New year, new me, maybe?

Every new year people always say they are going to change something. Eat less, exercise more, be kinder to others and themselves. You get the jist.

Most cases, that usually last the first week and most seem to give up fully by the end of the first month. I know this year for me I was going to work on being kinder to others and myself. But so far it hasn’t seemed to work as well, which isn’t exactly an overnight feat. Things like that take time.

One thing is for sure though, I really need to find time to be kinder to myself. Lately it’s been bad enough that anxiety has crept in bad. Now granted, in the winter where I live, sunshine is very hard to come by and that doesn’t help a whole lot. And I know many people who suffer from seasonal mental health struggles during the winter as a result of that.

I know I’m definitely not alone and I know others go through similar, which has definitely been something I’ve gotten better at understanding. Life hits us all differently, but that doesn’t mean anyone else’s struggles are any less than another’s. And I think that part of compassion helps me to know things will be ok.

Maybe as a result of this post, if people are open to it, I could do a blog about how mental health may affect autistics differently. It’s definitely an option and I hope that gets received well.

Thankfully, though my autism hasn’t been terrible and the most manageable it’s been in a very long time. My symptoms are very diminished, meaning I don’t get as overwhelmed by smaller things, sounds and lights don’t bother me too badly, my brain has time to process a lot of things more than I used to.

It’s been a great feeling not being as overwhelmed by outside issues as I had been in the past. I’ve gotten better at dealing with these types of things. I wish I knew the reasoning, but it could be having a slower paced job helps, plus learning ways to cope without having to be on the move all the time.

Going forward that could be another post as well. How to help an individual with autism cope with their symptoms. Hopefully that gets received well too.

I hope you all are having a decent first month to your new year and hopefully this is the start of a great year of good things to come for lots of you.

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Life happens

The last few months have definitely been an up and down struggle. Granted I know things can happen and it can be tough to move forward some days, but in some ways my personal battles I’ve dealt with have made me realize I have some problems I need to learn how to deal with in non-public ways.

Lately I’ve been in a position that even though I have had to do some things to make it easier for myself on a mental health standpoint, I still feel like I’ve done the wrong thing or walked away when I knew I couldn’t do anything to help a situation anymore.

I have ways been one to want to help people, but I feel like the last fews months I’ve failed at trying to do that. That I’ve failed at trying to be a good person and everyone else hates me for what others say. I’m not perfect, no one is, and I still feel bothered that no one wants to understand me or my thoughts/emotions despite efforts to reach out and talk about it.

Every day I wake up and I almost always feel like I’m never the person who’s going to be anyone’s favorite. Or that people seem to only care at my best moments. I know as humans, especially right now during the season we are approaching, people get busy. But in all honesty, I feel like it’s not ever worth it to do the whole friendship thing anymore because I feel like all people see is autism and not me as a human.

I know people do really care and I know there are a handful of people I can reach out too, but sometimes the bad moments I’ve had with people over the years make it hard for me to trust that the right people want to hear from me. I know I want to be around good people who help me grow, but I’m sometimes unsure of who actually is there for that.

To those who actually do care, I’m sorry I don’t reach out like I should. Anxiety about starting that mixed with the lack of social cues from autism make it hard to know how to properly start those conversations most of the time. To those who were sucked into mine or others drama recently, I’m sorry for dragging you into that. We all know when we need to vent and I feel bad that I got it to the point that I did, but I felt like I exhausted all other options for handling it behind closed doors with no luck.

Hopefully things get better and I can see that light. Until then, I hope things work out better for all involved and that I can hopefully work on a better way to handle things going forward.

End of one year, beginning of another

As we all prepare to close out this year and start a new one, I think it’s safe to say, we as a society have had a year of pain and growth. Some of us have had to learn to let go of people, some of us have had to do some inner growth, some have even had to make decisions they didn’t want to but were necessary.

Whatever it was that you individually went through you came out of it a different person. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worst. I don’t know you as a person but I hope it was for the better.

For me, I think my biggest lessons this year have been inner growth, as well as learning not to take poor treatment from others.

Sometimes I feel like it may be a bad move to stand my ground on certain things though. The inner me wants to keep the peace and be kind to everyone. But at some point we all have a breaking point and one day we will snap. Although I will say part of my growth has been learning how to handle the snapping part, which anyone who knows me it can be a real difficult thing when you’re on the receiving end of it.

On a more autistic level, my symptoms the last few months have been very well managed. I haven’t had many meltdowns, which at my last job I’d have at least 2-3 a month. To put that into perspective, I think I’ve been on the verge of 2 in the last 6 months which is incredible for anyone on the spectrum.

