I don’t think I’m capable of unwinding. Whether this is due to me being autistic I don’t know. Even recalling the feeling of being completely relaxed seems close to impossible to me, safe for the 5 minutes following waking up in the morning.
How do people do “calm and refreshed”? Is it even a thing? Are people lying to me or is it just something that I am not meant to feel?
Maybe I have felt so but just cannot remember any more.
“Turn off your mind” is like a nonsensical allistic proverb to me. How is that even possible? If I were to turn it off, I’d be dead. It’s supposed to be working. How do you NOT think?
“Watch a good film” - if it’s good, my mind will be working overtime
“Enjoy a good cup of tea” - with nerve meds? it tastes bad and it doesn’t kill my thoughts.
“Go for a walk” - what, out where there’s people and sun and noises and stuff?
Perhaps this is all due to my sensory issues. Nothing ever feels “neutral”.
I am either sleeping or hyper-alert. There is no in-between.
Sigh ~ I wish I were a cat. Cats are so mellow… and adorable.. they’ve really got it all figured out.
Also I had my cat shaved today :D Feast upon his Persian belly!
Thank you all for your answers regarding your sleeping patterns. :-) You guys are awesome.
The reason I asked was that my mum told me, as many have before her, that my problems with falling asleep was due to my ‘oversleeping’. I sleep approximately 10 hours a night, and though I often wake up in the early hours, I don’t feel ready to wake up.
I am going through yet another depression, but it seems to me that I have been needing more sleep since my very deep depression 4 years ago. Even when I’m not depressed (it happens sometimes, like 3-4 months a year) I still feel like I need a lot of sleep in order to function.
When I was a child I could do with 3-4 hours a night, but not anymore.
It kinda feels like my mind is ‘broken’ in some way. That I’m more fragile and that I’m not sleeping as deeply as I used to as a child.
I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who sleeps a lot and suffers from insomnia/bad sleep in general. Hope that doesn’t make me sound too horrible. <___<
Listening to one’s body seems important to me. When I feel like I’m ready to get up earlier than I do now, I will. But if that never happens, trying to force a ‘normal sleeping pattern’ upon ourselves seems a bit cruel, though I suppose it can be necessary.
Despite the fact that I still don’t have a flat (well done, Danish bureaucracy for taking almost a year to process a single case), I am currently preparing myself for moving out… again. In my case that means lots and lots of cooking-consideration.
I am not exactly a master chef. I am about as skilled in a kitchen as a squirrel on meth. Also the mere thought of going grocery shopping and timing and preparing the food wears me out to such an extent that I’ve often been too tired to cook anything at all. Thank God for having a mum who helps me not starve!
I’ve tried everything! I’ve tried to beat my food into submission, I’ve pleaded with it, I’ve cried and rolled around on the floor and the food just doesn’t happen. Something does happen, but it’s not food.
Nanna cooking fact: I have once melted a taco shell. Not burned it, MELTED IT. I didn’t even know you could do that.
If I had been a millionaire I might have had food delivered every day, but I’m not and quite frankly; I’m not that fond of fast food.
Me being autistic has quite a lot to do with my lack of cooking skills. My executive skills are, mildly put, rather poor. Cooking involves preparation, timing, planning and a whole lot of gefühl!
And cooks books are basically no help! Simmering isn’t very specific. How small do the bubbles in the hot water have to be before it’s simmering? Chop finely? How fine is finely?! Low heat? LOW HEAT?! 20 degrees Celsius is pretty low heat, but is it too low?
COOK BOOKS: WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
Even stuffing food into an oven breeds complications: there are different levels in an oven for different situations apparently. And you have to take the kind of oven you have into consideration. I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF OVEN I’VE GOT. IT’S AN OVEN. It does oveny stuff.
Most people seem to take their basic cooking skills for granted. For me it’s not only hard, it’s like university mathematics with a dash of advanced ancient greek, and I’m supposed to do this almost daily?
