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 🙂
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 🙂
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. ❤
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.
To begin with I am only really starting my journey in the technology field in the sense of a full time, permanent focused IT job.
I am going to try and write an introduction about my career ideas through my life because even though I really liked technology and was good at handling it growing up, it certainly wasn’t the career path that I thought I’d take.
If you just want to read what my experience working in IT is like as both a woman and being Asperger’s then just skip to after the image in this post 🙂
I always wanted to be a vet, doctor or zoologist as I loved animals and learning about the body. I ended up losing the love to be a vet rather soon as I realised that it was exactly for me. Later on in my life I lost people and it crushed me but I knew that the important thing to think about is the times they were alive instead of thinking about the fact that they’re gone. So I continued to pursue my career as a doctor; nursing and psychology slipped through during secondary school.
I fell in love, psychology, the subject that just kept me awake at night, so many questions and so much to read and learn. Baring in mind I was only about 11 when my love of psychology really kicked in, both of my parents have a huge interest and lots of knowledge in the mental health, behaviour and psychology fields. So I always had my own therapists at home who could read me like a book no matter what haha…
I started working in a garden centre in 2014, I stayed there till late in 2016, I loved helping people even in the most simple of ways by helping them find what type of dog food is best.
I was doing really well in ICT and when I was picking my GCSEs my teacher heavily suggested I take CIDA (Certificate in digital applications) which was our version of IT/ICT. I did later choose to take CIDA, I ended up completing my GCSE 6 months early, I loved it more than anything and I found it came naturally to me. I got to build my own game and website which was just awesome to me and the exam went really smooth for me. It combined my love of creative technology and logic based technology.
I first went to a grammar school to start taking my A levels, the first problem I encountered was the fact they refused to allow me to study computer tech, I finished all the summer tasks and got top grades in them yet they still refused (the actual lecturer didn’t mind and was confused why they wouldn’t let me). My previous teacher wrote letters to the school to prove that I was more than capable and showed evidence but alas the headmaster didn’t care and it crushed my hopes. I was sent to study ICT which doesn’t sound too bad but the curriculum was awful and I may have also been a tad bitter 😉
In 2016 I left my job in the garden centre to work in a supermarket, this wasn’t the best experience in my life especially compared to my lovely job at the garden centre but due to the location it was easier to get to work.
I ended up quitting the grammar school and moved to the wonderful Highlands College; yes I name dropped and sorry if that isn’t allowed but I have to, that college was the reason I regained my love for technology and my love of working with people came back, my mental health got so much better. They supported me during my diagnosis and allowed me to go home a lot or go to work due to already handing in my assignments, yes I was that person who handed in work extra early. They helped me when I was bullied and I’m going to be honest I loved the teachers so much.
In 2017 I started working in a pharmacy and even though I was very conflicted about going into pharmaceuticals, IT or uni. I ended up being very lucky and getting onto a tech apprenticeship scheme. However, after about a year I thought the apprenticeship wasn’t for me and after a little break and trying different options I came back into an IT Service analyst role (to the same company that I did the apprenticeship with) which suits me a lot better at this time. My goal is to combine psychology with IT as its such an important combination.
I have studied IT and technology subjects for a long time now and I have worked in the Tech area for about a year and a half (it’ll be two years in the summer). I feel that I am very lucky with the company I currently work for, they are very kind, understanding and inclusive. Whenever I have an issue it is almost always solved or at least discussed so I or others who need to, understand.
I honestly don’t have many negatives about my experiences. In terms of gender, I have to admit the lack of women in the field is rather shocking, this isn’t the companies problem this is because I don’t think many of us go into the field and I don’t necessarily think its because of lack of encouragement.
While in school I noticed little to no interest in IT from my female peers, when I was in college there were a few female students however they didn’t seem very bothered about progression and most of them said they took the subject because they didn’t have anything else to do and they thought it would be easy.
I met one or two female students in secondary school who seemed to have a slight interest however they seemed to prefer many other subjects and there were one or two women within college who were very good and very positive about the subject.
I think companies could try and advertise IT as a subject that is taken by both men and women but with my experiences they’re waiting too long to do this because by time GCSEs came around I saw no other woman even slightly interested in the subject, I was the only girl in my class and then during college the women around me were very negative towards the IT field, telling me they hated it, it was boring and many of them struggled to keep up with the work and complete tasks.
