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,