self-managing my time

We all have key roles to play when it comes to protecting our own health but all self-care, self-management, and self-parenting are, is becoming aware and being able to treat and manage your own mental health and wellbeing. To begin self-care it has to be initiated by the individual who requires it by managing their self and time better.

Time is the greatest resource we have that there never seems to be enough of or it passes too quickly. It is how we measure the passage of time representing the present as being between the past and future. There is nothing we can do to slow it down or get more of it, we have as much or as little as life presently allows, so making the most of it is vital.

Time is a continuous process of progression from the past, through the present and into the future. All we can do with the time we have is to get the most out of it. There are many ways where one goes about getting the most out of their day but without time management skills, you may be setting yourself up for failure time and time again.

We all want to accomplish more, procrastinate less and free up time for non-work related activities such as family days out or personal care.

Planning is a must to get the most effective use out of your time. Self-management involves time management so planning your day the night before, writing down things you need to do the next day and the steps it takes in order to accomplish the tasks and goals you need to achieve, could be more beneficial.

Gathering any information like phone numbers, paperwork or items required so you’re prepared and less likely to forget something allows for better organisation. The best tips to improve time-management consists of delegating, planning and prioritising, setting goals to work towards or that are achievable, meet deadlines, stay organised, find your productive time and minimise stress.

Sometimes we don’t notice where we are wasting time (procrastinating) or bringing on unnecessary stress by trying to juggle or take on more than we should. Self-care is often the time that is first to go and when this happens a sluggish cycle is likely to take its place, altering your mindset to think, act or behave differently.

We can put ourselves off doing any task for many a cluster of reasons, you may not know where to start, dislike it, understand it, lack confidence in your abilities to accomplish the task or worry about the outcome. Whatever the reason avoiding it creates anxiety that is getting no one anywhere. This, in turn, has knock-on effects that better management skills could have prevented.

More often than not it is better to just tackle the more worrying or difficult task first while you have the mental and physical strength to combat any unpleasantries that may or may not arise. Sometimes the hardest job is initially starting the task but not always, sometimes determination is the driving force alone that sees you through completion.

A good tip I plan on incorporating into my day-to-day living is prioritising and planning jobs the night before so I at least have some direction the next day. I often find whilst doing the easy or more enjoyable tasks first I’m constantly reflecting on the fact I have the bigger job in the back of my mind, like a dark permanent reminder.

I’m always focusing on the task I’m avoiding for whatever reason making everything seem much more challenging than it really is, creating unnecessary stress that then requires further management to get things back under control.

By prioritising tasks to start with the most difficult, more time-consuming or least pleasant given the environment fits the task, will allow for more effective and fulfilling results. By getting the one that elicits the more energy drainage out the way first will increase your motivation for what lays ahead, making the easy tasks feel that much more manageable and satisfying.

By spending some time looking into what you need to do with your time you may find someone else could do the job more effectively by delegating. They may enjoy it more depending on the skill level for the task in question, reducing the time and energy spent managing and thinking about that task. Therefore time is freed to complete other tasks that may require more skill or attention.

When delegating you must be careful not to consistently or frequently have others complete or help with jobs that you should be doing by yourself. This can create many problems so planning, prioritising and delegating require a balance that is considered manageable for the individual, groups or any other party involved.

A goal is a measurable objective that gives us something to work towards. Goals that are too easy won’t help keep us motivated but the ones that represent a challenge that isn’t too difficult, can. Having specific goals in life creates an order which keeps us motivated and working towards something

By setting goals to improve your time-management you can get a better understanding of what you are able to achieve in a day. You become more aware of your capabilities and what goals may have been too high or low, what was achieved and what wasn’t.

When it comes to organisation have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Have what you use more often closest to you and it may be worth setting aside a little time each day for organising.

You could write to-do lists, shred paperwork you no longer need or ensuring everything is in its place. Having a calendar or day planner can help remember important dates and deadlines.

By planning the time you need and keeping a record you will be less likely to forget or find yourself in the position where you have to drop everything in order to complete the objective.

Poor management of time creates unnecessary stress leading to more problems in the future, that could have been avoided. Stress creates anxiety and worry that can become distracting.

By not managing our time this can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety over completing tasks in a timely manner. To reduce stress we first have to figure out what is causing or creating it.