Another big benefit has been using fidget toys when I can tell I’m on the verge of a meltdown or if I know I’m going out somewhere and my anxiety will be high. To this day I will say those have been the best thing I’ve received, as I usually don’t leave my house without at least 2 of them.

But I think the best benefit I’ve had all year has been doing a job where I can work on my own without having to work directly with others the majority of the year, outside of summer cleaning when we work as a crew to deep clean.

I never realized how nice that is as a person who already struggles socially, as well as someone who’s developed over time a distaste for working directly with others. You can thank my last job for that unfortunate situation.

To explain a little, I butt heads a lot with the night cook I worked with. For me, in order to do parts of my job I had to wait for him to do his. And I liked to get what I could done as early as I could, not last minute which started to happen more and more the last year I was there. And after a while, it seemed like he was out to find ways to blame me for different things I had nothing to with and it didn’t go so well for a few months.

Eventually it got sorted out but it wasn’t the greatest situation for a while and unfortunately I learned through that, that it’s easier for me to do a job on my own with little to no help than wait for others to try to help me.

It could be just the fact I’m not a big on being a people person anyway. But either way the introvert in me thoroughly enjoys working on my own, as well as being able to be as autistic as I can without having to hide it like I did before.

So many good benefits have happened in the last few months. And hopefully things will continue to grow next year. Or at least get better. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your year and have a happy new year.

In depth questions on autism

Earlier in the week I had asked for people to come up with some questions on what they would like to know about when it comes to autism. Well I have finally finished it and most of this is from my own understanding as well as what I remember from being in different autism groups.

Hopefully you all find this helpful. If you need me to answer more questions, feel free to comment on what you need explained.

1. What is important to know to successfully interact with someone with autism? The best piece of advice I can offer is to understand that each individual with autism is different, and to interact with one it’s best to get to know that specific individual’s needs. Doing some outside research might help too, but the best ways to understand are to ask that person, given that they are old enough to understand what their needs are and how to communicate them, or ask the parents what helps their child. Asking and getting to know that person, especially for those who are neurotypical, meaning don’t have a cognitive/genetic disability, makes a huge difference for the disabled community, especially autistics.

From my own experiences, a lot of people seem to either forget that I’m autistic or think that I’m either making it up/not capable of pretty much anything because it’s considered a hidden disability, like MS or fibromyalgia. The hardest part of trying to deal with it all is that there’s this big stigma that once you hit 18, you “grow out of it,” as if the autism suddenly just disappears. What I mean is that people are ok with you as a child having it but as you get older, people either push you away or you feel outcast because not many people seem to understand that your quirks are a result of autism. And quite frankly, it gets lonely not having many people to talk to or hang out with, mainly due to people making assumptions about what they think I can or can’t do based off of preconceived notions on a grander scale of autism.

Basically, what I am getting as with this is let that person tell you as long as they are capable and actually make them feel included. Autistics, at least from groups on Facebook I’m part, tend to all say how lonely it is trying to have friends and being pushed away. That’s also another option to is joining Facebook groups to ask actual autistics about their experiences or read up on things that affect them. 

2. How common is autism? It’s more common than people realize. Back when I was diagnosed, I want to say it was 1 in 150 or 200 that had the diagnosis. Mind you this was in the early 2000s so it wasn’t as common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have autism. The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. These rates yield a gender ratio of about five boys for every girl. To go into further details on where I got this information, feel free to click here.

3. I’d love to know about people with autism in the workplace. In the workplace, its all dependant on what the job is and what strengths each individual has. Some people are very capable of doing fantastic at desk jobs, some are good at being greeters at places like Walmart, some, like myself, prefer doing stuff that gets me up and moving. Interacting can be a little different as some can be very rigid with interacting with them. A lot of cases, they are very hyper focused on their work or keeping to themselves, as socializing can be very hard. Not all people are like this, some are very social and have no qualms about talking your ear off. But the ones who feel very out of place or not interacting much, some of them want to interact, but a lot of times they don’t know how to say the right things or start conversations very well as it can cause anxiety. In those cases, just include them or find ways to talk to them one on one and get to know them, while slowly integrating them with others and making them feel more comfortable. To be able to tell some signs of an autistic, most cases of autistics, usually show stiffness, extreme awkwardness, some avoid eye contact, some have monotone speaking. But one thing is certain, they are usually some of the best workers you will come across in the workplace. Most cases, they are very good rule followers, very good at working hard to get the job done, and some cases will get overtime just to get the job done, if their job allows it. The best way though for an individual on the spectrum, is to let the employer know you have a disability. Mainly for employers in the US as there is a disability act that protects people who are disabled from getting wrongful termination. Some downfalls though are, even with being protected on a state and federal level, termination can still happen based off of attitude, hygiene, or vocal tones. What I mean is, when a person on the spectrum gets overwhelmed by what they are doing, there’s a very big chance they might snap harshly without intending too. A lot of times that causes complaints and the person will get talked too but sometimes they can get fired over repeated issues if they problem isn’t fixed. Hygiene can be a common problem for anyone really, but some on the spectrum have a hard time washing properly when they shower. And attitude can cause a big problem similar to vocal tone, as being overwhelmed can cause outward issues. 

