In my previous post I share some Information and news about my new puppy…I also mention that I in fact shopped and did not adopt. HOWEVER, it wasn’t because I wanted to exactly, the plan was to adopt. We live on an island and due to political and well, government changes around the world, adopting has been really hard. We started looking back last year when we initially moved out and had little to no success.
We would fall in love with a dog only to have someone who lives closer get the success of adopting them instead of us. My parents work shifts and I love to be able to baby sit the family dog who is a big brown lab! This meant that I wanted a dog that was guaranteed to be safe with other dogs, not to mention a number of children born in my family in the past few years so yet again another box that needs ticking…child friendly was also a must. We also have a pet rabbit so even more tick boxes, as you may already have guessed…we weren’t very successful at any rescues.
The perfect dog would appear; good with kids, great with other dogs and animals…then in the small print…MUST live with another dog…I was not prepared to adopt two dogs at once so that was out of the question. I am also not that experienced when it comes to dogs with certain medical or behavioural issues so I did not feel comfortable having a dog with either of these issues straight off the bat as my first personal dog as I believed I needed at least a bit more experience first. If this goes well and a dog pops up in a rescue I would be more than happy and comfortable looking at adopting! Overall it is easier to buy a particular breed so that you know what its family line was like, what the behaviour or medical conditions may be like etc, I am not saying go and buy a dog but when you want that kind of security with a first dog then look into SAFE, ETHICAL, RESPONSIBLE breeders! Please speak to your vet, the kennel club etc to ensure you’re not purchasing a puppy from a negative breeder!
My partner has never had a dog let alone a puppy and I really did think it would be a cool experience for him at least once! Now came the hard part…what breed would we like? I love every single dog so I found this VERY hard. I had always dreamed of a Corgi or a Bernese Mountain dog, Spaniels or even a Bull Mastiff. But what breed is reliable, easy to train, full of energy, great family pet and normally LOVES the water? Well that would be the Labrador! I have also had a lab in the family who of course is still with my mum and dad and he’s honestly one of my favourite beings on this planet. I love the temperament that labs tend to have, they’re high energy and love the water which is great when you live on an island surrounded by beaches! We also wanted a working line lab much like our family dog as I just prefer the higher energy and slimmer look of them compared to the show line.
Bringing Obi home was a crazy adventure…so I will be writing about that in the next post! Thank you so much for reading and continuing to support me 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well during and have a great day!
I am unsure where I should start. My life has changed so so much in the past 6 months, I moved out, job, new family member, YouTube and even getting close to being an affiliate on Twitch! However, most of all I have been looking deep into myself and working on trying to overcome mental health issues and personal problems!
I mentioned that I attended uni in 2019 which of course did not turn out ok hence why I am no longer in the uk…A few things happened while I was there that I tried my best to block out of my life instead of facing them and moving on. I have spent the past few months really trying to get my head together and work on improving my mental health. A few things have happened in the past month that really did go against my plans on working on my mental health but I think in the long run I am very glad they happened.
I want to focus on the positives and I will expand a bit on the topics in future posts! Well to begin with, I have moved out and settled in my new home, its fully furnished now and starting to feel like a home rather than an empty, cold vessel. I started YouTube and hit 90 subs as well as doing 24 videos in December to kick start my channel! I then moved onto Twitch, I am so so close to affiliate, I feel like in a month or two I should be able to hit it! I have loved becoming part of the YouTube and Twitch platform, I have met so many different types of people and created lots of different content which is just so so fulfilling.
Best of all…I got a dog! We named him Obi and he is a working black Lab! He has honestly been one of the best things in my life, during a really hard time.
Obi came with a story, that’ll be in another post, along with talking about the fact that I have a puppy in general as the plan was to rescue an older dog but yet again that will be in a future post. As you can imagine, having a puppy is HARD! I knew it would be, so at least I was prepared! However, I was not prepared to have the most cuddly and clingy fluffy friend in the world! The very first night he was with us he crawled into my lap and fell asleep!
The main issue now is that I cant get things done around the home as easily as I did before he came along as all he wishes to do is CUDDLE! Which, to be honest, I cannot complain about as its the sweetest feeling in the world and I really do feel so much love from him. Since he has entered my life I feel like I now have a purpose, all the things that have happened in my life in the past two years seem so invalid because now not only do I have a best friend, I also have someone who relies on me and provides unconditional love and support. What makes this all so much better is that he doesn’t even know how much he has helped me so far.
To me, animals and nature are the most important parts of life, I love having animals and plants around me 24/7 and I am not sure what I would do without them. There’s something about living in a home that resembles a rainforest, thankfully it isn’t raining all the time indoors although I assume most of my plants would enjoy that and well… so would Obi!
Now that 2021 is in full swing and life has really been changing for the better I think I will for sure become much more active online. I really needed the break from social media and writing. Talking so openly online is hard and very exposing but prepare for more content and thank you to those who still followed me and supported me through this hard time! I hope everyone is doing well and even if you’re going through a hard time please remember that things get better and if you have no one to talk to then please pop and say hello to me 🙂
It’s been a little while since I last posted, I had a bit of a burn out situation. I feel a lot better now since I created a schedule…sort of! I feel like I have managed to find ways to organise my time a bit better and ensure I don’t forget important tasks! I combined Outlook, GoodNotes and a note book to organise my daily and weekly tasks a bit better.
I have a few updates since my last post and it mainly revolves around me starting my own YouTube channel! At the moment its a bit random and I feel like I will be mainly focusing on lifestyle and cooking so I will link a videos down below! The next main update is I am currently getting on with the degree I started last year! I’m going to be honest I have had quite a few issues with it so far but I know it will get fixed and soon back to normal!
This blog post is actually focusing on some points I mentioned in my first YouTube video! So in short here are some tips that I found helpful to do before and during Uni with some additional tips that I think you could do after you finish a class or leave for a holiday break!
University may be very difficult this year for many students, some are even unable to go to physical lessons which is really going to make a lot of people feel very alone!
Handling negative feelings and mental health
Spending a lot of time alone or fearing the unknown especially when it comes to announcements and everything going on at the moment with the pandemic, can be extremely stressful and isolating. Now the best thing to do is talk to others and understandably this may be difficult but try to make some friends online via University groups or just reconnect with your friends back at home. Use and utilise social media to help you feel connected to those that may not be around you. Another thing you can do is utilise your universities help line, they may be able to guide you to services that can help you manage your mental health. Just please remember you are not alone.
In my opinion this is one of the most important pieces of advice and that is ensure you keep up with self-care, make sure you take breaks and enjoy your time, uni is hard and it can be very stressful sometimes but you have to remember that at the end of the day this is your time and you should be spending it doing what makes you happy. Spending all of your time studying is fantastic but you won’t create any memories hiding away, try and join some clubs or socials to do during your free time, this is something I wish I had done while I was away at uni.