Is the issue at home, work or about a task or job that needs completing because once you figure out what the stressors are, it can be managed. Now that you know what is causing the stress you need to figure out what parts can be controlled and what can’t, break it down.

There will be some stressors that you can not control so you must either try to come up with a way to exert more control or to simply ignore the issue and focus on the parts of the stressors you can control.

Unfortunately, there will be some stress you cannot control therefore focusing on reducing stress physically would be another step you could take. This entails dedicating time to self-manage oneself by getting appropriate sleep, being physically active and eating a balanced diet that is right for you.

Some tips for improving sleep are to reduce distractions, very dark, quiet, going to bed and waking up the same time every day, avoid caffeine late in the day. Before going to bed try relaxing in a warm bath, listen to soothing music, reduce worry by writing a list of things to do the next day.

A common reason for struggling with time management is because we take on to many obligations because of the feeling we can’t say no.

We do this sometimes when we have little time but want to help others, we feel guilty for saying no or have simply misjudged the time we had.

It may feel good at the time to have said yes but have you considered what the actual commitment is?

How much time, effort and energy it will take?

Is it a good use of your time?

If not you could be agreeing to something that takes much longer than first anticipated, thus creating stress, worry and anxiety unnecessarily, that could have been avoidable and manageable.

For those that struggle to say no even when they know they should there are four steps to try help counteract this problem

  1. offer the other person a reason for why you are declining so as not to cause confusion, or make the other person think you are just being selfish or lazy
  2. Be tactful so as not to cause any hurt or anger.
  3. You could suggest an alternative that takes less time, creating another option.
  4. Say no as soon as possible, don’t take time to think that may create more problems if you know you are going to probably have to say no.

I studied ways of improving time management a few years back and thought I’d share my refresher course for those that may find it of use.  I struggle with my executive function skills when I lack consistency, concentration, and focus.

I need to pay more acute attention in these areas because the way I am managing my time at the moment isn’t very beneficial all round. As I continue to work on my self-management things should improve becoming much more manageable.

source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo by pixabay

Further reading

  1. Taking care of yourself whilst taking care of others
  2. Sympathy and empathy created the literal word empathiser
  3. Looking into the word individual
  4. Saturday 1st September 2018; Splitting hairs between emotions and feelings

To be a rebel, is one who doesn’t fit societies mould of ‘normal’

Words are manmade by humanity to help with understanding, interpreted differently by everyone to help gain more insight and understanding. 

From the day I took my first able breath at 0006 hours, (a Libra in the third Decanate, which is the last sequential sign within the element) to my grand old age of 30 😝 I always have and always will be, a constant rebellion because I don’t fit sometimes, with what is deemed as the ‘norm’.

The reason I say grand old age is because, I once wrote the words contained in another article A letter I wrote a special General Practitioner in Spring 2018, to a special compassionate GP some time ago, in the world of the lost. When all hope had left and I became a vortex of every emotion, my light nearly snuffed.

This man gave me many dynamic perspectives and opened my eyes repeatedly when I had become stuck, somewhat trapped in a self-destructive internal prison.

He has been my hope in humanity, where the specialist or other professionals have otherwise been less successful. Sometimes what we think is helping maybe disabling but I would have been truly lost without the help of my action man and GP.

As both mine and my GP’s cries for help were unable to be answered by my mental health team, I began looking into stress.  After the words written to my saviour, I had an epiphany in a sense, and yes both words are intentionally used and will be manipulated.

I have done so because they are the best fit to describe, even though it sounds overly eccentric.  This gentleman GP has gone with, and against normal procedures and protocols, just looking at the individual.

Never intentionally to rigid or shy to admit someone’s skill may be more useful. He goes out of his way repeatedly, has never given up and never will as his eyes and words shine true, therefore I believe in him.

I have become attached because over the years, time no matter how small plus familiarity has allowed us to build a rapport, on a level different from the norm. (A diamond in the rough)

I was extremely stressed trying to fit, learning how to communicate with everyone else.  It caused me to forget how to communicate to those that mattered most. By shutting them out I did protect, but I still damaged which I am busily repairing now. 

This is extremely difficult when everything is the same but different.  I then began remembering and cementing the fact that you can make it through anything, if, you have one person strong enough for both or all, (and I am) but the ball is always fully in your own court, just depends if you invite me in, or I invite or gatecrash yours. (working on that :-P)

We can all relate to stress but what happens when your stress becomes more intense. One way of relating would be a ‘grip’ stress, which can cause someone to slip into the realm of their inferior function. The inferior function (secondary) is a wee slimy sleeked bugger at times, with a sycophantic influence too your superior function (main), think this is linkable to personality typology which was insightful.

