My prescription to myself:
click on image for larger view
Health issues are a strenuous part of life for me, and many others with autism. I am currently dealing with more health issues than I can handle with my current schedule. It is not easy for me understand what is happening with my body, nor is it easy to take the proper time to heal and recover.
Regardless of how this upsets many of my predictable and favored routines, I have come to the conclusion that I need to take a break from blogging, among other things, for a few weeks (I hope that is all), due to needing more healing and time than I am currently giving myself.
It takes my brain so much longer to process and adapt to anything different or new, that I constantly feel "behind" in life.
Transitions are one of the most difficult, demanding, and laborious things in this world for me.
I hope the transition to come back to my blog is as smooth as it can be.
April 11th, 2013, Updated to say:
I am feeling much better, but I am still not ready to come back to blogging, quite yet. Mostly due to some website changes I am having to figure out, and it's going to involve possible losing my old blog posts (and then having to repost each one over time, and it also means many of the links I, and others, have shared will be broken.)
Thank you to all of you who have given me kind, encouraging, comments and messages. My apologizes to anyone I have not responded to. I dearly want to, but have had to put my word priorities elsewhere.
I am exhausted, mentally, physically and spiritually.
I'm still in a "fog" and recovering from some health issues caused by extreme anxiety and shutting-down, from last week. My mind and thoughts are working fine now, but most of my thoughts aren't translating correctly through words and communication. I really pushed my limits too far. i do that a lot. Although, it happens WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less than it used to; it is very hard to find out where those limits are. How far is too far? My good friend Jade recently wrote interesting blog post about limits here
These are the times in life that are more difficult...when I feel perfectly normal inside, but outside, and physically, everything is foreign, everything is scary, difficult, louder, painful, time consuming, exhausting...even more so than usual. I can always tell when I REALLY need to recover when it takes longer to figure out my fine motor movements- like writing, picking things up, and forming words.
The good thing is that it's not as bad as it used to be. The more I grow, the more I learn, the more I implement good coping methods, the more prepared I am for the world, the more proactive I can be - the more I actually enjoy my life.
Special blog post today!!!
Today is February 1st, which mean I have officially done a full year
of a-jelly-a-day AND
my blog!! This process has been very satisfying for me and I am very proud of myself for finishing this project. I started this project to:1) to improve my drawing skills
2) embrace my obsession for jellies, instead of hiding it
3) to prove to myself that I can and DO complete things
My original inspiration for this project:Make Something 365
As closure to my project, I would summarize of the last year of my life through my jelly creations (Also, I think I may have a small party. I heard there may be a homemade jellyfish cake in my future):
February 1st, 2012
My first jelly-a-day
February 9th, 2012
My first Jelly Girl
February 5th, 2012
one of my favorite creations
March 16th, 2012
My first actual, real jellyfish!!
There are SO many changes in life, all the time. Especially in winter. Everything is darker, colder, full of different daily processes, and outside activities involve a lot more preparation. Bleh.
But. . . there is one thing that doesn't change. . .
something that is always there for me, even when the world feels like one big attack on my senses.
And that thing is:
Seattle Aquarium moon jellies, photo by Rosemary
My mom, Rosemary, and the jellies.
Every time I have needed the jellies, they have been there for me.
What is something that has been there for you when you need some calmness and/or consistency?
Sometimes I feel sad when I want to spend time with a friend, but I cannot because it is just too overwhelming. . .
. . .but then I remind myself that I have friends that want to hang out with me, even if it means just being near each other, and not directly interacting.
Sometimes I feel depressed when I am unable to verbalize, type, point, or draw to communicate. . .
. . .but then I remind myself that I am surrounded by loving, caring people who will be patient with me until I am able to communicate my wants, needs, and opinions.
Sometimes I feel scared when I think about my future and how my functionality and capabilities might change. . .
. . .but then I remind myself that even though there are many challenges in life, that everything will be ok, because I used to be scared about now (back when "now" was the future), and now is ok.
Sometimes I feel defeated because I have so many goals and dreams, and many of them may not come true. . .
. . .but then I remind myself of how many of my goals and dreams HAVE come true.
Several good, important things have happened this week:
#1: I started taking ashwagandha again!
Ashwagandha is an herb that I helps me with my anxiety, nervous system, stress levels, and more. I drink it in a tea form and take it in capsules (I capsule it myself with ground ashwagandha using Oregon's Wild Harvest bulk herbs
). This herb is an important factor for my ability to process information, words, and my environment. But, I sometimes forget that it is SO helpful to me and, for the past few months, I have not been taking it.
My family and I have developed a new routine that will (hopefully) help me remember to take it everyday.