Create a schedule
This can be rather hard but try and create a schedule and include your sleep, studying, socialising time and self-care. Also as Humans we aren’t made to remember everything so writing down or organising important aspects of your life will really help you finish tasks and not forget important details.
Create some goals
What do you want to achieve this year, try and create some little goals to help you stay focused. I like to create some goals around reading and activities that I really want to do during the year! My goal for this year was to read 15 books, create a blog, learn more about rabbit diets and enrichment, create a YouTube channel and even some really simple ones such as drinking enough water everyday etc. It helps you feel like you’re making an impact and you can begin to create some healthy habits and get things done because well, achieving something makes people feel good and if its something positive then thats so great!
Something that I learnt to do regularly is organise my work, during uni you tend to have a lot of different classes and deadlines. I decided to have different notebooks for each class, I put all my deadlines on a calendar so I can see what I need to prioritise and I organised my papers by popping them into files in order. Doing this means that I will be able to find past work easily and use it for essays or reports! So I really recommend filing your work or at least storing it in ways where you can easily find what you need. I must also remind you to backup your work! Use a USB or an external hard drive.
Diet and exercise
I am aware it is hard to exercise and have a nice balanced diet during these times especially if you’re isolating. However, there are plenty of options when it comes to exercising all you need is a little bit of floor space (which hopefully you’ll either have access to or if you’re lucky your room is big enough). You can use lots of online sources such as YouTube and certain apps eg 8fit. As for your diet, try and eat a healthy and balanced diet, if you are really unable to do this due to it not being available, try and supplement your diet with vitamins and supplements because you really don’t want to feel under the weather when you’re trying to study.
Start a meal plan and budget
Now I know a lot of people enjoy the weekend antics of the pub and clubs but I was never that person so I usually spent my money on food and activities such as museums. Creating a budget and a meal plan ensured I wasn’t over spending on food at the supermarket and had more money for activities and treats on the weekend! You can also try and save some money for the holidays which is very satisfying.
Keep your area clean and tidy
Just spend 10 minutes a day tidying and cleaning up your area, you will find it easier to study and work when your environment is clean and tidy. So simply just tidy regularly and keep up with your washing and space.
Keep up with your CV
This is something I noticed was that a lot of the students around me didn’t have a CV or an up to date one at least. This was mainly due to the fact most of them came straight from school which is absolutely fine but while you’re at uni you’ll find a lot of career events that may give you an opportunity to work during your degree of even the holidays. Having a CV already made and up to date will mean you can just send it off without having the stress and time constraints of creating one.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help and just be yourself
This is a hard time for everyone and thats ok, but if you need help, advice or just a chat don’t be worried, just ask. Your lecturers, teachers and tutors would rather you talk to them then suffer in silence. Be honest with yourself, learn your limits and be open with those around you.
A quick disclaimer – This post is to share my experiences and my feelings, you may feel the same or you may not even understand how I feel which is fine. We all cope differently and each of us has a preferred way of living and working that suits us and our individual needs. Of course many people may feel the same way as me about the things I will mention below and they may also not be Asperger’s. This is fine, all of us are different and being Asperger’s affects us all differently as we each have different traits, some more predominant than others. Thank you for reading 🙂
Working from home is a very heavily talked about topic especially at the moment. There are three types of people I have met, the ones who love it, the ones who hate it and the ones who wish there was a middle ground. While working from home works for a lot of us, many people have noticed some negatives to this new ‘isolated’ way of working. I personally love working from home as it allows me to concentrate and complete tasks in a more comfortable way. However, I do struggle with being in one room all day everyday especially with my current circumstances.
How working at home has worked for me-
Working from home has provided a good way to balance my life a bit more however, I need to start ensuring I am a bit more organised as this has proven a bit difficult lately. I decided to trial run Evernote to see how this would work and may improve and maintain my serious need to organise…
One of the first points to mention about working from home is that I don’t have to wear a particular outfit, if for example one day I am not feeling my absolute best I am able to pop on some comfy clothes and sunglasses to crack on with work in a more comfortable way. However, if you are in the office these comforts are not as accessible or appropriate for an office environment and even though I am perfectly fine to continue working if I did not have access to these work arounds I may have to go home instead.
I am able to be around my pets while I work, if my rabbit wants to be patted I am now able to just pick him up and have him on my lap as I work. If my parents need to go out I am able to ensure our family dog doesn’t get left alone as often. I am able to give more attention in between tasks to my pets, in my opinion this is replacing the trips to the coffee machine when I was in work. Having animals around me is the best way to reduce stress and brighten up my day so this really helps make the work day a bit more pleasant especially if I am having a bad day in regards to mental health or physical health problems.
I am not buying lunch, coffees or snacks at all while working from home. I was always one of those people who bought a coffee in the morning, giving the excuse that I was using a reusable cup so it was ok…Now I am able to make and prepare my own food and coffee, this has also led me to reduce my caffeine intake significantly and increase my water intake significantly which really helps increase energy levels and reduces the risk of migraines (I tend to get migraines when I am tired, dehydrated, sudden exposure to light or shining light and certain smells and other sensory problems). This also means I have quite a bit more money which is always nice and has enabled me to do other things with it rather than on coffee or lunches.
Going out in the garden for some fresh air and if I am lucky, sunlight! Working from home means that I am only 10 steps away from my garden, even just having a window that I can open next to me has been heaven. Being away from all the AC and florescent lighting can be really freeing especially when you are able to replace that with outside air and some natural sunlight. My sensors go into overdrive while I am in the office which usually means I have regular headaches and anxiety problems. Sitting in long meetings in the office really used to make me uncomfortable, I like to fiddle and move around while I listen to meetings online now which is really nice and reduces my anxiety and helps me focus. I am not someone who can sit still for very long so I struggle sitting at a desk all day with people constantly talking and walking around me.
Exercising is also now easier to do during a lunch break or straight after work as I mainly enjoy walking or at home exercises, it makes things so much easier to include exercise into my day…not that I am maintaining that at the moment of course…haha…I really need to start moving around more but its nice to know that I can if I ever muster the energy to!
Finding the spaces to have meetings or little group meetings is much easier due to not having to find a free meeting room. We can just organise a little meeting online which means we can have them whenever and wherever we like, this also means I can still wear my jogging trousers too and no one will find out! Until now of course…hello boss haha.
How working from home can be difficult-
Meetings are still a problem, of course now they’re not in person which really reduces a lot of anxiety but now I have to try and read the room and figure out peoples intentions without seeing them physically which can be a bit difficult when you rely heavily on visual cues. I sometimes struggle to ‘play the game’ when it comes to natural cues, I am learning as I live which is nice but of course I still find other people rather overly complicated. I struggle trying to figure out when to speak or I begin stressing out thinking I have to speak when I don’t have anything to say and for some reason video/voice calls makes me stumble over my words a lot more compared to physical conversations.