Sometimes I excel at some abilities whilst losing others, whereas at other times I’m balanced and able to achieve equilibrium, well my version anyway, unique to my individual. When I am balanced and if the word fits, my colours are bright and I have control over what I allow others to see. People are absorbed and infatuated when my colours have a positive impact.

When you begin turning them logical, analytical and inquisitive, you can physically feel and see some types of characters brains sending warning signals, at least that is how my peripheral vision sees it in some.

I can see them physically and mentally recoiling as they retreat to protect themselves, with their tail dangling between their legs, trying to work out what is happening.

I am so hard on myself to ensure I learn and don’t repeat the same mistakes, but it is internally killing me and I need to stop it.   This society wants to think its modern, fairy tales of peace, love, harmony, and, acceptance but I beg to differ (one step forward, two steps back).

I rebel against common sense, I rebel against labels that impact and change my life, that is not accurately understood, or misunderstood by any individual involved. I rebel against rigid systems and procedures designed and funded to help individuals like myself….

Heres a revelation and a half that I hope to change, getting access to this so-called “help” could end your journey, not your issues,

There will be many different opinions on that statement, a debatable one I’m sure but it is my perception at the moment, through experience.

Peoples perceived conceptions of life can be crippling to themselves and others around them. My story is an on-going one that is filled with so many past, present, and still yet to come in my future just like every other person.

Society, the majority and minority, together we need to start broadening our understandings and awareness because, ignorance is a choice not a disability.

Because I choose to take the time to educate myself on every aspect possible, to some extent or another given time restraints and resources? That makes others uncomfortable at times as they do not like to think things in certain ways.

Is that a reason to avoid thinking about it because it makes them uncomfortable?

Does that make me the disabled one?

Well, your ignorance and expectations of my tolerance levels will always make me uncomfortable (vice versa) which is an end note to this blog, and onto another future one.

Have you ever heard of a quarter-life crisis? I’d heard of a mid-life crisis but quarter, that was new to me and wish I’d found it sooner, would have saved a lot of time

It happens to us in some sense, when we can become doubtful about our own lives, which is brought on by the stresses of becoming an adult.

The realisation could be that life is too short, that everything may not happen for a reason at all, or that truth and rationality are not governing forces, or even the fact that you will always be the one that loves more.

My quarter-life crisis boiled down to realising that the ideal circumstances I’ve been trying to fit my life into, may not exist.

That’s when I decided I can’t keep waiting, we can’t keep waiting, we owe it to ourselves to live our lives to the greatest and fullest possible ways, within our capabilities.

Whether that’s alone or part of a family, just live because waiting for that person to show up and change our lives just might not happen, so you’ve possibly wasted all that time.  I hope for me and yourself, that we change that.

To read this article click the link Heard of a midlife crisis but a quarter-life crisis, what is that?

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature image by pixabay

Other articles in this section

  1. Catastrophising; worst case scenario at an extreme
  2. New insights and understandings in my journey through, psychological and neurological disorders 
  3. Investigating personality: An INTJ, diagnosed ADHD females personality traits, explored
  4. A trio for self-destruction: self-hatred, anxiety, and depression
  5. A little insight into one’s mental health and wellbeing

 

Taking care of yourself whilst taking care of others

Making or changing things seems a lot harder than keeping the old habits but eventually after it becomes a bit mindlessly repetitively simple, these small changes will become daily occurrences without even thinking about it, with long-term benefits

I believe anything can become a habit or repetitive thing we do, for example waking up every day having breakfast, getting washed, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair and getting dressed, prepared for what the day brings.

Say you are demotivated, depressed or anxious you might forget to take the morning steps you used to. You’re still in your PJ’s, uncaring or motivated with the thoughts of these tasks which only feed the negative feelings further, possibly having no intention of going out that day…

What do you do then?

This is where you have to become mindful whether caring for yourself or another but you have to recognise and become aware of the risks from thinking or behaving this way, that may be damaging or causing error in yourself or another

When we are taking care of something or someone we are paying special attention or effort to ensure it is not damaged, put at risk or error. Care can also be when the local authorities take responsibility for a child instead of the parents, which I have experienced.