I do believe that this was just an anomaly as I see more young girls getting into IT in schools now which is lovely but a career is based on interest and sometimes IT is just not interesting for some of us, it was for me and that’s why I came back! I love IT because it is an everchanging and expanding subjects with hundreds of topics and fields to go into.
Please go and try and reach your dream, if someone says you cant just keep trying. Do not punish yourself if you cant reach them right now, you will find your place I’m sure, speak to others and make sure there’s a good support network and look after yourself!
In regards to being Asperger’s and working in general, I didn’t like retail that much and it wasn’t the people that made it bad, I actually didn’t mind talking to people in fact I was rather good at it (or at least I thought so) I never had complaints and if I couldn’t help I’d find someone who could so I was very lucky on that front.
The worst part about working in retail were the sensory issues; I didn’t like the bright lights and buzzing of the freezers upset me a lot in the supermarket.
When I worked in the pharmacy this reduced slightly, other than the lights of course, however there was now another problem…the germs. I felt as though I had to wash my hands every time I touched something or whenever I had to touch something. It got to the point where my already existing germ fearing issue got worse due to my job.
I have issues when I am unable to wash my hands, I feel my chest tightening, I struggle to breathe and I’m overall very techy, uncomfortable and upset.
I feel as though my work made it more of an issue however due to working in a small area I could access a sink whenever I wanted and this lead to very dry and cracked hands and arms. I have very sensitive skin and the continuous hand washing made this so much worse.
Once I left this job and began working in IT this anxiety around germs lifted massively, not only are the people around me really clean but I am also working in internal IT so I don’t often go out of the office or see members of the public.
The noise levels can sometimes be an issue but I have headphones and the team I work with are lovely so they often have nice topics of choice or interesting knowledge to show me.
Overall my anxiety has gotten better since I started back at this workplace, admittedly we are all working from home due to the virus so that’s given me time to get both feet on the ground and do some studying and research around the areas of my job.
Sometimes those of us with Asperger’s just need a bit more time adjusting to big changes, I am overall fine with change in my life when it comes to studying or what type of work I am doing however a desk move or members of staff leaving or even a change in the office can make me feel a bit uneasy.
I have been spending a lot of my life, even before my diagnosis, learning knew ways to cope to make me more at ease during stressful moments in life as I am a naturally nervous person. This has had both a negative and positive affect on my life, I tend to bottle my feelings up and forget that getting a bit stressed or worried is normal. I am a very nervous person, filled with nervous energy, I shake, pace and massively overthink without even realising it because I have found a way to bottle up the generic anxiety/stress feelings which I should instead learn to realise, accept and make more positive ways to cope with instead of hiding it. Everyone needs to be honest with themselves sometimes and I am lucky I work somewhere I do and they understand so I can instead of saying “I’m fine” just be honest and admit that sometimes I’m not. It’s honestly ok to not be ok sometimes, its noticing when you’re not ok and then finding ways to make sure you are ok, whether that’s by doing a certain activity you love, speaking to someone or even just having a little break.
I think more companies need to be like the one I work for especially when it comes to the technology or non client facing teams.
We are able to wear clothes of our own choice as long as they’re appropriate which lessens one of my sensory issues, I don’t need to wear horrible scratchy clothes. The flexible time is wonderful so if I need to complete a task at a certain time means that I can, I can also be very flexible with what I do especially at the moment, I am currently working in a different area and learning new skills that a lot of other companies wouldn’t support workers to do.
As well as also being able to be open to managers about how I feel or if I don’t like a particular thing about my day or work I can just have a chat and we can figure out how to make it more comfortable. I’m not saying I can pick and choose but I am able to ask for help or get some support which I think is really lovely this massively reduces worries and anxieties around the work place which means you don’t feel nervous about going into work.
Overall working in IT is for me; I really like the group of people I am surrounded by and I cant wait for things to one day go back to normal and I can see them all again like normal. I have had some bad experiences in life just like everyone but I believe that I am incredibly lucky and through everything I have met some lovely people who have really impacted my life and I am very thankful for them. Thank you.
When I ended up getting an assessment and was finely diagnosed with high functioning Asperger’s, a lot of my life changed surprisingly.
What I like to remember and what I wish I could say to everyone going through this is, no matter what you’re diagnosed with you are still you and don’t listen to the negative way that people may react when you let them know.
This post is about the day of my assessment, and what happened shortly after, I have not included the leading up or anything before/a while after etc.
