Strange Change

So today starts a different thing for me. For the next 3 weeks, I am not going to be as busy as I used to be.

This is due to the fact that my boyfriend is actually out of town, well actually out of state, for an internship/class he has to take for him to officially get his degree from college.

This is a huge change for me since I’m so used to actually doing stuff. But at the same time, its a bit of a blessing. I was so overwhelmed from working 5 days a week and not having much time to relax that I was getting to a point where I was dealing with bad burnout.

So now, I actually get time to try and recharge. Which is gonna be hard. I don’t actually remember how to relax that its different trying to find stuff to do.

This is definitely a mixed emotions type of ordeal. I know things are going to be fine its just an adjustment that I haven’t dealt with in a long time.

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Finding the Strength

Many days have passed where I’ve questioned what God’s plan was in giving me autism.

Several of those days were hard. I couldn’t stand having autism on those days. I had moments where dealing with everything that cane with it was too much. Moments where I wished I could do all the things most people take for granted.

Lately, I’ve been trying to change that mindset and start learning to accept that I am who I am for a reason. But finding that reason will take time.

But the struggle that comes with accepting that is questioning whether or not showing my autism is something I want others to see.

Lately, its even harder. I’ve had so much stress from work that its been harder to keep my autism under control. Trying to keep up the persona of a girl with everything under control is hard.

The struggles I battle inwardly are in every way real. But the sad part is, I am struggling to keep myself ok lately.

I’ve had days I’ve cried from keeping it together all day. Or at least attepmting too.

Whether it attributes to my autism fully is a different story. But I know stress isn’t making it easier. I keep praying that one day this crazy will end and the light at the end of the tunnel is coming. Unfortunately, it won’t come in the time I want because God has it already set in stone.

I just have to wait for His time to come and as hard as that it, I know its the right thing for me to do.

Until I can have that day, I will keep trudging through and finding ways to help myself cope with everything. I know its not an easy road, not much in life is ever easy for that matter, but I know I can make it through.

Never-ending stress

I haven’t felt this way, this consistently, in a long while.

The last couple weeks have been unnecessarily stressful for me.

Ever since I came back from Chicago, it’s been a never-ending stress cycle at work. Everything from walking into the unexpected, to being called in to do a job I wasn’t scheduled to having to switch jobs around last minute because we are finally in our annual mandatory survey to make sure we are in compliance with the law.

Oh! Yeah, we started that this week. Our surveyors came yesterday morning and spend a good 3-4 days making sure we are meeting the demands of the medical laws set in place.

That alone can be stressful itself! Its never a fun time of the year and you can always tell when it hits. The environment is so much different.

Having these people here lead to me having to serve dinner unexpectedly in our heavily regulated part of the retirement home I work at.

Can I do it?

Yes.

Is it hard?

No.

Then why am I mentioning it?

Well, being on the spectrum, I have this issue of despising surprises like this happening to me. Mainly because my brain is wired like this.

I almost backed out because of my almost meltdown I was about to have. Management was able to help calm me down. I was able to do it and things got done amazingly.

The only issue I have is I’m worn down from being heavily relied on like that. Its very exhausting to deal with.

I’m just hoping after this week things start getting better again.

A week ends on a high note

You know how there are those weeks where things just add up and you wonder if there is ever an end to the maddness?

Yeah that was my week.

Every day I woke up in a good mood but then something happened where that instantly changed everything.

Not that I wanted it to but it just happened to be that kind of week.

Having a lack of sleep from the craziness didn’t help me either. Sensory issues started to come back a handful of times this week. Work was a bit much during those moments.

But, of all the chaos that happened this week, I only had one day where I just wasn’t me. Which that in itself is amazing compared to where I was a year ago.

This time last year was mad anxiety like crazy. Barely had a social life outside of work.

Now, a year later, I’m in a relationship, going out to places outside of just work and having the occasional anxiety issues.

But, as far as this week went, I ended it on an amazing note. I got to hang out with my boyfriend most of today and will tomorrow. I get to spend my evening relaxing and watching my favorite t.v. show. And I get to start a brand new week and pray that it brings better days.

The week that never seems to end

Leading up to my time in Chicago, I was super excited. But, what I didn’t realize that between anxiety wearing me down about the trip and the lack of sleep I got before and during the trip wore me down.

Once the trip started, it was a change I knew I needed for my health. Ridiculous amounts of stress from my job were starting to get to me, which can happen to anyone, anywhere, understandably.

What I didn’t know was when I came back I would have a harder time than normal readujusting back to my every day routine. It was weird and something I never experienced before.

By the time I came back to work Monday, I was so far in a emotional high from my time in Chicago that I didn’t remember how to adjust back into work. On top of that, there was so much stuff going on that I didn’t know about it started kicking in my autism.

Between that and having been so overtired for so long, it was a recipe for disaster. One small, unintentional thing from someone I work with caused me to have a massive meltdown that I couldn’t break out of until I feel asleep and woke up.

I can’t even remember the last time that happened, its been so long.

Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time in Chicago and it was nice to get away for a bit. But for some reason, I had a harder time readjusting to a life I’ve been living for quite some time.

Maybe I was so emotionally and physically drained that I just had it built up in my system and it came out then. I can’t be certain but it seems like the only sensible explination I can come up with as to why I had my meltdown.

Luckily I haven’t had one since, and I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again anytime soon, but I got through it.

Its moments like my meltdowns that make having autism hard. Trying to explain to people why it happens is worse. Very few truly understand the impact the world can have on one woth autism and very few understand autism itself.

But the reality is we are all human and things all affect us differently. As long as we as humans can keep moving forward, that’s all that matters

Weekend of unexpectedly amazing things

For about 2 days, I spent some time in Chicago with my hockey team for a tournament. Its a tournament for people with disabilities of all kinds to be able to get a chance to play hockey against people they normally wouldn’t play.

I went down with a friend of mine, who also happens to be a coach on my team, his boys, and my boyfriend. It was my first out of state trip without my parents and I was pretty nervous about going. But I worked myself up for nothing because I had quite a bit of fun.

We got to Chicago on Thursday so we could have time to chill and hang out before our team dinner that night. And honestly, I’m glad we had that time because that night was an amazing night for me.

Around 6:30pm, the people from my team went to the place we had our team dinner at. Once we all got settled in and everyone had arrived, 2 of my coaches had an announcement to make.

They called me up to where everyone could see me and gave me my jerseys saying I was captain of my team!!

I started crying when I found out. I wasn’t expecting that at all. It was the best surprise on the planet.

After we had that announcement and ate, we all went back to the hotel to get some rest because we had a game really early the next day.

So the next day we got up at like 6:45am to get ready to go to the rink. Our game started at 8:45am and had to make sure we had enough time to get there and get ready.

So we had our first game and played our hearts out. Unfortunately we lost but we played as a team and did our best and that’s what counts.

After that game we went back to the hotel because pur next game was in the afternoon. We had some more chill time and got to hang out with people from the team afterwards which was fun.

About 12:30pm hits and we started getting ready to leave again because our next game was at 1:35pm.

We also played our hearts out in this game too. After a while you could tell some of us were worn out from playing 2 intense games in a day but we didn’t give up.

We also lost this game, but we still learned a lot and still tried our best throughout the game.

After that game we went back to the hotel and just hung out some more and just relaxed from a long and slightly stressful day.

Saturday. What an interesting day that was. We had our third and finally game that day but because my coach that drove me had leave early, his boys, my boyfriend and I left around 11:30am to come home. I know my team played their hearts out and did their best and that’s all I can ask for.

The whole experience though was amazing. It was my favorite thing I’ve done with my team so far and everything elsr in between made it more special.

I did have a moment where I was completely overloaded but to only have one moment with everything that happened was amazing.

But this trip is one I definitely will not forget at all. It was the most amazing trip full of surprises I could have asked for and I am very thankful for everything that has happened since I started playing hockey!

Autism Awareness Month

Normally I am not one to go on rants when it comes to autism but this is one I feel needs to be addressed.

For those who don’t know, April is Autism Awareness month. A month dedicated to bringing to light what autism is. Or at least what its supposed to be anyway.

Its the reminder for those with it and families dealing with it to let others know its there.

Along the way though, the idea of bringing to light what autism is, a ‘wonderful’ organization by the name pf Autism Speaks misconstrued the idea of what autism actually is.

Although they had the right idea of making autism a household disability, what they made it sound like was far worse.

And this is where my rant begins.

Years ago, a former medical researcher by the name of Andrew Wakefield, caused quite a bit of controversy that still exists today.

He published an article that claimed vaccines were the reason why autism exists.

After this article was published, many, many people were on board with claiming that autism was a disease and it needed to be cured. Which led to a lot of people being on board with not vaccinating their children in fear of their child contracting autism.

You may be asking how does this relate to Autism Speaks.

Well, this organization started preaching these methods of vaccines being bad and trying to raise money to fund finding a cure for autism.

Let me give you a piece of my mind on this topic.

First and foremost: AUTISM IS NOT A DISEASE!!!!

It CANNOT be contracted and VACCINES DO NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM CAUSE IT!!!!

Vaccines and autism are a CORRELATION not CAUSATION!!

This means that autism symptoms appear around the time a child is to get vaccinated, which a lot of people assume to be related to vaccines.

News Flash: autism is and always will be a genetical DISORDER. Scientific studies have time and time again proven this.

Yes, I am well aware that the number of people being diagnosed with autism has risen dramatically over the years. The reason? More and more people are actually informed of the signs of what autism is. More and more people are doing their research.

And I guarentee a huge portion of those who actually understand what autism is will tell you that there is no relation to vaccines whatsoever.

Its this reason, and this reason alone, that I’m tired of seeing people saying that kind of thing about autism.

Yes I do understand there are some risks to vaccines. There are risks to a lot of things when it comes to the medical field. But I personally feel that the media has overblown the risks of vaccines, on more than just an autism level, causing all these issues to arise yet again.

I apologize to those who I may have offended. I’m only just voicing my opinion and I’m not hear to try and start an arguement.

I just feel I need to be heard.

Counting down the days

In less than 1 week, World Autism Day hits. A day where every place in the world that can manage, lights up with blue. The color that represents autism.

Every April for the past 5 years has been my reminder of what I have. The reminder that things have changed so much in the last 40 years in America, and the world for that matter, of how people see not only disabilities, but autism as well.

The reminder of how far we have come to show people who we are as an autism community around the world. How no matter where we are or what we look like, autism support has been what’s kept us together. Even when its been tough because someone somewhere knows how you feel.

Every day, I am reminded that autism is nothing to push aside. That embracing it will allow me to continue to be me without fear of being judged any different.

In a few circumstances, I do have to hide it. Not because I want too, but because workplace discrimination is so common, its hard to want to fully be me without fear of losing my job. Or getting direct or indirect harassment for having it.

Yes there is still a ways to go for autism acceptance and I am aware of that. But there has been so much improvement since its been fully introduced in America and around the world. More and more people are beginning to learn to accept it, understand it.

But the important things to remember are learning to embrace and accept who you and knowing that acceptance from others comes when those don’t care what “label” it is that you have.

Those people are a rare and priceless gift. And those are the ones who are meant to be kept in your life.

Something I’ve learned the last couple years, and especially the last couple months.

And I wouldn’t trade it at all

Chaotic week

As Friday finally is starting, I’ve looked back on everything that’s happened this week and man it has been crazy to say the least.

Its played with my emotions, stressed me out beyond belief, changed my routine (that’s been a rough one) and made me wonder why on earth I picked a job where I work with some adult children.

In one circumstance, there was a health related issue in my family early on in the week. I came home from an already stressful day to have that happen and I was having a bit of a freakout. I didn’t have much time at all to unwind. It was hard.

Luckily the health issue was taken care of and everything turned out good.

But sadly, the rest of the work week would turn out to be a disaster.

Just one person alone causes me more unnecessary stress and I’m tired of it.

Can they do their job?

Yeah, they do good as a whole.

But its their maturity level that makes me wonder why I have to put up with it. The worst of it is, I don’t have much of a choice until I get a new job.

I’ve had a hard time motivating myself while at work that’s how ridiculous it is anymore.

And to top all of it off, we are back to being short handed again which is causing stress to everyone. Forcing people to believe that things are gonna start looking up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate to have a job and I’m very fortunate things aren’t worse than they are.

It just gets hard when every couple months you think everything is getting better and then things go back downhill.

Its a sad new norm at my job. And the stress is taking its toll on everyone, myself included.

One day things will look up.

At least that’s what I’m hoping for anyway

Emotional Struggle

The last few days I’ve been dealing with a crazy fluctuation of emotions. Anything you can think of, I dealt with. For a week.

Yes, a lot of what I was dealimg with was self-inflicted but nonetheless it still happened.

I have been very fortunate though that I have been blessed with an amazing boyfriend who helped tall me down from everything. Who helped me rationalize that what was going on was going to be ok.

Wait, I forgot to tell you all something in previous posts.

For those who don’t know, yes I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together for about 2 months now and he’s been a great addition to my life.

He’s helped me get back into church. He’s helped me understand how to handle anxiety and helped me to understand I’m more than just autism. He’s amazing!

But to get back to my point.

A couple nights ago, I was struggling with my emotions so bad, I noticed a quote on Facebook and shared it.

It was something along the lines of “I feel like running away.” Because at the time, I didn’t see any hope of getting through what I was dealing with.

No matter how much I prayed or how much I distracted myself, there seemed like no end.

But something else had gotten my attention after posting that.

A long time friend, one I think of as an older brother, commented. He had said, that I would get through everything, because I was one of the strongest, bravest people he knew. He knows I’ve been dealing with things most people can’t imagine and yet I’ve somehow gotten through it.

Yes it is extremely nice to hear this, don’t get me wrong. But what I didn’t realize, and am still trying to grasp, is am I actually that good at pushing through things? Showing that I am capable despite everything I’ve dealt with? Despite how hard I am on myself, especially with my autism?

Questions I don’t expect a lot of people to answer but ones that are more an open-ended for me to find a way to finally figure out.

And in time, I will