I had to go to my second ever aspie club meeting this week.
When I arrived I was amazingly nervous. It was like it was my first time going again. I was seated at a table and introduced to the people on it. One of the guys at the table had a new Android tablet. I recognised it and knew it was something I could talk about and I managed to awkwardly force out the question “Is that a Nexus 7?”, thus kick starting a conversation. The conversation lasted a short time and then I was left studying my shoes and tapping my fingers in an attempt not to allow myself to become anxious. I was texting my bro a bit, I had warned him that I might spam him and he had said this was cool.
I know that my texting habits can be hard for people to understand and keep up with, I’m worse at conversational turn taking in the digital realm than I am in person. Just know that the thoughts that make it into my messages are just a tiny fraction of the the ones that I have.
He helped keep me calm and I thought I would try again at starting a conversation. The guy with the Nexus 7 was showing a video of Black Ops 2, I asked if he was a gamer, it turned out he was and so we were able to talk about Call of Duty for a little bit.
There was another conversation happening at the table, but those people were talking amongst themselves. Even though one lady had turned her back to me I attempted to join in, but I realised this was not the best idea when they got up and moved to another table. I guess it came across as butting in.
I was once again studying my shoes, wriggling my toes around as my fingers and thumb were quite sore from me rubbing them. I was trying to keep calm, but I was losing the battle. Why was this so hard? I had checked the clock ten times in the space of about three minutes to see if I had been there long enough and could leave. My phone made a little beeping noise that normally always makes me smile, it was a text from Lil’ Feet. I hadn’t told her where I was going, but she had guessed and she was worried about me. The knowledge that she cared added just a little bit too much emotion to the situation and I was no longer able to keep calm. I got up, awkwardly said goodbye to the people I had met and made my way back onto the street to head for the car park. It was very hot in the meeting room and the cool evening air was a welcome relief, I took a big deep breath and headed home.
I was emailed a copy of the aspie club monthly newsletter this week. It made mention of a newly launched website and remembering how pants the old one was, I took a look. There was a page containing links to helpful websites and I decided to check one out as I was feeling in need of a confidence boost. I started reading the post and suddenly thought, “Hey, I know this post, this is E’s post!”, I clicked on another post it was from the Coyote, then I saw one of my posts. Without realising I had clicked on a link to the Autism Positivity site. How is that for self help!?
I have fulfilled my obligation to attend the meetings now. I promised the lady I would try and I kept my promise. Not sure if I will go to any more, but I’ve got a month to decide for sure.