Saturday, March 28, 2015

A World Away

It was a very long, busy day here at the IM house. Right after dinner CJ reminded me that there was an art walk about a block from where we live about to begin. I had forgotten about it, though I did really want to go. I love seeing art, and tasting wine. As exhausted as I was, I decided to gather up my remaining scraps of energy, and head down there to get me some wine, and culture, or somesuch.

These are the phases of social awkward denial that I go through each, and every time I set out to a social event.

Phase One: I am excited to go. I think it's gonna be fun. It's as if my brain creates bouts of temporary amnesia about all the past times I have gone to social events that didn't end well, which is about 98% of them. I don't remember how much I said I was not going to people again, or how much I feel like a freak when I am around groups of people.

Phase Two: Enter the crowd. It's busy, and everyone seems to be everywhere. It seems that I am either in other people's way, or they're in mine. The body language of who moves where is eluding me. I'm overwhelmed, but hanging in there.

Phase Three: The fun I thought I was going to have is slinking back into my imagination where it belongs, and reality is setting in. I realize that most people know others, and are all standing in groups chatting. I am not. I am off awkwardly standing on my own, or with my family. I know some people, but don't know how to jump into the chatting circles. The rules to how this occurs are a mystery to me. I try to smile, and look friendly, but I don't know if I should make eye contact, or how to begin a conversation. What to say, or how to say it is confusing. I can't work anything out quick enough. I hope others will initiate conversation with me, but they don't.

Phase Four: Now I am taking it personally. I feel left out, and

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dreams of Hidden Rooms

As some of my longtime readers know, one of my more subtle special interests is dream interpretation. It's really not too far a jump from their to one of my bigger interests, psychology. I don't do the reading for omens type of, but more along the lines of deeper understanding of what my dreams represent about what I am feeling behind the scenes, so to speak.

Last night I had a dream that I lived in a house that was a mish mash of houses that I have lived in, and others I haven't.  I had to go up to the attic for some reason, and that is when I discovered that there were several homeless people living up there. I was shocked. There was only one small room, and some old dilapidated furniture.  It was sparsely furnished, and cold.  At one point, I decided to sit down, and try to talk to some of the people living there. I attempted to sit on a loveseat, but there were holes in it, and the springs were sticking out. One of the people told me it was due to a rat infestation, but that they had recently gone. I was still a little afraid to sit anywhere, because I was afraid that a rat would come out, and bite me. I began to get acquainted with some of the people living there. There were two ladies, a little boy, and a coupe older women. I was heartbroken about the little boy, but the others insisted that he was better there than at home. I wanted him to come with me, but he was not ready. In fact, none of them were ready. I kept coming, and going as I tried to decide how to handle the situation. It was one that most others wouldn't understand, and I knew I had to find my own way to deal with it. Most people wanted me to just toss them all out by force, but I knew I couldn't. I knew they'd all come out of there in their own time, and I would be able to gently persuade them to come down safely. I began visiting them, and getting to know all the people that lived there. I was able to get a couple of them talked down, and to dinner.

One time while I was up there as I was cleaning, and exploring I noticed some sort of passageway, or something. Somehow, I went from being in the attic to this hallway that seemed long, and mysterious. As I crept down a black, and white checkered hall I came upon a room, and went inside. It was what looked to be a living room lavishly decorated with furnishings from another time. Bucket type of leather seats, and shag carpet. A console TV glowed from a corner of this dim lit room. I felt suddenly like I was intruding on another time. Kind of like it was haunted, and I was an unwelcome guest.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Feeling Sunny Again #autism #depression

I thought that I might do a little update about how things are going since some of my recent posts about Beans' struggles ( HERE and HERE) things have improved, as well as other issues I've spoken about here, and on my FB page.

I am happy to report that with a med change Beans is doing very well. He is sleeping through the night, and not agitated all day like he was. It was a scary transition from okay to not okay, and back to okay again. I know that at times this is part of what living with autism is like. I wish that there was more support, and resources for when these times happen for us, and families like us, but I feel incredibly lucky to be back to a peaceful calm period.

I also am happy to tell you all that my recent trial of antidepressants has been wildly successful. I really regret waiting as long as I did to try it. I feel so much better, and am able to enjoy life again. It's like night, and day, and it's not even been a whole entire month since I started them. I think Spring coming around the corner is also helpful, but even on our recent gloomy snow days I have been in a good mood.

I don't think I mentioned it much on my page, but Bubby had also been struggling with a lot of tears, and oversensitivity the last few months.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finding Purpose in Being Still

Sometimes there is this feeling that hits me between the eyes. It's one that is hard to describe. It's not quite jealousy, or depression, or well.... anything I can label easily. If you can't tell this is going  to be another one of those entries that kind of end up falling from my fingers as quickly as the thoughts pop into my head with little direction as I explore what it is that I am feeling. One of the ways I discover myself best is through freestyle writing.

