So it has been a little while since I have had a chance to do an update so lets begin with Happy New Year! This Christmas and new years has been both amazing and the most difficult I think I have ever had. I have loved spending time in my very own home, having my auntie round for the day and just spending time with Justin and my friend Brogan but it has not come without its difficulties. I have missed being with my sisters, in fact held out on sending their presents because I couldn’t handle the fact that I wasn’t seeing them. I have also struggled with potentially loosing people whom I love dearly, I am still holding out hope that things get sorted however I am not sure how.
Christmas and New Years also comes with challenges that effect my autism more too, the change in routine is always tricky. I love having the time off and it helps that the nursery closes over this time so I cannot worry about it but it is still an adjustment, however the hardest part by far is all the additional social aspects are involved. For example, Christmas or ‘non’ Christmas (long story and totally not worth explaining) as it was this year, with Justin’s side of the family. They try remarkably hard with me and I appreciate it greatly so I don’t wish for any of this to come across as ungrateful because I honestly appreciate everything they try and accommodate with me such as my eating and fussy ness with foods etc. This is purely to explain how difficult this change and added pressure socially can effect autism.
I always put a lot of pressure on myself during events like these, I want to come across ‘right’ I do not want them to think I am rude, I want to try and fit in with them as much as I possibly can, even deciding what to wear is a huge challenge even though it really shouldn’t matter. I always worry about what judgements are being made of me, especially as quite frankly before me they had very little idea or understanding of autism and I still don’t really know how much they understand or if they just think I am being awkward. Its hard to just say lets sit down and talk about it, explain my autism. They do the best they can and that’s all I would ever ask of them. His aunt, whose house we went to offered me the use of the spare bedroom to escape if things got too much for example, which is so thoughtful. I hate feeling so different sometimes and needing things like that but I know that I need it, just hate feeling secluded.
The hardest thing is always the multiple conversations going on and I find it so hard to join in and stay focused on just one. When this happens I just want to sit and read or play a game on my phone to escape and focus on something but I know that this is frowned upon and looks like I am avoiding joining in and making myself less social but it honestly just a coping mechanism, a way of targeting the anxiety and potential melt down. The noise level is intense and I always end up sitting there feeling anti social, plus the games that we play always end up resulting in some sort of disagreement which raises the noise level further and they are forever changing the rules and adding things in as we go which literally makes me want to scream. Games have rules. These should be followed. I know they are doing it to keep everyone happy and they just love making up games and quizzes, its part of who they are as a family and what they do. Honestly how Justin ended up being more like me is beyond me.
It hadn’t helped my case that I had been up since 4 in the morning, most likely because of the anxiety I had built up over going, and once I wake up my brain starts churning and it can be really be hard for me to fall asleep again. I ended up coming away from the day absolutely exhausted both mentally, physically and autisticlly.
The next day then resulted in me feeling physically ill, huge headache, dizziness and sickness. This quite often happens after such an intense day. Dreams end up super intense and I don’t sleep well, do not end up rested. It doesn’t help that on top of this I am weaning off my anti-depressants and if I go too many days between taking them I start going through withdrawal, which also makes me feel ill.
New Years Eve was better. Justin’s mum has got so much better with understanding my autism and trying to accommodate me so she worked hard on making her game as controlled as possible. I took my ear defenders just in case too and having these with me made me feel more comfortable. I just wish that events like this didn’t make me feel the way I do. Its not like I do not like being social, sometimes I can be really social but I never know how it is going to go, or how I am going to feel or if something is going to trigger a meltdown. Its seems to get worse as I get older and retreating into my bubble is easier and feels safer. The people who I have in my life like me for me and I don’t have the same intense desire to be like them, so therefore doing the things I am comfortable with just seem even more appealing now.
I endeavour to get back into the flow or writing these blogs interests and have some very exciting and interesting news in my upcoming entry.