Sleeping can be a bit of an issue, I am fine getting to sleep but I tend to wake up regularly. Working and sleeping in the same room isn’t the best option but there will be an opportunity to make a little space elsewhere for an office space. I can use this when I feel like I need to separate my day a bit more.
Having a clear and creative mind is something I really love and sometimes I struggle with while at home, I wish to have an area of my own to create and work but this cant always be achieved while working at home. While it is quieter and less crowded than an office I do feel as though I bring work into my personal life a lot more due to it existing under the same roof. I am working on new ways to separate the two but as with everything, this takes time.
I don’t tend to have these problems at the moment but at the start I really struggled staying on task as I knew I could be doing other things as I was now at home, but over time I have found ways to stay on task. I know a lot of people are struggling with this aspect of at home working. Another issue that I know a lot of people are having at the moment is the social aspect about working from home. I personally don’t mind as I enjoy my own space and struggle to concentrate around people but a lot of people love the social aspect of going into work which has now been a bit lost.
Overall I feel as though it can really benefit people like me, I get distracted very easily and struggle to stay on task with all the things going on in an office. While being at home also poses its problems too however, it does reduce my anxieties. I don’t have to put on scratchy uncomfortable clothes, I don’t have to act a particular way and I am able to get really engrossed in the task I am doing. People are unable to do drive by questions or interrupt tasks that I am concentrating on, instead they will email or message which gives me time to finish up then move onto helping them. I love this as I am the kind of person who can struggle to get back into the swing of focusing on the main task when people interrupt or if the office is particularly noisy. I am also very introverted and my work place is great at creating meetings and keeping the ability to communicate with others from home.
I want to discuss the situation of travelling during this hard time. Of course yet again a disclaimer:
*This is purely my thoughts, opinions and situation, please do not use this as a guide or as pure facts, this is just how I feel and how things have panned out personally for me, thank you for understanding*
A rough description of my situation
I live at home with my partner and we both work from home and have been since March. We have both been isolating and only going out and seeing others when the guidelines had changed, we will always follow the guidelines to ensure our safety and the safety of others. The people we have been around are trusted and have been following the guidelines.
I discussed with my parents that if me and my partner came back home with positive tests we’d all isolate and me and my partner would do everything within our power to avoid contact with my parents; use separate towels, clean all surfaces, no sitting together or hugging etc. I believe it will not come to this as we have been extremely careful during our trip.
Place of travel
I would then like to discuss the place of travel itself, we will not be travelling anywhere outside of the UK, we will only be travelling if we have isolated for a specific time before the travel date and we will ensure that our chosen locations are restricted and or follow the guidelines.
We chose Southern England/South-West England due to the amount of activities we can do without being near anyone from the public. We are able to go on experiences that involve us being outside and or in our car which means we are less likely to cause any problems. We opted for an Air BnB as we will have our own kitchen and cleaning facilities, this means we won’t be a risk to hotel staff and we will not be at risk ourselves by being around many other people in a hotel. We also opted for a hire car to ensure no public transport is undertaken which of course protects both us and the public.
Little things we ensured
We wore masks and ensured we used hand sanitiser with us at all times, we kept away from everyone and made sure we followed the social distancing rules. Something you can do when out and about during these times especially if you wish to travel or shop is reduce the amount of ‘touching’ you do when inside a shop or public area for example, you don’t need to pick up every book or every piece of clothing you walk past.
Reflecting on my Asperger’s and mental health
I particularly hated the airport, the main problem I had was the flight itself. They did not distance anyone on board and if I had known this would be the outcome I probably would’ve gone with another company or not flown.
Another issue I have with traveling and just being out in public is the use of masks, my sensory problems really make wearing a mask a challenge, I feel as though I cannot breathe and I’m choking, it also brings my already very sensitive body temperature skyrocketing. I wear a combination of reusable and disposable masks depending on the situation and I will continue to wear these to ensure others around me feel more comfortable and I have to admit it does stop me from touching my face quite so much. Throughout this entire time I was very anxious and stressed, I struggled sleeping and suffered horrible doubts and thoughts surrounding illness, death and guilt.
Shops were also very uncomfortable, some shops had rules and it was very slow and clinical but other shops acted as if rules were in place but people would not listen to the rules. This made me very uncomfortable when people pushed past or walked the wrong direction and disrupt the whole line. I dislike being constantly touched and having my personal space invaded even before this outbreak as I have always been nervous about illness, I do not have the flu vaccine as I get far too many reactions so I opt out and have to ensure I am protecting myself so the kind of behaviour I have witnessed upsets me in general as I am aware there are people who are extremely vulnerable and need to have the space to complete their tasks safely. Social distancing isn’t hard and its one of the easiest things you can do so please try your best.
Over time I have come to realise that you cant stop your life or stop living. I’m not saying this situation should be forgotten or ignored but I believe it is here to stay, one day there may be a vaccine or herd immunity may help reduce the spread or many other things that I am not educated about may happen but for now it is here and we must learn and work together to get through it. You can travel during this time as long as you are aware of the risks and ensure you plan and prepare accordingly. No one is immune to this and you must ensure you are protecting yourself and others around you.
Things to know when travelling
Traveling during this time may mean that you are unable to do things or go to certain places as they are shut so be aware that you may not be able to do exactly what you prepared for
The rules and guidelines are always changing so please keep an eye on the local area you are visiting to make sure you are aware and up to date with the latest guidelines
Different places may have different guidelines or rules, an example of this is coffee shops, some coffee shops don’t allow reusable cups or their own cups when you sit in but other coffee shops may insist that even if you wish to sit in that you must have a disposable cup
Masks, as of Saturday the 8th (I think) are to be worn inside of museums or certain attractions that may have not insisted masks be worn before , an example of this is the Roman baths in Bath, before Saturday you could choose to wear a mask but now it’s mandatory
You may need to isolate when you get to your destination or when you return home so be prepared especially when it comes to work or family situation
Bring lots of hand sanitiser and ensure you have a mask with you whenever you go out, I hate the smell and texture of the sanitiser I’ve used in other shops and places I’ve visited so I for one enjoy using my own sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol
Ensure things haven’t been cancelled especially travel and accommodation
Ensure you know the risks you’re taking and how to keep yourself and others around you safe, airlines may be crowded and you’ll be standing around near others which poses a higher risk etc
Some attractions social distance and you must follow a line, this means it may take much longer than expected to complete an experience
If you are classed as vulnerable or you have medical conditions that may make you more at risk maybe try to find a location that doesn’t involve travel like a stay-cation
Thank you for reading, please stay safe and ensure you prepare if you do also travel 🙂
* I would like to just pop in a disclaimer, if you want to add an animal into your life as a family member, please…please…PLEASE try your local shelter or rescue, I really haven’t had great experiences with pet shop animals and in most countries there’s plenty of poor animals in shelters. In the future I will be trying my best to adopt as I wasn’t educated in the matter at the time and I now am 😊I would also like to mention this post is meant to share some of my experiences and thoughts it is not a guide, I will create a guide in the future.*
Originally this blog/website was going to be about animals, but over time I realised I had lots to share and thought I’d make it about a number of things that I am interested in. Animals have played a large part in my life, I have always loved animals and I wanted all the pets I could possibly fit in my life.
