This may not be the best or most appropriate way to start off a blog entry about the magic of the Holiday Season. But who cares? I am proud of myself for creating a blog entry after so long and am going to be liberated to say what is on my mind.
People who become dependent on heroin have a term called, “Chasing the Dragon.” Users try the substance for the first time and feel that consummate euphoria that is comparable to Christmas morning at age seven when we unwrapped a Nintendo entertainment system. The “greatest high” is cruelly short-lived, and it is natural that people should want to have an encore when life is not giving them the satisfaction or roller coaster highs that we crave. The drugs never produce the same high as the body begins to tolerate its alien presence. People must consume more of the drug to nearly gain the first high and spend more money as reality lurks in the shadows. It is why people make such destructive decisions and tragically end up chasing the dragon all the way to their graves. People who make healthy decisions are those who are able to settle on highs that are safe while making themselves and others incredibly ecstatic. I refer to this practice as “Chasing the Unicorn.” We do not experience the same highs of waking up at age five to a heavy blanket of snow created during our slumber. But we certainly remember how it felt way back when. Therefore, we want to experience a fraction of that magical high from those Yuletide days of yore and yesteryear.
A lot of people with Asperger’s syndrome or other challenges may not be satisfied with the realities of their adult life. They see their siblings and neurotypical classmates moving forward with their milestones of romantic connections, children, or job advancement. In my second book, “Getting a Life with Asperger’s” I wrote about a life phase that involves being trapped in “Loserville.” Or that is just how people feel when life does not seem to be yielding too many breaks. My peers and I should never consider ourselves to be “Losers” unless we bring deliberate suffering to others. One of the signs that you are stuck at this grim crossroad is a desire to revive long defunct and often-useless relationships that remind us of happier times. It does not always end well when we reach out to a Homecoming Date from fifteen years ago in hopes of bringing the good times back.
The Holiday Season is filled with a tremendous amount of nostalgia and relics from our past. I always watch the Bill Murray gem of “Scrooged” even though I have already seen it a million times and obsessively create Chanukah/Christmas cards. The cards and movies are inanimate objects that do not have the capacity to become annoyed or reject us due to the fact that they have “outgrown us.” When we grow up it is essential to compromise and even “let go” only when there is no choice in the matter. But it is impossible and unfair to have to let go of everything.
I ask that you hold onto at least a few magical and fantastical moments from your childhood years and chase the veritable unicorns all throughout the Holiday Season. If you should ever feel silly wasting an hour of precious time watching the sweetly-disturbing 1964 clay animated version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” then perhaps it will help to justify the tradition by doing something adult-like in the process such as washing dishes. It is a compromise called, “Produnonsense.” In other words, you are combining productivity with childish nonsense. Even though it may not have as many songs, Peanuts TV specials, or fantastical creatures attached to it, my Jewish holiday of Chanukah truly rocks because we may keep the party going for eight whole days and allows plenty of room for screw-ups followed by second and seventh chances!