4.  At what age (generally) and how is autism identified? Symptoms usually appear as early as 6 months, but most cases don’t usually get diagnosed until 18 months to 2 years at the earliest. It’s identified by different mannerisms a child or adult has through a list of different symptoms. A person usually goes through a testing process at a specific center, depending on the location in the world you live in, and they run through a series of tests, either throughout one day, or several days depending on the place you go to for testing. If I’m not mistaken, and I could be very wrong on this, but from what I’ve gathered in groups on Facebook I’ve been in is that around the world you need doctor referral for autism. Again I could be wrong on that statement. Each place that does testing does things that are specific towards telling how a person’s brain works and if they truly show symptoms with how an autistic would think. 

5. What are some misconceptions people have about autism?

The first big one I can think of is that we don’t have emotions. In all honesty, we feel them, sometimes greater than the average person. Sometimes to the point where it’s overwhelming to deal with them. Some people on the spectrum struggle trying to get out their emotions, depending how how each one communicates. For myself, I can say how I feel perfectly through text but it’s harder for me to verbalize. But it also depends on if I’m in a meltdown or not, which can hinder how I think.

The next one I can think of is that people on the spectrum aren’t capable of driving. Granted, driving can be hard for a lot of people, but while on the spectrum there can be certain factors that are too much for them to handle. One example from someone I know while he was going through drivers training was he did just fine through practicing on courses, but when it came to being on the road it overwhelmed him. That can be hard for a lot of people, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason, and I speak from experience, having so much going on while trying to control yourself can be hard. I’ve been fortunate to have my license, but not all have the mentality to be able to drive for various reasons.

Another one is that people think that because a fairly decent amount of the population has a hard time with sports, means that all people aren’t capable of playing. Years ago, I met a former Michigan State University basketball player who happened to be autistic and he gave a speech about autism and how that affected him while playing. One thing that stood out was that he said he was the first autistic basketball player to play for a Big10 team. Even myself, I’ve done sports pretty much my whole life, starting with dance when I was about 3. The reason why there are ones who don’t play is mainly due to a mobility issue called dyspraxia. Basically it’s a comorbid disability that coincides with autism that affects the fine motor skills needed for sports, causing a delayed reaction in response to whatever sport is being played. 

Autism and mental health

As I sit here thinking while watching a hockey game, I realized something and it’s a pretty important topic.

Mental health. Anyone who struggles with mental health knows there’s quite a stigma behind it. And one thing I’ve learned as someone who’s autistic it’s even harder to deal with the stigma.

I say this because something I learned the last few months is that people always say they are there for you if you want to talk. But when you do they barely listen and their vibe towards you changes and you can tell they don’t actually want to deal with you.

Some people have an easy time having a support system full of people who actually help them and care and I am glad that they have that. Don’t get me wrong I’m not here to knock support systems, they are a great thing to have. But one common topic in autistic groups I’m in is parents or people who are autistic tend to say is the stigma with breaking mental health barriers is harder for an autistic individual.

Let me explain. Someone who is neurotypical, “normal,” has no problem getting support systems. As an autistic individual, and someone who struggles with social cues already, when I mention anything about now knowing if I have a support system for this, people will reach out and say they are there for me. But, when I do, I almost feel like a burden to them for taking up that offer and in those moments I don’t know what I personally did wrong.

But the one common thing in these groups I’m in always say is the double standard for autistics versus non-autistics is insane and this is one example. I genuinely don’t have friends outside of my hockey team anymore because of this and I feel like no one can tell me what I’ve done wrong.

Unfortunately my brain is wired for black and white thinking, so the grey area that others have, meaning the level of how a person can tell how much to share and not share in this case, doesn’t exist. Basically, my brain goes from one extreme to another and I have a hard time managing the in between without any help on what to fix.

If I don’t know I do something wrong, I will keep doing it because that’s how my brain works. And I can’t work on fixing something if others don’t tell me what I am doing they don’t like.

Maybe one day things change but I have serious doubts at this point. Hopefully things change.

Rough weekend

I know I’ve been horrible about posting, as it’s been a rough few months. I know I always say, “I’ll get better at posting more,” but in the long run it’s hard for me to keep up with doing so. And I apologize.