Care is the process of protectively minding or being minded, it’s looking after someone, something or self-care. This could bring to life feelings that make oneself become worried or anxious. I came across the word keeper which is associated with care meaning harmony and agreement with.

Care is about control, management, protection, supervision and guardianship to name but a few. When I talk about control I mean the power to influence people’s behaviours or the course of the event.

When talking personally taking control over the way I think, act and behave is removing many restricting factors that a negative mindset once allowed. I’m working hard to change these for those that I care for and those that care for me.

We give this courtesy to our children, partner, friendships and so forth but often never think to give it to ourselves putting ourselves at risk of personal neglect.

So what is care yet again another word with so many surrounding and linking words but is about being bothered or having an interest. By looking more acutely at just one word ‘care’ I have found more answers.

When we are looking after someone or something we are caring or being cared for eliciting feelings simultaneously of worry, anxiety, and affection.

We can become anxious because we are worried or nervous due to unwelcomed things that might have happened or may happen, causing eagerness to have or do something about it.

Trying to keep ourselves or another safe from harm or injury is the hardest protection of all and the one that elicits feelings of fear to name just one, creating a chain reaction requiring care.

Care is a constant supervision where you are continuously carrying out tasks, jobs or work done to ensure everything is completed correctly.

It is a cycle that needs to be on a never-ending loop. I have spent so long trying to become unstuck I jumped of a cycle I never should have, and that is the one where we take care of ourselves as well.

Guardianship is about defending and protecting which sometimes we don’t have someone to do that for us.

Therefore we are required to learn the methods, skills, and techniques to equip us to be able to do that for ourselves and those we are able and those who are willing, to help.

When it comes to any form of care where it’s for someone else, yourself or something else, caution has to be taken to take care to avoid danger or mistakes. We may do this by paying heed in a cautiously sensible way whilst taking special care to take notice and consideration to things that might help.

We could become overly or underly prudent where all that caution and sensibility gets us stuck or shackled. Could be the opposite where a lack of prudence becomes untamed, hoping to be tameable.   This can cause us to worry and become troubled or bothered over unwelcomed things that have happened or may happen.

We can become annoyed and disturbed by this creating stress, anxiety, and tension. Caring for someone, something or someone can be a source of anxiety that is best learnt to manage.

When we are taking something or someone into consideration we are giving it careful thought such as thoughtfulness towards other people or where we take a fact into account when making a decision.

Taking care of ourselves involves all versions and ways of looking at the word care, even the ones I have not included. We have to mindfully look after ourselves by watching over, protecting, tending, or nursing ourselves back to a healthy mind set.

How we handle or deal with this, learn to manage or cope with it all depends on the individual. At the bottom of the article, I will include links to some articles that give more suggestions on how one goes about initiating self-care in more detail, I focused on care more acutely in this writing.

One of the first steps in self-care is being out the door ready each day whether in your comfy or feel good clothes it’s the start to combat a lack of motivation, drive and focus. One of the hardest to motivate is depression, anxiety or self-critical behaviour but forcing oneself to do these actions is a must.

You can access an article here A trio for self-destruction: self-hatred, anxiety, and depression on these mental health problems.

Some of the therapeutic activities I came across entailed personal-care as a highly important aspect to care. Relaxation could be anything from going for a walk, listening to music or yoga which I tried and enjoyed but lacked consistency.

Keeping your body fuelled and hydrated healthy through a well-balanced diet will give you the strength to get through your day. It allows you to keep physically and mentally active which is another tip I’m always reading about. Doing these each day will help with trying to get enough sleep by physically and mentally keeping yourself stimulated throughout the day leading into your evening.

Mindfulness is about paying heed, becoming aware and recognising what’s around you in all areas able. Learning how to take your own feelings into consideration alongside how others feel is a skill one can learn to improve that benefits all. An inner balance is achievable by recognising and accepting where needs work and where you already have the skills.

Getting out into nature can be a source of anxiety for some but the more accustomed you come to doing it allows for relaxation, mindfulness and being physically active ticking a few of the list simultaneously.

The first source for Self-care comes from the website mind. Here it talks about ways for you to stay aware of your mental health, how to nourish your social life. Just click the link to the website to take a look www.mind.org.uk

There are articles about trying peer support and making time for some of the therapeutic activities discussed above alongside looking after your physical health and how to contact specialist organisations.

