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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Everything Is Starting To Make Sense Now ...



My oh my, how things have changed since I wrote my first post on https://aykayem.wordpress.com/ !
(which is where I posted this, a few days ago, and where I might keep blogging, because Blogger is getting really really annoying :)

At the time I started that Wordpress blog, I (thought I) was happily married, I seemed to have a good life, and a job that even though it didn’t pay to well, it was one I liked … and the hours were good and the pay was enough with what my husband earned as well … I thought my life was relatively normal … and I had a place in the world, even if I achieved nothing else in life, it now didn’t matter, as I was the mother of my children 🙂
Maybe I was not quite where a younger me had hoped and dreamed I might be, but it was ok …

 … but I was not ok … I guess I never really was … that started to become all too evident when things started to unravel … I guess my life had been unravelling a bit for some time … but the first I noticed anything wrong, apart from a niggling feeling that I wasn’t totally happy, but I couldn’t work out why, was the day my (now ex) husband came home early from work and announced that he was leaving me, as he packed up his things – said had decided we would be happier apart … turns out he was actually right about that … just an … interesting … way of doing things …
At the time I then realised that things had not been right for quite a while … but at that stage I just thought it was him, and the fact that we had not been right for each other … we weren’t … but it turns out there was a lot more to it than just that …
I probably don’t need to do a whole long blog post all about what happened next/since then … I blogged it overhere ... at aykayem.blogspot.com … and I think I am going to copy those posts in here, to this to my Wordpress blog, if it works … (By all means, feel free to follow that link and go and read them all)
 … except I will say that when he left early in 2013, I realised I had not been happy for quite some time, and I started picking up the pieces of my life, and rebuilding … I cleaned up, packed up, and sold “our” house, and bought and moved to my own house, and I was looking for a better job … I was told I was coping really well, and I felt like I was doing fine … but there was one crucial price of the puzzle missing … in fact it had been missing for many, many years … and things stopped getting better, and started getting worse … until last year, when I started to realise that something was not right, but couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong, and I spiraled into a mess of anxiety and depression, and ended up falling apart …

 But now, this year, at 54 years of age … I have found that missing piece of the puzzle that I am …

 … after a lifetime of feeling alien and different and confused, I have finally found somewhere I fit in, somewhere I belong – and I am actually happy to say that I have joined the ranks of the “late diagnosed Aspies”

 Yes – I – who went to university, served in the Army, married and had kids, became involved in all sorts of stuff in the community, and has worked in the same job for about 18 years, until I finally “broke” – am actually Autistic …

 … and I am now in the … interesting … process of finding my true self 🙂

 

Another futile attempt to post "Everything Is Starting To Make Sense Now...

Everything for Blogger, it seems ... Which is annoying me no end... So feel fred to ignore this and/or just go follow the link at the bottom :)
...several attempts to save posts as drafts and have either the Android or iPad app not lose them is annoying... especially when I only have to do that because the apps don't do things I need to do (simple things like adding links or putting photos where I want them) but the on-line editor does not work properly on either Safari or Chrome on my iPad... Which is why, last week, I decided to try posting the [now not] below post on WordPress... It worked ok :)
So... now trying to decide if I should just blog there...
I also tried to post this [the post this WAS going to be] yesterday and the Blogger app lost it... currently arguing with blogger again... I copied in the text from WordPress, and a couple of the photos, again, and saved it as a draft, on my phone ... and have just logged in to blogger on the Web browser on my laptop... Which doesn't think it exists... so I am adding this whinge, on my phone... and am about to see if it will lose it, or still not show up in blogger on my laptop, or actually work...

Nope... not working... think the photo links were broken too... gave up and deleted it because I can't be bothered making it work... I might try again doing it all on my laptop... but in the meantime, or if Blogger won't even do that... the WordPress post is at https://aykayem.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/everything-is-starting-to-make-sense-now/

... now I just have to work out the idiosyncrasies of that particular platform and make that blog look a bit better... sigh...

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Doctors and Psychiatrists and Psychologists and ...

... Specialists and Therapists and a case manager or 2, a Rehabilitation Provider, and a Lawyer, and who knows who else I have forgotten/am not yet sure about, who I can add to the list of people I have had appointments/met/etc with lately ... or might be seeing soon ... 

In the last 12 months I think I have seem more medical professionals than the whole rest of my life ... maybe not quite, but it sure feels like it ... I seem to have been plunged into a whole new world, that I knew next to nothing about ... 

So why am I Drowning in Doctors/etc? ... Long story ... which involves falling apart, and then being Diagnosed with a Disability I Didn't know I had (and have had all my life) and a mental health Disorder that I don't quite know how long I have had, or how long it will last ... 

(If you want to know more, you can Delve into some of my last few blog posts - most of them explain a bit more about all that :)

I guess the positive side of being Diagnosed as Autistic/Aspie, and also Diagnosed with "Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety", is that I can have a lot of fun trying to Describe myself :)

... which is a pleasant change from my school/teenage years when other people had fun Describing me ... and most of the Descriptions/names were rather Derogatory (Dumb, Dopey, Disturbing, Disgusting, ... and that is only one letter of the alphabet! ... Doing D words because that is the letter we are up to with ABC Wednesday :)

[Later edit: Well, we were when I started Doing this post ... being busy, then Blogger not playing nice, has meant I seem to have missed the Deadline ... but now that I have Done this post I am going to "Deliver" it to my blog anyway ...]

