Category Archives: Community

My Meltdown – A Poem – Guest Blog

This poem comes from a long term reader, fellow blogger, and dear friend. I am honored to share with you a work by the one and only Allison M. Kramer of the Through 1 Filter  blog.

Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment. People need to understand meltdowns. These conversations are important.

 

My meltdown is

Echoed in my screaming
Adrenaline is racing like napalm through my veins
Moro reflex punching my gut over and over
Reliving the sensory overload on a loop

I’m drowning without being in water
and I have to go to bed for 2 days

Sometimes it brings red and blue flashing lights on a squad car 
Handcuffs chewing into my wrists
Lots of shouting and grabbing
Strapped to a backboard while my skin turns purple and black

Locked up, drugged up
Being punished for something I cannot control
It isn’t a conscience choice I’ve made
To disrupt my life or yours

It so happened that
A dog was barking-
A child was screaming-
Someone set off a firecracker-
And I couldn’t process the information fast enough
To remain in control of my executive functioning

The threat of sensory overload
hangs pregnant, like a cumulonimbus cloud

I need a safe place and safe people- now and until I die
To successfully process what life heaps upon me

Will you help me to make this a reality? I cannot do it alone, behind a computer detached from any notion of community. I don’t want my life story to end in a jail cell, nursing home or alley. 

 

Allison M. Kramer
Author:Through 1 Filter

 

 

Medical Cannabis & Autism – You Asked My Opinion (The Blog I’ve Been Avoiding)

Over the past year that I’ve had my blog people have been emailing asking for my opinion on the use of cannabis or marijuana as a possible treatment for Autism.

To be perfectly honest with you, all of my readers, I have been avoiding this topic.

Here is why – I don’t have first hand experience with this so I don’t feel like an authority on the subject. I don’t live in a state that allows Autism to be listed as a qualifying medical condition so this option is not available to me. I need to write about what I know and I don’t know enough about this.

What I would like to share is that parents have reached out to me to let me know that they have had some amazing results. Other parents email to ask if I know about this treatment but all I can say is this – I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice.

So once again, I am not a doctor and can not give medical advice so please do not take anything I say as such.

If you want my opinion on medical marijuana and Autism all you have to do is search “cannabis autism” on YouTube.

Watch the videos, especially the ones with severely affected Autistic children.

If you can not stop crying while watching those videos than you know exactly my position on this issue.

I am deeply troubled that there might be people missing out on one thing that might help ease extreme suffering, especially when many drastic things have already been tried.

Those videos may hook you in and after that you may find yourself watching the videos about medical cannabis and seizures. I can’t watch these videos either because I know many children with severe seizure disorders, who are not helped by mainstream medications, die at a young age.

I am also saddened by medical refugees and people stuck without access.

I can’t watch these videos any more. The truth in them is so penetrating that it makes me physically ill. People say Autistic people don’t feel things but as an adult I feel them more deeply than a lot of people. It is beautiful and painful all at the same time.

That is my opinion on medical cannabis for Autism – I am heart broken.

Heart broken about all the suffering that’s happened over the years in relation to this plant for no good reason. People are sick, dying, in prison, families torn apart. There has to be a better answer.

Can I advocate for medical marijuana as an Autism treatment? I don’t know. I am not a scientist or a doctor.

What I can advocate is everyone doing their own independent research. There is still a lot we do not know about this plant. One thing I can say is it doesn’t seem to be as dangerous as people wanted us to believe back when they made it illegal.

I know cigarettes kill people and alcohol is much worse but is a big part of our culture.

Just facts. That’s all I’ve got since I can’t make this one more personal.

Happy New Year!

To you my dear readers and friends. I wish you start this new year eagerly. I hope you find the courage necessary to chase your dreams. Don’t let the doubters get you down.

You are amazing and I hope you know this.

That is my new years wish for you.