The second source that I was grateful for is a really useful table available on Dr. Perry’s website where it has snapshot tips for self-care on an emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, practical and social level which was really useful for a quick reminder and some new ideas.

Learning how to manage how we care is essential not only for ourselves but our dependants and those around us starting with ourselves, self-help

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo by Daria Shevtsova

Further reading

  1. Catastrophising; worst case scenario at an extreme
  2. Looking into the word individual
  3. Friday 27th Septemeber 2018; Time to begin looking into how one goes about taking self-care?
  4. Heard of a midlife crisis but a quarter-life crisis, what is that?
  5. A trio for self-destruction: self-hatred, anxiety, and depression

Facebook Group and page: Natural Empathiser and Natural Empathisers

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com

To truly understand you have to delve deeper, accept this invitation to walk with me for a moment into so many contradicting, confusingly frustrating answers, questions and revelations.  Maybe together mysteries or already answered puzzles can be solved or connected. (Human Rubik cube’s)

We are all moulded to fit certain expectations but what happens when you force yourself, or are forced to fit into rigid structures? Does it create depression and anxiety? Are social pressures becoming more intense or are we becoming a permanent fixtured reality tv show like big brother where privacy is outdated? As myself, yourself, and others open their books, allowing insight into their stories, I hope to broaden my understandings and hopefully find answers, where there once appeared to be, none. (turning my ignorance to awareness)

When ones mental health and wellbeing are skewed, it seems like common sense to have issues with your personality. I’m newly diagnosed as an adult and untreated for 30 years, and I don’t mean medicated.  This has created many a psychological disorder over the years, creating lots of confusion to whether or not I am Autistic.

I believe through time, research and help from those able, one day I will get a definitive answer to whether I am only ADHD, Autistic or both.  All my days people, society, and systems have told me in many a varied way, that I am different and don’t fit the ‘norm’.  Being referred to as abnormal most my days has now been given the label to fit, but life has already delivered many detrimental blows with many knock on effects my entire life, whether intentional or not.

This has led me to a new path, where the therapy I will undertake can help gain insights into what damage needs repaired, in relation to my mental health in order to gather more resources, to answer the question whether I am on the spectrum more accurately?  I have created the blog/website www.naturalempathiser.com for those who can relate, who may find my words of use, but my primary goal was for those who can help, to have and be able to, gain access and insights to my words, without any systems or procedures getting breached or causing miscommunication, in a more timely and effective manner, which I believed was achieved to some extent, so what next?

I don’t agree with everything I or others have done before, but it’s through others and our own mistakes we learn. The problem wasn’t solely people, or systems, it was fitting in to somewhere so contradictory and insensible, a society that disables itself repeatedly. I do question whether it is possible for humanity to reach equilibrium, as I do not believe we are naturally supposed to live the way we are, but it is how you create an orderly society in which we all can live.

There are many whose stories or voices can’t or won’t be heard, for a vast and varied amount of reasons. This group is a place to share your stories, experiences and insights in an individual way, where the labels are just guidelines to allow for deeper understanding and insight, not set in stone. There are approximately 7.5 billion people in the world, so any label or categories you are placed are generalised not individualised. How many people in the world have the same diagnosis, neurological or Psychological disability/disorder, personality or whatever else, as you do? I’m interested in the difference between them, to find and understand the Individual, behind the label.

This Facebook group is a new project stemmed from the website http://www.naturalempathiser.com  for those relevant to hear or read, mine and others voices. I hope to open a communication platform of sorts, for whoever finds it of use, or the words relatable, who have difficulties at times with their psychological and neurological disorders. A virtual community where labels and words are just guidelines and insights for a deeper understanding. As I learn, my blog, group and page will grow with me, any suggestions, feedback, insight or thoughts please comment. I hope you enjoy or find use out of my words, as I will from yours and the peoples I hear or see past, present and future.

Just either click here and in the menu you can like, follow or join the group

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

What is the difference between mental health and Autism?

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo from my 2016 journal

It is thought to be believed, that mental illness is most common for people on the Autism Spectrum than in the general population, and is more often, overlooked.

My life has been filled with so many confusing questions, some answered, but the majority of the time, the answer doesn’t seem to fit when it comes to expressing or explaining me.  I remember my response when it was first ever verbally said, that I may be autistic, two and a half years ago.  That is the first time I had ever heard it, in that context directed towards myself, I was 28 years old.  Bearing in mind, I had already been thought to have, postnatal, PTSD, depression, then bipolar, and medicated for these.