At school, I also got called retard, and a few other things that meant much the same thing...

Mind you ... I Did Do a few crazy things to earn some of the names I was called ... like eating raw sausages in front of everyone else (as in a whole school of about 800 students!) who were waiting for the end of year BBQ to be cooked, always picking up creepy crawlies, and taking home the lens out of the eye of the mouse I Dissected in Science class ... not to mention turning up to school every day for who knows how many weeks in grade 6, wearing a pair of antennae I had made out of wire ... and also still wearing them to quite a few other places for quite some time after that ... because my hero was not someone most people liked, like Roy Rodgers or Batman or Barbie or Superman - it was Uncle Martin from the TV series My Favourite Martian ... because he was an alien having to cope with being stranded on the wrong planet, and I could identify with that feeling :)

So ... How should I Describe myself? 

Dunno ...

Maybe "Delightfully Different"? 

Will that Do?

(I think I WAS going to use that for the title of this post, but I changed my mind :)

Better than "Disturbingly Different" which, I think, is probably how the other kids at school saw me :)
... and how *some* people still see me now.

Damn ... I seem to have written yet another post that is probably not very interesting ... So ... Here is ... NOT a photo of a nearby Dam, where I often walk my Dog ... and a photo of my Delightful Dog - his name is Diesel ... he even has a Twitter account - @DieselDoggle :)
The 2 Differnt things I spent an hour trying to Do, to add those photos - Didn't work ... So I had a look what was already on my iPad and found a Different photo of Diesel, from almost a year ago, sleeping on my Deck :)

Shhh ... Don't Disturb the sleeping Doggy's Delightful Dreams :)



I gave up on trying to add the other photos that I was going to put in here - because I got sick of arguing with Blogger trying to put them in there from Google photos ... Neither the Android app or the iPad app do all the things I need to actually write a blog post and include a hyperlink and add a photo, and the editor on the website doesn't work properly on my iPad ... in Safari or Chrome ... and I just spent over half an hour adding a photo and editing this, hit the post button and the stupid effing blogger app crashed, signed me out, and lost all the changes - ahrgh! - might be time to move my blog elsewhere? I guess I could copy all my posts over to a Wordpress blog I have, but don't use, and then keep on posting to Wordpress? Pity, because I used to like blogger, when it worked for me ... and moving a blog is a pain ... but posting to blogger has now become more of a pain than moving my blog is likely to be ... 

... I will try and post about something a bit more Exciting for the letter E ... hopefully in a couple Days time - a bit Earlier than I am Doing this D post :) ... I actually Do have something in mind already ... something to Do with a quilt Exhibition I Entered  some quilts in ... something I never Expected, and am not only surprised and Excited about, but also Extremely happy :)

Actually I found out about the thing I am happy about while I was up on Mt Stromlo taking photos in the freezing cold wind and rain, which is probably part of the reason I then ended up taking selfies while Doing a happy Dance in the Destroyed Dome of a telescope ... I was going to say it was Disused - but it Definitely isn't - it seems to be the Done thing to use it to take portraits, wedding photos, photos of motorcycles, and even to have concerts in ... 


I also took a Different photo (Didn't use it here because the movement made it a bit Distorted) where I set the self timer and twirled around until it took the photo ... and ended up feeling rather Dizzy! 
(Erk - a slightly Disturbing feeling - lol)

There are also some other things I thought about putting in here, but I Didn't ... I Decided that maybe I shouldn't say them yet ... partly the "if you Don't have anything nice to say, Don't say anything" thing :)
Also - partly because they are a bit Depressing ... or just Don't really fit ... or require me to Delve in to a lot more Details than I want to go into right now ... and I want to Do a Decent job of explaining a couple of other things, in their own posts, maybe :)
... somehow I Definitely Don't think I can/should really go into too much Detail quite yet, about the Disillusionment of being in the situation I am still in at the moment with work, where all the "red tape" etc. means that things are still happening at the speed of Dark ... let's just say that I am not the only person who is Disturbed and Disgusted at the Dreadful way some things have been/not been Done ... 

... One thing I Do want to eventually write something (more) about is my newly Discovered Disability, and the "Delights" of being *almost* normal ...

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Catching up, and Coming to terms with things ...

Catching up with all the stuff I have been trying to get done? - probably never going to happen ... but hopefully I will get myself sort of a bit more organised ...
Catching up on blogging ... also, something I will probably never keep up with ...
But Catching up on sharing what is going on with me/in my head/etc - is something I Can try and do for you now ... all one or 2 of you who actually read my blog posts :)
This is also my Contribution for  http://abcwednesday.com/ ... which is up to letter C (I have missed a few - oops - another thing I Can't Catch up on if I miss it - and a Couple hours later and I would have missed being able to add my link for the letter C too - I really should be Doing a D post now [er - actually, I SHOULD be sleeping - oops :] ... might Do something (Different?) for D in a Couple of Days ... If I don't get too Distracted - lol)

So where have I been?! - I kind of got busy going to Adelaide for a couple of weeks (and Catching up with some family members I had not seen for many years ... In some cases not since I was a teenager! Also revisited places I used to go as a Child) Then I came back, and Continued my "graduated return to work" (am back to my normal hours now) and kept busy keeping busy ... Geocaching, quilting, etc etc etc ... and reading library books, blogs, etc about Autism and Aspergers - lol
I still don't have a clue where I will eventually end up working ... am currently still in limbo ... being used as an extra body (doing "alternate duties") at the same place I have been for about 15 years ... it has been decided, by "the powers that be" I should not go back to what I was doing ... so they have to find somewhere else for me ... but things are taking time to happen ... all the red tape, etc ... things like this seem to move at the speed of dark - lol

But ... I have been doing a lot of thinking, and Coming to terms with things ...