I was just about to turn 18 when I had a date for my assessment, on the day me and my parents had to be at the centre, it was key that my parents expressed what they saw while I grew up. Childhood is a very important stage of the process. AT the beginning of the assessment I was interviewed by two professionals and my parents were in another room being interviewed separately by the third professional. During my assessment I was asked to do various puzzles, read a book and choose a preferred activity as well as answer some questions about my life and feelings. Other peoples assessments may vary, this was my assessment personally.
My parents were asked many questions regarding my physical health, mental abilities and my academic level and progress during childhood and currently. The questions varied from pregnancy till the present day, they asked questions about my eye sight and hearing, my speech. What I was like with food also came up in questions. The developmental stages were a large component of the assessment for example, when did I talk, walk and complete motor skill.
They questioned what my special interests were (if any) and how they impacted my life. My thought process was also questioned, we all responded with the fact I can concentrate on a task and learn knew skills much quicker than my peers and the response was that may be because I was hyper-focusing and or it was a special interest.
I have a lot of issues regarding my senses however, I have learnt to hide my feelings and reactions in order to create a more “acceptable” persona around family, friends and the public, I am able to be myself fully around my parents only and getting closer to being this way with my partner. The senses that I find are very heightened for me are; my sight, my sense of smell, hearing and my most affected, touch. I get regular migraines due to light sensitivity, I can find strong smells very overwhelming and may cause me to feel unwell or again a migraine. I am very sensitive to loud or specific noises, I can often hear things that others cannot or notice things that other may not notice till it is pointed out to them. Touch is very sensitive for me, it is almost like I feel textures on a whole knew level which can cause me to itch, gag or just in general feel very uncomfortable to the point where I need to leave. Food has been impacted massively due to my sensory issues, I have struggled with eating my whole life and at one stage just stopped eating normally for months, I would live on one snack a day and only water. I do love vegetables and fruit due to their water content and lack of textures. I was labelled “gifted” while growing up due to my fast learning and progression capabilities, I learnt how to talk and walk by the age of one, I went partially mute during secondary school due to anxiety traits and other issues however could talk happily with those I trusted or knew personally.
After my diagnosis I had mixed reactions, some of the people in my life receded and acted as though I was diagnosed with some horrible life threatening disease. They would walk away and soon ghost me online and even in real life. I assumed it was because they no longer knew how to act around me, maybe they were worried about offending me or saying the wrong thing. I felt like begging them to realise that I am still me and the same person I was before. Not that that would’ve fixed anything.
I know some people left my life because they were embarrassed or mortified to be associated with “someone like me” which hurt the most and then there were a lot of people who dismissed my diagnosis, ignored it or fully denied that I was different. I have felt very alone during the last few years while I have become accepting of my life long condition, I wish I had more people around who understood me or at least tried to understand. I was lucky to have my wonderful parents because without them I am not sure I would’ve come out the other end. I would’ve been so happy if people in my life had just asked me questions or maybe just looked at the definition so they could start to accept or respect me and who I am. I am not afraid of who I am or to talk about who I am. I think I let some of these negative reactions stunt my acceptance process which led me to be in denial for quite a few years in fact I only just decided to really accept myself in the past year. I find it is very important to learn about what loved ones are going through and ignoring or waiting for something to go away or get fixed can really hurt their minds. There is no cure, this is a neurological disorder that I was born with and I will live with my whole life and having a good support system is key.
I urge families who may have loved ones who have similar issues, just maybe read an article or try to understand so that they don’t feel so alone or like an outsider in their own family. It is so easy to accidently do this because you may think “oh they’ll understand” when maybe they don’t, just because you understand something doesn’t mean the next person will. Dismissal is always the worst and most confusing reaction I have ever received, I have also had plenty of people act like it never happen or they continue to dismiss me because they don’t understand or underestimate what I have experienced with mental health and this neurological diagnosis due to not understanding themselves.
