How a man on the Spectrum learns to live

If you write great songs with meaning and emotion, they will last for ever because songs are the key to everything.-Elton John

“If you write great songs with meaning and emotion, they will last for ever because songs are the key to everything”-Elton John

Hi everyone.

I know it’s been a long time between posts but trust me when I say that life became very challenging for me a few weeks ago.  In my last post I had mentioned that I was emerging from a bout of depression, and that was true.  I’d be lying if I said that it was easy to get over but I have the proper tools and support, so that was of great help to me.  I don’t need to relive what I was feeling at the time; what’s past is past and it would do no good for me or you.  Let it suffice to say that I was reminded of how powerful emotions are and that it’s a double-edged sword to be able to understand and deal with them.

One good thing that came out of it was that I remembered a song that resonates with me.  During my depression I used it to break down my final wall of resistance and denial and be broken open, as it were.  From then on I was able to use my favorite activities such as music, writing, exercise, and meeting friends to pull myself out of that negative space.  The song is Elton John’s classic ballad “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.  I like how strong, yet vulnerable the lyrics sound; the more I listened to it the more I felt like it spoke to me.  I grew to like it even more when I heard Elton John sing it as a duet with George Michael; that rendition added new emotional depths to an already soul-bearing composition.

The lyrics say what I want to say when I feel stressed or upset. “I can’t light…no more of your darkness.  All my pictures seem to fade to black and white.  I’m growing tired and time stands still before me…frozen here on the ladder of my life“.  I’m a person who wants to bring the light of hope to people’s lives, especially with this blog; sometimes I feel like I can’t light up the darkness because I’m too tired to go further.  I see the colors of life all the time, but sometimes, life looks as stark and empty as a black and white photo.  Even though I have aged chronologically, there are times when I’m frozen by my old fears and doubts and I feel like the insecure, low-confidence teenager that I used to be.

It’s much too late to save myself from falling…I took a chance…and changed your way of life“.  Here I remember how I took leaps of faith in life, and sometimes I’ve fallen hard and been hurt in the process.  Twice in my life I’ve done this with regards to a woman who I was crazy about and twice I’ve had my self-esteem shaken and my heart broken.  They were changed upon meeting me but so was I, and not always in a good way.

But you misread my meaning when I met you, closed the door…and left me blinded by the light“.  There have been times when things were said or left unsaid between me and an acquaintance, classmate, or girlfriend.  Because my Asperger’s used to be stronger when I was younger, I wouldn’t understand what happened until reality pierced me to the core.  Whether it was my fault or not, I was misunderstood and it was too late to undo the damage.  The revelation of it all was so shocking in my mind that I felt like I was blinded by the light of truth.

When it comes to my sense of romance today, the third verse says it all.  “I can’t find…oh, the right romantic line.  But see me once…and see the way I feel.”  I have the ability to be romantic but I’m not versed in what to say, not by a long shot.  I just ask that I be seen as I am and that my thoughts and feelings matter.  “Don’t discard me…just because you think I mean you harm; but these cuts I have…they need love to help them heal”.  I’m saying that if I’ve given you a reason to distrust me, then I apologize sincerely.  However if your feelings stem from cynicism or personal prejudice and ignorance of the Autism Spectrum, then we have nothing more to talk about.  The truth is that I want to be in a loving, committed relationship with the right woman.  I just need her to care about my thoughts and feelings as much as I care about her own.  I feel like people have forgotten that relationships are a two-way street.  I know in my heart that I can love a woman and be loved in return, I just want to give it my all and not be played for a fool again.

I feel the strongest emotions in the chorus: “Don’t let the sun go down on me…although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see.  I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free.  ‘Cause losing everything is like the sun going down on me“.  Honestly, I am desperate to matter in this world and I don’t want to be written off for any reason.  Before I reached my current level of awareness, I would stare into a mirror and see whatever people thought of me or wanted me to be.  I can see my true self much clearer today; I know who I am at heart, and that will never change.  If I’m able to make someone cast off an assumption or antiquated notion then I know I’ve made a difference.  I am light-years away from letting the sun set on my life and I’ve come too far to give up now.

The best feeling I have with regard to this song is that my emotions are no longer held inside.  They no longer harm my well-being and I feel a sense of peace.  These words are something I’ve wanted to say for a long time, even before I started this blog.  What songs have done that to you in your life?  Did you feel better for having heard them and/or sung them?  I know I do, and any song that can bring out what I feel inside is special to me.  This I believe, is my definition of ‘music therapy’.

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Comments on: "“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”" (2)

  1. May the spark of life always shine a light for you Tony.
    Thank you for your creative expression of such a hard thing to go through.

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