This feeling surfaces when I see others doing things that I think are admirable. Things that contribute to the greater good of society, or at least seem to have a lasting effect on the world. It causes me to think about what I contribute to the world, and as I often do when thinking of myself I always feel like I come up short. I begin to question where I am in my life, and where I am headed.

Sometimes, I am perfectly content with taking care of my family, and tending to their needs. Other times I feel like I am shut off from the world, and stagnating. I question if being a stay at home mom, and caregiver is what I want. If it's what is best. If it is contributing to the world in a meaningful way.

These feelings come with a sense of disconnect from society. Not in a lonely type of way so much as a cut off, and isolated type of way. Like I am not part of anything bigger than my own little world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Emetophobia- When You Fear Vomiting

Here at our house we are recovering from a particularly bad stomach virus. It's been circling around hitting every family member, and even coming back to visit me twice.I know that's not typically how viruses operate, but somehow this one seemed to, which was particularly horrifying for me. You see I have this fear of vomiting called.emetophobia.

So, what is emetophobia, and what is it like to live with it?

I can only speak for myself, and from what I have read, and learned from others that I know who also have it. Truth is, I have done only a small amount of research about it. I would never join a group online, or anything to that effect, because just reading about it all the time would raise my anxiety. I don't even like to think about throwing up. Just being reminded of it is a trigger for me to start to become anxious, and worried.

There is a lot of names for the act of vomiting. All of them raise my anxiety, except for the term 'throw up'.I can handle calling it vomit, but I don't like it. I know that doesn't make much sense, but I form strong associations with words, so it does to me. I will be referring to the physical act of getting sick as throwing up through this entry. I apologize if you have emetophobia, and that term upsets you.

From what I gather there are a lot of different types of emetophobias. A person might have an intense fear of throwing up, or someone seeing them throw up. They might also, or only fear seeing others throw up. Like any other panic type disorder there are also different levels of severity. I consider mine at this time to be mild to moderate. This phobia can be so severe that a person won't leave their house for fear of contracting a virus that might make them sick, or due to feeling like being away from home might make them too vulnerable to getting sick in public.

Though there are different levels of severity with emetophobia one thing that I know is that it doesn't include just disliking getting sick. No one likes to throw up. Some mind it more than others, but most everyone avoids it if at all possible. Emetophobia is about much more than that. It is an intense fear that that manifests itself in a person's life in such a way that it limits them from their daily activities. It must limit your ability to function in some way whether that be attending social events, employment, or completing everyday tasks.

How might that look to someone who has emetophobia?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Miss Despondent Gets a New Attitude

When I penned the last entry I noticed something that I definitely would not have if I had not been blogging. I was talking about how depression had shaped my current thinking, and whatnot, and I relayed it to a past post about depression, Kinda hard for regular readers to recall what recent entry has not been about depression, right? Anyway, I went to link it up, and noticed something as I was copying the link location. That entry was from a couple months ago. Then, I decided to look at the list of all of my blog entries, and realized that the first one that I begin to discuss this current bout of depression was in October. October?! I did a quick count on my fingers. That was four months ago! Has it been that long? Surely I have not been in this state for four months. I couldn't have been. Wouldn't I have known?

I had no way around the facts that were laying out there in black, and white. I have been slipping into a very serious depression, and I was not fully aware of it.

I thought, how could this be? My only answers were that it was comparable to a frog in a pot of water that is slowly heated until he's done. I didn't notice it, because it was a gradual decline into discomfort. Every now, and then the water might cool off, and then I'd notice it when the temperature sharply rose again, but for the most part it was a game of complacency. I would know I was down, but I got so used to feeling that way that it became my new norm, so when the depression pulled me even deeper the slight change was only a tinge of noticeable difference in mood.

At first I thought that I really shouldn't write yet another blog entry about depression. Won't my readers get tired of reading about my woes? Maybe. I don't really know. What I do know is that I write what I feel, and right now my truth is this horrid black cloud hanging over my head. I'd never bring it up in real time conversation, and you'd never know I was so far down if you were talking to me. The thing is, on my bad days no one talks to me, because I make sure they don't. I cancel appointments, and don't answer the phone. I sleep a lot, and watch tv. (Two things I don't do much of.)  It's not like it's something I really want to bring up in everyday conversation.