Who would have thought that, at my age (54) I would be having to come to terms with the fact that I actually have a disability ... but the good news with this is - it is not something I have just acquired - it is, mostly (aside from the whole stress disorder thing that is multiplying some of the effects of it at the moment), one which I have had for all of my life ...
Weird eh?
Am I Crazy? ... no ...
Confused? ... don't know about you, but me - yes ... lol

Just part of the weirdness that Comes from falling apart and then in with all that mess, discovering that part of the reason my whole world Came Crumbling down was that I had been trying to Cope with it all minus one bit of Crucial information ... that I am actually Autistic!
... that diagnosis did not Come as a Complete surprise - I had my suspicions that I may have Aspergers, but had then dismissed them - as I was too social, too vocal, too normal ... or so I thought ... what was so Confusing was the stereotypes that one tends to hear/read about, and the fact that I did not have a Clue just how much it actually Could affect me ... things I never realised/thought of ... like this stuff: https://musingsofanaspie.com/executive-function-series/ and https://musingsofanaspie.com/2013/08/02/procrastination-or-executive-function-fail/

Of Course it also didn't help that a psychologist I saw for Counselling when my ex walked out (in 2013) also told me I was normal - just "a rare personality type" ... when I asked if I might have Aspergers he laughed and said "no, you don't have that - you make good eye Contact and Can Carry on a Conversation with me" ... argh ... and unfortunately an all to Common thing to happen [here is a link to a recent article about why: https://theconversation.com/the-women-who-dont-know-theyre-autistic-80991 ]

Ok ... I typed some of this stuff several days ago, ready to finish typing and post it later ... and I had this bit in there: [copy in some of what I wrote about coming to terms with stuff, here and there in notes]
... I have been typing up these blog post ideas in the notes app on my iPad, and I have also been typing up a kind of "dear diary" type thing every day or 5, with what has been happening, and any thoughts and feelings I can think of/remember ... I have found it quite useful - typing things helps me sort them out better in my thoughts ... a bit like talking about them does ... sometimes I work out what I think/feel about things when I notice myself telling someone! or when it kind of ends up being written here in my notes ... or kind of appearing in the middle of a blog post I am writing - lol
(And some of what ends up in my blog posts starts as things I was writing in my notes :)

Now ... I wonder when I wrote whatever it was I wanted to add in here?

*goes and looks*

I think I was thinking about this:

"It has been an interesting journey/adjustment I have to make ... from always being such a fiercely independent person, to now having to come to terms with just how much help I actually seem to need at the moment ...

 ... and maybe that is (at least partly) why I have been getting myself into so many [emotional] knots about my work situation/Comcare/etc stuff ...?

 Oddly enough - I am now looking forward to possibly seeing an OT, and maybe yet another shrink ... and who knows who else ... and seeing a psychologist again (I already knew I definitely need to do at least that, but now realising I probably do need the all the other stuff as well) ... was always looking fwd to getting some kind of help with skills Assesment/finding out what job I would be best suited to, but now also really interested to find out more about me ... all the things I might have going on/working differently that I have always just thought was normal ... like what problems/differences, if any, do I have with things like proprioception, motor skills, coordination, sensory stuff, etc ... [not to mention all the things that contributed to the problems I was having at work - communication, executive function, social problems, anxiety, who knows what else ... ]

 Just ... still feel a bit weird about it all ... probably because I don't actually know how I feel? lol"

And this:

"It is an odd place to be in ... Knowing that I am highly intelligent and in so many ways so capable ... but yet I am also ... to be quite honest - mentally disabled ...

[the stress disorder alone would qualify me for that label]

Yet somehow ... as confronting and undesirable that label would have sounded to me in the past ... for some reason, maybe because it now has a logical reason/understanding attached, I now seem to be ok with accepting it?!

The odd situation I have read about on blogs/in books - of being so disabled in some ways, yet in others" [most things :] ... not ...

Not sure if I wrote this anywhere in my notes, but definitely something I have been thinking lately:

I am ... Almost normal ... I could probably use that as a title for my blog, or a book ... almost ... but not quite ... I look normal, and often act normal - I even thought I was normal (just not very good at it) for most of my life, and can mostly BE normal ... except those few times ... where I am not ... lol

Oh ... I just found what I already wrote ... I was the beginning of an idea for a blog post for the letter A ... that I never got Around to doing - lol
I think I said it better the first time:

"Almost normal ...
One of the problems with being an Aspie, or having any variety of high functioning Autism, or ADHD/ADD, etc. and probably with a lot of other hidden disabilities too ... is that most of the time one can Appear, Act, and to all intents and purposes - BE, quite normal ... except for those times when one isn't! - when things don't work/one encounters a problem ... and then it comes as a surprise to people, and/or one is expected not to have a problem because "you usually don't have problems" or "everyone else can do that" or "but you are not disabled?" ... when in reality ... I am ...
Some of the time it is quite obvious, but other times not even noticeable - in fact I didn't even know myself, until I was 54!"

Although maybe I should not use "almost"? ... it may imply that I am something less ... when in some ways I am MORE than normal ... as someone else (I think it was Temple Grandin) says: "different, not less" ...

