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Autism: Hard To Keep Up

I must admit it has been extremely difficult for me to keep up with my blog lately.

My mom is here, and we have been visiting – but most days there has been some time during the day that I could have taken to write my blog. It isn’t that I don’t want to, or that she would be upset knowing that was what I was doing, or that I don’t have the time, or… but for me, one thing comes in, and others go out.

So my mom is here visiting, and this is the second day that I have been rushing to try to get several blog posts written in one day – because I am behind, as I was last time. Though to be fair, “behind” for me means that I am not three weeks ahead, but it still leaves me panicking and worrying that I will be late – for that is who I am.

I have to be early. The things that need to be done, I have to work on and get them out of the way (so a continuous stream of projects is very much not a good idea for me) and when something else is added to my life, other things will be left undone.

At this point in my life my blog is the longest thing I have publicly done in my entire teen and adult life. Everything else has fallen apart in this amount of time – or at least was very close to failure, with no hope of holding on. For that reason alone I am struggling with the understanding that I might not be able to keep up during the time my mom is here visiting, but I am also really pushing myself.

Today has been… I want to say a quiet day, but that isn’t actually the truth. I have been really busy, for it is Friday as I write, and Friday is my cleaning day. I cleaned bathrooms, changed the sheets on the beds, vacuumed, washed the floors, did (am still doing) laundry, and gave Molly a bath after she decided to roll in something in the freshly mowed lawn (I did clean up the yard before my son mowed, but maybe I missed something, or maybe it came from after, or…)

Then after/in between cleaning, we went for a walk. My mom is used to doing something most of the time. Since I am cleaning the house, she doesn’t have all that much to do – so we walk. We both really enjoy that. Besides, where I live is so much prettier than where she lives. Here we are surrounded by lakes and trees, and have nice trails close to my house to walk on. There it is traffic, and concrete, and old buildings.

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On top of that, we watched a movie (“Prince of Egypt”) together this afternoon.

But compared to other days, this day is quiet. We are tired. Sitting in the same room, neither of us are talking – which hasn’t been the case for the past ten days since she arrived. So with the quiet, I thought I had better try and write.

I hope I can keep it up.

 

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Autism: Drained of Energy

My head is pounding today, and once more I have no energy. I should have expected it, I guess – but as is usual for me, when I do have good days, I expect them to last. After 40 years, I probably should have learned this isn’t the case for me. Still, it is good to have hope.

For months my energy has been low, even for me. I hardly have the ability to do routine things, like cook and clean, let alone find motivation to add anything to my schedule.

In the last 6 days, I had decent energy for 4 of them. Sunday I was really tired, but I have come to the conclusion (after months of Sundays ending the same way) that church – even when I enjoy it, and feel good there – exhausts me. Every Sunday I am overwhelmed, and exhausted, and prone to meltdowns. I guess that is the cost of being around people.

For four days, though, I had energy. That might not seem like such a big deal for most people, but I keep a ‘mood chart’ which I send to my therapist once a month. This keeps track of how depressed, anxious, and irritated I am each day, along with how much sleep I got, which medications I took, and how much energy I had that day.

The energy section is on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being high. Some days I have taken to putting in 0, as I haven’t the energy to stand, let alone get anything done. Most months I will have several squares marked ‘1’, with more around ‘2’, and the occasional 3. I hardly ever reach 4 for energy; that might come if something exciting was planned, but isn’t even guaranteed for that. I am not a high energy person. Maybe one or two days a month would be marked ‘0’. I just couldn’t.

For the last three or four months however, the pattern looked more like a computer code or something (I don’t know that much about computers, but…) 1-0-0-1-0-1-0-0-0-1-0-1… for months. I was sick twice during that time. Really sick. Well… not hospital sick, but sick enough to think it could kill me. Both times the illness held bad for a couple of weeks, and left me drained after.

It is not unusual for me to have low energy, but this is ridiculous even for me.

And then in the last week, I have had 4 days where I marked ‘3’ on my chart. Four! And I can’t express how good those days felt. I cooked. I cleaned. I exercised. I practised my keyboard. I made a gardening scrapbook. I planted seeds in starter pots. I dreamed.

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How wonderful!

I wonder what it would be like to have energy like that most of the time. Some people do. I know some people do. But I never have. Perhaps if I had energy, I wouldn’t be so depressed all the time… I wonder: Am I depressed because I rarely have energy, or do I rarely have energy because I am depressed?

Even as a child, though, my energy was very low… but then I remember crying myself to sleep every night, too, from the age of about 7 or 8 – so it is possible I was depressed even then.

I don’t know. What I do know is that I had energy this week. I had it, and it felt so good, and I thought that this time I would be able to hold onto it.

Today, however, my head is pounding, and it took me most of the day just to gather the energy to pick up the keyboard sitting on the table right beside me to type this blog. That was all the effort I could manage for today. I wish… I wish I had energy.

 

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