I was obsessed with insects growing up, I even created a club in primary school dedicated to them. I spent everyday looking and learning about all the crawling creatures outside. I even researched their habitats and environments to find out how to care for them…before bringing them into the house and trying to get them past my mum haha.
As I grew up I became more fond on keeping furry animals, we’d always had a cat and my parents made the promise when we moved into a home with a nice garden we’d get a dog. So that part was set in stone but I still yearned for a small animal to love and cuddle.
During the past 21 years I have owned many different types of animals from insects, fish and anything with scales, I also had three pet rats. I worked in a pet store when I was 14 and over the 2 years I really solidified my love for bunny rabbits. It wasn’t something I wanted randomly, I did a lot of research and thought I knew everything…oh boy I didn’t know enough, I am still learning now!
People assume rabbits live around 2-5 years however they can live up to 10 years or more depending on the breed, rabbits are extremely sensitive creatures, they are not suited to living outside in the every changing weather and environment (they are very sensitive to the cold and the heat). They hate loud noises and busy lives. Most children get a pet rabbit and either end up getting too busy with school or they keep them outside which isn’t fair on a sensitive and social creature; you will also miss out on a lot of their personality if they are kept outside. Diet is also extremely important and regular vet appointments are a must especially when they age. Rabbits are very sensitive and can go into shock extremely easily, you can drop a cup or shut a door a bit too hard and shock them.
Rabbit require to have a healthy diet to avoid GI Stasis and other health problems, their diet is 80% hay, a small amount of good quality hay pellets and a really good amount of leafy greens but please do your research as of course each rabbit is different. Regular checks at the vet are important, but rabbit should be fixed at the correct time to ensure hormones are kept level and they don’t become aggressive, leaving your rabbit unfixed could cause behavioural issues or even life-threatening life conditions in the future. Rabbits do not belong outside, rabbits do not belong in a cage or a hutch. Sitting in the cold outside in a metal and wooden cage waiting for predatory animals to cause them stress and upset isn’t the reason why you get a pet rabbit…
Rabbits can be a great pet however, you should do research as there are so many myths that I still see people believing and reciting…Check out some of the resources I have listed below that will help you understand the work and time you have to put into having a pet rabbit. Especially for the first few years while you’re training and bonding with your little fluffy friend. I will be writting future posts about bunny rabbits as I really did enjoy sharing some basic info about these lovely animals. If you put in the time and effort for a rabbit, trust me you’ll recieve so much love and laughs watching them grow and show their personality especially when they’re running around and dancing in your home!
“Although some rabbits tolerate handling quite well, many do not like to be picked up and carried. If rabbits are mishandled they will learn to nip to protect themselves. If they feel insecure when carried they may scratch to get down. Unspayed/unneutered rabbits often exhibit territorial behavior such as “boxing” or nipping when their territory is “invaded” by the owner.” – https://www.petfinder.com/pet-care/rabbit-care/common-rabbit-myths/
Rabbits do not belong outside, rabbits do not belong in a cage or a hutch. Rabbits can live for 10 years or more, they require regular vaccines, fixing and regular checkups at the vets just like a dog or a cat. Don’t underestimate how much work is put into these lovely creatures. #NOMORECAGES
Sometimes its hard to figure out what you want and how to achieve it. Instead of sitting down, being patient and giving yourself the time and space to learn, progress and reach your goals, you tend to get stressed, panic and worrying till you no longer have the motivation and energy to progress.
Burn out has hit me on so many levels during my life, throughout my school life, I had a 100% attendance then suddenly some issues arose just before my GCSEs and all of that hard work caused me to have a breakdown. Since then burn out has become a topic that I am fully aware about and know I need to work on. If I had taken the correct amount of time and learnt about myself maybe I would’ve dealt with my issues in school appropriately. I cant change what happened in the past so instead I must find ways to ensure it does not repeat itself. I am trying my hardest to improve my self-awareness and encourage myself to learn how I work and think so that I can reduce burn out and ensure I stay level.
I want to talk about cognitive behaviour therapy in a future post as I think it is a subject that everyone should be aware about due to the impact it can have on our own lives and how we can influence others. This can be a positive subject to include in our lives, if we don’t know how to be ourselves then we will not only internally suffer but we will also cause pain externally. Its hard and it will take years of practice and experience but I believe we can each take control over ourselves and our actions to help us achieve our own goals and how to support others to do so as well.
What is burnout?
Burnouts are different for everyone and each of us may choose to deal with them in different ways. However, there are a few signs that you can look out for that may indicate that you’re suffering from burnout:
Feeling drain and fatigued-
The first sign that really hits a lot of people is feeling exhaustion and drained, this can cause all sorts of problems especially in other areas of your life such as lack of self care, common stress problems such as anxiety may also become more prevalent and sneak up on you more often.
Lack of motivation-
Lack of motivation can swoop in easily especially if you’re feeling drained or fatigued. You may lose interest in hobbies or things that would normally interest you. You may feel dissatisfied with your job and may notice you begin to lack motivation to complete tasks as you would do normally. Losing interest in things may cause forgetfulness which can then impact both your personal and work life.
Feeling anger, becoming more irritable/frustrated and even more chronic behavioural changes. Feeling more cynical and sad will creep up on you and make sure you have no motivation or energy to comprehend feeling a positive emotion. These negative emotions can affect you in both personal and work relationships.
Problems with attention, executive functions and memory will become apparent.
You don’t feel satisfied and may feel as though you are getting nowhere. You feel less happy about your career or with home life.
Other problems may occur that I may have not mentioned such as stomach problems, migraines/headaches, sleeping problems, change of appetite, lack of social life and many more.
A perfect summary for burn out to me is ‘Burnout is the loss of meaning in one’s work, coupled with mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion as the result of long-term, unresolved stress.’ which I found on a website called ‘Calmer’ – https://www.thisiscalmer.com/blog/5-stages-of-burnout
I really enjoyed this blog as I really felt it captured what its like to reach burnout and what the process feels like in 5 easy to understand stages.
What can you do when suffering burnout?
Try to learn or take up different relaxation methods and create a self-care routine, this is help you find ways to create a less stressful environment and know when enough is enough. I chose things like yoga and mediation and even reading or listening to music to help me relax.
Try to escape work once the working day is over, overthinking and working on work related areas while you’re meant to be at home or relaxing is not healthy. Your work will begin to bleed into your personal life and you may struggle to decipher between hobbies, personal life and work. I personally took up writing as a ‘outside of work’ hobby, I enjoy waffling on about subjects of interest and then sharing them with others…I also find it relaxing and freeing as I feel I am being honest with both myself and others around me. But you don’t have to choose writing, other good ‘outside of work’ hobbies that you could take up can range from sports and exercise to arts and crafts, whatever relaxes you and makes you feel happy.
