Tag Archives: autism winter

Autism: Slipping, Sliding, Panicking

Speaking of snow…

As long as I was able to stay inside, and was comfortable sure that my husband was still at work, I was content and even feeling thankful for the weather that day.

But then it was time to make supper, and the anxiety grew. Suddenly my mind became fixated on the fear that my husband would not make it home on those bad roads. It didn’t help that one of the main characters in the show I have been watching died in a car accident (though it wasn’t snowing there.)

What would I do?

How would I live?

Who would I have to call?

How would I manage?

There are many things that my husband takes care of that would be a real struggle for me, and…

I am a worrier, and the roads were very bad. I was watching the cars sliding around on the relatively flat road outside of my window – and the way home from my husband’s work is full of steep hills and twisty roads, and…

I am not one of those people who believes that bad things can’t happen to me. Of course they can, and they do, and… just because this hasn’t happened to me before doesn’t mean it won’t happen to me now.

So the minutes ticked by, and my anxiety grew.

He did come home (this time) but then we had plans to go out that night. I looked at the roads, and thought maybe we would cancel. Better to stay home and be safe than to leave my girls, get killed in an accident, and have them never understand why I didn’t return to them, right???

My husband wanted to go, though. We were going to the local theatre to see the play, “Romeo and Juliet.” This was the only night we could go as it was a pay what you can night, and the regular price was just too expensive for us.

So we went.

We did slide around the road several times, and I was panicking all the way there and back. As I tend to, I kept trying to pray quietly – but my husband, perhaps trying to take my mind off of it??? kept talking and cutting me off (though he didn’t know that of course.) Maybe he thought that continuous talking would be calming for me, but instead it made it worse. I really needed silence so I could hear myself pray.

Anyway, we made it home safe – and the show was really good, so… “All’s well that ends well,” as they say.



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Autism: Winter

Contrary to what seems ‘normal’ in society, I don’t often like to talk about the weather. It seems unimportant and pointless for the most part. But it snowed the other day, and…

First it was really light. My friend, who had planned to come over for a visit that day, cancelled. There wasn’t much snow here at the time, but where she lives (maybe about 10 minutes away from my house, or a little more) is in a bit of a snow belt. They didn’t want to chance the drive.

I had woken up early that morning – as I had been doing since the time change in early November. And when I say ‘early’ I don’t mean an hour or so. For about a week I was waking up every morning between 3:30 and 5am, and was not able to get back to sleep – not good when it was after midnight before I finally fell asleep. I wouldn’t get out of bed until 7am, but still…

Anyway, since I was up early, and since I was expecting company, I started cleaning early. By the time the visit was cancelled, I had most everything done, and was feeling good about the state of my home.

The snow picked up after that, and pretty soon, the entire world outside my window was covered in white. The roads quickly got bad, and I could see the cars sliding around as they were trying to drive (very slowly) up the street. I couldn’t take ‘my girls’ for their walk because without sidewalks, and with the vehicles sliding around as they were, it was just too dangerous to be out on the road.

With all of these changes to my expectations of how the day would go due to the weather, I could have been… deregulated, is the word I want to use here. It could have ruined my entire day. It wasn’t even a choice or an effort not to struggle however.

I was sitting in my (quite clean) living room, with my girls contentedly lying in their bed beside me, and was looking out of my window at the world of white outside, and I felt thankful to be in that moment. No disappointment. No feelings of being overwhelmed, or hurt, or irritated, or… I was happy.

I am not happy all that often. I struggle a lot with anxiety and depression, irritation, sensory issues, pain over the world… but that afternoon I felt really good.

When I went on the internet, I was presented with a question: “Does anyone honestly even like winter?”

And in that moment, my answer was, “Yes!”



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Autism: Winter Blues

January and February seem to be the hardest months of the year for me. This has been true for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if this has to do with the darkness of the months (though in that case, December should be bad as well) or the cold that keeps me inside, or the dryness of the air that irritates my skin, or… likely, as in most things, it is a whole combination of factors. Whatever the reason, these months are ones where all I can do is try to endure.


The winter I was seventeen, the irritation and fear got so bad that I ended up leaving home and staying in a women’s shelter. I was (for good reason) afraid of my younger brother, whose medication made him extremely aggressive at that time – but I live with my mom, and had my own space, and things only got worse once I left home. It is something I have regretted for years since, and something I would change if I had the chance to do it again – yet I remember the intensity I was feeling at the time, and there seemed to be no other option. Winter does that to me.

The winter I was fifteen, it was the same time of year when I told my boyfriend what my father had been doing to me. It was a secret I had held onto for years – and while people say it is better to speak of such things, I don’t believe it has helped me to share it. I think it likely made things a lot harder for myself and those closest to me. Do I regret sharing it? I don’t know. What I do know is that:

  • it broke my relationship with my older brother (who was my best friend up until that point,)
  • the people who knew trusted me less after it was said,
  • my extended family on my father’s side, who I was very close to before this, felt distant after (my father was so well liked, they thought I must have been mistaken (I wasn’t,)
  • my mother (who divorced my father after that) has lived in poverty since…
  • I had a really hard time explaining to people who didn’t know where my father was during the time he was in jail
  • when we went to court, I couldn’t speak, so nothing happened except for me being stressed out
  • nothing improved for me in sharing this; instead everything got harder
  • my father died less than 9 years later – if I could have just held on, it wouldn’t have cost my family so much

The past two winters I have been so sick during these months that I could hardly move – in 2015, I put my back out shovelling just after New Year’s when we had 1.5 feet of snow fall in one day. It was the first time I ever called into work sick, and I was off for a week. Even when I went back, it was months before I could get back to doing housekeeping, and even then I was really slow. Though all the x-rays showed was a little bit of arthritis, I still struggle with back pain that doesn’t seem to improve with use, exercise, or even rest.

Then in 2016, I was weaning off of my anti-depressant medications, which caused such severe dizziness and nausea that I couldn’t get off the couch (for even sitting up left me really sick) for all of January and February.

This year, things haven’t gotten so bad – yet. But the exhaustion and irritation are very much a part of my every day experiences, and motivation is very much not! All I can do is try to hold on and get through it (I suppose if we had money, this would be the time of the year we should travel to someplace warm and sunny) and hope that nothing big is lost during this time.


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