What feels like an eternity

This week has been a very trying week for my family. It has definitely tested my emotions, as well as my parents, more than anyone could know.

I wish I could give more insight to what exactly has happened but, I have to keep quiet until I know I’m ok to say it.

But it’s been rough. Trying to process it all while still trying to work has been hard. Thankfully, I am on an anti-depressant/anxiety med that has been helping quite a bit.

But being on the spectrum and taking everything in has been mentally draining. With not knowing how my grandparents are going to be on any given day, to not knowing what to expect while at work and constantly being on edge, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen.

I’ve definitely been a lot more withdrawn about things than I used to be with co-workers. I have been just coming in, doing my thing, and not talking as much, which can be a very good thing. But it’s not like me to just work and barely say much.

The plus side though is I’m able to stay focused and get the job done and I’m glad I’m able to have that!

I just hope things get better and I’m able to handle whatever does happen

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Life during some interesting changes

For those who don’t know, about a month ago, my parents had my grandparents move in with our family. It’s been an interesting ride, to say the least. It’s been hard on all of our family.

But for me, it’s just slightly harder. Mainly because I don’t have much space to be able to fully let my “normalcy” down to be able to just have my autism show.

It also doesn’t help working full time, plus trying to maintain friendships and be able to do stuff outside of helping my parents.

My energy is definitely drained from all of this. But yet, I’m clinging to faith more than I ever have. Somehow that’s been helping me, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day.

I don’t know where this change started recently, but it almost seemed like a small voice in the back of my head telling me to do it.

Do more devotionals.

Spend more time in your Bible.

Listen to Christian radio more.

Play more Christian music on Spotify.

These are the things that have happened to me in the last month, even the last week. Even over the course of the last month at work, I’ve been more patient and more even-keeled than I used to be.

All of this happened from just one change. A change that I never know what I’m going to get from my grandparents each day they wake up.

But each day is one step at a time and that’s the only way I, or anyone, is able to get through the day.

Just one step at a time.

Hard changes in life

The last few months have been rough for my family. My parents have spent so many weeks traveling 150 miles from our house to my grandparents to help take care of them. All the while, I’ve been home taking care of my parents house and working.

Now I will admit, the first few weeks were hard for all of us. My parents were thrown into a situation they never expected to be in and I was put into a slight taste of adulthood with no understanding of what I was doing.

Having autism made it even harder because it was such a sudden change. I definitely understood that it was necessary to have happen but still very hard.

Over time, things kept getting harder and harder, and the time my parents spent with my grandparents kept getting longer and longer. This due to the fact that my grandparents health has been slowly going downhill.

Eventually, it reached a point where my parents have to make a decision to put them in a home because my grandparents house is no longer safe for them. But until they do that, my parents had to bring my grandparents to live with us.

It’s definitely not easy. Both of them have declining mental health. Both have physical issues. And both need just 24/7 care that our family is struggling with trying to provide.

It’s been stressing my parents out a lot. In the process of them being brought to our house, it’s stressed me out as well. It’s hard for me to handle the care plus not having a true safe space to be able to be me, autism and all.

It’s only been 3 days and it’s been very hard on my whole family. But I know we are doing the right thing for them by allowing them to be safe, which they need.

I just hope that a way will be found soon to get them the right proper help.

Last week’s crazy with some realizations

So, last week was definitely a crazy weather week where I live. Here in the States, a good portion of the country had a heat and humidity wave that was pretty crazy.

Most places had highs in the upper 80s and 90s. (To fellow readers outside the States, this is in Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to 30-35 in Celsius.) Add humidity with that and it was well into what felt like the 100s.

To top that off, being in northern part of the states and having to work in a kitchen in this weather, it’s hard when you aren’t used to it.

Well to factor in other hard factors for me, my parents, who have been taking care of my grandparents every weekend for almost a year, had to travel back to their house after being home for over 12 hours from already being there.

It was definitely hard on me because I knew it was a sudden change. But I also knew they needed help because my grandpa didn’t feel well at all and needed help.

So they went back and stayed the whole week into the weekend to make sure they both got the help they needed. Unfortunately this meant me having to spend my birthday alone for the first time in 29 years.

I’ll admit it was definitely hard and a bit depressing, but thankfully having social media made it better. By the time I got to work people knew it was my birthday, thanks to Facebook, and I actually felt so happy with all the love I got while I was there.

That made being alone so much better for me. It lifted my mood so much despite having a sudden, necessary change happen.