Reducing social media and electronics, now I am aware some people find scrolling through social media and gaming, relaxing but you have to remember this can effect your mental health and you may not even be aware of this. Use it wisely and remember what you see on social media may not be real and to try not to get too caught up in it all. I personally don’t enjoy many platforms of social media as I find I feel more negatively about myself and the world after spending too much time scrolling through other peoples lives. Gaming can be relaxing however, again I feel very tense and over stimulated after a hour or so, playing with electronics can also affect your sleep, so try to do everything in moderation.
Getting a good sleep cycle and becoming more organised can really help anyone feel better, sleeping more ensures your body has the time it needs to reset for the next day. Not getting enough sleep can effect someone both physically and mentally. Being more organised can help reduce the last minute ‘oh NO’s’ and forgetful moments of ‘Oh dear is that today?’. The more organised you are the more relaxed your mind can be, do you sometimes find yourself laying awake late at night or remembering that you needed to do something the next day but forgot and now its too late? Well becoming more organised can help to reduce this. If you’re ready for the tasks then you’re less likely to get things wrong and when you get things wrong this can impact your thoughts and you can begin to doubt your worth which can really lead to some negative thoughts.
Lastly, talk, find someone you trust and just be honest. Its hard, really hard but it will get easier. If you are struggling to find someone to trust then seek out a professional and you may even find that they can help with other problems you may be experiencing. A simple conversation can do wonders for the mind.
Do not judge people who get burnt out, this is a process and each of us should be able to gain the support and care from those around us or from a professional if needed. Don’t suffer alone, pick up the phone and speak to someone, its so very hard to do this, I know, but you can help reduce the risk of burnout by just being aware.
What was your experience with burnout? How do you cope living in a fast pace world?
Throughout life we are told not to be “too sensitive”, “over dramatic” or “too intense”. Some of us are ridiculed or judged for showing any of these traits. Maybe some of us have a sensitivity that you don’t feel and that’s ok as we are all different, nearly everything in life is a spectrum and our unique traits make us human.
This post is about being highly sensitive and how its ok to be, you can learn how to embrace who you are. The first paragraph is a bit of a intro to my personal thoughts, I will again pop some headers down so you can skip through and choose to read certain parts. Thank you for reading.
I personally felt that those around me made me feel abnormal for feeling so passionate, dramatic and sensitive, I always took things seriously and if someone acted like they didn’t care, especially when opening up, I would feel really alone. In reality I was probably overthinking a lot and each of us have different things that we love.
I felt as though no one could keep up with my mind, I wouldn’t ever say I’m smart at all but I do spend a large amount of time thinking. Sometimes when I try to let some of these thoughts out people turn their back or get offended because all the words come out wrong. At some points in my life I learnt to not say anything at all. I think a lot of people feel this way!
I feel and think on an extremely deep level and I know I am not alone but I cant understand why those of us who are sensitive are taught to be ashamed.
I began to only share my thoughts with my parents because everyone else would take it the wrong way and I began to feel guilty talking about myself or things I loved/believed in. I am very thankful to have such lovely parents and now a lovely partner who I feel I can open up to.
My parents are the most inspirational people I have ever met. I look up to them and they’re the type of people I hope to become one day when I am wise and strong enough. Just a list of a few traits I believe they have; open minded, peaceful, supportive, sensitive, kind, funny, wise, positive, strong and smart. They work so so hard, much harder than anyone else I know, (in my opinion) they each have their own problems and they pushed through and became successful humans. They are constantly underestimated and those around us cant always see how much they do for everyone, how much they have done for me. I hope one day they will know how incredible they are.
What is HSP?
HSP stands for highly sensitive person, this is a genetic trait that is found in about 15 to 20% of the population, it enables you to feel and think incredibly deeply however can cause you to feel overstimulated and or misunderstood. Elaine Aron is a researcher in high sensitivity and sensory processing sensitivity. It was used in order to keep us safe but due to modern times it has become a burden to some of us due to the vast amount of stimuli that is to be processed so regularly if not all the time.
Someone with HSP can be either introverted, extroverted or somewhere in-between. While we each feel we may experience some of the signs I will be discussing in my next paragraph, it doesn’t mean you are a HSP, maybe you might even find you have it mildly, however, a HSP will be very likely to feel “too” much and deeply compared to those around them.
Preston has shown some excellent categories which are as followed;
Sensitivity about oneself
Sensitivity about others
Sensitivity about ones environment
The signs of being HSP
I will be including Preston’s way of categorising these signs as I think it is very easy to understand and follow without missing much!
Sensitivity about oneself –
This is a category that reflects what you may feel in regards to yourself;
Trouble letting go of negative thoughts and or emotions
Get minor to aggressive physical symptoms in reaction to things that happen during the day eg headaches
Affects eating and sleeping habits in a negative way due to something that has happened during the day
Anxiety is very common
You are your worst critic and beat yourself up
Rejection is a harsh and scary reality even in minor situations
Almost always compares oneself to others and feels very unhappy from these negative social comparisons
Anger or resentment about situations in life or in society which seem unjust, aggravating or simply annoying.
Sensitivity about others-
This category reflects what you may feel and react when it comes to others;
Over worries or thinks about what others are thinking
Takes things rather personally
Even if something may seem like “nothing” they feel it is difficult to just “let it go”
Gets and feels hurt easily
Usually hides any negative feelings or due to the amount of “drama” in their life they tend to discuss negative emotions with others
Even if feedback is meant to be constructive they often don’t take it very well
Feels as though people are being judgemental even without lots of evidence
Overreacts to real or perceived slights and provocations
Cant be themselves in group situations
Self-conscious in intimate situations (worries about partner’s approval and unreasonably scared of being judged or rejected)
Sensitivity about one’s environment-
Large public crowds or rooms full of people talking, or when too many things are occurring simultaneously are a nightmare
Uncomfortable when in and around bright lights, loud sounds, or certain scents
Startles easily at sudden noises
Easily triggered by violence, violent movies, hates seeing fights or acts of cruelty
Feels unhappy following people’s posts (social media)
Functioning with little or no sleep is very hard, more sleep may be needed than the average person due to how intensely they feel
Emotional exhaustion is very real, some days can be an emotional roller-coaster, you are able to feel more than a few emotions in one day
Hard to move on from previous trauma for example a breakup, an insult or being backstabbed by someone 6 years ago can still linger
Navigating new environments can be hard
Conflicts hurt deeply and finds it hard to forgive oneself
Doesn’t like to be rushed
Sometimes boundaries are easily crossed due to struggling to say no and instead says yes to things they don’t particular like to do or feel comfortable doing
Requires alone time to recharge
Feels misunderstood and lonely, sometimes believes “no one seems to relate to me” this is a trait not a choice
Can be introverted
More likely to be emotionally reactive
Prone to anxiety and depression – due to past experiences
Picks up on emotions even if they’re not accurate – moods rub off on you a lot more
Fixates on body, tone of voice or facial expressions and then obsessing about it even when told “it didn’t mean anything” taking things too seriously
Can see when someone is lying and it sucks because people don’t always want to feel exposed
Neglects self care, making other peoples problems their own
Even if something doesn’t seem serious to you it may be very serious to some one who is highly sensitive
People are quick to assume something like being a HSP is negative but there are so many reasons that make being highly sensitive worth it!
