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


Sensory Processing Disorder, Melatonin and me

About 4 months ago, I started up melatonin to try and help my sleep issues. The first few weeks worked out perfectly fine.

I was actually getting sleep, I had a brief amount of time where it made me happy and it started helping my autism behavior and symptoms.

After a while of my body getting used to taking melatonin, things started becoming more apparent.

My sleep schedule went back to the way it was before. My happiness it gave me dwindled. The only thing that didn’t come back were my behaviorial issues stemming from autism, as well as the symptoms.

Around the time I started to notice I was dealing with some sensory issues that were never prevalent before.

It started out as just pain sensory to clanging dishes.

As time went on with taking melatonin, my sensory issues got worse. Now, noises that are able to move around a room with walls that the noise bounces off of easy irritate me as well as clanging dishes.

Even bright lights, particularly the sun while driving and headlights at night irritate me.

Certain tags on shirts bother me too.

All of this badly enough that I’ve developed a slight twitch in my mouth.

And none of this was prevalent before the melatonin.

Yes, melatonin can be used as a form of therapy for those with autism.

Yes, it has been doing some therapy for me in that sense.

The only downfall is the more prevalent sensory processing disorder I deal with.

So bad now that I’m debating taking myself off the melatonin. Unsure of if SPD is something I want to deal with anymore.

Its frustrating to the extent that I can’t take it. It takes me quite some time to calm down from the sensory overload that it gives me anxiety when the sensory issues arise and go away.

I guess I really have some thinking to do on this. And it will be a tough thingto decide.

Sensory Overload: why it occurs and ways to handle it

Monday was interesting, to say the least. Something that occurs normally at my job, something that has never bothered me in the past, became an issue for me that day.

The dreaded fire alram…

Yes, these testings are quite common in medical facilities. Has to happen to meet state compliance. Nothing I say will ever go agaisnt it.

The rest of the week proved to me that combating sensory overload while trying to handlemyself at work is the most exhausting thing on the planet. Add anxiety into that and its a nightmare.

To end my week, I had a hockey game around lunch time. Normally I am able to focus, everything is fine, I can handle everything. This time, ehh not so much.

From the moment I stepped foot on the bench, so much noise reverberated throughout the building my head couldn’t take it. To make it harder, we had a high school marching band there playing music between stops in play.

My head was so far on overload from all the sound I wasn’t mentally in the game. I actually almost up and left it was so bad.

Since having sensory issues is a relatively new daily occurrence for me, I thought I’d find out what the reason behind why they happen.

A curiousity as to why the brain causes these kind of things, if you will.

From my perspective, it always seems to be that the focus is on the fact that people deal with sensory overload and what noises can cause issues for people who have it.

But not once have I heard anyone talk about the scientific aspect of how the brain makes it happen.

That’s the part I want to talk about. To learn more about sensory issues if I don’t cover everything, please click here and here for more details.

Sensory issues, sensory processing disorder(SPD) being the technical term, is a condition where the brain and nervous system have trouble processing or integrating stimulus.

What that means is, neurotypical people process all five senses the same way. No particular one stands out from others. Those with SPD have trouble processing one or more of the senses causing the brain to go into extreme overdrive.

It is a neurophysiological condition where sensory input, fron either environment or one’s body, is poorly detected or interpreted to which atypical responses are observed.

This came to as a shock to me but a study in 2013 was conducted that found SPD was a biological basis and seperate disorder from other neurological disorders.

Back years ago, it used to be seen as a symptom of autism because a lot of characteristics from SPD fall under the autism category. But, this study proved that it is a stand alone disorder and a person can have SPD without having autism.

Someone with SPD struggles with processing feelings of hot or cold, tired, hungry, lights, and sound. Something that can be challenging and overwhelming.

SPD can evoke irregular responses that can cause health issues. An example is not registering the temperature in a way that allows them to dress accordingly.

Like autism, SPD exists on a spectrum. In some cases it can only affect one sense, like hearimg or taste, or affect all of them.

For family members and any person who deals with someone on with this disorder, the biggest challenge is helping figure out what causes the disorder and find ways to get back to a point of regulation.