This is my biggest difficulty in regards to being an independent adult. I know a lot of autistic people have problems with food, but some are really excellent cooks and I wish they’d share their secrets with me, but I fear I wouldn’t understand it anyway.
Oh well, at least I can cook pasta… sometimes..
There are many positive aspects to the whole ‘autism awareness movement’. It means not having to begin at Adam and Eve every time you’re trying to explain your needs/behaviour/differences that stem from your neurology. The general public know the word, but when it comes to the people, the and the science behind it most seem to know very little if anything at all.
Let’s get one thing straight; if you are not autistic you are not fit to speak on behalf of autistics. No, not even if you’re a parent. Living with an autistic person doesn’t make you an expert in autism.
Now, as I’m sure many on the spectrum have noticed, some allistics have taken up this ‘adorable’ habit of using autism as a personality trait (‘haha I totally didn’t know what to say to ___. I’m so autistic!’) and the source of casual, ableist ‘humour’.
Even if it’s said jokingly you are not qualified to make such ‘witty’ remarks if you don’t know what it’s like to be autistic. Autism is not just a word. It is not a character trait. It is a different neurology and unfortunately a neurology that is far from welcome in our modern world. In a fast-changing world built on flexibility and adaptability, autistic people like myself find the pressure hard to bear.
Add to that the movements of parents, relatives and ignorant ‘well-meaning’ people and organizations that seek to ‘cure’ us, who compare our way of processing information and viewing the world to be the equivalent of diabetes and cancer, who portray our very existence as a tragedy and you might understand why mocking us or misusing the word that is such a fundamental part of our lives, whether we choose to adopt the word as a great part of our identities as well or not, is not okay.
It is not okay to pretend you’re autistic if you’re not.
It’s not okay to make us the butt of your jokes.
It’s not okay to regard our opinions as invalid.
We are constantly told by people who do not listen, that we lack empathy (some do and that’s fine, but some allistic people do too).
We are constantly told that we need to adapt to systems within society primarily built by allistic people who accuse US of being inflexible. Surely, as the ones who claim adaptability as one of their common traits, it is not fair to require the same of ones that are UNABLE to meet those requirements due to a difference of neurology. If allistics insist on calling us the rigid ones they must first prove that they are capable of creating the room for others to exist on their own terms, lest they decide to adopt the same open rigidness themselves.
Living in Denmark I’ve often found it excruciatingly hard to meet the demands of the county, the government and the general public. My way of being seems to be inherently wrong in the eyes of others. Not that they view me as a bad person, but my way of being is simply not accepted. It seems to be very difficult for others to believe that I DO know myself, I DO know my own needs and I’m NOT making up excuses just to avoid meeting their precious demands.
Some on the spectrum adapt better to their surroundings than others. In my case I most certainly belong to the ‘others’ category. My sensory issues and general frailty of mind means that I have very little energy for anything. I cannot work. I cannot. End of discussion.
Why would anyone think that I wouldn’t if I could? I dreamt of going to Cambridge, I dreamt of becoming a professor of English literature. I dreamt of nights of slaving over dusty books and living in a small attic flat working my butt off. I am ambitious by nature, but also depressed, anxious and prone to pushing myself beyond what I have the energy for.
I have spent over half of my life being depressed, not sad, not a little down, clinically depressed. I’ve been in different kinds of therapies since I was eleven. I’m on medications. And still ‘experts’ repeat the same advice I’ve listened to my entire life: ‘eat healthily’, ‘go to bed early’, ‘exercise’, ‘maybe it’s your attitude’, ‘what if you just pushed yourself some more’. Not helpful.
I am autistic. I do not wish to be cured. I wish my depression would be treated as an actual illness (which it is). I wish ignorant people would shut their gob and realize that their words have consequences. I wish I wasn’t constantly criticized for ‘ruining the fun’ when calling people out on their damaging ableism.
I wish there wasn’t a need for autistic people to stay strong and vigilant in order to demand common respect when faced with mistrust and horrible, demeaning accusations and hurtful jokes.