So - maybe I should describe myself as "Delightfully Different"? lol

Or ... I Could just Continue to Call myself "Crazy" ? :)

(Or does that one also have the wrong Connotations? ... when people Call me Crazy I have always Considered it a Compliment - lol

I think this is where I Could also include a quote from the lyrics of a Leonard Cohen song ... Currently my favourite song - (Anthem)

"There is a Crack, a Crack in everything - it's how the light gets in"

I have a "Crack" ... and I want to light up the world!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Turning point?

Have I reached a Turning point?

maybe? ... I hope so ...


A few months ago I just felt confused, and Terrible, and have since spent some Time Trying to sort out my messy mind ... Over The last week or 2 a few people I know have commented that I seem better, more settled, even different ... and yes - I feel a bit less frightened and stressed, and a couple of Things that a month or 3 ago would have sent me into yet another Tailspin of obsession and anxiety are actually not worrying me Too much ...

Although I am slightly worried that this is just an up before the next down ... a lot of my recovery (from the stress disorder) has, so far, been Two steps forward, one step back ... but ... maybe Things are going ok - There is progress, and even if There is a setback, I have survived so far - I am Tough (resilient? stubborn? "D: all of the above"? :) ... so if I fall down, I will just do as I have always done - pick myself up and Try again :)

My parents are down here visiting me (arrived Sunday) and Tonight (Saturday night actually - I wrote this post in the wee small hours of Sunday :) I was Talking to Mum, and she said I seemed different ... different than I had been for many years (maybe even forever) ... and yes ... I guess I do feel a bit different ... I Think ... lol
Possibly I have been way more stressed, for way longer than I ever realised? ... and I know that, despite knowing there are some things I am quite good at, I have had quite low self esteem for as long as I can remember ... but Mum said now I seem more confident ... 
... hmm ... maybe I am?
Maybe now that I know myself a bit better, and know why I have had Trouble with the Things that have been problems for me - I now don't feel so bad about myself, and can be proud of who I am, and how well I have done while spending my life feeling like I have been fighting an invisible enemy ... (who is now my friend :)
Maybe my diagnosis (and learning more about what it means for me) has given me the serenity I needed to accept the things I can't change, and to change the things I can?

Where once stood a confused and frightened nobody, now stands a proud Aspie :)

... Andrea the Aspie:
awkward but amazing,
weird and wonderful,
peculiar ... and proud!
Terrible at some things, yet Talented at others ...

... Time to be True to myself :)







... Typical - couldn't Think what to write for my ABC Wednesday letter T post - and Then one just kind of wrote itself in my head while I was having my shower - lol
(However Trying To Take a nice selfie To go in here was another matter - I ended up resorting To "here is one I prepared earlier" (Two photos, Taken with self Timer Thingy, on Top of a hill a few days ago:)

And ... because I can - another photo I just Took:

Some sewing ... On left: something I started Today, on right: what I should be working on :)




Thursday, May 18, 2017

So much...

So much I could Say, about So many things?

So many ideas for what to post about, for ABC Wednesday letter S ... mostly (but, Sorry, not all) quite Short, So I might Say Several of them :)

So many things I need/want to do - like catching up with some Geocache logging from when I was in NZ last year, putting all my holiday photos onto the computer/hard drives and Sorting them out, and finishing unpacking and Setting up my Sewing room/etc - (Seeing it is now about 18 months Since I moved in to my own house!) ... and for most of all the time I have had off work - I think I was way too Stressed to be able to actually do that Sort of Stuff ... Sigh

So much fun?
Yes, I many not have got a lot of my "to do" list done while I was off on Sick leave, but I did Still manage to have some fun - it is probably what kept me at least Sort of Sane ... being able to go and do Some fun Stuff, and having a wonderful Dog to do come home to (or do Some of it with :), quite possibly Stopped me from doing Something Silly when my whole world Seemed like it was falling apart and I didn't know why - I was able to take my mind off things and "recharge my batteries" a bit ... So I ended up doing all Sorts of Silly Stuff like Splashing about on lakes in my kayak, bushwalking, Sewing quilts, and Geocaching :)

... So ... this might be a good Spot to Stop and add a few photos ... of Some Stuff I have done recently, and Some Stuff I have found interesting and taken photos of while doing Stuff :)

Slightly bushed?
Silly Selfie :)
Some Silhouetted (or however one Spells that word :) trees that I took a Screen Shot of to use for a design excercise at an art quilt meeting.

Strange tree.
Strange person in tree :)
Spikey tower
Some books I borrowed from the library
(a bit of light reading?! :)
Silvery raindrops, twinkling on my tree
Sunset, Somewhere I went walking to Search for (and found :) a Geocache. 
Strange artistic fence post...
Somewhere down there is a river (where I found the Geocache :)
Some Scribbles on the whiteboard at Canberra Quilters room - we were drawing quilt designs
(mine is the Spikey thing on the left :)
Sleeping dog
(so I let him lie :)
Some trees in a courtyard at work (I am Sitting under a Similar one out by the gate at the moment ... using my laptop on their wifi to add the captions to these photos and post this mess ... and it is raining leaves - they keep landing on my laptop! :)
Somewhere else I went Geocaching :)
S--t!
Smoke (from a controlled burn)
Sky
Smoke - same lot as other photo but a bit later
 ... looks like someone tried to nuke Parliament House and missed :)
Diesel dog, Shredding the rubbish while I was Sweeping the other half of the floor ...
Strange Sky
Same Strange Sky, Slightly different angle.
more Sky
Still more Sky ...
... and the best part, as far as Stress relief goes, about Geocaching (and most of the other stuff too) was not just finding Geocaches, it was all the wandering around in the bush, Seeing interesting things, taking photos (including Several Silly Selfies :) and generally Slowing down my busy mind so it could be Slightly more Still ...