 

With love,

Anna

Mental Health & Chronic Illness – Things People Don’t Understand

Toughen up – that phrase makes my arm hairs stand on end… my family members said it a lot, so did my teachers. Stop calling me weak – on one hand I hate being told that.  Regardless, coming from my mother it did me good and helped me become the person I am today.

The other one that REALLY gets me is “you’re not trying hard enough”. This is the worst thing you could ever say to someone who is doing there honest best. It’s soul crushing. It doesn’t matter your intentions – I hear “your best is not good enough“.

Certain simple things like timing in conversation trip me up. My brain is working overdrive but still I make simple mistakes. Because I can be extremely skilled at complex tasks people say things like – “you are too smart for this” & “you are not trying hard enough”.

On the inside I am dying because my best is perceived as laziness. I’m working so hard –Not trying? They can not comprehend how difficult this is for me.

People assume I am being rude and I rub them the wrong way. I’ve been told I can be perceived as standoffish and distant – not really what I’m going for. It keeps people away.

I am very isolated because of my limited social skills. My awareness of my social impairments has helped me to develope severe Social Anxiety.

I don’t go out, I don’t socialize – I get more than enough human interaction (the wrong, over stimulating, kind) at work. Other than going to the office, I never go anywhere without my husband.  He is my rock and is wonderful to me. He seems to pick up on the things that I miss. We compliment each other nicely.

I don’t bond with many people, but the people who I do bond with have my loyalty till the end. When you can’t read people and tend to be gullible you have to guard your inner circle. I don’t want to let a snake in the hen house.

My co-workers are all wonderful but unfortunately we are never on the same page. They go out, they dance, they drink (a LOT), they get loud and crazy. None of that appeals to me one bit. They care about brands and dinners at expensive restaurants – I feel like these things are a waste of money. I don’t know how to talk to them because we have nothing in common.

My thoughts are on my mortgage, family, my current obsession, and saving for days when I may no longer be able to work. I can’t throw money away like they do – I don’t have money to waste.

The risk of loosing work is high when you have a chronic illness. If you use too many sick days your boss will fire you. I am healthy enough to work right now but I don’t know if this will always be the case.

There was a time years ago when I was sick 3 days a week – the beast. I fear it’s return more than anything.

I am “disabled” but not on any disability. I don’t have supports other than my husband’s care. I’ve been disabled to the point where I really could not live a good life before – it was horrible and I never want to do it again.

If I get sick I will lose my job and my home. More than anything my home is my safe place. Living in apartments was hell with my sensory sensitivities. Maintenance men insisting they have to fix something are not something I can deal with on high sensory days – neither are loud neighbors.

Having my own place is essential to my mental health and having a job is essential to having a home.

I also spend more out of my own pocket for medical expenses than most people. Almost every doctor I need to see is always a specialist who is “out of network”. I don’t get all the recommended medical things done because the costs have gotten ridiculous.

I have to eat organic and gluten free because the chemicals and gluten make my stomach violently ill. I am chemically sensitive – something that is common in people with AS that I speak to.

Money is always tight but we are getting by. I am trying my hardest to keep everything in balance.

All I can do is take care of myself and hope for the best.

I LOVE MY READERS!

I Just have to say that I LOVE my readers! I have the best readers, such an engaged audience. You always supply positive and enlightening conversations. I am grateful for each and every one of you – even those of you who don’t comment.

Please – join in on the conversation!

Thank you all so much for your continued support. Without the readers this blog is nothing.

With Love,

“Anna”

Autism & Employment – Could You Stand the Rejection? – The National Autistic Society

“Thousands of Autistic people are shut out of employment. Their skills are going to waste” 

Do I need to say anything else? This is a HUGE problem in our community.

I was very fortunate to have friends get me into my first few jobs as I built my resume. Then I learned in a management class what to look for when interviewing people – so I became the person you want to meet in an interview (at lest in the interview).

My “interview character” is a mask I wear. It is a fake me I call on to get jobs – and she is GOOD.

