The Bravest Thing…

As I am writing this, I am unsure of whether or not I should share it. I have a knot of fear and dread deep in the pit of my stomach that tells me  I should not. It is for that very reason that I have.

Today, the bravest thing I did was get out of bed. For many, this is not a struggle. It is a part of everyday life, that they may not enjoy, but it isn’t a fight or a battle, it is just something they have to do. However, for some of us, getting out of bed is the biggest in a long line of daily challenges.  

I don’t know why today was a particular challenge, but it was. I found myself inexplicably ‘STUCK’ to my mattress. The world seemed too overwhelming, too big. The thought of forcing my legs out from underneath the warm, tightly wrapped duvet cocoon I had made myself, seemed all but impossible. 

In recent days, the world I am living in has become an increasingly confusing and scary place to be in and today I didn’t have the fight in me to face it all once more.

My bed seemed safe, it was comforting, familiar. The world not so much. Every ounce of my being was telling me to stay put, to just barricade myself in and defend my position.

It took everything I had to drag myself out. Everything. After moving one step, all I wanted to do was crawl back in and sleep for another day, because ALL of my energy had been used up in that single step. you may be sat there thinking, well that doesn’t sound all that brave; waking up, getting out of bed and taking a single step, what sort of achievement is that? Well for me, today, it was everything. It was the bravest thing I could have done and is something, although I might not feel it now, I should be proud of.

At the start of this post, I shared that it gives me deep anxiety to share with you all such a personal and difficult story, but I felt I needed to because I know there are so many others who find themselves in this very situation. So what do you do in that situation? How do you ‘Do the bravest thing’ and take the first step out of bed on the days when the world is just too much?

Acknowledge your feelings. For me this is the most difficult, but most important step to getting out of bed. Realising that I feel overwhelmed and cannot face the world, helps me to understand myself and my motives. Knowing that I feel scared about the day ahead and fearful of what it has in store, helps me to justify why I am finding it so hard to get up. 

Give yourself time. Time is crucial. It might take you an hour, might take you 2 might even take you 12, but that’s okay. The famous saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ has never been more apt. Rome was not built in a day. It was built over many years, each little bit contributing to the overall progress. No matter how long it takes you, allow yourself time to take the first little step.

Take Care of the Physical. One of the most challenging things about mental health and invisible illness is that you can look perfectly well on the outside and yet, be seriously ill on the inside, and on the days when your mental health is bad, your physical health also takes a turn for the worse too. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your body while your mind heals. Drinking plenty of water, eating regularly and even smaller things like wriggling your fingers and toes every now and again do wonders for your health and mood. 

Today, the bravest thing I did, was get out of bed. Next time you feel like the world is just too much, remember the plan above and more than anything, love yourself a little harder that day, keeping in mind, you are brave to still be living.

“My Person”

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She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.”

Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy

everyone needs a person. Everyone needs a person in their life that they can rely on and go to for advice when things get tricky.

For individuals living with Autism, this person is even more essential. Growing up on the spectrum you never feel like you fit in, you always feel somehow ‘out’ of it, not able to relate to your peers, finding it difficult to understand why.  You question yourself, feeling as if there is something ‘wrong’ with you, which is why you don’t fit it, all of which leaves you feeling alone, isolated and confused in the world around you.

Except when you’re with your person.

They provide stability, security and sense of belonging within any set environment. They are ‘safe’ and are seen as someone who can be trusted. They are invaluable, irreplaceable and incredibly special. They are able to take away the stresses of life; the turmoil, the pain and the anguish and turn you into a completely different, and fully able person. They are easy to talk to, down to earth and non-judgmental. They are someone who you can truly be you with, without any mask or acting.

For me this person has been there for me since my birth. They have been and continue to be my instruction manual for life. They have held me together when I thought I would apart and have been selflessly by my side through everything. Whether it has been staying up with me all night when I am too anxious to sleep or embracing my little quirks, they have been there.

My person, is my Mum.

Since I was little, I have had a Mother who consistently goes above and beyond for me. I have had a Mother who has embraced my difference whole-heartily and who has accepted me for who I am. I have had a Mother who has never once doubted my abilities or failed to be by my side when life was just too much.

My Mum has become more than a Mother, she has become my best and trusted friend who I would do absolutely anything for. She has become the person I turn to when I don’t know where to go and the woman I look up to and admire every day for her strength of character.

Mum, please stop doubting yourself. Never once have you nor will you let me down. You have done so much for me and I am forever grateful for the love you have shown me. I will never be able to fully express how thankful I am for all the things you have taught me or the ways in which you have supported me over the years.

I genuinely don’t know where I would be without you, so Mum, thanks for being “My Person!”

And to all the other Mothers out there with children on the Spectrum, you are doing an amazing job! We may not know how to tell you that with words or how to express it through actions, but you are! We love and appreciate you all so very much!

Lots of Love,

L

xxx

It’s NOT for Attention!

[So called] Mild Autism doesn’t mean one experiences Autism mildly… It means YOU experience their autism mildly. You may not know how hard they’ve had to work to get to the level they are at.

Adam Walton

Living with Asperger’s, it is easy to feel that you live in a bubble. It feels as if you are surrounded by an invisible barrier; a barrier that prevents you from communicating, socialising and getting close to others. A barrier that has you constantly living life an arm’s length away from the rest of the world. 

You see, Asperger’s isn’t a mild condition. It is something you live with every minute of every day. It is part of who you are and what makes you, well, YOU.

I’ve found that it’s difficult for people to understand just how much my Asperger’s affects my life. When you meet me, it isn’t immediately obvious that I am Autistic, which makes my behaviour seem out of place. What people sometimes forget is that Asperger’s is a social communication disorder, that leaves me feeling unable to communicate how I feel.

Often, it is easy to assume the way I react to situations is for attention, when in actual fact, it is an attempt to express an emotion. I easily become flustered when trying to talk about how I feel, and the result is a message that can be easily be confused for attention seeking behaviour.

I like to fiddle, I like to doodle and I like to listen to music. I like to avoid certain situations or set in my mind that I won’t go until the last second so I have less time to become anxious. This can all be confused for attention seeking – but it is not! It’s Aspergers which is a big part of who I am.

Let’s focus our attention on understanding and acceptance, always remembering “It’s NOT for Attention!”

Journey’s

Journeys

The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.

Lao Tzu

My journey started on the 17th of February 2017 when I was officially diagnosed with Aspergers. For me, this was the first step in what has been a very long journey of self-discovery. 2 years later and I am still discovering who I am. Every day I am learning more and more about what make me, me. I , for the first time, am beginning to understand myself.

So, I invite you along on my journey of self-discovery as I share with you my Invisible Life – Living with Aspergers.