As for the rest of the week, it definitely was hard wanting to get outside and go to work with how hot it was. It definitely is draining when you aren’t used to it.

Going through the weekend got better. It was definitely a cool Sunday compared to what we dealt with and it felt amazing.

That night, I got he from work and my parents wanted to celebrate my birthday since we weren’t able too and in the process, I heard some things that I realized need to change and I can’t go on with certain things that I am doing.

Yes I admit that I try to be positive about things on here and in life, sometimes, but I definitely need wake-up calls sometimes to know that nothing is ever perfect in life. I’m definitely far from it and have a lot of ups and downs despite the positivity I try to spread.

I just hope a way to fix things on a personal level for me can actually work and that I don’t rush it.

Autism and burnout

The last few months with work I’ve been experiencing some pretty hardcore burnout. It hasn’t been fun to say the least but at the same time, being so short-staffed, there really isn’t much of an alternative but to step up and do what’s necessary.

But at what cost?

I realized this weekend that this was a topic I wanted to talk about. About what burnout is and how those who are autistic, like myself, experience this.

I may have already talked about this but I will definitely do so again because it’s a very common thing among people on the spectrum.

Burnout is exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.

This is something that a lot of people I know struggle with on regular basis and is very common in the world.

Autism is a neurological disorder that causes the person dealing with it to struggle with processing the world around them.

Some examples would be dealing with social interactions, dealing with large crowds, and overwhelming noises. But something to keep in mind is, even though these are just examples, every person on the spectrum is different and what may bother one person may not bother another.

Now this is where burnout and autism come into play. People with autism, more often than not, don’t know there limits when it comes to certain things. For me, it’s the ability to not overworked myself while at work.

Now combine the definition of burnout and the autistic brain together and you have a complete disaster waiting to happen.

I’m sure you all will agree than burnout definitely is something that can build up overtime and can be very draining when it finally catches up with you.

Well, for me being on the spectrum and having burnout, plus factoring in that I do what’s called masking, which is hiding my autism from most people, it’s extremely hard. Most of the time I don’t register that I’m on the edge of burnout until I reach my breaking point.

This is due to the fact that not only do I struggle processing the world around me, I also struggle with processing my emotions and regulating them.

Until the last couple years, I used to be terrible about being able to handle when I’m at my breaking point. Lately, I’ve been more in tune with when I’ve been close and knowing when enough is enough.

And honestly, to most that’s a normal thing people learn eventually. To me, it’s an amazing accomplishment that I’m able to break down the barrier of having a harder time of knowing how to handle my emotions.

For me, I’m very proud I’m able to recognize my limits now. It’s something I never thought I’d manage let alone be able to talk about at all.

Yes, I’ve struggled with it all and it’s been hard. But I was put in this situation to be able to talk about what I deal with in hopes of having the inspiration for others to know that there is hope. There is a will and a way, even if it takes people longer than others to get there.

Complete chaos

So, to start off this week, things were completely fine, work wise. Nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Well on Tuesday, we had our state survey for the retirement home I work at to make sure we are performing up to the regulations they have set in place.

Luckily, my anxiety meds have helped me out a lot and I was able to get through Tuesday with little to no worry.

Wednesday on the other hand was a different story.

About 3 weeks ago we had a small electrical fire in the kitchen and had to use a fire extinguisher. Well, little did we know there were certain protocols we had to follow that we didn’t know about until Wednesday.

Wednesday, we had the fire marshal in to make sure our hood system and fire extinguishers were up to code and we had the proper updates necessary.

Unfortunately, the person they talked to about this let them know about the fire we had and how no one called fire department to come out.

That being said, state surveyors had to come in and question me and the person who had put it out because we had both been witness to it.

So in all this chaos, we found out midday that we weren’t able to use the food we had for dinner that night and had to have a huge cleaning team from our kitchen staff and an outside company do everything they could to clean all dishes and the whole kitchen.

We basically had our kitchen closed until we could do everything we could to make it clean. All the while, we had to use disposable products because nothing in the kitchen could be used.

Wednesday night was really crazy for me. After all this happened, around 7pm I was struggling to keep myself from having a meltdown. It was so much to process and so overwhelming I couldn’t handle it anymore.

That night into the morning I had an ongoing meltdown from all this.

Luckily Thursday was a lot easier to handle and I spent the day helping where needed and putting back together our store room.

Last night we found out that today we are able to go back to normal at around 12pm and that makes me so so happy.