Signs of SPD

-Can show up as over OR under responsive: from stimulation due to sight, sound, touch etc. Ex: being too hot or too cold prompt little response or a dog barking can cause physical distress and extreme anxiety

-Intolerance to textures and certain clothing: Certain people cannot tolerate certain types of clothing on their bodies (how it feels). They need simple styles with very few seams and labels taken out. They may not be able to wear certain types of fabrics like wool.

-Intolerance to certain noises or loud noises: Certain people cannot stand noises like vacuums, sirens or crying babies. Noises can cause physical pain and make it difficult to concertrate or function.

-Food textures and colors causing extreme responses: Most need help navagating this and more details will be discussed later in this post.

-Difficulty using fine motor skills: Using crayons or pens, putting small clothing on dolls, or using buttons on clothing for themselves.

-Difficulty with change or transition: Can have problems switching from one task to another. Moving rooms or house, changing classrooms or even changing curtains in your home can cause problems. These types of changes can cause meltdowns or total withdrawal, depending on the person.

-Clumsiness: Bumping into things or people: They have difficulty knowing where their bodies are in space. Can also be overwhelmed by environment causing them to “not see” furniture or people around them

Ways to Treat SPD

This can be tricky to find the right treatment or combinations of different ones. The one that was recommended is occupational therapists. They are very helpful since they are skilled at sensory issues.

Some ways to help are as simple as leaving things out of diet or out closet until person is old enough to develop coping mechanisms on their own.

Remember is that each person is different, experiences the world in ways we don’t understand, amd helping develop a mutual “language” around what they feel and experience are beneficial.

Now the fun part. Explaining the different senses and how they can affect a person.

Like I have mentioned before, SPD causes people to have difficulty processing sensory information. It can leave a profound effect on a person’s life.

Since there are people on the spectrum who have SPD, the rest of this post is geared towards that.

It is believed that people on the spectrum with SPD behave the way they do that others wouldn’t think of as sensory sensitivity. People believe that those struggling are dealing with sensory overload (information overload). Too much information can cause stress, anxiety, and possibly physical pain which cam result in a meltdown or challenging behavior.

There are three things that can be done to help during the meltdown that can make a difference.

Those three things are:

  1. Be aware: look at the environment to see if its creating difficulties
  2. Be creative: think of some positive sensory experiences
  3. Be prepared: tell the person about possible sensory stimuli they may experience in different environment.

Sensory Sensitivities

This is where we go in depth of the hypersensitivities and hyposensitivities to sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, balance and body awareness.



  1. Objects appear dark or lose some features
  2. Centeal vision is blurred, peripheral vision quite sharp
  3. Central object magnified, peripheral vision blurry
  4. Poor depth perception, problems throwing and catching, clumsiness

Ways to help

The use of visual supports or colored lenses (limited research evidence on lenses)


  1. Distorted vision- objects and bright lights can appear to jump around
  2. Images may fragment
  3. Easier and more pleasureable to focus on a detail rather than a whole object
  4. Has difficulty getting to sleep from light sensitivity

Ways to help

Make changes to environment such as reducing lighting, providing sunglasses and creating a workstation with high walls on both sides to block visual distractions



  1. May only hear sounds in one ear, the other having partial or no hearing
  2. May not acknowledge certain sounds
  3. Might enjoy crowded, noisy places or bang doors and objects

Ways to help

Use visual supports to back verbal information and ensure that other people are aware of the under-sensitivity so they can communitcate effectively


  1. Noise can be magnified and sounds become distorted and muddled
  2. May be able to hear conversations in the distance
  3. Inability to cut out sounds- notably background noise- leading to difficulty concentrating

Ways to help

  1. Shutting doors and windows ti reduce external sounds
  2. Preparing the person before going to noisy or crowded places
  3. Providing ear plugs and music to listen to
  4. Creatinf a screened workstation in the classroom or office, positioning the person away from doors and windows



  1. Some people have no sense of smell and fail to notice extreme odors (can include own body odor)
  2. Some people may lick things to get a better sense of what they are

Ways to help

  1. Create a routine around regular washing and use strong smelling products to distract people from inappropriate strong smelling stimuli


  1. Smells can be intense and overpowering. Can cause toileting problems
  2. Dislikes people with distinctive perfumes, shampoos etc.

Ways to help

  1. Using unscented detergents or shampoos, avoiding wearing perfumes, make environment ad fragrance free as possible



  1. Likes very spicy foods
  2. Eats or mouths non-edible items, such as dirt, stones, grass, soil, metal, feces


  1. Finds some flavors and foods too strong and overpowering because of very sensitive taste buds. Restricted diet
  2. Certain textures cause discomfort- may only eat smooth foods like mashed potatoes or ice cream

Ways to help

Some on the spectrum may limit themselves to bland foods or crave very strong tasting foods. Will not be problem as long as someone dietary variety



  1. Holds others tightly- needs to do so before there is a sensation of having applied any pressure
  2. Has high pain threshold
  3. May be able to feel food in mouth
  4. May self-harm
  5. Enjoys heavy objects (ex: weighted blanket) on top of them
  6. Chews everything, including clothing and inedible objects
  7. Smears feces, enjoys texture

Ways to help

  1. For smearing, offer alternatives with similarities such as jelly or cornflour and water
  2. For chewing, offer latex-free tubes, straws or hars sweets (chill in freezer)


  1. Touch can be painful and uncomfortable. People may not like to be touched and this can affect their relationships with others.
  2. Dislikes having anything on hands or feet
  3. Difficulties brushing and washing hair because head is sensitive
  4. May find many food textures uncomfortable
  5. Only tolerates certaim types of clothing or textures

Ways to help

  1. Warning person if you are about to touch them- always approach from the front
  2. Remembering that a hug may be painful rather than comforting
  3. Allowing the person to wear clothes they are comfortable in

Balance (vestibular)


  1. A need to rock, swing or spin to get some sensory input

Ways to help

  1. Encourage activities that help to develop vesitbular system
  2. Could include rocking horses, swings, catching a ball or practicing walking smoothly up steps or curbs


  1. Difficulties with activities like sports
  2. Difficulties stopping quickly or during an activity
  3. Car sickness
  4. Difficulties with activities where head is not upright or feet are off ground

Ways to help

  1. Break down activities into small, more easily manageable steps
  2. Use visual cues, such as a finish line

Body Awareness (proprioception)

Body awareness systems tell us where our bodies are in space and how different body parts are moving


  1. Stands close to others because they cannot measure their proximity to other people and judge personal space
  2. Finds it hard to navigate rooms and avoid obstructions. May bump into things

Ways to help

  1. Positioning furniture around edge of room to make negotiation easier
  2. Use weighted blankets to provide deep pressure
  3. Putting colored tape on the floor to indicate boundaries
  4. Use the “arm’s length rule” to judge personal space- means standing an arm’s length away from other people


  1. Difficulties with fine motor skills ex: manipulating small objectd like buttons or shoe laces
  2. Moves whole body to look at something

Ways to help

  1. Offer “fine motor” activities like lacing boards


A rare condition experienced by some people on the spectrum. Its an experience that goes in as one sensory and comes out as a different one. An example is hearing a sound and experiencing it as a color, like blue. So in essence, the person would “hear” the color blue.

Therapies and equipment

Although recommendations can’t be made because each person is different, there are different ways to help each person. Here, I will give different ways to help and explain what they do so you can better decide how to help.

Music Therapies

These people use instruments and sounds to develop people’s sensory systems, usually their auditory (hearing) systems

Occupational Therapists

These people design programsand often make changes to the environment so that people with sensory difficulties can live as independently as possible.

Speech and Language Therapists

These people often use sensory stimuli to encourage and support the development of language and interaction

Some people use colored filters, for sight, helpful, although there is very limited research.

Sensory integrative therapy and sensory integration network

The Brain in hand app, designed to help manage anxiety

I apologize for the length of this post but this is a very interesting topic to me and I hope you feel the same way.

Abilities of a person with a disability

This post will be a little different. This will be one that opens discussions of how a parent, sibling, friend, boy/girlfriend, co-worker, spouse or whatever your relationship to a person with a disability is and how you should treat a person with one.

I recently had a conversation with someone about how a person with autism should be treated where they can make their own decisions in life as to what they want out of it. Like making the decision to live out a dream they’ve wanted for so long.

So the question I have is do you allow someone with a disability to be able to live a life they want to the best of their ability so they can attepmt to be normal? Or do you treat them the way the media exemplifies persons with a disability and make it so they cannot live to their full potential?

