Friday, August 2

Ashes to Ashes

All the things that I'll never be good at
All the talents that I'll never know
All the blessings I've asked for for decades
All the masks that I put up for show
All the people I've wanted for friendship
All my sorrows and all of my pain
When all the things that I want break to millions of pieces
Only dust and the ashes remain.

From dust to dust
From ashes to ashes
I build up a palace and watch while it crashes
But there, in the stillness of nothing God calls
"Some day you'll be more than a man."

All my hopes to make sorrow forgotten
My attempts to dry away tears
My prayers every night, hoping to help share the light
The courage that comes from my fears
Then I break all the rules and reverse all the good
And my actions bring sorrow and pain
I watch the walls all fall down, pushed down by me;
Only I and the ashes remain.

From dust to dust
From ashes to ashes
I build up a palace and watch while it crashes
But there, in the stillness of nothing God calls
"Someday you'll be more than a man."

Even though I may never feel good enough
And though life may be pulling me down.
Though my trials bring angst and frustration
And I can't seem to turn them around.
Even though I may never have friendship
And when I try I'll only cause pain
I'll keep trying.
Dear Lord, give me strength to build up a palace.
Only You and the ashes remain.

Rise from the dust
Rise from the ashes
Build up a palace; even if it crashes
I do what I can do; learn what I can
Because someday, with You, I'll be more than a man.

Sometimes I try to develop friendships. I push myself out of the shell that surrounds me and actually meet people. Try to get to know them. In the beginning, it always seems like it's working. But, inevitably, I do things that push people away, and when I've broken enough unwritten social norms to make anyone run, they almost always do.

For a long time, when my friendships failed, I would sever all the rest of my relationships. The thought was that since I was unknowingly inflicting pain in one place, it was probably happening elsewhere, too. And there are lots of people who can be friends without causing chaos in someone's life. Losing me from their life would be a good thing.

And then I'd spend the next few months trying to solve all the problems I could find. Identify all the things that I had done wrong in each relationship and create rules to help me in the future. Only when I felt like I could do it... that maybe my newfound skills would overcome my weaknesses, would I try again.

I don't sever ties anymore when my world falls apart. I've learned that isn't fair to people who have invested in a relationship with me. But I still find myself wondering if it's really worth it. To them or to me. Maybe someday I'll make enough mistakes to learn to be normal. Maybe not. And even if a friendship may be beneficial today, that doesn't prevent me from destroying it tomorrow.

The only thing that keeps me going - pushes me to try - is that I still believe that I can do good. At least someday, if not yet. That I can learn to be a worthwhile friend, and be there for people who really need it. That maybe I can have my own friends someday. And, perhaps more, that every time I make mistakes, God tells me to get up and try again.

I make more mistakes than anyone I know. It's a cop-out to say that having ASD means it should matter less. Pain is pain; mistakes are mistakes. Regardless of my circumstances, I should be learning better. But I still fail. So I'm sorry - to the people I've tried to befriend, to the people I'm trying to befriend right now, to anyone who meets me in the future, to the people who will never know me but are affected by me, and to God. Hopefully you can forgive me and help me find the courage and strength to try again... and improve for tomorrow.

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