But, to give an update, it’s been a bit busy around my house. We’ve been working on trying to get a lot settled with my grandparents house, as well as other various things involving an estate. We’ve also been busy trying to find ways to keep up our own house as well and it’s been a summer of anything that could possibly go wrong is happening.

To end one of the last weekends of summer, my dad and I were on our way to take care of stuff at my grandparents house. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from our house.

As we were getting closer, we got stuck in traffic. Originally, we assumed it was just typical construction and we’d be out in about a half hour. Well 30 minutes turned into an hour and a half. Turned out, there had been an accident a few miles ahead that shut down the highway. Then an hour and a half turned into a standstill, with a semi deciding to move forward, and rear-ended the car we were in.

Thankfully, no injuries were obtained and it was mild damage to the bumper. But the fact that some one didn’t pay attention in traffic, after sitting for a long time as is, irritates me more than anything. It may not have been my car but the fact that this happened during an already stressful time made it a horrible enough day.

Luckily, my autism didn’t kick in during that moment. But now that it’s a couple days out and have had time to process it, it’s definitely kicked in a bit more than normal.

Definitely not a way I wanted to end my week, that’s for sure. But I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

If anything, this is a good learning experience for future references in case this ever happens again, or I happen to be a witness to it happening.

Unfortunately, we never were able to make it to my grandparents house, as after that happened, we were stuck in traffic for another 2 hours until we were finally out and decided to just head back to our house.

Hopefully you all had a better end to your week. This week should be a better week and everything will work itself out.

Thoughts

So as I’ve been thinking lately on something that tends to make me question things. Is it wrong to want to have people let you know if your doing something wrong or if something you did bothers someone?

To me the obvious answer would be no, neither are wrong. To me, it seems like having a two way street of communication like that seems like a healthy type of relationship with others.

The reason I bring this up? There seems to be a double standard with the autism community vs the neurotypical world in the sense of neurotypicals want to know what they do wrong, but can’t seem to let autistics know what they’ve done wrong.

Now I know this seems like a weird subject, but realistically, it happens more often than you expect. Especially for me when it comes to maintaining friendships. Friends seem to do this to me a lot and it hurts knowing I may have done something that caused this and haven’t been told.

I’m one of those kinds of people that wants to fix things when it comes to that. Some cases I know are impossible too or I genuinely don’t know how to do it in a way that’s not awkward or blunt.

But it definitely makes it hard when I can’t fix something if no one lets me know what the problem is.

And it definitely makes it harder when others reprimand you for something, publicly, for the problem that was never known about to begin with.

Now, I wish I had all the answers to some of these types of blogs but that can’t always happen.

I know there are days I can be a difficult person, but really what human isn’t difficult at some point?

But, that doesn’t mean that humans can’t work out a system that works out for both parties, in terms of communication.

One day it would be nice but who knows how long that will take.

Couple months update

I’ve been very bad the last few months at doing these but I figured since I actually have time today I’d do this.

There has been a lot that has happened in my life since my last post. Those that have followed for a while new my grandpa was having a decline in health for quite some time. To those who are unaware, he sadly passed away the end of May. Thankfully he’s no longer suffering, but it definitely took time to get used to not caring for someone anymore after about 3 years of doing so.

On a different note, we started doing a summer cleaning at my job and it’s been a very interesting time, to say the least. It’s definitely not as bad as I was intending but it’s not the worst thing I’ve had to do. It’s actually quite relaxing, as weird as it sounds.

It’s definitely a different atmosphere going from one wing to another, but it’s helping me learn the place I work and get to know the building better. For those who are newer, I work as a custodian at a local high school. As hard of an adjustment it is from health care, I prefer this over health care any day. It’s less stressful for me and I enjoy the people I work with.

To add more to summer cleaning, there is a slight downfall for me. Normally during the school year, we all have our own section of the building to clean and when we see each other, it’s usually on break. For me it’s nice to be able to have that time to myself, which I didn’t get a whole lot of at my last job. The downfall? Summer cleaning has us all working together, which that isn’t so bad. It’s the fact that there are some days that my autism starts to kick in and trying to control it gets hard.

Which it’s not the worst thing as most of it is more just mental overload from a lot social interaction. Thankfully, I have things to help me calm down if needed. At work, I walk away for a couple minutes to collect myself to be able to work better. At home, or if I go to the store with one of my parents, I bring fidget toys and that helps like crazy as well.

Luckily, I’ve been dealing with this long enough that I’m aware of how to handle it. And thankfully, all these things are minor in comparison to what I’ve dealt with at my previous job. Hopefully, once I get used to all of this and go forward things will get a lot easier than this and I adjust better to what goes on.

Outside of all that, not much is really happening. Which it’s nice to have more down time, but still feels different. It’s that weird phase of adjustment of not having to help someone every minute or be there in case something happens. But it’s one day at a time moving forward.