And despite all this massive mess, the kitchen is the cleanest I have ever seen it and we all worked together as a team like I’ve never seen before.

Yes, no one was happy about the slip up but we managed to get things done and we were able to get through this with a great group of people.

Now we just have to wait and see what our state says about this. And now we all know what needs to be done going forward.

Made a change

So, normally for me, especially when I have a day off, I have a routine at night that I follow. The couple hours leading up to bed time are critical winding down time.

Basically, I spend it coloring, taking my melatonin, taking a shower and listening to music.

I’ve been doing this for close to two years now and it’s helped me a lot with winding down.

Well yesterday, I managed to break this routine for a couple hours and not only had gone to a movie in the early afternoon, but also managed to go to a bonfire with my boyfriend and a few friends.

Not just managed to break my routine but broke it spontaneously. Which I haven’t managed to do in Lord knows how long. Spontineity and I aren’t exactly best friends, let alone acquantences.

I didn’t grow up having spontaneous adventures so it’s not in my nature to have that kind of moment. It’s a very challenging thing for me to overcome.

But I managed and although my autism was prevalent, I was able to still be me with no judgement from others. It was definitely a change that was ok for me to have for a bit and not have the same monotony all the time.

I guess baby steps is ok to making me break out of my shell. But until then my routine will be here to stick.

Worst Autism Day in Months

Most days, autism can be easy for me. Some days are a bit tougher. And then there are those rare days where it’s so bad I’m lucky if I can make it through the day.

Yesterday was my day of hard struggles. It was so bad that I wasn’t able to handle half of what went on.

What made it worse was having to work on top of trying to plow through my autism. I was extremely forgetful, more than normal, I felt like I was in a Time Warp and that I was moving slower than I was, I was EXTREMELY overwhelmed by everything I had to do and to top it all off, I was forced to work myself out of a meltdown to get through the rest of my night.

It took until almost 9pm to even have a meltdown that’s how bad it got. Luckily I was able to make it happen but it was draining on me mentally to go through a day of trying to act normal while fighting a hard battle and trying to stim just to keep myself sane.

I wish most days people like me didn’t have to struggle like this. But at the same time, days like this are what others can learn from to better understand what we as autistics struggle with.

As hard as it can be, I just want this to be a learning curve for others that there is more to us than the ability to appear normal. We are made this way for a reason and I just hope others are able to find a light to help.

Unknown World

As I sit here winding down from work before I go to bed, I realized I needed to talk about an ugly side that not many people realize happens.

A few months ago I started an anxiety med that I had taken years ago to help me be more calm. The happiness, calmness, and ability to be more clear minded has been an amazing thing.

The not so amazing?

I’ve gained weight since I started. So much, in fact, that I had talked to my doctor and asked if there was anything else to take that doesn’t have weight gain as a side effect.

Luckily there is one, but, I have to take the one I’m on every other day until it’s gone to ween off of it in order to start the new one.

And this is where the struggle is happening. I’m battling my autism while anxiety and depression are back to being present again.

Fortunately, the anxiety and depression is in spurts and I can manage for a couple hours without having issues. That in itself is a lot better than it was before the meds.

But during this process it’s been rough. I just am waiting patiently to make this new change happen and hoping that things go well.

It’s a different unknown world to me, knowing things are changing the way they are but unknowningly hard to try and work through everything.

This kind of change is not the easiest but I know its one that needs to happen.

Out of sorts

Normally, I try to stay positive about everything I deal with and what I am able to overcome despite having some shortcomings. The last couple days have tested my ability to cope and handle things most can handle with no problem.

My family and I spent the weekend with my grandparents for Easter. Which was a nice thing to do and something that I can usually handle.

Most of the time I sit around and color at a table so I’m near everyone but still having time to relax.

Unfortunately, Sunday had some unforeseen circumstances that lead me to have a meltdown. My mom had come down with something that kept her bed ridden most of the day. We were supposed to leave some time in the afternoon because I had to work Monday.

But unfortunately, things didn’t get better for her so I had to call in. It was pretty hard on me to have to change my routine so drastically like that. I ended up having a meltdown.

Thankfully, I was able to calm down watching some Harry Potter with my dad and coloring the rest of the evening.

It’s just different to have things like this happen when you are so used to a different routine.

I just have a guilt feeling because I’m not usually one to call in, let alone one to call in because of someone in my family. It’s different to feel like this but it’s a well needed time away.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and that you are all doing well!