So much Stuff ...
Yes, I collect ... Stuff ... when I was little, very little even, I used to drive my parents nuts - filling my pocket up with rocks and gum nuts and bits of string and wire, and whatever else I had found and decided I wanted to keep ... I still pick up interesting rocks and things ... and my pockets are never big enough for all the Shells I pick up when I go to the beach ...
Over the years I have also collected a huge Sewing/textile art Stash ... Sewing, and other crafty stuff is a "Special interest" I have had, and will probably continue to have, for many years (and yes, there are others - an Aspie can have more than one :)

"Stuff" was also a part of the problems I ended up having at work ... Science equipment and Store rooms full of equipment and supplies and other junk to keep tidy and organised ... when organising is not exactly my strong point ... not when it also involves organising it in a way that also Satisfies Several other people who use it, and having to do all the other things my job entailed, all at the Same time. It was nice to be able to play with all Sorts of fun Science Stuff, and I kind of miss that ... but I just wasn't So good at Sorting out all the ... Stuff ...

Science is fun ... did I mention having more than one Special interest? - lol - Science is another one ... that and Space, and Science fiction - when I was a teenager I used to read about 4 books a week ... at least 3 were Sci Fi novels ... and the 4th one usually was too ... I think I read every Sci Fi book the public library had :)
... I guess, even though I am not sure the word was even invented yet - I was a nerd?!
One odd thing though ... Space invaders was a thing when I was in my late teens ... but I never actually played it! ... Something about not wanting to Spend 20c to sit/stand and push a button in a vain attempt to "kill" Some pretend Space Ships ...? That, and I didn't like doing things unless I knew I could actually do them (which is why I quite happily did stuff like climbing up trees, but only if I knew I could safely get down again :) ... and, with space invaders (or any of those kind of games/etc) - me actually pressing the buttons at the right time so my "missiles" would actually hit their target, with me being as uncoordinated as I was - I just knew that was not going to happen - lol

So Social ...
Yes - I actually like meeting people/doing stuff with people and Socialising (although I think quite a few of those I have Socialised with would probably preferred I didn't - as I have been described as things like having been "vaccinated with a gramophone needle" ... and "weird" and "(annoying" ... and probably worse...) , the whole Seeking Social Stuff thing is Something which Sort of confuses me - and it was one of the reasons that even though I had, Several years ago, Suspected I possibly had Aspergers, I really didn't think I quite fit all the criteria ... besides - how could an Aspie be Such a Showoff/Seeker of attention as I can be?! But yes - it Seems that is quite possible ... there is Such a thing as an Aspie Extrovert - lol

Settled?
Or at least Slightly more So? ... I have had a few people mention to me, in the last Several days, that I Seem to be more Settled than I was last time they saw me/a few weeks ago ... Somehow I think they might be right ... could be a Sign that I am finally Sorting my messy mind out Slightly ... although - Same as my Sewing/etc stuff - I am not sure it will actually ever be nice and neat and tidy - lol

... I wrote that last bit just now, but a week or 2 ago I wrote this:

Small Steps?
Maybe getting Somewhere ... but Still a long way to go ...
... Stress is a weird thing.
none of this has been Smooth Sailing ... but maybe the storm is passing now?
things are Slightly calmer ... Sometimes ...
... and it will take Some time to Settle down/recover/return to Some Semblance of a "normal" Settled life ...
... probably once I have finished doing the whole graduated return to work thing, and the whole "apply for a transfer" thing can happen, and I get a new position Somewhere ... or not ... and hopefully end up in a Job more Suited to me ... but who knows what, or when that will be ... Sometime ... I will do/be ... Something ... I guess ...

... Seems it is time to Start the rest of my life?

... Maybe even time to reach for the Stars?

:)


... but right now? - off to find my daily Geocache ... think I am up to about day 400 in a row now (if day 400 is not today it is/was Sometime this week ... I was going to go for a month or so, then decided "until I go to NZ" but I kept going there and decided to do a whole year ... but then I kind of didn't know how to Stop :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Recovering? ... slowly ...

... and Re writing what I Remember of what I was going to write for ABC Wednesday letter Q post as my letter R post ... after Blogger was Really annoying and lost what I had spent ages typing ...

There is Rather a lot of odd mental health stuff in the first part of this post - so if you Really would Rather not Read that bit - feel free to scroll down a bit ... the fun stuff starts just before the photos :)

Re the title ... Yes, I am still Recovering from all the mess in my mind ... "Adjustment disorder with anxiety" is what the medical certificate says ... "Work Stress", or something like that, is what I have been calling it when I tell most people about it ... the Really strange situation I have found myself in ... which I have been blogging about Recently ... which Resulted in the Revelation that I have Aspergers.

The whole thing has been Rather confusing, yet interesting, all at the same time ... and Results in so Rather odd and surprising Realisations of things I didn't know about myself/why I am Reacting to things the way I am ... which can make things get Rather ... er ... interesting ... lol

So what has this got to do with a Quite interesting day I had Recently? ... well ... Really glad you asked - lol
(although if you Really don't want to Read all about my mental health/etc - feel free to scroll past that and Read about my Relaxing afternoon and a Rather fun evening :)

The day started with a visit to my GP, with my case manager (for work) ... to do a Review of my graduated Return to work (which I started a couple of weeks ago) ... 