Thoughts

I know a lot of people will come and go in people’s lives. A normality for us as humans to learn how to interact with others.

Unfortunately, over the last few weeks and especially the last several days, there has been a small amount of people in my life who I feel are out to sabotage me in some way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I have flaws as much as the next person. But I’ve had a handful of people try to convince others I’m a difficult person to deal with, or that somehow I don’t know how to do anything or am doing stuff wrong. Or that I am just not a great person whatsoever.

Am I a horrible person in my eyes? I like to think not. Do I struggle with certain things more than others? Absolutely. Does having autism make me less of a person? No, I’d like to think not. Does the way my brain processes stuff mean I’m not capable of something? No. Do certain character traits I have become difficult? Yes, and by no means does that make me feel any better about having those issues.

But despite the fact that I do have so many questions like these, it does make me wonder what others really feel about me or if I am even a person people truly care about.

Now, I understand that up to this point it may seem like I want people to feel bad for me on some level. In all honesty, I feel this is more of a post where I want to have people understand that, although dealing with people can be difficult for many, many people, it can be even harder for someone with a disability, especially one like autism.

When I say that, I mean in the context of how my brain processes each interaction I have with a person. On one hand, I can deal with a context of understanding how a person can struggle with things just as much as others can, in various different forms. What I can’t understand, is why people use those struggles to make themselves look like they really can’t do something when they can.

Or in cases where people communicate if they have a problem with how they are being treated but others don’t want to respect those boundaries or communicate back when there is a problem and expect you to just know there is one.

Yes I am aware these are very specific, but these are things I’ve dealt with recently where people seem to think it’s ok to treat others one way but hate it when they get treated the way they treat others. It just doesn’t make sense to me that people thrive off of making someone else have a downfall to make themselves feel better. It’s just weird how having this happen, while struggling with mental health makes you genuinely feel like you really are the problem even if you aren’t. I just truly wish this could change. I really do

International Autism Awareness Day

Most years, I feel it’s important to spread awareness of autism, just as much as it’s important for any other disability. I mean, it helps bring them to light and gets people to at least know the word.

But, to me, it’s more than just awareness. It’s acceptance. Acceptance that people like me don’t think like most people. That spectrum is an umbrella term for each person is different. That each person has a unique talent that comes from having an intense interest in that specific thing.

For me, the way I’m affected is hard to wrap your head around as most people have said, I’m considered one of the most high functioning autistics they’ve ever met. What I deal with is inability to pick up on some social cues, social awkwardness, which I feel has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, narrowed special interests of hockey, Shinedown (my favorite rock band), Bruno Mars, and the paranormal.

I also deal with sensory processing issues. What that is is our brains struggle to process certain noises, lights, conversations, with various other factors added in. Basically it’s a fancy term saying our brains struggle to shut off a lot of other things around us to focus on something else.

Granted, what I deal with isn’t going to match someone else. As the saying goes “when you’ve met someone with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

And that comes from the fact that just because I can drive and hold a 40 hour a week job doesn’t mean that someone else can handle either of those things. Each person is different in their own ways.

And that is why awareness needs acceptance added with it. Autistic individuals all want to have friends, and to have people like them for who they are. But society has a long way to go when it comes to hidden disabilities.

And from my experiences, it hasn’t been pleasant. But a few have been great as some have seen me as more than a disability and seen me as a person, which is all we want is that kind of acceptance.

So on this day I ask that you take time to get to actually know a person with autism. It could be the greatest thing you do for that person.

Yes it’s been quite some time since my last post and I always keep saying I’m going to post more, which we all know doesn’t happen. A lot of that is I’m having a bit of trouble remembering to do them now. And partially due to trying to help where needed with my grandpa and taking time out for myself.

Now that I’ve been at my job for a couple months now, things have calmed down and I’m very happy being able to just focus on one job rather than being thrown around into multiple jobs. Granted I’m more tired from having a second shift job now instead of my all over the place hours, and its hard to get semi-adequate sleep some nights.

But I’m happy to have a consistent schedule and area to clean with a couple other places added in when needed. Which isn’t too bad and its nice to be able to have, especially towards the end of my shift since it’s easier for me than the beginning. Work wise I definitely like to stay busy, as time goes by faster and I feel like I’m doing more then I am busier.

The only thing I have an issue with is there are days where sometimes I get too far into my head and start to overthink if people like me for me, if I should mention I’m autistic, if it would help explain why I come across as “rude or aggressive,” if people would still like me despite that. A lot of times it’s typical questions/statements like these that are more common for parents than people living with it.

