April 2nd (Autism Acceptance Day)

On this day, I would normally tout wear blue, light it up blue, and anything blue related. But after a year’s worth of research, I’ve realized something I’ve always supported isn’t something the autism community wants, let alone needs.

Let me explain what I mean.

Wearing blue and light it up blue are what Autism Speaks uses, as well as a blue puzzle piece as their symbol. For those who don’t know, Autism Speaks is an American organization that looks at autism as needing to be cured and something caused by vaccines. This organization basically raises money to find a cure for something incurable.

To the autism community, this organization is a smack in the face.

To myself, I realized after years of wearing blue on this day that I was supporting an organization that is disgraceful to autism.

So on this day, I ask all of you to go red instead for autism acceptance and go gold for neurodiversity and autism inclusion. Both these are what are needed for autism.

I can say, from others I’ve seen talking about this, inclusion and acceptance are a lot more important than awareness.

Those with autism are tired of being put on the back burner for others. We all, as humans, have our own quirks that make us who we are.

Those with autism are no less. We want the same things as neurotypicals. We have the same feelings as everyone else. We even have the same interests as others too.

The only difference is that those with autism are socially outcast by society because of a lack understanding.

So on this day, all I ask is that you take time to research and get to know those with autism. But not just today, EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR! So please continue to be kind and accepting of autism every day.

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At a loss

The last couple days I’ve wanted to write. The problem I’ve had is I’ve been at a loss of what to talk about. So much has happened since my last post that trying to process all of it has been very hard. But, I’m now mentally clear enough to give you the update.

I’ll start with where I left off.

My job, to say the least, has been unfortunately stressful. We had hired in a couple new people to dishwash, and sadly one of them didn’t work out.

A lot of my stress during that time came from helping this person more than necessary while trying to do my own job. Granted, this person has a disability so I can’t say that he wasn’t capable of the job. I just didn’t feel, along with management and many of my coworkers, that something as busy as dishwashing was the right fit for this person. All I can do is wish this person the best of luck and hope he finds a job that is right for them.

To make things a bit harder for me, my work schedule has been so all over the place that the inconsistency has been very hard, on top of having to adjust to working every other weekend.

Those things combined have been a whirlwind of chaos in my head. I’ve come home from work most nights and my autism has been full force from trying to handle everything.

But to make all that even harder, a close friend of mine had his father pass away from a long battle with cancer last week. It hit hard for me when I found out and I feel so bad for the family and all who knew him.

We had his funeral this past Saturday and holy crap were there a lot of people. It was so much that my autism couldn’t handle it and I had a meltdown before the service.

The service was really nice and I’m glad I was able to make it. After that was over, there was a luncheon and that really made it hard for me. To have so many people crammed into the space we had available made it hard for me to focus. I barely ate because there was so much action.

Luckily my boyfriend was there helping through it all. My friend was great with everything too. He understood I was having issues with all the people around and helped me out as well.

Now that all of this things have settled down, I’m able to actually think and truly process all that has happened. I hope everything can get better from here and that I can learn to handle things better in the future.

Learning to stay calm in chaos

The last month or so has been rough going for me. My job has fallen into a short handed position, which I have no problem with. Its just harder for me to handle this time around because I feel immense pressure to perform at a level that seems impossible.

Let me explain.

My normal job is to be a custodian for the kitchen of of a retirement home. Basically, I’m responsible for making sure the kitchen is cleaned. Some examples are cleaning the walls, and the ovens.

Due to being shorthand, I’ve been doing cook’s assistant, helping the cook with the meal, custodian, and dishwashing.

This has been causing me to feel so overwhelmed that I’ve been fighting meltdowns and have been stress eating like crazy.

To make all this worse, the weather has been ridiculous. Where I live we’ve had snow storm after snow storm for a month with very few breaks. And that has been even harder for me and made work even more short handed.

Luckily I’m getting myself back on track and I’m eating better and am a lot happier. I just can’t wait to see things look up going forward and seeing everyone’s loads lessen in the future.

Interesting difficult weekend

So over the last couple days, I had an incident happen where my phone basically slowly started dying Friday evening.

It was an interesting experience to say the least because I, as well as many from my generation and younger, are addicted to technology. I tried everything my dad had suggested to try and fix it and it wasn’t working.

My parents and I had come to the conclusion that my lack of taking care of it was what had caused it to fail. I have a bad tendency to drop my phone and my phone screen was so badly beat up that I think water may have gotten in and fried my phone.

The transition of not having it at first was very hard. I had a meltdown at work Saturday and it affected how I was functioning. But the more time went on, I got used to not relying on it and realized how truly addicted I was.

I realized I have things I can do that don’t involve having my phone. I was able to fully pay attention to watching TV. I was able to spend time coloring without being distracted. I was able to actually talk on a phone no problem.