He asked how I felt and I told him ... the actual work seems to be the only thing I felt was going ok (and even that - I am not 100% sure about!) ... with everything else I had been feeling like I was getting nowhere and still feeling just as stressed, and overwhelmed ... and strange and confused and lost and worried ... and depressed? (Can't really tell what I feel ... just like ... something ... everything? ... is not right ...?)
We had a good talk, and he reassured me that I was allowed to feel like that, but I should try and just worry about now now, and later ... later ... easier said than done - lol - but he told me to keep doing what I am - going to quilting group, and Geocaching/etc to unwind/take my mind of things, etc ... and when I told him that when I got upset/stressed at Uni I would listen to Pink Floyd with the volume up really loud he even suggested I do that when I get home and have things I need/want to get done (tried that on Saturday night - it did make doing a sink full of dishes much more enjoyable :)
We also all had a bit of a laugh when I mentioned that maybe I was now having trouble adjusting to having adjustment disorder ;)
I felt a bit better after that ... 
... then after talking for a bit (about workers compensation forms) with the case manager it was time to dash off to see my Psychologist ... who I had been feeling like I was having trouble communicating/connecting with (part of why I felt I was not actually getting anywhere with all this stuff) ... a text message I sent (to a close friend) kind of explains what happened there - I copied the relevant bit:

...I am doing ok... or at least ok for an Aspie with a stress disorder... lol... still discovering things about myself/what is going on with me that kind of make me wonder if I should tell myself I am an idiot and do that *head desk* thing - lol ... The most recent one being on Friday, when I saw the psychologist and realised I somehow had 2 different copies of the stuff I was going to ask him about and neither of those contained the thing I remembered i wanted to ask, and I kind of got all confused and befuddled, and then we talked for a bit and it finally dawned on him (and therefore also me) that the times when I kind of feel like I have been tying myself up in knots about things and/or feeling confused and overwhelmed and unsettled... is actually the Aspie/me version of anxiety!... and I was totally unaware that was what it is/what anxiety feels like (because - Aspergers... means I have trouble actually figuring out my own emotions... and if it wasn't so darn inconvenient it would be funny :)
... but now that, at last, my psychologist finally seems to "get me" and now I understand a little bit more about my crazy mixed up emotions and stuff, I actually feel a bit better than I was feeling for the last week or 3 :)
...so now I am wondering what weird thing I am going to get tripped up by next - lol

Really?! ... it didn't occur to me that what I felt like might actually be anxiety?! ... when that is part of the name/label the doctor has given my stress disorder? Ahrgh - lol - yes, it all sounds a bit Ridiculous now ... but I guess that is mostly because my mind is so darn messy at the moment ... 
(and that whole bit where I kind of got flustered and sort of froze ... think I have felt that before ... and the more I think about stuff like that - the more questions I have ... sigh)

Anyway ... that was not my whole Friday - that was just the morning!

After I had seen the Psychologist, I just had time to head in to town for a lunch time talk all about Renewable hydrogen ... Not sure how much of it I Really listened to though - I was a bit distracted by stuff going around in my head - lol
But I did enjoy the egg sandwiches and the glass or wine! (wasn't expecting that, but who am I to say no? :)

Then I sat in my car for a few minutes to have a look what Geocache to find for my daily find (nearly 400 days in  row now :) and noticed a nearby puzzle one that I figured I could solve - so I decided to do that ... a few minutes of fiddling (which involved saving a photo to my phone and then finding and downloading a phone app to view the exif information on it) and then all I needed to do was go for a walk part way up a nearby hill and find the cache ... it was in a tree ... and there was quite a lot of room in the tree ... so - yes - I just had to sit in the tree and take a selfie :)


as usual, I took a pile of photos ... even got one of that Nexus thing from Star Trek - lol
(and no - I didn't try to jump up and leap into it - why would I want to go there? - I think my real life is fine for now :)



... but - because it was so nice up there - I did sit on a nice soft bit of ground and do a 10 minute mindfulness meditation session with an app on my phone (something my psychologist suggested I try out - 10 free  dailysessions, with an app called Headspace)

After taking a few too many odd photos (I will spare you all the silly selfies :) I then noticed it was time to dash down the hill and head off to the art exhibition opening I had been planning to attend ... 

The Art exhibition was quite enjoyable - I had fun wandering around the gallery looking at art, while nibbling on nuts, fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. and drinking a glass of wine - lol