Some people are usually cool with knowing I can’t always help it. But others not so much. The struggles with hidden disabilities are real and makes living a “normal” life harder. And makes me wonder if explaining would even do me any good. Hopefully one day that will end for future generations that people will have the understanding I wish I could have.

I can’t remember the last post I had similar to this but I know it’s been a while. Hopefully it doesn’t turn you away. I just felt compelled to go with what I was thinking and hope it can help someone else know these are normal feelings for anyone, especially autistic parents.

New Year, New Changes

2021 definitely decided to go out with a bang for my family and I. Little did I know leaving an old job for a new one would be an adjustment I needed. But I didn’t know that a health scare with my grandpa would come with that.

Now that we are into 2022, I figured I’d give a job update now that I’ve had time to truly adjust to it.

After 3 weeks of being there, it’s definitely a lot better than I thought it would be but definitely an adjustment to learning ways to clean based off what I feel is best for me. It’s weird to think that I have 8 hours to makes classrooms look presentable to a school standard instead of a healthcare standard.

On the plus side, I’ve only had 3-day work weeks since I started which has been great so far. Two of those weeks were due to holidays. This week was due to snow days from a bad storm we had come through.

And I’ll be honest, I never thought as an adult I’d enjoy having a paid day off because of weather. Especially after working healthcare and being told you have to be here no matter what the weather is.

It’s definitely different having a laid-back environment to work in compared to a constant time crunch that you have to be in.

The coworkers I have met so far have been great and really friendly which has been nice as well. So I can’t really complain about that.

Really in all honesty, I can’t complain so far but I still need to give it some time as I haven’t been there that long either. But there have definitely been some good laughs so far with some of the coworkers.

Hopefully things keep going upwards with this change in environment and that I keep liking what I’m doing so far.

An interesting end to an intense year

Who would have thought that when I started this year that the end of it I would have a different job?

I know I sure didn’t! But I think this change is what I needed to break away from the stress burnout I was feeling at my last job.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the people I worked with. Most of them were why I stayed as long as I did. But after a while, the work load became too hard for me to handle and I felt I needed to walk away for my mental health.

With this new job, yes it’s a lot to take in all at once, but I’ve already noticed a drop in my stress levels and I’ve been there about 2 weeks now.

For those who don’t know, I’m cleaning a local high school, or as my international followers call it, secondary school. I think that’s what most call it. I know they do in the UK but I’m not entirely sure the rest of the world does.

Now, I know this isn’t an ideal job but I’m hoping that I now can look into going back to school for an occupational therapy degree so I can help those with disabilities. Which will be nice to have and be able to do.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Mine was decent for the most part. Unfortunately we had a health scare with my grandpa and we believe he may have had a stroke going into Christmas Eve morning. Now because he’s 96 and already has heart issues and dementia, we didn’t want to stress him more by giving him the tests so we just did what we could to modify the way we take care of him, which is still a learning process as it’s only been a week since this happened.

Now to say the week of Christmas was stressful would be an understatement. Not only was the family dealing with new changes for my grandpa, but I had also left my old job and started a new one the same week. So many emotions hit at the same time that week that Christmas Eve I actually had my first meltdown in a long time.

It was bad enough that my mom had a lot of extra fidget toys she originally bought my grandpa that she gave some to me. And I will say it’s been amazing to have those around. They’ve helped in so many ways that I never realized I needed them. So much so that my mom, sister, and I went out for a while and I took one with me.

Trust me it helped me so much. I’m normally one that after a couple hours I’m usually bugging my parents to leave. I managed to make it about 4 hours without bugging anyone just by having that with me. It’s weird how just one small thing can make a big difference.

Hopefully the rest of your New Years Eve go really well and you have an amazing start to 2022. I look forward to writing more posts for you in the new year! Stay safe everyone!

Emotional end to the year

Monday, oh Monday. This was the last day at the job I had for 10 years. One that I never thought I’d have to walk away from. One that I needed to for my better well being.

As good as it was to say goodbye to everyone, one person I knew had me crying ugly tears from the time we said goodbye for the last time while at work.

It’s definitely been an emotional rollercoaster the last couple days adjusting to never going back there again, but also dealing with a new job that is completely different from what I’ve done.

All I’ve known is food service and now it’s cleaning a school after everyone is gone. And it’s a different environment that I need to get used too.

And that is where the autism comes into play is that this necessary change I needed is hard to get used too. Even though I was prepared that I was doing this, nothing prepared me for an insane emotional time with a different style of work environment.

Hopefully, in due time, I’m able to adjust to everything and am able to find my groove. In the meantime, it’s getting used to having a new routine that I never expected would be as hard as it is.