#2: I reincorporated my favorite daily schedule back into my day.
In addition to my awesome wall
of visual reminders, schedules, brainstorming boards, trigger list, etcetera, I have starting using, again, my pink Velcro schedule! It's a little inconvenient to update every night (to be ready for the next day), but it is the one that helps me the most. I LOVE how much calmer I am when I have that schedule available to me. Plus, Velcro is fun!
#3: Planning updates to my Etsy shop, unspokenVisuals.
I have been making progress on updating my Etsy shop
. AND, I have been working on adding a new product that should be up for sale within the next few weeks! It's not buttons, or custom schedules (which I would like to eventually offer), but it is a soothing, great item -- especially in the winter months.
#4: Daily word limitations more manageable!
I have found more of a balance with my limitation of words. Doing only 2 blogs a week, has made it possible for me to reply to a small amount of emails, comment on a few other blogs, and enjoy listening to more of the conversation around me (instead of avoiding or shutting out conversation).
I have even caught myself saying things, even at home, like:
It has been a VERY different week for me then it has been for the past........many months. LOTS of stuff accomplished, and only a few meltdowns. Mostly, it's all due to ashwagandha. Yay!
Also, for any of you who have noticed I have been posting my daily jellyfish in groups a few days apart, instead of everyday, it's because my computer is temporarily in a different room from my scanner. I am still doing one a day, I just don't want to of move my scanner back and forth every day, just for one scan.
It's really. . . mind-boggling when I think about how much I have mentally and emotionally grown in the past few years.I have gained more than a few strong friendships of incredibly kind, understanding, caring, and intelligent individuals. Because of them, I have:
. . .and most importantly:
- interacted with others more comfortably, as myself
- found better ways to self-regulate in order to get through a day
- been able to change plans on shorter notice, without losing all functionality
- been able to request more of what I need
- attended a desired comic convention (GeekGirlCon) 2 years in a row
- been able to sing in front of a few people
- been able to listen to the sound of my voice on a recording
- played video games, with other people in the same room
- danced with others without shutting down
- been able to better advocate for myself, and for others
- become more confident as a photographer and an artist
- played an instrument in front of someone 1 on 1
- expanded what type of books I read
- been more myself with others
- learned when to push an issue and when to stop, and let it go
- been able to realize what I believe in, and stand by it
What's one way that you have grown?
- I have learned my limits and boundaries, so that I know when I need to stop and take care of myself.
Yesterday (Sunday) was much better than the day before. Sunday started off very badly, but I sat down and did a 550 piece puzzle and it TOTALLY saved me from a day of triggers and meltdowns!!!
I considered puzzles to be a stim. Puzzles are very repetitive and calming. Puzzles are also a very visual treat for me!
I thank: stimming in many different forms, the support of the wonderful people in my life, soft clothing, as always ear protectors/plugs. . .
and most of all, my mom for making all my meals for the day, so I would be sure to eat! I am glad she did, otherwise I would have gone the entire day without eating anything!
I really struggled yesterday.
There was no leaving the house.
My sensory issues were SO unbearable!
It took me:
1 hour to transition to brush my teeth
2 hours to get dressed
& most of the day watching videos to keep from melting down
To calm down, I somehow ended up watching a LOT of cat videos on YouTube.
I generally do not watch cat videos, but it ended up being a good tool for calming down.
For me, both words and math have always been a huge challenge. I got through high school with a tremendous amount of help, and without that extra help I have not been able to make it through more than a few college courses.
Being able to only take in very little audial language, having words feel jumbled in my mind, not understanding much math over an elementary level, and many learning challenges can make certain life experiences very challenging.
Number are instantly overwhelming for me, even just a single number can seem like a million.
I am thankful that my mom has exposed me to many different hobbies, crafts, and life experiences from a young age. Because of that I am able to get through certain tasks even with all the challenges I have.
Like sewing. I LOVE creating things. But, sewing with a pattern and with lots of numbers, and math. . . just forget it. SO, every time I sew something, it is using only one ruler, elementary math, and my visual skills (or "eyeballing
Using the skills that I DO have, I was able to create my first plush toy AND it also will work as this year's Halloween costume!!!
AND without ANY meltdowns!!
Every step of this project, I had Jade's inspiring creations
in my mind! She is amazing at sewing and a wonderful, encouraging friend!
I am proud that I did not let numbers stop me, and even more so that I finished a sewing project! I often times give up about 80% of the way in to a project.
This is a reminder to me that if someone really wants to do something, it is still possible! Even if it may take longer than 'usual'. Even if others may tell you your way of doing something is not the traditional way, that is OK! If it works, and it is safe, than why not try?