Even though I have a lot of talents that the general average NT(neurotypical) will never have I still get dismissed and underestimated due to age which with my condition is actually irrelevant due to being able to self teach and learn knew tasks in a much shorter amount of time…as long as the motivation is there haha! If there is no motivation then there may never be progression. 😀
My mum and dad have always been the best they can be and have always been there for me even when I was a pain in the bum. Me and my parents have always had a really great family unit and mutual connection which has enabled us to be who we are with little to no secrets. This allowed me to learn and develop as a child and I believe I was very lucky because this may have been the reason why I don’t have as many behavioural problems as many other individuals with this diagnosis. A lot of others find our relationship rather strange as we are so open together and don’t have a problem talking about taboo subjects. Even though it was late in my teens when I was diagnosed we all knew there was something different and due to it not being negative we auto-adjusted to fit. All three of us are different in our own ways but fit together to make a great family unit. ❤
Even after all of this, I still have a lot of trouble dealing with those in my life, the main issues that I have are with those who believe age=better when in some cases I believe motivation and passion=better, you can be older and have little to show for yourself and some of the young people I have met have shown far more and impressive minds than those I know who are much older! Or of course it can go the other way haha! We are all different and this goes for both NTs and us, don’t underestimate anyone because everyone can surprise you, in both negative and positive ways.
❤ During these hard times we are all tense and stressed so please remember to care for yourself and others around you. Maybe have a little think about what you say to others, I know I fall short with this sometimes as I am VERY passionate and this can come across as arrogant even when I was meant to just help/inform someone, (sadly my Asperger’s plays a big part in this trait according to my doctors haha) but I am working on this but its a bit hard when your brain just keeps telling you”Morgan they need to know so nothing bad happens” at least be polite brain *sigh*.
Don’t be too quick to judge as everyone has secret feelings and worries that they may not be sharing especially during this time, just try your best to be positive and if you do feel those negative feelings creeping in, chat to someone about it and try not to be too shy as you may be surprised and talking may help sometimes. If not find a plate or a cup you really hate and throw it at a wall…metaphorically 😀 ❤
This is a short post I wrote within the few hours of seeing and waiting for the responses for this post, I will write a more in depth and evidence based post to correct any of my badly worded information as this was just an immediate response and based on a few sources I have been to in the past and my general knowledge about ASD and Aspergers. Also ignore my spelling errors and please don’t take offence to anything I say, we are all different and share our own thoughts and opinions 🙂 I promise to accept you if you accept me.
I am applaud by the post from WHO, I have so much respect for the organisation but this is truly shocking.
This is not entirely correct. There is no cure and there are zero treatments for the condition. ASD is a spectrum, whether you like it or not there is a lower end and a higher end that’s just how a spectrum works, many of us will be at completely different ends or very similar places. Just like NTs we are all different and all share different traits which can be impacted by environmental facts and genetics. Some of us don’t appear to have the stereotypical traits that seem to appear in many shows and films. Some of us are above average intelligence and some of us are under average, it’s a spectrum and the sooner you accept that the easier it will be for all of us. I swear if I have another person begins to speak slowly to me as soon as I mention I have Aspergers then I will throw my phone at them.
Many of us with Aspergers have above or average intelligence however some may have learning disabilities that impact the learning process especially if they do not receive the support they would like or need.
Sometimes we are more likely to suffer from other conditions surrounding mental health and Hypermobility however considering this is a subject that we’re all still trying to learn and understand about things will always change and develop.
From the NINDS they state, ” The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, published in 2013) includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.”
Later on I read this source from NAS,
“People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for life – it is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel that Asperger syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity…People with Asperger syndrome are of average or above average intelligence. They don’t have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have, but they may have specific learning difficulties. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.” I am aware that Aspergers and Autism differ in some or many ways depending on the individual.
I then read the link from the WHO and was even more angry at the lack of evidence and information, “ASDs begin in childhood and tend to persist into adolescence and adulthood. In most cases the conditions are apparent during the first 5 years of life.” this is not very informative, you are usually much younger and for women this can be extremely different.
We tend to feel much much more than a NT and the reason why empathy may not be “present” is because we feel it so much stronger than we may be unable to show it in an appropriate way. The reason why our behaviours are so different may be because our brains work differently, this would make for a better caption than what the WHO put. None of us are broken and none of us need fixing, we need NTs to be more understanding and accepting, maybe when they do as much research into what it is like for us as much as we do for them then maybe we would get along a lot more. (excluding those of course who are lovely and understanding as again NTs are all different too and some may be understanding and some with ASD may not be understanding). We need a world where we can all be different and just except the fact they we are not computers we are people.
Lastly there is NOTHING wrong with being Autistic or Aspergers, in fact thankfully to my traits that I was BORN with I have been able to be really successful academically, I got great grades with my eyes closed and I truly believe my traits of being Aspergers is to thank for this as I have an impeccable memory and learn new tasks in a quarter amount of time compared to a typical average NT.
Also hello anti-vaxxers, I was born Aspergers and didn’t get it from a vaccine 😉