But it was hard not having internet to look things up or have my Spotify to listen to my music. The compromise was a difficult thing but at least I know I am able to give up a phone for more than a couple hours.

But I am back and hoping to learn big time from my mistake. My very costly mistake at that. I just hope I am able to truly learn and not repeat this again.

Crazy schedule changes

So, recently my work schedule has changed where everyone at my job has to work every other weekend. Not exactly the best change but one the higher up people feel is best for the company.

Well, either way, that change happened this week. It’s been a very hard struggle for me to get used too. Granted it just started, but I’m used to a very routine Monday through Friday schedule.

I do feel though that this crazy change has caused some major issues with my autism.

I had the day off on Wednesday and it felt weird. I woke up fine but around the time I would have normally been going to work, I slipped. Not because of anything anyone did, but because I realized my routine had changed.

I didn’t know what to do. I was lost. I ended up actually cleaning my room, I was that bored. A few hours later, I went to the gym with my boyfriend.

After working a couple days after that, today was a little different. I woke up and cleared up the driveway from snow the day before, chilled out a little and then hung out with my boyfriend and his roommates.

Nothing terribly out of the ordinary. Except that when I walked in, one of his roommates snapped a little and I went into an instant meltdown.

Normally I blow those things off like nothing but I feel like my schedule change is causing me to be more sensitive to things than necessary.

It’s hard to know how this change will affect me in the future. I’m hoping I will be fine but only time will tell.

Weekend First

This is definitely a very uncharacteristic post for me to make nowadays but worth talking about. Worth seeing the side that I don’t talk about much anymore.

I had a busy weekend. Busier than normal for me. Yesterday I went out to dinner with my boyfriend and a couple of his friends. Not too badly overstimulating. But afterwards we went to a hockey game. Our team won, but we sat in a section where the horns go off after every goal and my hearing doesn’t take that very well.

Today, my boyfriend and I did our normal routine of going to church in the morning. The only downfall was the music was too loud.

Yesterday, my boyfriend had talked about getting his beard trimmed so we went and did that, as well as got him a haircut, right after church.

After that we got some subway and went back to my parents so I could get ready for hockey.

Now here’s the part that is unusual for me.

I’m a HUGE hockey person. Especially when it comes to playing.

When I first started my practice today, I was doing alright. No problems. The longer practice went on, the worse my autism got. We were just over halfway through, and it felt like I was in a fishbowl. I couldn’t snap out of it.

My boyfriend had me come off the ice and I ended up having a meltdown. One bad enough for me to want to leave early from practice and that isn’t like me.

I’m fortunate I play for a team for those with disabilities though. Its nice to be around those who at least have an understanding and don’t make you feel less.

It definitely is different to say I wasn’t me during practice. I haven’t been like that in a while. Let alone had a meltdown during practice. But I am relearning how far to push my limits, since it has been a while that I’ve been this bad.

Every meltdown is always a learning experience. At least for me it is. Something until recently I never realized.

Crazy 2018 brings an eventful 2019

To say 2018 was a whirlwind is an understatement. It went from questioning if I was able to pick myself up from depression and anxiety, starting a relationship, and starting to attend church again to ending it with anxiety/depression meds, getting more involved with my church, getting baptized, and becoming more open to having discussions I never used to have.

2018 was a bad start ending on a great note and so far 2019 is doing the same for me as well. I recently was able to purchase a brand new 2019 car. I have been really happy with things in life. On Tuesday, I will be celebrating a one year anniversary with my boyfriend. And I played an amazing hockey game today. I almost scored a hat trick, which is 3 goals in a game for those who don’t know hockey.

I honestly can’t believe all that’s happened already and it hasn’t even been a full month into the new year! I hope everyone else is having a great new year and that 2019 brings amazing things for everyone!

On a different subject, I’m trying to get information together about how essential oils can help those with autism. An inspiration I got from my last post about my sister getting me lotion and body wash with essential oils in it.

Hopefully I can get all that together soon and post about it in a few days when it gets organized. I can’t wait to get it up for all of you!

I hope everyone has an amazing week!!

Christmas Activities

Can’t believe Christmas had come and gone once again. So crazy to realize all the build-up to this time of year is gone and a few short days are left until a new year begins.

This has definitely been one crazy year and has gone by quite fast.

But to get to the point of this post’s title.

My activities for Christmas started with a Christmas service at the church my boyfriend, and a couple friends of ours attend. We went to ours early Sunday morning and afterwards, my boyfriend and I counted the offering for that service and the one after ours.

I was definitely very pleased with that service, at least the message behind it anyway. I was having some bad auditory(hearing) sensory and the band was extra loud that day. I was on the verge of a meltdown near the end of service.

