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They say pride comes before a fall and this week I am feeling the truth of it. Last week I was practically exploding with pride because I’d talked to a few new people when doing the school drop off. This week, I am feeling lonely again and pretty low.

What I remembered this week is that, being surrounded by so many people in the playground makes me scared to make eye contact. When I arrive in the morning or afternoon now, it’s so busy, and even if I see one of the mothers I spoke to last week, they’re invariably in conversation with someone else. So, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself and a bit like a failure again.

Before my daughter started at school, I would at least be able to talk to relatives when they came to collect her for babysitting, and the people at nursery who took care of her. Now, I speak to no-one, almost every day. Last night, to complete the loneliness, my husband went out for the evening and didn’t even send me a text message to say when he was coming home.

OK, I know that he knew I’d be in bed when he came back and he doesn’t like to wake me. Even so, I felt awful. Today, rather than moping again, I am trying to pick myself back up.

I’ve arranged a play date. I’ve arranged to start volunteering again at a local school. I’ve got relatives coming over tomorrow, and I’ve invited my sister and nephew to come on Friday. I’ve also left a message with a friend about meeting for coffee.

Each of these steps was difficult to take. I’m in the middle of a self-pity pit right now, and that makes it harder to climb out. Part of me feels like the loneliness can’t be fixed, because I know the Asperger’s can’t be fixed. In fact, I know from past experience that if I make an effort, things can improve.

I am trying to focus on what I do have, not what I don’t. How are you feeling this week?

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Anyone who read my last post won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve been feeling lonely. I thought I was going to get a new job soon but their recruitment process is on hold and I feel really deflated. It’s not easy to find a job that suits my hours, skills, and being an aspie! Finally I thought I’d found one but, well, maybe it’ll come back to me in a month or two.

In the meantime I’ve been seeing a lot of friends. I don’t mean my friends, I just mean that whenever I go out there seem to be lots of pairs or threesomes of women talking and laughing together. I especially see a lot of ‘mum friends’. I don’t get to see my friends very often and I never had any close mum friends. It makes me sad. Sometimes I can see the babies and toddlers that are with the mum friends look bored and I wish the mums would talk more to them. Mostly I just wish I was better at making connections. Maybe then I’d be out on a weekday with a mum friend from my antenatal group, instead of always walking on my own.

It occurred to me today, as I was out on my own again, that it’s not surprising for someone with Asperger’s to feel lonely. We are a minority, and our lack of social prowess makes it hard for us to find and connect with each other. I know you’re all out there, and sometimes you like or comment on my posts and that’s nice.

I think I must try harder to make the best of things. I am still a very lucky person. I don’t live in a war zone. I don’t have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I’m not homeless. I do have people in my life who love me and who understand who I am. It is time to stop feeling like a child outside a sweetshop.

Who’s with me?

Did play dates exist when I was a child in the 80s? If so, my mum was blissfully unaware of them. I however, filled with awareness of my condition and keen to instil good social skills in my own offspring, have arranged a play date.

The worst thing about it is that if it goes well, I will have to arrange more to help my daughter maintain the friendship. At least until she’s old enough to go to school and make friends there. Then I’ll probably end up inviting them to my house as well.

What could go wrong? It’s just an hour or two of watching two children play while making awkward conversation with the other child’s mother. I have a plan for what to do if the weather is good or bad. Hopefully the children won’t hate each other. That would be weird. And improbable since they’re only 2 and 3.

So for about two hours I just have to try and look relaxed, as if I’m enjoying myself, and try not to say anything that makes me sound like an idiot. Then, when it’s all over and they’re getting back in the car, we can just arrange to do it all over again.

If it works, at least I can say I’ve achieved something good for my daughter. If it doesn’t, I guess I’ll try another mother and toddler. If I didn’t try at all, I’d feel so bad when there are no friends to invite to her third birthday party.

I wonder if she would care if there were no children at her birthday party?

If you follow the blog, you’ll know I’m in the process of retraining. My day job is still about finding the right words for my clients, but I’m studying to work with numbers.

Having Asperger’s means that whatever job I do, I still have to think about finding the right words. Today I saw a message in a Facebook group for people with AS. A man who is in the UK to study at University, with a recent diagnosis, and no idea of how to cope. What do I say?

I don’t know what help is available. I don’t know what he should do. To be honest, his message didn’t make it clear what he wanted to do, or what he was actually struggling with. What do you say?

I’d like to say, “don’t be a moron, if you’re diagnosed with AS and you know nothing about it, then read a book! You’re a student for heaven’s sake – you should know about basic research methods!”

This doesn’t seem helpful, so I decided to take my time and find better words. It feels wrong to let him go unanswered. What if nobody in the group can think of what to say to him?

I don’t want a long drawn-out conversation where I ask lots of specific questions so I can tailor my response. So what can I say?

I suppose I could recommend a book. I could even do an internet search for support groups near his University. But why can’t he do that? Is he looking for something more? Is there some golden insight that an ‘old-timer’ like me (someone who’s known about their AS for more than six months) should be able to pass on?

Maybe he’s just lazy. I have no idea. But I still hate the thought that he might not get a reply. He might be completely overwhelmed and desperate just to make contact with another Aspie to put a cap on the loneliness.

Sometimes when I used to try and talk, my voice wouldn’t come out, or it would come out too quiet to hear. How sad would it be to actually get your words out and still not be answered.