I only ask because its something that has been a problem for some and not others and want to get a range of people’s opinions on what do you do with a person who has some sort of disability.

Personally, I feel that a person who has a disability should be treated like everyone else. Because like others, they have different abilities that make them unique and should be living up to that, not be drawn down to where others think they should be.

Let me know what you think. This is a topic not too often talked about but one that needs to be addressed.

New Things Ahead

Man I have had a quite productive week/weekend.

People at my job were only slightly stressed out Friday night. Only because we had a semi bad snow storm and had lots of call ins from the crazy weather.

Actually we’ve had a lot of crazy weather where I live the past week. It hasn’t been fun in the least bit. I’m not a fan of back-to-back-to-back snow storms resulting in like 20-plus inches of snow. Makes for a terrible commute.

Plus its been the snow storms where it comes down at a rate that’s not easy to keep up with at all making the roads a slushy and snowy mess. And plows can’t keep up either making it all the more difficult.

But Friday had to have been one of the worse call in days I’ve seen at work in a while. Stupid weather…

Speaking of work, I had an interestingly split up 4 day work week. I had Wednesday off because I had tickets to a hockey game that interfered with my work schedule. So instead of getting out early I just took a personal day.

Got to hang out with an amazing person, who I have mentioned many times before. To those who have not read my previous posts, this person has helped me a tremendous amount with my anxiety. Gives me tips, helps calm me down during an attack, has actually helped me become mpre social bit by bit (which anyone who understands anxiety and autism knows that can be a very big struggle) and understands everything I deal with and where I come from.

Why you ask?

This person also struggles with anxiety and has been through exactly what I have.

So I was able to hang out with him for a few hours and then when it was gettimg closer to game time, drove me to the arena to meet up with another friend for the game.

The game was awesome. My team won 4-2 and a fight happened which made it even better. And I had a fun time.

But I still had to go back to work the next day sadly. All good things have to come to an end right?

Definitely threw off my internal clock though. Legit thought Thursday was Wednesday and Friday was Thursday.

Then came the weekend and now Sunday night is here and I am kinda nervous about Wednesday morning.

I have a job interview that I shouldn’t be nervous about but nonetheless still nervous for. Its been a while since I’ve had an interview so I’m scared I may mess it up a little.

I’m just trying to hold my head up and think positive about it.

But its also a good learning experience too which is nice.

Just hope things will work out in some form.

New Kind of Normal

As I sit here this morning reading posts by parents who have kids with autism, I started to realize a thing or two about myself.

To those who don’t know, when I went through my autism testing years ago, doctors came back with a most likely has it. It was never officially comfirmed but at the time, a lot of my symptoms protrayed having it.

And for years, with lots of research, I agreed that I had it.

A few years after my intial diagnosis, my parents got me in to get another testing done to see if it was a for sure thing I had it.

And I could tell you that at the time it seemed like I did.

Fast forward to late fall of last year. I started taking melatonin to help my sleep. Although there are times it doesn’t always work for that, there are things I’ve noticed that have changed in me.

My OCD has basically become non-existent. My ADHD is more miss than hit. I’m not getting nearly as outwardly overwhelmed as I used to be. And the only thing that has become more prevalent is sensory issues.

As of this morning, aside from working on my anxiety issues, sensory issues are the only autistic trait that I have since taking melatonin.

I actually feel the most normal I’ve ever been since getting my original diagnosis. I feel like I have so little autistic traits that I’m not actually defined by that word and seem more neurotypical than autistic.

Its weird to feel this way. But its awesome to sit back and think of how much has changed since I started melatonin. Its like my brain equalled itself out in some weird way.

Its weird to think about. And seeing all these posts about parents having all these issues with their kids that are normal for those with autism and then looking at myself and seeing how far I’ve come just since taking melatonin is crazy.

I don’t feel like the same person anymore. Its weird to get used too. And I’m not sure if I ever will.

But I’ll take it!

A slightly stressful week

So another week has passed.

Another week of anxiety and stress had hit.

Its been a while since this has happened.

It definitely started out as being a great week. Hung out with some friends on Sunday, played some hockey, pretty good day.

Monday wasn’t too bad either. All the positive vibes lingered from the weekend and made work enjoyable.

Tuesday was starting out the same way. Then a text from management kicked in my anxiety.