To those who are avid followers, thank you for dealing with my lack of posts over the year. This is something I’ve always enjoyed doing but the stress and poor mental health from my last job was so bad it was hard to keep up with doing a post as often as I’d like. Hopefully now I really will have more time to actually do this type of thing more often.

And thank you so much for your patience. It’s much appreciated!

Biggest life update

Over the course of the last few months at my job, the stress has been overwhelming to say the least. On one side of it, celebrating 10 years at one company is quite an accomplishment. On the other side of it, being in a position of knowing multiple jobs can be a downright pain when someone calls in or has to leave unexpectedly.

After several years of doing this and many, many months of thinking, I finally decided to look for a new job and see if there were any good opportunities available.

Well to my luck, someone I know was able to let me know of a job opening at a school for a custodian position to which I applied.

Little did I know this would be the job I would get. Never in a million years did I think I’d have a chance to leave my current situation for something no longer in food service.

And in all honesty it feels weird in so many different ways. Spending so many years at one place makes it hard to leave, but I know I’m ready for this new change. It’s a very different feeling to walk away from coworkers you’ve gotten to know that become family.

But at the same time, I need to walk away for the sake of my mental health. It’s definitely deteriorated since the start of the year the longer I work where I’m at. I know it’s hard to leave somewhere you’re comfortable but at the end of the day, you realize you have to do what’s best for you despite the guilt you feel walking away.

It’s the most bittersweet feeling being in this position with so many different emotions mixed in a with it. And definitely a big adjustment for anyone, autistic, disabled, or not.

Hopefully you all are having a wonderful end to your year and that with the holidays approaching, things are able to go as smoothly as possible. If I don’t post another blog soon, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year and a happy holidays

A chance to unwind

As I was working on journaling to help with some self care, I started to realize something. That the one type of journaling that helped me destress last year is the one I haven’t done much this year. Blogging.

Yes I realize not many people consider blogging journaling but it was a very big stress release for me last year to help me comprehend what was happening.

And unfortunately, things have been so insane in my life that being able to have true relaxing down time has been hard. The self care struggle bus has been very hard to board, especially lately. It’s been hard to want to find reasons to write. It’s been hard to want to find reasons to self-care. It’s just been hard to want to relax.

But today, I realized I needed to finally get out there that I know I’ve been struggling. To an extent that I’m very much burned out more than people realize.

The last several months, well let’s be honest the last almost 2 years, has been very draining for a lot of people. Especially ones who work in a healthcare setting. The insane changes. Multiple changes in a short time at a faster than normal rate.

Adjusting to a new normal that kept having different variations of normal. Having to cope with stress that most have never dealt with at this magnitude.

This and so much more has been very draining to the extent that a lot of my coworkers, myself included, are starting to suffer from the burnout of it all. And I genuinely do believe that this burnout is why it’s been so hard for me to post.

I really do feel mentally drained before I get to work and even worse once I leave. It’s extremely tough going through all of this.

I’ve been sleeping a lot more lately that’s how drained I’ve been. My days off never feel like days off anymore, as I barely have enough energy to do the stuff I want to do, let alone having energy to want to hang out with anyone.

Which brings me to the point of saying, journaling is something that has helped me feel connected to others without feeling alone. Even if I truly do feel alone but too scared to reach out to people.

It sounds weird but with the last few months we’ve all dealt with, it’s probably the most normal thing we’ve all felt at some point.

To those that are regular readers, thank you for dealing with my lack of posts. I know they are very sporadic and mostly short lately. But now that I’m figuring out ways to help me do self-care, I’m hoping I can do this more often as I know it helps clear my head of the clutter.

Hard time with writing

I know the last post I made I had said I was planning on trying to write more. That I had set up days to remind myself to write.

Unfortunately, things have been so crazy I haven’t been able to do so. Which is truly unfortunate because I do enjoy writing.

Things at work have been, to say the least, stressful, being short staffed. Yes I am aware it’s happening all over the place at many different lines of work. And it is very much a burnout situation for many people.

I get it. It’s been hard on a lot of those I work with, so I can only imagine how others feel as well.

I won’t get to talking too much about it as I’m trying to stay in a wishful thinking position that things will get better.

On another note, earlier this summer I was connected to a small group at the church I attend. It’s been very much a learning experience for me to be involved with something like that, as I never thought a small group would be for me.

To those who don’t know, a small group, at least in America, is a group of people who study different parts of the bible in a smaller setting than what a church is able to do. We are able to give our opinions and interpretations of what different passages mean to us and how they relate to they ways of what God wants us to do.

Yes I am aware not everyone is going to want to hear about religion who reads this. And I am also aware that what works for me won’t always work for others. But I do genuinely think this has helped me, being in this setting, to know that I’m not the only person who struggles in ways that can be harder than others. Ways like mental health, relationships, friendships, work, and overall life in general.