Then, as I had planned earlier, I walked over to the nearb yshopping mall to buy a new electric jug/kettle (my old one had died a day or 2 earlier) ... I also ended up with an armload of T shirts ($3 each, and I needed a couple more nice new ones for next Summer anyway) and a kitchen gadget ... and, despite having an armload of shopping to carry, I decided to head back via the car park where some sneaky sod had recently hidden a Geocache, to have a quick look and see if I could be sneaky enough to find it :)
... a bit of a look up the top, nothing found ... headed down the nearest stairs, which went right to the bottom - nobody around so I had a good look there, bent down and had one last look around the bottom of the stairs before heading up to try the next level, and stood up to find myself face to face with someone who I had not even heard coming down the stairs ... Oops? ... was just wondering what he must be thinking when he asked if I was looking for it too - yes - another Geocacher :)
Turns out he was there looking, and had been a few times, and had determined that it may be up in a place where only a ladder and/or a monkey could reach ... so he was waiting for someone else to arrive with a ladder ... so I waited with him ... and the somebody (2 more Geocachers) arrived, and ... all ideas of being stealthy out the window - we carried the ladder over to the spot, and I climbed up and sure enough - there it was :)
So .. 4 Geocachers with a ladder - what else would we do but decide to go find another cache that required the use of a ladder - a cache up a tree ... I had actually found that one already (without a ladder too :) , but happily went along in case they needed my climbing skills ... it was an easy climb so one of the others decided he would do the climbing ... but they were happy to take me up on my offer to climb up and fetch 2 much harder tree climbing caches nearby, which I had also found previously ... but I enjoy climbing trees - and they enjoyed watching me - lol 
Then we all decided to head in to town and find another tree cache - this time one I had not found before (but had stood underneath and looked up at, and decided I was not feeling quite up to it at the time, and would come back with my nice long folding ladder and get it the easy way :)
On the way we went past yet another tree cache - a very easy climb, and one I had hidden - lol - No ladder required, but we went because 2 of the group figured the 4th person would enjoy it ... he did ... and it was quite weird standing there watching someone else find my Geocache :)
We then headed over to the one none of us had found ... and, even though the ladder we had with is was way too short to do what I had been planning, I decided I was game to give it a go this time, seeing I had someone with me for safety (oh - ok - I admit it - seeing I had someone watching me, to show off to :))
So ... up the ladder I went (could have scrambled up without one, but ladder was way easier) and on to the big horizontal branch one has to walk (or crawl/whatever) across ... no - I am not that well balanced/confident, so I did what a lot of people have done and sat astride the branch and wiggled my way along until I was at the vertical branch where I had to stand up and reach the cache from up on that ... signed our names, sat back astride the big branch and wiggled my way back and down ... and felt extremely satisfied that I had done it the proper way instead of "cheating" and just climbing straight up to it with my nice long ladder ... 
By the time we got back to the shopping mall where we had all met, it was after Midnight!
... We all had lots of fun ... I know I did ... and the next evening when I looked down at my legs after having a shower I noticed they were covered in all sorts of odd looking bruises, that I don't have a clue exactly how I got ... lol (if I am having too much fun I don't notice when I do little ouchy things like that - I always know I must have had a good time doing something if I have bruises and/or scratches/missing skin - lol)

Oh ... And a couple more R things I just Remembered (actually got Reminded, when I found them in notes, on my iPad :) that I had wRitten somewhere else (probably before I wrote most of the other stuff) Ready to include in here:

A few more R words?

Relieved ... to now know what I am/why things went so "pear shaped" with work/etc ... 

Repeat ... Now I think about it, the same kind of thing has happened most of my working life? Not to anywhere near the same extent, but mostly because I have not worked in any other job long enough for it to build up to that? ... Mostly I have left/moved for other reasons, like only temporary work, leaving town, getting posted elsewhere, having kids, etc.

Realisation ... that my life is probably never going to be easy ... but that is ok ... I am well and truly used to that - lol 




Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Quite Annoyed...

... because the other day I spent Quite a long time (at least 2 hours, when I had other things I should have been doing) typing up a quite long  ABC Wednesday letter Q  post about Quite a weird day I had on Friday ... It started off Quite strange, got Quite scary even, but Quite interesting ... then the middle part Quietened down, then became Quite fun ... the first part of the day had Quite a bit to do with all the crazy stuff going on in my head, the middle was mainly doing a few nice things, then the last few hours were Quite lot of fun that resulted from Quite a random and unexpected Quirk of coincidence ...
If I can remember what I wrote, I might Rewrite it as an R post :)

Before that I was thinking of posting about Quilts I have made/half made/started/thought up ideas for/whatever ... But I need sleep ... I WAS just going to Quickly add photos to the already typed up draft I HAD and post it ... sigh ...

But I will still add a photo or 2 ... I only had one photo from Friday that I was going to add ... as well as one from Sunday - my hair is Quite short now (almost too short, but a week or 2 of growing and it should look Quite good :) ... It was getting Quite messy looking so I attacked it with the clippers - lol

And below those 2 photos ... some Quirky trees I saw on Saturday, and a Quiet hill top I ended up on, on Sunday ... it was Quite nice up there, but unfortunately I think the Geocache I was up there looking for might be missing ... so I detoured a bit further up the road and Quickly dashed into somewhere else and found another one instead :)



Friday, April 28, 2017

Progress... I think?


This Peculiar Post is Partly the result of me typing a long text message and realising I can use it as the basis of a blog post for ABC Wednesday letter P :)
I had something else in mind, but that hinged on my having done something else by now, but I Procrastinated too long and will have to Post about that one later...