The strengths of being a HSP
A much deeper level of understanding, a more powerful connection to ones emotions
Bonds that are made with other people are loyal and honest – some people take advantage but it’s the risk you take
Can read situations and see details others may miss, attention to environment – more likely to notice things such as a stain on the rug or nail colour changes
Self aware – deeper thinker, often misjudged as an overthinker and can sometimes lead to worrying about things that cannot be changed
Tearing up around other when speaking or listening to something emotional – even if they hide their vulnerable emotions they will relate and once close be a great support
Can be great listeners and also great talkers
Avoids negative friendships etc due to being taken advantage of so are more likely to know if you’re a good or bad person
Creative – negative and positive emotions are felt on a very deep level which can make it easier to appreciate or make art/write/talk
Very passionate – looks like overreacting – daydreamer – can put their heart and soul into everything they do so it’s the best and genuine
Uncomfortable with injustice – want to make sure values integrity
Sensitive people will often have a deeper connection with animals and nature
Would rather do it the right way
Vivid dreams which can enrich the inner world for the HSP’s
They’re not all shy and anxious – when the correct environment and needs are met they can thrive
Things that can help you if you believe you may be a HSP-
Some of the things I will be mentioning may help just about anyone really as they’re essential to even those who don’t identify with being a HSP or having a form of Autism.
I learnt a few things that I found suited me and my personal life, some of these things I have only just implemented within the last few months but I feel have helped me already!
My anxiety is much more controlled and I can now see what may trigger any negative behaviours and find ways to reduce it before it even happens. Of course there are moments in life where mental health takes a toll and everyone has to learn how to ensure they are meeting the right requirements in order to achieve their full potential. I still get anxiety, depressive thoughts and many other side affects of being sensitive but I now know that this is not something to be ashamed of but something I must realise and learn how to embrace. There are some days where I am more sleep deprived or I know I have had too much caffeine and I am aware that this may cause negative reactions but I am more aware which enables me to change things about my day to accommodate and to reduce a spiral.
Taking time out and relaxing/doing something I love is the perfect way to recharge from a draining situation, you may fall into the “but I don’t have time” well that’s an excuse to me. We all fall into that sometimes but if you make excuses like this about things then you were never really going to try to change. Sometimes we just need the push but I know I tend to make that excuse when I need to study or learn something to achieve something and I realised that if I am serious then I will make sure I have time even if it is just for 10 minutes. Imagine how much time you spend on social media, spend 10 minutes of that reading, learning or trying something you’ve always wanted to do instead and you’ll be surprised about how much you can do 🙂
Ensure you have enough sleep
Of course as you age you’ll find the right amount of sleep that suits you, try and create a sleep schedule to help reduce exhaustion.
Try and eat a healthier and varied diet
We all fall for fast food sometimes and as a treat that’s ok but try and eat healthier on a regular basis, ensure you are getting the required amount of vitamins and minerals to aid brain development and mood to be much more positive and productive.
Schedule time out and recharge time
Sometimes life can be very hectic for anyone, make sure you take time out to recharge especially after intense or known trigger environments for example if you know you have an event you have to attend ensure you have given yourself the time afterwards whether that’s a few hours or days to ensure you are feeling yourself again.
Taking extra time or space to get things done
This can help reduce the feeling of urgency and stress, I know sometimes this is hard and some things cannot wait so maybe attempt to plan things in advance and try and keep a schedule so you can keep on top of those tasks before they become urgent. Remember to relax and recharge afterwards you deserve it!
Limit or reduce caffeine
I know I am a sucker for caffeine, I try and limit myself to a maximum of two caffeinated drinks a day, I got into decaf a lot too as I found hot drinks were very comforting to me but the caffeine made me very shaky and anxious. As individuals we can each handle different levels of caffeine so try and find your happy amount 🙂
Reduce bright lighting
I for one hate bright lights, I opt for warm lighting and if possible I wear tinted glasses with yellow lenses to just reduce the brightness a bit to make it more comfortable.
Pick off-peak times to do things
I am not a fan of doing shopping, too many colours and people, however I know that certain times of the day mean its less crowded and I’m less likely to feel the pressure. So try and find out what times are less congested or maybe your shops or events you like to attend have special times to help you.
Surround yourself with a positive and natural environment
Sensitive people are more likely to be drawn to nature and animals, a nice peaceful walk or quiet place can be perfect for you if you feel a bit overwhelmed or need to recharge. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t want to go to that party and you’d rather go for a walk and read a book or listen to some music, its ok to be yourself and embrace your hobbies and lifestyle as long as it doesn’t hurt others or yourself.
Surround yourself around positivity
I struggled with this myself, I was around negative people and situations almost daily. I was obsessed with social media and gained very negative relationships with the negative people around me which isn’t healthy! I now avoid people who I know have a certain negative outlook which of course we all go through and if you want to talk I will always be happy to listen. But sometimes we need to avoid the worlds negativity because I myself found I was becoming very negative and I hated bringing others down! I find peoples emotions rub off on me massively so if I am around lots of negative people I then become negative so instead I reduced the time I spend with the negative people and I left many platforms of social media. Even just simply reducing the amount of time you spend on social media can help you massively.
Lastly remember your worth
You are enough and you are worth it, overthinking is so easy and its ok. Remember you’re a deep and passionate thinker and you are very emotional and sensitive. If someone says you are “too sensitive/overreacting” or “you need to toughen up” or “stop taking it personally” or even the dreaded “why are you worrying, just forget about it” then I advice you tell this person to leave you alone haha…or maybe the more adult approach, attempt to teach them or advise them why those statements aren’t fair for people who are highly sensitive. Your emotions are worth the time, you are highly sensitive and kind and I know it may cause upset but you have to remember it’s a great thing being sensitive. People without this trait wont know quite how it feels to feel so deeply and that’s ok because one person at a time we can help everyone understand that we’re all different but we are all worthy.
I would love to hear what your thoughts and experiences are with being, knowing or learning about what a HSP is. Of course there are way more aspects to this trait so I am sorry if I missed things or you believe other things 🙂 I would like to hear your opinions! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to try and understand those who are highly sensitive, you may even find out something new about yourself and learning is the best gift of all. ❤
In this post I will be discussing sensory issues; a quick disclaimer is that this post will be more focused on what I have witnessed and what I also live with. There will always be individuality and some of us will not experience the same sensory problems but that’s ok, we are all unique. I also want to apologise about how long this will be, there’s so much more that I could mention but this post will already be a sensory overload to some haha…I’m actually really sorry! -I have included headers so you can skip around a bit 🙂
WHAT ARE THE SENSES?
What is the definition of “sensory”? “The definition of sensory is something that has to do with the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing. An example of sensory used as an adjective is a sensory event, such as the smelling of flowers. YourDictionary.” I took this straight from a generic dictionary webpage. For us with a form of ASD we tend to have a heightened or over sensitive sensory system, “Sensory Integration Dysfunction”, this is very common and it can affect each of us mildly to severely and can cause emotional outbursts and much more.
We see the world very differently compared to a neurotypical human and sometimes it can be very frustrating, uncomfortable, frightening or in some lucky cases, fascinating and calming. I find that I myself and many others I have spoken to, have difficulties with movement and coordination which comes across as clumsiness. “Sensory Integration Dysfunction” is when there are problems with the integration of the sensory system for example there are issues receiving, organising and or filtering and making any sense out of sensory information.
The various systems in our bodies that are included for the integration of senses are the vestibular system or the inner ear balance, this responds to movement and gravity. When this is affected sometimes its hard for the body to understand when it is stationary or moving and the speed of movement.
The five senses which are; sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.
Lastly the proprioceptive system which is the system that works with muscle contraction in response to incoming information, an example of proprioception is being able to throw something without having to look at the throwing arm directly or being able to know what surface you’re standing on without actually looking down. I could go into even more detail about all of this but I think its enough for this purpose really. 🙂
Some basic examples of sensory issues that most people are known to suffer with are; issues with bright or flickering lights, scratchy clothes, loud and certain frequencies of noise, textures or food and materials, strong smells.
MY MAIN SENSORY PROBLEMS-
I am a highly sensitive person, I will go into HSP a bit better in a future post as this is also a very relevant to a lot of people. I have many problems surrounding my sensory system and I wish to share some with you and maybe some people can gain a better understanding what some sensory problems may look like for someone who is highly sensitive Asperger’s. I am not including the whole picture as there’s so much more to explain but this post is already so long I’m sorry!
A quick reminder, we can become withdrawn easily if we are put in situations that affect our sensory issues so please have that in mind when it comes to loved ones or anyone you may suspect to have sensory problems.
First is sight, for me sight is a rather big one, I get a lot of side effects from my issues. I will get a migraine most weeks and I tend to feel motion sick at least once a day. I am very sensitive to light, bright light gives me headaches/migraines, burns and causes me to feel faint. I take medication to reduce the affects of migraines when they do happen and I often reduce my exposure to certain types of light with different types of glasses with special lenses (a lot of people have this problem). I normally have issues with a sudden exposure to a bright light (made worse if I am in the dark to begin with for example a flash light or sunlight behind trees) or being in florescent light\blue light. Any bright colours, flashing lights or busy patterns can make me dizzy, disorientated and motion sick, for example the blinds in some offices tend to make me feel a bit nauseous. Patterns, lines or words that are too close together or are too busy for my eyes to focus on. Even some suit shirts with lines or patterns can have the same disorientating affect.
When I walk into a room I will often focus on small details such as the exit, the coffee stain on the floor, the curtains not being symmetrical and so on. I am much more likely to see details much quicker, sometimes those details are very helpful and sometimes they’re pointless to most people but not to me.
Smell, I don’t have too many issues with this other than over powering smells such as certain perfumes, cleaning products, plastics and candles make me feel a bit nauseous or may cause headaches.
Taste and texture of food is a large one for me, I have lots of issues with foods such as jelly and eggs. Anything with a slimy texture can turn my stomach and cause me to gag, feel nauseous or panic. I have always separated my food out on a plate, no two things could touch however, I have gotten slightly better now and even include basic sauces but I still don’t enjoy too many textures on one plate. This can make me gag and feel very uncomfortable. I dislike strong flavours so I will often go for the plain and basic option if there is one, I also have no problem eating the same foods regularly as long as they don’t change.
Touch; there are only a few textures I really dislike such as velvet, rough wool, tags, crumbs on a seat or bed, sand in shoes etc. Most of these textures can make me physically sick but thankfully I don’t come across these problems very often as they are common hates for those without sensory problems too. I do however, LOVE smooth and soft textures, I will rub my face on fluffy pillows and touch book covers all day, I feel physically calm when I hug a stuffed animal toy or even better have some cuddles with my dog or pet rabbit. I really struggle with holding hands or touching skin to skin with people other than my partner; due to working in a company where I tend to meet new people I had to learn to suppress the urge to whine when I had to shake hands with someone. Its not about the person, its about the contact, so please don’t think I am being rude if I don’t shake your hand. Long cuddles or handshakes/holding (with anyone other than my partner) makes me writhe, if I am under stress or feeling over loaded I will be even less tolerant. Pain doesn’t affect me as much in some ways, I have a high pain tolerance to certain pain for example the dentist and getting tattoos don’t really phase me but I am very sensitive to the heat and the cold.
Hearing; this is a big sensory problem for me in most cases, I really love quiet and calm environments and every time I am in a horrible sensory overloaded environment I regret leaving my safe little quiet one. Loud or surprising noises such as balloons and fireworks can make anyone jump however, I have hypersensitive hearing to certain frequencies so sometimes certain noises such as a firework or electrical appliance/lighting can make it feel like you’ve just pushed a needle in my ear which makes the experience so painful and unbearable. Loud music or chatting can make me feel very anxious and dizzy, I don’t go clubbing anymore and sometimes even small gatherings with rowdy people can make me feel very uncomfortable and struggle with focusing or providing adequate attention to those present. I tend to hear things that others don’t or others may struggle to hear, I will hear a tap dripping or the oven go off from the other side of the house, I can hear the quiet beep of a thermometer or the buzzing of lights in a busy office.
SENSORY OVERLOADS –
Sensory overloads are really common and many of us suffer them regularly, it happens when one or more of the senses are over-stimulated from the environment. An example may be, busy streets, lots of information, media etc. I am very lucky to have the job, the parents and the partner I do! My workplace is incredibly understanding and I know if I needed anything or asked for support they would do everything they can and I am so grateful. My parents and partner are the same, I know I can count on them, I need to learn how to accept support and care from those around me.
Too many things going on can also cause sensory overloads, parties, large gatherings and many other events are a real challenge for someone like me. If I am in a good place in my life (emotionally, mentally) or have had an adequate amount of sleep then I will be able to handle the situation much better but sounds and sight may affect my ability to focus. A busy, chatty office is not ideal especially if I am having a tough time personally. Sometimes my issues with focusing or staying on task can seem a bit rude but I honestly don’t mean it, its either have a blank confused Morgan or have a crying hunched over in a corner rocking Morgan. Something like a hum or tapping may seem like nothing to you but to me it’s a hoard of mopeds racing past you or a bunch of fireworks going off in a bathroom one by one while you stand in the middle…I even avoid most movies especially if they’re action or thrillers; the images are moving too fast, the sound is too loud, there’s too much blood which can all cause a sensory overload. Even just hearing the theme song for the famous casualty show makes me have an anxiety attack. It feels like everything is trying to get you and you cant run away, the pain is so intense and overwhelming the only thing you can do is shut down, cry or stim. Those with a form of Autism are not the only ones who can experience sensory overloads, there are plenty of other conditions that also have sensory overloads regularly.