And it also helps me to know that I do have ways to help myself heal outside of just having therapy and self-help care to overcome what I deal with.

Life has definitely been hard lately in home life though. My family is struggling to get my grandfather the help he needs, not because we aren’t doing it well, but because he has needs that are more complicated than most people.

I won’t give details. It’s just harder to get the right help and sad to see him going downhill the way he is. But we are trying the best we can and that’s all we can do.

Hopefully you all are doing well and things continue to get better for you. If not, I hope things eventually get better as time goes on.

Quick update

So this platform had an update on my phone that is fairly new. The user is able to schedule days to be able to write posts if the reminder is needed.

For someone like me who has struggled to not only have things to talk about but also remember to make a post, let alone finish one if I’ve started it, this is an amazing feature for me.

I’m hoping by setting this up, and possibly making adjustments on the days I want to post, it will help me to get back into blogging again and I can eventually get back into researched posts.

Trust me, it’s been hard the last few months not writing a whole lot but it’s been harder to find the will to write about anything at all.

There was a huge part of me that didn’t want to just make a post about all the depression and anxiety I have every single time I would have written. Not that it’s not who I am, but more not to burden others with a mindset of downer-style posts.

After a while those can get boring and attention seeking and no one really wants to deal with that all the time. One might slip through once in a while going forward, but I will try not to make every post about that.

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. It’s really nice out where I’m at and got to enjoy some time outside. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

New update with great results

Since my last post, I’ve had some things happening for the better. Yes I talked about my positive mindset last time, and that is still going strong.

It’s kind of weird but at this point it’s much better for me accepting it than it was when it started. Especially now that I’ve bee accustomed to it.

Another big update is that for the first time in God knows how long, I’m going on 3 days straight of no anxiety or other co-morbid issues with that and I’m loving every second of this. It’s been quite some time where I’ve been this content with everything going on.

On the autism side of things, something I don’t think I’ve talked about in a while, things have been fairly good. Yes I have moments, I can’t be 100% all the time. But it’s been under control for the most part for several months now. I haven’t had a major meltdown in at least two months, and haven’t had many since the start of covid.

I’ve had a few days here and there where sensory issues have been over the top for me. But things are actually fairly good for me as far as how my brain has been able to handle everything that’s been going on lately.

It’s crazy to think that I have been handling my autism better than my anxiety lately. Usually it’s been the other way around.

But like I had mentioned earlier, both have actually been under control the last few days and it’s been great.

Maybe this positive mindset is something that can actually help with both in controlling how calm I can stay. Or maybe it just so happens to be the timing of when I started the positivity, like it’s a contributing factor but not the sole purpose.

Who knows what the reasoning is, but I am going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope for even better days going forward in hopes of making things even better for me and others around me.

Hopefully you all are doing wonderful and everything is going fairly well in your life.

If it’s a rough patch, I hope you are able to pull out and that things look better for you in the process. I know it’s always hard to see that but things do always get better.

Long time without an update

So, I know it’s been a while since an update, but I’ve been having issues getting motivated to do so. But a lot has changed in the last month or so since I last updated.

I have been trying to find ways to become a more positive individual as that’s been something I’ve struggled with for quite a while. Mostly due to having poor coping skills with anxiety and depression, allowing both to consume me instead of having the feelings and taking control of them before they get out of hand.

Well I finally found something that helps me. I happened to come across a gratitude journal at a store a couple weeks ago and it’s been making a huge difference for me. It’s one where you start your day stating your intentions in a positive way and ending with how your day went positively.

And it’s actually doing something a lot more than I thought it would. It’s something I took a chance on and it’s become a great part of my routine that it’s crazy how much it worked.

Trust me when I say this, impulse purchases are not something I usually do and this is one of the best impulse bits I’ve ever had.

Yes I know everyone has there own ways of coping with whatever they deal with but this is one way that I definitely recommend for people who are striving for a more positive mindset and are at a loss with how they can try to do so.

But now that I’ve said this, I’m hoping I didn’t jynx myself with it working. I hope it continues and things keep going well on a mental mindset.

Don’t get me wrong, I know doing these types of things for me have been helpful for positivity. But that doesn’t mean I don’t let myself have an off day or two. The best thing I have is the ability to allow myself to have bad days but still have the reminder that I am in control of how bad that day becomes.

And that’s what’s been making a difference is not only thinking it but having already written it down, many days in a row, that it has become ingrained in my brain. An impulse purchase caused such a positive change that I feel better saying that I am finally on a better path now that I was a few months ago.

I hope all of you are doing well. I hoe things begin to look up for you and get you back on track if you are struggling. You got this and keep trying your best.