If this were one of my bad days I wouldn't be writing this entry at all. I'd not have the thought process to do so, nor would I feel that I had anything of value to share with anyone anyway. I simply wouldn't bother. If I did it would be full of dark humor, and swear words. You might think if someone is depressed they lose their humor. That's when some of us get ours really warmed up. The more down I get the more twisted, and sailor-ish my thoughts get. Think Lewis Black, or Anthony Jesselnick. Not only are my thoughts crude, and dark, but that little part of my brain that says "No. Don't say that." isn't there. It goes away leaving me no filter, at all. I simply don't care enough to care. I don't even consider if I sound offensive to anyone. That would require too much thinking, and anxiety. Did I mention my anxiety goes almost all the way away when I am feeling really down? Yes. I no longer care about my weight, or if I might be late, or if I'm upsetting people. I really have zero f*cks to give about pretty much anything related to myself.

It's not that I feel rock bottom low all the time anymore. I have days where it isn't so bad. Most days are a big mixed bag, though. Mornings have been by far the worst. This is new to me. I have had other depressions before, and all of them caused my mood to dip in the evenings. All my energy was spent by then, and I would fall into sadness. This time, however, my mood fares much, much worse earlier in the day rather than later. Most days I am hit with a wall of sadness, and despair as soon as I open my eyes. Literally, the first moment of consciousness is one that reminds me I am still here, and I am still feeling the same. It's almost as if I'm disappointed that I even woke up most days. By late afternoon my mood has usually improved to a very solid coping stage. I am able to get moving, and get stuff done.

Except I don't get it all done.

Monday, January 26, 2015

If You Had Three Wishes

The season of winter is turning the corner into it's finishing stages where I live, and I can tell you it is none too soon for this lady who suffers from seasonal depression. The days are getting a bit longer, and the sun is out in contrast to a few weeks ago when it was dark gray skies for days on end.

As I talked about in a recent entry, sometimes depression can be a useful signal that lets us know when we need to do something different. It can serve as a warning signal to us that things are not working, and our needs are not getting met. As much as I hate to admit it, I am still about as depressed as I was when I wrote that entry almost 4 months ago. That is astounding to me. If I didn't have a blog that detailed this I would not believe it. It has not seemed like 4 months. I think that is kinda how we get caught in a lot of patterns, though. We kinda get used to it, and for me this down feeling had kinda become my new norm. So, I got used to feeling blue, and sometimes the blue feeling delved down into despair. Other times, it zoomed up to good days. Which good days happen with depression. That's what makes it sometimes so hard to detect, because we might have a day, or even 3 of great days. Days that feel like we used to when we don't feel down. Days that we feel full of life, and energy, and those days are the ones where we doubt the depression existed at all. We think that maybe those days are the real days, and the others are a false experience, or at the least days where our weak will won. They kinda feel like maybe if I extended more effort, then every day could be a good day, and then the dark cloud returns, and I am not sure of anything.

Today is a good day so far, Yesterday was not. Yesterday I got to thinking of the old entry I wrote, and decided to really focus on my life, and what I would change if I could. I am sure that the dreary state of the weather has been a major culprit in my down days, but I also feel that there are things that I could change in my life that might make things better. So I posed the following question to myself:

If I had 3 wishes to apply to my life right now to change it for the better what would they be?

At first I thought this would be easy. Any wish. It doesn't have to be logical, or practical, or make sense. Just pick 3 things that would make my life better. It wasn't easy. I thought, and I thought. Finally, this morning I came up with 3. Here they are:

1. To have supportive family nearby. This one that I could have probably cited as a huge contributor to my depression. There is nothing worse than being disowned by your parents, and then the rest of the family pretty much following suit, because it's just less awkward to avoid you rather than deal with the unsaid conflict.(My mother refuses to talk to anyone that still talks to me.) There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have at least one panicky thought about my husband dying, because if he does I know for a fact that I am on my own. My family wants nothing to do with me, and wouldn't even come to my side if there was a genuine emergency. His family is not much better.

The more I thought about the wishes I realized that all 3 would be pretty much covered if we had family that could go to doctor appointments with me, and help run errands. If someone else stepped in to take my oldest two kids to fun things like museums, and out to lunch. If they could watch my kids, so I could have a moment to breathe, or go to dinner. To have people to turn to when you need help, or to talk that would understand autism.

2. More Money. Who doesn't wish for more money? If I had more some of my worries would go away, and I could probably buy the help I need where family can't be there. Of course, one doesn't just get money. I don't know how I'd obtain this extra cash, but I'm supposed to think of 3 wishes no matter how out in left field they may be.

3. Program for Beans. And, finally.... the last wish. I would love a program for Beans to go to that centered around the values that I hold, and conducted by people that I trust to treat him well. In other words, a fun, person centered approach that was NOT about compliance, but about growing at his pace on days he felt able to attend. No pressure. Just lots of positive activities. That would be awesome.