Progress?... Sort of, I think ... I am somewhere in the middle* of recovering from a mental health condition... (which is also what lead to my recent diagnosis of Autism... both if which I have sort of explained in a few recent blog posts)
(*"middle", in this case, meaning some unknown point somewhere in between the start and end - because unfortunately, as much as I would love to have this all fixed and over with by tomorrow, I have had to accept that this is one of those "how long is a piece of string?" type of situations)

Lately I have mainly been feeling rather lost and confused and kind of like "me" has been forgotten among all the paperwork and process of having been off work on sick leave, and organising my graduated return to work ... which is something that needs to happen in conjunction with/as part of my recovery... but an accumulation of red tape and delays were becoming rather frustrating, and only adding to my stress (did I mention I have a stress disorder? lol)

Anyway... I think there is finally some sign of Progress - Today was my first "day" (all 2 hours of it - lol) back at work, and I actually spent most of that time... working...
(not at the job I was doing before all this happened, because it has been decided I won't be doing that any more - I am to eventually find some other more suitable Position to transfer to)
There was a meeting I went to yesterday, at work, with those who are organising my return, and then today I started actually doing the duties they have organised for me... and it has all been a rather weird and scary process...
anyway... I decided to send an update to a friend, via text message,  and realised that what I had written was rather Pertinent to Post here... or something Peculiar like that...
I often discover what I actually think about things when I either hear myself telling someone, or read something I am in the middle of writing - lol - Perhaps that is just how I Process things?

Anyway... here is (most of - there was some boring stuff about when I could visit or whatever, and I have added [a few things] too) what I wrote in that message :

Going in yesterday [to the meeting] was a bit of a crazy schamozzle... as was the inside of my head afterwards... I will explain later if one of us remembers I haven't - lol... (short version: mis-communication, = partly, but not all, my fault, resulted in me being tied up in afraid/frayed knots) but today sort of sorted some of that out...
[that particular loop, or a variant thereof, has played out many times recently - the joys of being a #stressedaspie - sigh]

Also I am becoming very aware of just what a strange situation I am now realising I am in... "mentally ill" and "disabled" are very slowly learning to get along in my head with "independent" and "strong" and "intelligent" ... I think I am now working my way through the interesting process of coming to terms with the reality of the fact that all of those things are me...
(and a few other things I couldn't work out if I was or wasn't but thought I could/should be because I have done - like "capable" and "resilient"? Well... I think the answer to those is now "it depends"... On just what it is I am trying to be capable of or bounce back from... but now I know (or am at least starting to understand) why the answer to questions like "am I good at...?"  Or "can I do ...?" is "sometimes" or "it depends..." (because Aspergers is like that...)

My mind is a confusing place indeed :)

Yikes! that was rather deep and meaningful!
... and I thought of most of it while I was typing it!... so thanks [to my friend, and anyone mad enough to actually read my blog posts] for listening and helping me work it out - LOL


... not that I have worked most if it out... and I often feel like I am going nowhere (or even backwards?!) but thinking logically (I think?) about it at the moment, I kind of feel like maybe I might be actually getting somewhere, even if it IS rather slowly, and sometimes feels like I am going nowhere or bashing myself against a brick wall... sigh...

Oh well... 
I am sure there are many more Perturbations to come, and Possible Permutations of how this will all unfold (or unravel?! LOL)
I guess all I can do is continue to try and remain as Positive as Possible, and keep Picking myself up and scrambling back up that rocky slope... and hope that Persistence Pays off...


Perhaps this Post needs a Photo... I don't have any of the mess in my mind (and you probably don't want to see the mess in my house - lol)

*Peruses Photos for Possibilities*

Yes - that reminds me - for those who read this Post and Panic that I may be really unhappy or whatever... I mentioned being Positive - it has got me through so far - things happen/go on, I worry and stress etc... but I have generally continued to go and do Pleasant things to relax, unwind, gather my thoughts and whatever... a Positive Part of being an Aspie is being able to derive great Pleasure out of Pursuing "special interests"... In other words - doing things I enjoy :)

So... some Photos of some of the Pleasurable, and Probably Peculiar, Pastimes I Partake in:
(and a few other odd things :)

How about a Perfectly complete inside out snake skin (yes, they usually are inside out - because even snakes leave their clothing inside out when they take it off :)  that I managed to Pick up in one Piece right next to a Puzzle Geocache that I found by Pure... er...  Pigheadedness? - I was going to say fluke/chance, but there was some Planning, a lot of "guestimation" about the likely location, and a good deal of Pure Pugnacious Persistence in searching around several likely geological features on the 45degree sloping side of a Particularly Prominent Hill in Canberra (one with a Pointy tower Poking up from the top ;) ... all because I was Planning on walking Past (to find another cache that was a Puzzle - one I thought I had solved, but when I went there 3 days later I realised I may not have... that, or it is missing - which is also Possible), and I figured if I just happened to find it chance, I could then save the other one to find as my daily next time I was in that area ...  also - Probably part of the Peculiarities of being an Aspie :) - all that that Physical effort actually seemed like an easier, and more fun, option than actually solving that Particular Puzzle :)

The bead bracelets I am wearing, in that photo, are the Product of another of my Pastimes - I am Particularly Passionate about Playing with fabric, fibre, yarn, thread, beads, etc and creating things :)

I could Put captions on all these Photos too, but Perhaps not - blogging with the app on my Phone or my iPad can be a Pain in the Proverbial - so I might just Put them here, and Publish this Post... lol

Down the rabbit hole we go?




This was how I found the snake skin (I managed to untangle and bring it home still in one piece, and it is now in a large jar on top to another one I already had :)
... My Twitter app is as confused as I am?


Fetch?

Yes, nachos with spinach - I wanted to make it healthy :)

These eggs are left over from from Easter ... 2016 ... lol

(OK, so I said I wasn't going to bother doing captions, but I decided to add one and it is working ok on my iPad so I added a few more :)

A page of doodles that kind of grew into a quilt idea or 2, and other things ...
I decided to leave that sheet of notes my case manager (for work) wrote for me underneath there on purpose ... kind of makes an interesting background to the doodled quilt idea sitting on top :)

I rather like this: