I know a man on the spectrum who takes a week’s holiday, each year, and spends a couple of months beforehand and about a week afterwards being anxious and very unsettled about the change in his routine. So, after having it pointed out to me how I might find the stress of Christmas difficult to cope with, I recognised that, indeed, I do and always have done. I’m not alone in that. Now we have a new year to contend with.
We have a new month, every month but that slips by as quietly as the time does but the focus on January and the traditionally inclement weather can give it an air of foreboding. It was helpful to realise that my stress was more to do with the change in behaviour of the world around me than in myself. Look at Black Friday as a taste of what was to come – and there was I merrily pootling along through all the neurotic neurotypicals, feeling glad to be giving it a miss.
If I’m ever to be found playing tug-of-war for a still expensive bit of end of line stock, then by all means question my behaviour. It should be questioned. But it’s ‘what people do’ so it will pass by the composure register.
I had a happy atheistmas, as it happens. As a non-faith person I felt that this commemoration of a religious event important to proclaimed believers was so bastardised to have been an insult to what the festival is meant to be about. But it’s accepted as such and we see the same thing happening in other faiths now, with horrifying results. Most horrifying to those true to their faith. Horrifying to everyone for the destruction it brings.
Faith is a very personal thing. Belief is a very personal thing. We can each have our own and we can each face the prospect of someone spotting this as a means by which to gain a personal advantage, rather than respecting it for what it is. So I’m back to hoping that the world will wake up to reality and see the benefits this can yield. The reality of everything being a representation of reality or a justification of a warped interpretation of reality just is not working.
It’s been building up for decades and there are now elements emerging across European society suggesting that the biggest lessons of the last century are beginning to be forgotten, or ignored, or reinterpreted to feed the worst in today’s generations of wannabes.
I hope it’s recognised soon and we see terrible man-made events as a metaphorical ‘week away’ from what is closest to us, safe, comfortable and reliable to us; our inner peace, goodness and inspired productivity.
Break it all down to what really matters. See it for what it is. Say it as it is. Come back refreshed. Remove the dressings and expect not to see a wound or a scar but a reminder of what we could be. Make it happen. Find your inner auti-boy.