I was also in the system since 12, many a professional trying to help to the point I had to go into care despite my parent’s best efforts.  All these people from all walks of life and job title, so many a professional with many an opinion, technique or medication. In my opinion they were and still are, relevant pieces in the puzzle that is me, the process of untangling, but still not allowing enough to balance my scales.  Linkable to the fact that ASD is something entirely separate but interchangeable from mental health, and I seem to fit to well in both, currently diagnosed ADHD, which is biologically more a male orientated diagnosis, were as mood disorders are more commonly diagnosed in women. (I am a minority it appears, still treated like the majority, no wonder damage control varies.

This has all happened in the time frame of 2016-2017-2018, but the reality is, it has been more than half my life, and all my life.  Sometimes I find it so ironic how people worry abound legalising cannabis.  There was a story I signed a petition for with regards to a young boys meds for his fits, containing a key ingredient found in a marijuana plant.  Unbelievable what that family and boy had to go through due to debates against facts and fiction, easy to go buy a pint or vodka though, turning many into nutters by choice.

Well believe me you, from personal experience, prescriptions, and tested medications, used for all sorts, can be, and has been for me personally, the most aiding and disabling trips I’ve ever had, in my entire life, unless educated or experienced, opinions influence, make sure it’s for the right reasons.  Everything has a side-effect, what works for one, may not for the other, the key is knowing your own internal balances to ensure your scales aren’t tipping. (equilibrium/balance).

Something I learnt back in 2016 when I was put on a mood stabiliser is, epileptic medications are used to treat some with bipolar.  One actually helped what I once described as the black cloud from suffocating me, but I was far to medicated to give a clear outlook.  Dramatic word choices I use at times I know, but verbally, words can fail me majorly and that was the only way, I could describe it.  Meds seem to work really different for me in many a way, also I’m extremely aware of my bodies internal chemical balance depending how inertly focused I am. (just don’t know the words sometimes or how to explain)

Further down the road of discovery, and also an opinion of a gentleman on our very first meeting, was once nicknamed my action man, and a woman I called the delicate flower (the hand over process when one nurse leaves for good), ADHD was my action man crisis nurses opinion, which I’m currently diagnosed, and finally, it appears for me and those I hold dear, we may finally be on the right path to answers more suitable or helpful, the unanswerable in some ways, Autism.  Autism I now believe given my understandings, is separate from my current diagnosis of ADHD (mental health)

I will never forget mine or those that are closest to me, first response or opinions to the thought of me being Autistic….. no chance, and that is putting it mildly, obviously influencing my way of thinking, and those around and relevant, to some regard.  The reason I thought this was because of the narrow-minded view and education I had on the subject, also what others, my entire life’s views have been, even professional.  I have no obvious physical deformities (there are and were some), but i am beginning to broaden my understanding through experience, just being me, and educating myself, I have learnt so much more.

Every time things go skewed, it’s usually due to interactions or input from people, other human beings. Maybe relationships is a more accurate word for this setting, and not just intimately, regardless of what shape and form, relationships seem to be the answer or word, making the most sense.  Looked at more acutely, people, linkable and compatible with emotions. Time and time again, I tell people my need, not my want, but my need for time to gather ones thoughts uninterrupted or influenced, unless chosen, never seems a possibility, just a pipe dream.   No doubt everyone can relate to some degree and beg for space, but it is fundamental to keep my mind healthy and functionable at points, or the aftershocks are defragmenting.

This has led me to the question, what does mental health look like in someone with Autism, given current knowledge.

My thought process is as such, if I can figure out what areas of my mental health is skewed and fix or enable them to be less problematic, maybe just maybe I can figure out what autistic traits are interfering and impacting on my life, in a negative way because there are many a positive.  My theory is, once this is figured out I can learn the abilities to counteract, making it easier to cope and get my life finally on the right track, where I may be currently disabled.

I feel so trapped and it is becoming more and more suffocating internally, eventually manifesting and spilling outwardly.  Always a similar pattern with similar outcomes, just slightly shifting and changing whilst I continue losing and winning battle after battle, will I ever win the war?? Or were the odds never in my favour?  No doubt more unanswerable questions with many a different view so I will move on from this way of thinking as the odds are in my favour, when I make them.