Well that all came and went and then Christmas Eve came. Unfortunately, I had to work. Its kinda what happens when you work in a retirement home.

Luckily it was an easy day and I was able to get out at a decent time so my family could celebrate Christmas.

Normally, our family does this on Christmas day but my mom wanted to spend time with her family on that day.

So during our little celebration, I was opening gifts and a couple stuck out to me.

My parents got me a couple Harry Potter things. Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit and what’s called a Golden Snitch. It’s a golden ball they use in a game called Quidditch that flies around.

I would spend time explaining Quidditch to those who don’t know it but it’s long and complicated so go Google it.

The other thing that stood out was my sister got me a body wash and lotion that is specifically geared towards sleeping and has essential oils in it. Both are lavender and vanilla.

And the best part is it worked wonders on the first night I used it. I was asleep in 5 minutes compared to the 20 it usually takes.

Which leads me into Christmas day and how I handled it after using that.

Early this morning, my family got up to come to my grandparents house to celebrate with them. We got here just in time to make the meal and have time to be with them.

On days where we have to travel, I usually am all flustered and have some sort of slight issues but I was just fine. Not once had an issue with my autism or anxiety at all.

It could be my mind playing tricks on me but I feel like that lavender and vanilla stuff my sister got helped.

And despite all this craziness that happened, one almost meltdown during it has been great!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Yesterday’s Events

Last night I wanted to write this but unfortunately I had a meltdown a couple hours before I wanted to actually compose this. Since that had happened, my brain was in a fog and unable to fully go with what I really wanted to say.

But, since I briefly mentioned what I wanted to talk about I will go ahead and get started.

Like I mentioned, I had a meltdown yesterday. What lead up to that was that I had a long and really overstimulating day. More overstimulating than long.

Yesterday around lunchtime, my boyfriend and I met up with a friend of my boyfriend’s and his friend’s sister. We went to go see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at one of the malls around the city I live in.

The movie was AMAZING!! But then again I’m also a huge Harry Potter fan so I knew I was going to like it anyway.

Luckily for me I only had one issue in the whole movie with sensory.

Unfortunately after the movie was over, the mall we were at got busier than it was when we had originally arrived so I was overstimulated from that big time.

My boyfriend’s friend and his friend’s sister went to walk around so his friend’s sister could buy Christmas gifts and my boyfriend and I decided just to hang out at the mall for a while and walk around.

I was doing ok for the most part but it was definitely hard to handle. We didn’t stay too long there and eventually left to go hang out at a quieter spot.

Well, I had eventually processed everything that had happened, between the movie and the mall, that I eventually had a meltdown.

Luckily it was only crying and not violent.

My boyfriend handled it perfectly. He stayed calm, reassured me that everything would be ok, got me in his truck to take me home, and prayed with me that everything would be ok.

I was able to calm down after I want to say about 5 minutes, which is really, really good.

Once I got home I was able to relax the rest of the night. I got to watch some hockey, and my t.v. show, Ghost Adventures the rest of the night.

The thing that amazes me is that I haven’t had many meltdowns since I started my anxiety meds back in August. I think I’ve only had about 3 total, which is really unusual for me. But I’ll take it!

Amazing End of the Week

Today.

Oh today was amazing.

Early, but amazing none the less.

I played a hockey game this morning at 10. It was not only successful but also an amazing memory filled morning.

As my first season being captain, I can say my team played amazing! We worked really well together. We all took turns passing, trying to score, and giving each other encouragement. The other team was just as supportive to us as we were to each other.

I know reading that sounds really weird.

Normally, sporting events don’t go like that. Its normally more aggressive. And I bet your wondering why it wasn’t.

Let me explain.

I play hockey in my community with a team that is specific to those of all ages with some sort of special need. That’s why the other team was supportive.

But back to the story.

Aside from some slight on and off sensory issues on my end, I was super stoked to play today and see all the smiles on everyone on both sides. It was an amazing, fun-filled morning of memories that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

One of my teammates even scored their very first hat trick (3 goals in one game) and never even knew how to play hockey when he joined last year! That is an amazing accomplishment!!

All of my teammates and I had had such an amazing time and we all worked super hard.

So hard in fact we managed to actually win!

All because we worked like a team and made miracles happen.

Words cannot describe how today went. The fact that I can walk away and smile from everything that happened is fantastic.

And the fact that everyone remained positive and stayed through the game without giving up made it even better.

I’m super proud to say how far our team has come in such a short time and super happy everyone worked super hard today.

I will forever be grateful for my community for providing not only the opportunity for those with special needs to play sports, but also creating amazing memories like today.

Nothing can be said to show how blessed I am for today and everyone involved!