Hard But Worth It

Is life easy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Dutch woman wanting to have herself euthanized next month. The story can present a variety of responses. There is sadness in thinking this woman wants to throw away her life like this. There is anger at the people wanting to do this. There could be anger towards her even thinking that she does not appreciate what she has.

Since she is on the spectrum, I figure I can share my own thoughts on the matter as to what life is like on the spectrum. Is it hard? Yep. Sure is. Yet as a lifelong gamer, something I notice is that most things that bring the most joy are the hardest. There is a great satisfaction in trying to defeat an enemy over and over again and failing and then one time completing the task. The challenge makes the overcoming all the sweeter.

Also, April is Autism Awareness Month so why not give some insight?

So let’s start with the negatives. There are people all around me and many times, it can seem like people are speaking in a language I don’t understand. It’s the language of tone and body. I am someone who can speak sarcasm fluently, but I can’t understand it well in others. I relate greatly to Sheldon Cooper.

Wanting to express myself can be difficult. Usually, if someone comes to the post office I work at and want to put some letters in the slip to mail out, I find it hard to say if I’m sitting there “I’ll take those.” Instead, I usually just hold my hands out. If I can speak without having to use words, all the better. Unfortunately, that’s a struggle when people don’t notice.

For an example where it’s harder, imagine going to the grocery store. You’re in the checkout line and behind someone and there’s a barrier there to separate your orders. You can’t reach it and so you want to tell the person in front of you to hand it to you.

I instead wind up gesturing wildly hoping they will notice me and hand it to me. The words are there, but I can’t seem to verbalize them. Sadly, this method has never worked.

I also tend to live a life in quite regimented order. On days that I work as an example, I go and get a hot tea from the cafe at 3:30 and I don’t start drinking it until 4. I was watching the time on my phone one day and my boss said “You could just go and get it early.”

I looked at her like she practically had two heads.

I have two pairs of shoes that I wear and I follow the same order with them. On the days I wear my white shoes, well those are days that when I take a shower in the evening, I will be washing my hair. I will also be having something besides a pizza for dinner that evening. The system works well in that regard.

Speaking of food situations, those I don’t care for. If I’m at an event with a lot of people and I don’t know them well and I think the food looks messy to me, I get extremely nervous. I can’t explain why, but I know when Crawfest comes along, most students here love it. I’m probably the only student who wants to run screaming.

When I joined my church, I did it with three other single men and I tell my pastor that to this day, I remember how he said what these men would appreciate most is to have someone invite them over to their house for a nice meal.

I was standing there thinking, “Darn. I was hoping you would say introduce us to some nice single ladies. Please don’t have me over to your house for a meal.”

Speaking of single women, that’s also a struggle. I get it. Most men are oblivious to when a woman is flirting to them and we can’t read signals all that well. I suspect I’m worse. It’s also a struggle to express myself to a woman and let her know I am interested in her. It’s one reason I’m in therapy here.

That is also because I am working through the divorce which is still painful. It really stings when you put your trust in someone and give them all of you in every way and they reject you in the end. That gets to what is probably the biggest struggle I have.

I fear that in the day and age of the internet, we’re more globally connected, but we’re less locally connected, and thus it’s loneliness. I come home and it’s just me and Shiro at the end of the day. This is not to say I don’t have friends around here. I remember when my first birthday came around, I wondered if anyone would know on campus. I opened my apartment door and there were gold streamers outside with a gift card, some cookies, and other decorations. I don’t remember everything that was there, but my RA and her husband had decided to do something. That was a huge blessing to me. The gifts were nice, but nicer still were people showing they took an interest in me.

Loneliness is the real struggle though. I notice that it seems like when we all get done at the end of the day, everyone goes out to their own place and that’s it. I have some friends I meet for tabletop gaming and that’s every couple of weeks. I go out with some of the professors at the end of many months for a trivia night. I also see students at the Post Office and I think they know me as a cut-up and someone who tries to make everyone laugh.

It would be a mistake to say people on the spectrum don’t have emotions. We do. We don’t always express them well or have them the same way. Church services that seem to be geared towards getting people towards an emotional high don’t work on me. I have to be doing something else while I’m in a service or else I will zone out. Something interesting for me at least on the spectrum is that this can often help me focus.

It also means we can hurt just like anyone else. I take rejection since my divorce extremely seriously. My apartment is a mess, but in my own way, I need order in my life and I think things should be a certain way and it’s hard to focus when they are not.

That all sounds hard.

It is.

But I’ve only told you the hard side.

I like though that I have a very strong memory that can pull up random bits of information when needed. I can remember facts I know of for trivia night. I can play games and know where I need to go much easier. I can tell you what’s going on in many passages of the Bible. I rarely have to study for a class.

I have a Greek tutor who says that I can sight=read Greek which he says is quite rare. In my symbolic logic class which is a rare class I am having to work at, my professor says I seem to be going through the fog area quickly and I’m even asking questions about the material that shows I’m really thinking about it. It’s great to be in an apologetics debate and have the knowledge mentally that I need to have.

I enjoy making people laugh. I figure if being on the spectrum, I take things literalistically for the most part, why not have some fun with that? I have a professor who came to me in the Post Office once and said “Can you check my mailbox?”


I just sit there for awhile doing what I was doing and he notices what happened and then says “Will you check it?” That’s when I get up. Even then, I can still have some fun going and coming back and saying “It’s still there.”

“Is there any mail in it?’


“Will you get it?”

Usually, I already have it with me, but it is a game that I play.

Sometimes students see me on campus and ask “What’s up?”

“The sky. Birds in flight. The opposite of down. A two-letter word that starts with a U and ends with a P. A preposition. Elevators rising. A quark. A Pixar movie.”

Naturally also, students and professors regularly assure me that they affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and I likewise assure them that I affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. If I start a joke with you, you’d better get used to it. It’s not dying. If I stop joking with you, that’s the time to be concerned. That means something has shifted in our relationship.

I love being able to do math in my head. I do a birthday game as well where I tell someone what day of the week they were born on by knowing their birthday. Numbers are just fun things to play with.

I have a group I get together with every Thursday night via Zoom that I enjoy. It’s a Thomas Aquinas group and I’m one of the token Protestants. They know they can turn to me for Bible questions and I joke I’m here to make sure they understand Aquinas right.

Right now, I’m hoping to either find someone who can show me how to make YouTube videos or just make them for me if I can supply the ideas and my speaking that I want to have done. It is for my Gaming Theologian channel. I am also trying to raise money to help me with my ongoing expenses as I work on my Master’s and then PhD. You can help out with that here.

Naturally, I’m trying to find a good Christian girl. I have said before that in many ways, I am like Monk and I am looking for my Trudy. I would love to have someone I could just cherish and adore.

Is life hard sometimes still? Absolutely. There can still be times of great sadness. I am on medication for anxiety and depression still. However, at the end of the day, it’s worth it. I love going out and walking on campus and seeing people I know. I enjoy going through my books and then having a relaxing evening playing games and watching YouTube videos and whatever TV show I am going through. (Currently, Young Sheldon.) I have friends and I have family. Tomorrow, I plan on writing about the battle to get here.

If I struggle, which I still do, well that just makes the quest all the more exciting in the end, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. It’s another step I am taking on the path to making a difference in the world. I also pray it’s a testimony to other people on the spectrum to not give up, like this poor girl.

I pray every night she will find Jesus. I hope you will too. It is ultimately my trust in Christ that keeps me going. It tells me there is a cause greater than myself not just worth dying for, but worth living for.

It’s hard.

Hard, but worth it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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