I wrote an article about self-hatred, anxiety and depression a time ago, now my research has taken me deeper into the questions asked or relevant to that first Article.  Roughly 40% of individuals who are autistic will suffer one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with the general populations statistical figures of 15%.  This can then influence and create sadness and depression.   Vulnerability and stress seem to be the key words popping up time and time again when finding the words to describe how I feel.

I have always given the impression I rebel against the label, or so I have been led to believe, which is not entirely true. I just want more of an accurate or closer fitting one, given as wide a scope of the situation as possible for all parties involved or relevant to this exchange of information, so I can get access to the help already available out there, but unreachable to myself and others, who could really do with it. This has led me down a very long complicated path, which at this present moment, seems to be more focused and orientated around Autism.

Leaving no other choice but to personally search for answers to questions such as where on the spectrum do I fit? What do the 4 categories results of the RAADS actually mean or tell ones-self and others? When do I start following the cookie trails in my medical records, or should I even do that? I can tell statistically and through research that this genre of writing seems to be needed, therefore I will continue to write what I discover on this journey, for all those interested, as I’m tired of hitting a brick wall due to time restraints, debates, negligence, my disabilities or disorders and my gender.

My way of processing data seems to be, naturally categorise everything, for deeper analysis and understanding. Knowing what is relevant and irrelevant is a complicated process all humanity relates to and stumbles upon daily.  They deal and react given their own unique coping mechanisms and abilities, accessible and relevant to the situation.  I appear to put labels/categories on everything to help me remember and to put relevance, where there was possibly none, depending on where they fit in my head given that days abilities.

“There are definitely things I will never be able to do, but, I can learn new abilities to contradict the disabilities.  I try to achieve this by creating better order, where I once may have been disorderly, to the best of my capabilities”

Every time questionnaires are pulled out I swear I internally implode and metaphorically poop my pants, depending on the setting, context, understanding on what I am actually being questioned for or, if I can even answer the question by paying enough attention where relevant, it has my hackles, guards, and walls shooting as high as possible.

Aggressive I’m told, but a more fitting word may be protection with enough cause for it to be my primary reaction. I’ve been on the receiving end for trio of decades repairing the damage, it is not for the faint hearted hence why I rely on my primal instincts to guide me, they have kept me alive since a young age, where people intentionally and unintentionally have failed.

Please remember it is my health in question here not yours, I am not just a label, category, or statistic, I am an individual pointing her voice out there in the only way I know how. All I ask is to please tread more carefully and have the support necessary for dealing with the landmines and implications you happened to stumble upon in my mind, without a second thought to damage control. Trust is a two-way thing, and it’s getting harder and harder to trust those, who continuously say one thing, but do a complete other, leaving disappointment and a lack of hope.

I was reading through the words I had to pay for, written by my clinical psychiatrist and she had asked me to write a time line, life story, keep a journal and we were supposed to do the RAADS but I had never understood that or had the time to recall the words.  I have created a free way for my clinical psychiatrist and any other professional aiding in dealing with my care, can have access to my words, understandings and insights, hopefully limiting lack of communication and confusion, resulting hopefully in effective results from the limited time slots available, for helping an individual..

Now however, I have completed one to the best of my ability available on another post which is better than nothing I suppose.  I apologise for the time delay, I always seem to be reflecting on what I miss, but I do get there in the end.

The overall score for yours truly, a 30 year old whose gender is female, in a long-term intimate relationship alongside being a mother to, a preschool boy and a tween girl, who given my knowledge and understanding meet autistic thresholds for Autism but back to their mothers score on the RAADS, of 171.  I will retake soon and see what the results are as I believe I have more understanding into the questions therefore the patterns will have changed, my compass shifted.

When I understand more of the words within the question, its relevance and what the results tell, or give insight into, for the clinician or those relevant, yourself included, I’ll post an article, but I stumbled upon this piece of writing below today.  I remember how lost I felt when I lost all ways to communicate, when my mind was that tangled and crammed full, it was reflected in every angle of communication, but most devastatingly so in the words I wrote, refusing to allow them a reality I went into a complete malfunction of sorts.

