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I went through middle school and high school without too many bouts of depression. The late development and need for social interaction was probably the reason. I was able to get through by surrounding myself with activities that I enjoyed and I was still being who I truly am. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college before I started having a hard time with everything.
A human being can put up a good fight for so long before they crash. For me this fight began my freshman year of college as I began to get more desperate and need friendships on a deeper level than I ever had before. I needed to be set free I would think. I just need to be like the others and make friends with them. Go to dinner with them, go bowling with them, and go to parties with them. You name it, if they were doing it I wanted to be with them even if it wasn’t something I was interested in participating in. This is where I started losing myself. I was lonely. I was doing things that others were doing just to be with them. I wasn’t doing it for me I was doing it for them.
I spent a few years doing this but it was like with each attempt to do something different just to hang out with someone I grew further apart from who I was. I gave up a lot of things. I remember leaving Indiana University because I didn’t feel like I fit in there. I came back home so I could go to a smaller campus to where I at least new a professor or two and maybe one or two more students. This was a horrible move for me as I gave up my dream of graduating with a degree in Trombone Performance from a prestigious university like Indiana University.
I made so many changes to my life that I regret because I was unable to come to terms with reality. I was also living without a diagnosis until the age of twenty-two which took me through my college years. The pre diagnosis days were tough enough on me. I was so desperately trying to fit in all I did was search for answers.
I stopped practicing trombone like I should. What was once a very special interest of mine was now something I did only when I had to at an ensemble rehearsal. Luckily for me, I was good enough that I was still very good at trombone even without practice. It came so naturally to me. Today I look back and see why too. It was a special interest of mine. It was one of those things that were a part of who I really was. Sadly, as I became side-tracked chasing what I thought I should be I lost who I was and every part of me that was a part of me no longer existed in me.
The comfort that I used to get from playing trombone wasn’t the same now. This was where depression really started to take over my life. The interesting observation I’ve made is that it wasn’t the Asperger’s Syndrome that caused my life to fall apart and caused me to change so many things about my life. What caused that was a direct result of depression. While the depression was caused by having undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome, it wasn’t the problem. The problem was depression. The depression was from wanting something that I could never ever have.
It would be like having one leg but wanting two. If you lose a limb in an accident you’re not going to magically get it back. While technology has allowed for us to create fake limbs for people the chances of ever getting a real limb back are not on your side. This was the exact thing I was going through except I wanted social skills that other people had. But that requires the neurological wiring to be a certain way and mine is not. We do not have a way to rewire things up there to automatically make us the most social person on the universe and the chances of that happening anytime soon aren’t too high. So this thing that I should have done was take what it was and been okay with it. I should have been. This is the way it is today, but I need to adapt to this and be happy with myself and then I can begin to see some improvements. This book is my mind explained.

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