I was needed to do waitstaff at my job for lunch.

This was the first time in 3 months I’ve done this job and anxiety was not my friend.

It had nothing to do with doing a new job, I’m used to being thrown around. It was the fact that I had to break my social anxiety and converse with people I’ve never talked too and do stuff in a new method that was implemented 2 months ago.

I actually started developing hives on my arm from being overwhelmed from this situation.

The good news is I made it and didn’t back out!

The bad news is the anxiety stayed the rest of the day and gave me a mild panic attack while I was asleep that night. Gotta say that was an experience and a first. I hope I never get another.

Well to say the least the rest of my work week didn’t go very well. A lot happened that I wish I could say but can’t but it just wasn’t working out in my favor.

Sadly I’d start every day happy and end it miserable. That’s just the kind of week I had.

Luckily the week is over and I get to enjoy some stress free fun with some friends, play a hockey game, and watch the Super Bowl so things will be good.

I just hope I can go back into work next Monday with some positivity and hope things turn out better. A lot better.

Yes, work can get stressful but next week is a new week to get things better and on the right track as hard as that can be.

But I’m sure things will work itself out. They always do in the end.

Amazing Weekend Fun

Man oh man I don’t even know where to begin with this one. So much happened in a short period of time it was hard to process everything all at once.

What started out as an anxiousness of a 3 day weekend turned into one I don’t think I can ever forget.

Friday was an interesting travel day. I went down to the city were supposed to be in with some friends and a team mate of mine. Man that was an interesting day.

So many interesting things had happened and yet it was an amazing amount of fun.

Other than a few minor things it was a fun night in the hotel.

Like how can a view like that be passed up? It waa pretty nice to see that.

That was a pretty cool view too. The bridge in the background actually goes to Canada so it was awesome to see at night instead of the daytime.

Aside from these views I got to play hide and seek with my favorite little buddy (who apparently says I’m getting married to him. He’s 7 lol) in the hotel room. Also managed to get quite a few cuddles from him in the car and in the hotel.

The only downfall I had was having anxiety about falling asleep in an unfamiliar environment. I did struggle a bit but the beds didn’t help it either. They were uncomfortable.

Aside from that the next day was incredible.

All of that was the calm before the storm. An amazing moment of having the chance to play on the same ice as my favorite team. A chance most never get to do.

Yes it was hard work playing but in the end, the hard work made it an amazing memory that will last a lifetime.

I still struggle with how incredible that moment was. It hasn’t truly sunk in yet. And it may take time for that to happen.

But all in all, I had the best time ever.

Shoot, I still had enough energy after playing my heart out to go to church, practice and out with a couple friends yesterday.

Apparently staying busy is something I enjoy doing now haha. But that’s all right by me. I had a good weekend.

After a long day Saturday, this amazing team mates of mine, as well as myself, were worn out. But had a lot of fun.

And I don’t think any of us could take away the amazing time we had with each other!

Hockey fun weekend ahead

This weekend is an upcoming interestingly fun filled weekend of firsts for me.

I am partaking in my first ever hockey tournament.

I am living out a 16 year long dream of playing on the same ice as my favorite hockey team.

And to top it all off I am rooming with a few people from my team overnight the day before the tournament.

Yes there is a lot of excitement that I am very glad to be a part of this weekend. Definitely something to look forward too.

But of all things I am most nervous about is sharing a room with people from my team. Not that I have anything against them or being in the same room. Its just not something I’m used too by any means.

This weekend will be an AMAZING weekend and I know that. I also am aware I am working myself up over something as small as sharing a room kind of thing.

But when you aren’t used to it, especially with people you don’t see too often, it can be a challenge.

This is going to be a crazy whirlwind of emotions.

But I know for a fact that this is the first time I can say I actually cannot back out of doing this. I for once have to actually face my fear head on and make it happen.

It will be a challenge. I know it will.

But the only way to conquer your fears is to tackle them head on. Its the only way to make sure that you know things will be ok in the end.

The only way to know that nothing is as bad as it actually is.

This is a very different thing to go through when its outside of your comfort zone.

Maybe going through with this is my subconscious saying 2018 is the year you will finally kick butt and make stuff happen to lessen all the anxiety, all those fears from your past.

Let’s just hope the support system I have is right in saying I got this.

That everything will be ok.