So, that is what I'd wish for if I had the power to obtain anything in my wildest dreams. I think it is a good starting place for me to think about what is missing in my life, and fix what I can, and deal with what I can't. I'm not sure what I can come up with, but I am sure that there are solutions if I keep looking. That is one thing that I am still confident about. there are solutions to every problem if we look hard enough, and are willing to explore alternative ways of thinking, and doing things.

If you had 3 wishes what would they be?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Being a Night Person in a Morning Person Society

As long as I can remember there has always been a great deal of emphasis on being a being an early riser. In Western culture it's considered a high virtue to be busy early in the morning. We even have so many sayings that express this.

The early bird catches the worm.
Up and at 'em.
First thing in the morning.
Top of the morning.
Rise and shine..

There's many more, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.

It's considered an act of productivity, and enthusiasm to be up early getting a jump start on one's day. So, what if you're not a morning person? Does that mean you're lazy, and unproductive? Do you still get things done, or are you missing out as the daylight burns away while you snooze? Is there such a thing as a morning person?

Many of those questions aren't so easy to answer. Many of them a lot of you may have never even thought about fully. I think it's just a given that school, and work starts at a certain time, and we have to participate in those things, so we do.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Part Two- Autism in Dire Straits

After hitting publish on my last post I mentally huddled down expecting the worst. I just knew I'd get a lot of crap for what I said, and my anxious, always catastrophisizing brain already jumped to the worst conclusion as if it had already happened. I don't even quite know what would make me post an entry that I was so sure was going to get back vitriol from the community I wrote it about, and to. I guess it is my autistic honest way of thinking. I feel like I post about when things are good, and bad. I post about what I did wrong, and what I did right, and what I am trying now. It's important to me that others get something from reading my blog. It's important to me that my experiences serve others in either lessons of what to do, not to do, or as a place to feel not alone. None of this is to vent.

What happened was not what I expected at all.

Likes were lost on my FB blog page. That is true. Some of my blogging group friends that always share my blog did not. Their lack of participation did not escape my attention. However, likes were gained. Comments were left, and discussions were had. Maybe, I could have had more if I'd left the comments open on the other post, but for the first time ever I didn't feel like I could necessarily handle all of what might be left there, so I took that option away for that post. Every comment that I have received has been positive, and supportive from everywhere else, though. For that I am more grateful than you know. I couldn't hardly believe all the comments of "me too!" that I read.

Which leads me to my first order of business for this entry.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Autism in Dire Straits

Getting around to writing my Happy New Year! post on January 5th seems to be pretty fitting for my life right now! Ha. I didn't have time, or an idea of what to write, and never a quiet moment to attempt it, anyway. I have pretty much given up on the notion of writing a traditional post for the new year.

But, here I am 5 days late giving it a go.

I feel like I have covered a lot of personal type goals, and changes I'd like to make with the last few entries. I talked about things I'm too old to keep dealing with, and how I'm not necessarily paying attention to every social media post that comes my way.

Right now I am feeling like my family is in crisis, and there isn't any personal goal that I can wish to attain that will fix that. I have put off writing this entry for awhile now. I hinted a bit about how Beans is struggling in my last entry, but I did not give any details. I never know how much I should talk about publicly. How much should I speak about his life, or my life, or my other kid's lives? Violating other people's right to privacy is always at the forefront of my mind when I blog. My own privacy, and dignity is also a concern. Sometimes, when I read other blogs I cringe at the private moments people share that as someone who was raised before the internet knows back in the day would never have been shared with a wide audience.

On the same token I am not going to sit here, and blog about how awesome autism is without sharing the moments where it is not. I am not all about autism equals suffering crap. I am also not all about glossing over real struggles.I have to speak about the truth, or else why even bother writing in the first place?

The truth is that sometimes with autism life can be kinda hard. I know that just from my own brain. However, Beans autism is not quite the same as mine. He has so many other mitigating circumstances that sometimes can make it hard for him to cope at times. I always hesitate to try to explain his other issues such as cognitive delays, because it is usually met with anger about how autism doesn't mean intellectually disabled. I agree it doesn't for most, but can for some. When Beans was diagnosed at 2 I was told that his cognitive delays were more of a disability than his autism by our developmental pediatrician. She also said that by 10 I need to be considering a residential facility for him. I was downright offended. Shocked, and offended. Still. that stuck with me for years. She didn't say that about Bubby when he was diagnosed. She didn't tell anyone else I know that about their kids.

Keeping him safe here lately has been a full time job. So has keeping everyone else in the house safe from him. I hear the the doctors, and their warnings,