Are there any positives to being sensitive and having heightened senses? Yes, there’s plenty of positives to being like this. For starters I can hear frequencies that others cannot, I will notice small details (highly detail orientated) and problems much quicker and easier. I can find wally very quickly and solving puzzles and problems come naturally and easily to me haha. I pay attention to the details and the whole pictures fits into place a lot easier. We are more likely to notice details than the neurotypical mind which makes us great for certain jobs and careers but of course again we are all very different, so some of us may be detail orientated and others will have traits that will suit them better for other roles.
To some people sensory problems seem silly and I have had many people roll their eyes or tell me to get on with it but to me these sensory issues can cause trauma, sickness, anxiety and even prevent me from doing my daily tasks. This isn’t something we can just “get over”, sometimes we never find coping mechanisms to deal with our problems and instead we avoid. Don’t push someone to eat something or do something that makes them feel uncomfortable including those who don’t appear to have a form of Autism, you don’t know how they feel and it could be much stronger than how you feel about it. Give each other time, space and care so that we can all grow and learn how to cope together, I find that I am learning how to live more comfortably all the time and I know others have had similar growth. Each of us feel differently and you must remember that something that may not bother you could bother someone else. What you find easy may not be easy for us or others. I try to be mindful but I know its hard sometimes so just try your best and that’s all that matters 🙂
This post is just a brief explanation, Asperger’s is a lot deeper and there are far more things to share about the diagnosis than what I have written. Please remember we are each individuals and just like neurotypicals you cannot define us with a single definition or diagnosis.
Most people, especially those who are neurotypical describe and act as though Asperger’s and other forms of Autism are diseases with no cures and dread to hear the words mentioned about their child. In fact it’s a neurological disorder which you are born with and there is little evidence proving the cause and exact reason why some of us are born with it. Family history has been seen to play a part in the development. It is also much more common to diagnose boys rather than girls this may be because on average women will present differently to men. Asperger’s is quite often diagnosed later in life especially for women, this can be really hard for us with Asperger’s as this means we have gone through life being misunderstood and hurt due to a lack of understanding.
Asperger’s is normally referred to as “high-functioning” which means we normally have above or average intelligence, we normally develop as normal or slightly faster than peers however, suffer in the social and mental health department. This makes it harder for those with Asperger’s to be diagnosed at a very young age as they may perform well until something is presented in their life that challengers them. I for instance didn’t have many obvious negatives growing up (no more than any child of course) and most of the “quirks” I had actually helped me to do so well in school and develop. However, later in life I began to show a lot more negative symptoms and began isolating myself as well as social and emotional problems. Masking or pretending to be someone I am not during most of my life finely took a toll on me. After having my first life changing break down my mum fought extremely hard with the health system and I got a diagnosis. If this hadn’t happened maybe it would’ve taken even longer to present.
It can be a super power, a curse or both at the same time however, no two people present the same, so each of us with a form of autism will be different and will struggle and succeed in different ways. Treatment to help ease the negative symptoms should be unique to the individual as we are all different. Boys and girls will present differently as well.
I do not need a cure, I do not have a disease I am just different in some ways this can make me better at some things however, it can also make me worse in other things but this is a journey and there’s no easy fix for anyone.
I am “too sensitive” and this hurts me greatly, I feel far too much compared to an NT (neurotypical) this is both a blessing and a curse, I am able to feel complex emotions however, it can be hard to control them and may cause outbursts. Heightened emotions and empathy sometimes means those of us with Asperger’s struggle to process and show them so it appears that we lack emotion when in fact most of us feel it much more. Of course some of us lack emotion and this is fine as many NTs have also had this present.
The communication problems usually arise when the NTs(Neurotypicals) and autistic people try to communicate to one another. We tend to be more direct, honest (which normally appears as rude to NTs) and efficient, however, those without autism tend to rely on body language, complicated social dances and unspoken rules which is so very hard for some of us.
Imagine being told to play a brand new game or build a piece of furniture without being given a manual, that’s what it can be like for us to live around others. Communication is a two way street, you cant expect us to change ourselves to suit you because you’re idea of normality is different. It’s a lot of energy and effort to fit in for anyone let alone for someone with a disorder, try and put in some effort too then we can meet in the middle and it’ll make it easier for the both of us haha. 🙂 There people with autism who do not communicate via voice, they may still understand and be able to communicate in other ways so please don’t assume anything. I find I act very different and mask around my family. Around others I mask in a different way again, I feel I am only truly me around my partner and parents.
Social isolation is very common and not always intentional because sometimes its easier and less exhausting than masking. Some of us can be expressionless (or have little expressions) and speak in a monotone like voice.
Stimming is another big part of being Asperger’s or well a majority of us will have heard of this. Just a quick question, do you click your pen, tap your fingers or shake your leg? Well that’s considered a stim. NTs and those of us with Asperger’s all stim however, we tend to stim much more or in different ways that are considered as negative or more obvious. Again some of us may not stim much at all but on average we will stim more than NTs. This can include rocking on chairs, swaying, spinning or twirling yourself or objects around you, head hitting, repetitive behaviours, hand picking or tapping, hair pulling or twisting and chewing of clothes, fingers and hair. These seem to be the stims I see pop up the most in the community. There are many others that I have not mentioned. Most of the time safe stimming should be encouraged not frowned upon, it is considered self-soothing and calming.
Issues with planning, organising, time management are very common (women with Asperger’s have mentioned this more frequently) as well as being able to hyper-focus, because of these we tend to overthink and often feel unmotivated or lazy. This will then lead us to question our intelligence as well as worth as we may not be able to do things as easily as others and this is detrimental to our health.
It makes me very low and insignificant. You cant expect a fish to climb a tree as a monkey would. Whether you’re Asperger’s or not we each need to remember that our talents may not be the same as the next person and sometimes some people are unable to do things that you can do.
Hyper focusing for me is helpful, it allows me to complete tasks and learn new things much quicker especially when it’s a special interest.
Special interests should be encouraged and could pave the way for future goals, enhances pleasure and may help us make friends. Special interests can be for a range of things such as; trains, animals, numbers, quotes, books, films, music and so much more, a special interest is much more than a passion to us with Asperger’s (I will explain further at a later date).
Being different is what makes us special, both Asperger’s and Neurotypicals are wonderful.
Even if there were no labels we would all still be different and that’s so important to remember you are worth just as much as anyone else so don’t let others define who you are.