from me for a few days, chances are, that’s why. I’m just taking a breather, I’ll always be back.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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8 Responses to When It’s Best to Not Speak Up

  1. Socrates August 4, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Yeah, man, stfu and do the Shiny Happy Thing. Are you really Dave Seidel?

    Yeah, lets all bury the Truth of the Joy of Autism and maintain pack-order.

    I’m sick to death of you lot – most of you aren’t even Autistic, but somehow (umm…, through your NT privilege – jobs, careers, houses, families, holidays… the works) you dominate and circumscribe the Debate.

  2. Wendy Bailey (Wendakai) August 4, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Stuart, back in Feb. and March I went through a debilitating depression. I had a really hard time just caring enough about waking up to get out of bed. I had only just realized (after many months of illness) that it was gluten that was making me physically ill. I was getting better, but was still having trouble caring. I read somewhere about the chronic shortage of Vit D most of us had and realized I hadn’t been taking mine. I decided I better try to help myself, aside from just giving up gluten. So I took large doses of Vit D, Omega 3, as well as Vit C.

    It really helped. It didn’t make me feel better mentally, but it gave me more energy physically.. enough energy to start experimenting with my gluten free diet. I don’t know if it will help you, but I suggest you get into the vitamins and healthy herbal teas (I started using more of those too). They won’t magically cure your depression, but they may give you more energy, and an energy boost can go a long way to helping you drag yourself up out of your funk. I still have my dark days and I guess I always will, but at least just getting out of bed doesn’t require so much effort anymore.

    Just a suggestion.


    • Stuart Duncan August 4, 2010 at 11:07 am #

      Indeed, I tend to be chained to my computer since it’s my job (and extra jobs on the side too) so I’m sure many of my vitamin and chemical levels aren’t where they should be.

      However, I’m also fairly sure that it’s just the life (or lack of it) that I live too, having to always be working.

      I’ll have to see what I can do about getting my vitamin levels up to par and see if that helps.

      Thanks for the advice!

  3. Wendy Bailey (Wendakai) August 4, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    You’re very welcome. I think I’ll go take my own advice and go take my vitamins. 🙂

  4. Jen August 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    I think it’s important to realize we all deal with things differently. Some people need to vent on a blog, or Twitter, or FB. Maybe that is what helps them get it out. Maybe stepping away would be even worse. Sometimes getting it out and having that one person say a few words of encouragement really does help…and everyone else can just skip over what is written…

  5. Lynn August 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    It’s sometimes a fine line between seeking out support and wallowing I guess. I personally love the support that I have found in the blogosphere and other social media. I’d like to think that I haven’t brought anybody down…but who knows.

    So should we allow you 3 or 4 days of solitude before we send out the posse?

    • Stuart Duncan August 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      Yup, if I disappear for a few days, I’m probably just moping around the house doing what ever. If I’m gone longer than that, then I forgot to feed myself. Send help!!

  6. Big Daddy August 5, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    I hear you. I try to write only about the good stuff – funny, inspirational, etc. But the truth is, rasing a child with special needs is difficult and, sometimes, overwhelming.

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