Nothing makes my anxiety pump more than a one on one conversation with a stranger.

Tip – if your armpits sweat when your are nervous, like mine do EVERY time I have to speak in a meeting – cover them.

Inside I may be freaking out, but my alter ego takes care of the interview. There have been times when I have over-promised and gotten myself in over my head but getting in the door is always the hardest part. This is a skill i learned and it took study and effort.

So many Aspies, who have talents and gifts to offer the world, cannot get jobs due to sensory issues and trouble in social situations. The world needs us but is unintentionally shutting us out.

Please watch the powerful video from the The National Autistic Society – Could You Stand the Rejection?

I can take NO credit for the video but this topic needs to be discussed.

Remrov – Talks About the Spoon Analogy Regarding Energy

The Spoon Theory is an amazing way to explain the energy drain that many Autistic people feel. If I get too low in Spoons I get VERY sick so it is important for me to conserve my energy and avoid too many activities that take away the most spoons.

Some activities take more out of me than others, even enjoyable activities can be taxing on my spoon supply. Socializing and having a full time job uses almost all of my spoons most days. Sitting under florescent lights or being in a loud noisy environment slowly drains my spoons as well.

I limit my social activities and don’t get out on days that I go to work since these take up so much energy.

Also I need time to “regather my spoons”. After I get worn down it takes time to build my energy levels back up. It is extremely important that I have quiet time to recover or I can get stuck in a repeated meltdown / burnout loop.

Looking Back

Looking back on when I started this blog. Reflecting on the discovery of my Autism and the negative things that were all over the Internet.

 

I was worn down and depressed. Eventually, after the shock from all the negativity wore off, I began to look for positive people and articles.

 

Almost everything positive was coming from Aspies. Watching my positive peers helped me to shake off my darkness, but finding all of their videos had been difficult. Search engines seems to prefer big organizations over small blogs.

 

It should be easier for people looking online to find this first hand information – straight from the Aspie’s mouth.

 

We know what we are talking about. 😉

 

I started to collect posts that inspired me and began to look for new inspiring Autistics online.

 

Writing out my feelings helps me to put them into words.

 

It’s funny, despite being told that I am a fairly decent writer, I do not think in words in a very typical sense. Really I am a more visual thinker.

 

I can type out words if left alone to think, but having another person around can send my words flying out the window. Typing is therapy. Speaking is work.

 

This therapy saved me as I collected videos and articles that I wished I would have seen early in my Autism journey.

 

I wanted to create a life preserver. If you happen to be lucky enough to find me, you will also find the biggest collection of links to other amazing Autistic people online.

 

Nobody should drown in negative information. I hope that you use this site as a lighthouse in the dark. Shining the paths to many amazing voices.

 

With love,

“Anna”

Anger – Asperger’s Girl Anja Melissa Explains

I don’t talk about my anger issues any more. They are behind me now and I don’t like to dwell on negative things in the past.

When I was younger I was much more explosive and even experienced the blind rage described in the video below. I’ve overcome these difficulties, with much work. Anger is a toxic emotion and I am happier when I don’t allow it to get the best of me.

Now my one HUGE pet peeve is – I HATE when someone changes my plans or interrupts me in the middle of a planned activity.

I instantly have an internal explosion of anger in my head like an atomic bomb when this happens. Its a knee-jerk reaction that I cannot. These feelings are held inside behind a smile or a downward gaze and an inhale or sigh.

I don’t know why it happens but it is distressing and illogical. I know I should not be upset by an interruption but I can’t help the way my adrenal gland fires before my logic kicks in. Something in the way I am wired. It is nice to hear that I am not the only one.

I love Anja Melissa‘s YouTube channel! Please check her out, like her videos and subscribe to her channel. She’s doing good work making these videos and educating the world.

Recommended Reading

All of the following titles can be found either on Kindle or Audible – Yes I have read or listened to every one of the following books personally.