February 2018 (my skill returns to give comfort to oneself)

How to start!!! The ultimate question that has left so many pieces of paper blank, possibly writers block implemented in my brain for the past few years.  I miss it, my mum says its something I’ve always done is write it down.  When thinking back she is right, it is when I’m not getting what I’m wanting to say across verbally, I write.  I have not lost the skill, just the ability to use it in the short-term, even what I write is so below my normal skill set but I don’t care I want it back, therapeutic arguably and the more I do it, the more it improves, the better I can communicate as proven back in February 2018 with my GP, a  man I have struggled with emotionally over the years, butted heads with, but formed a genuine bond in which together, we can now laugh at the history in past memories over the years. 

I will never forget our first meeting end December 2012/January 2013. I had just moved to the land of the lost, after seeking refuge.  We had our appointment and his eyes unsettled me to the core near the end as they noticed things my poker face couldn’t hide, asked questions that no other doctor has, in the context he done it, maybe compassion is the word I’m looking for.  I clammed up so tight as his brain and eyes were far to observant and sharp, unsettling me and leaving me feeling vulnerably exposed.

I remember the phone conversation with my mum after where I described him as one of these hillbilly doctors, probably living in some cabin in the woods (not stereotyping something from the movies at all here!!) I’d just moved from the city to the country, I was used to the conveyor belt treatment).  His eyes unnerved me because they appeared to look as if they could see through my armour, past the chameleon that is me, as if he could look into my very soul, I left with my tail dangling between my legs.

He wanted to help, always has and regardless of the struggles, he always will if he is able, and that was why I cried out for help to him, as I was failing with everyone else.   I knew he would listen and try everything he could to help, I just had to communicate it right so that he could.  I feel honoured and privileged to of had him as my doctor, a pillar to the community and that’s not just my words, most sought-after doctor here, a credit to his profession and believe you me I’ve only met a handful like him over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment without his support, understanding and patience when my behaviour is less easily explained.

I have a plan, a focus, fixing my inner foundations and structure…. That’s if I don’t flat line on appearance and become trapped in an inner hell, looking for anything to clutch so I can come out the other side.  After my appointment back in February 2018 where I handed over words so raw and open to me, overwhelmed was an understatement, silent tears flowed, triggered by anything happened for hours, got stuck in my past, these words are found in the post defining a rebel is someone who does not fit the ‘norm’.  

Being around me can damage your own mental health when I am like this and verbally communicating, dissecting as my mind raced all because I managed to get the words down, someone took the time to read and I knew I had got across what I wanted to say.  At the time his answers gave so much relief and hope it was intense.  I wanted to hide, thought of hospital, hiding in my room in a pain no one should have to witness or be around.

Through time I became more high, metaphorically running around looking, listening reflecting on ways I could fight the dark fog threatening to suffocate me. I then became higher emotional instead of low, flat and deflated if that’s the right word, my mum understands my language and even though verbally to anyone else, they wouldn’t have understood, just left the conversation exhausted and confused, my mum managed and helped to change my perspective slightly. 

Best I can explain but to the next point, triggered from the change in perspective, ignorance can be bliss, but I no longer have that option, knowledge and understanding is what I’m lacking, so fix it.  I read mass amounts always have, but have stuck to more fantasy and supernatural, time to come out of fantasy and into reality no matter how badly I want to avoid it.  

What I’ve found on mental health has been exhausting, a point-less or more in some ways, so decided to start looking in to the one I refused to believe many a moon ago, ASD but resources are limited and time consuming.  I have found a book written so brilliantly, I have decided to read the whole thing in one setting.  Would have been done February 2018, would have been an all nightery as the first 50 pages had me so intrigued but I had promised to switch off, if there is such a thing, to try switch of. 

To date I have still not managed that book and to many tasks to list as far too much has clouded my focus, knocked it off or changed it entirely for that moment in time (mostly out of my control).  Unfortunately that bit of space with no influence has not been possible and I’ve exhausted the resource that is me yet again. When it does become a reality and space is not just a fantasy, I image I  will have already found most my answers and more, eventually they will become reflective, time frames are just to long though, that is something requiring immediate attention. 

My compass is forever shifting as I pass by, no matter how tiny or huge, always shifting to point me in the direction I need, want, or must be at that present time.

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

What are some of the sex differences influencing diagnosis for Autism?

source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo Scottish Loch

Over the course of the past several years, there have been many studies done, creating a number of explosive and insightful discoveries, into the disorder Autism, especially for the Females.  More people have been able to observe how, why or even if, Autism presents differently in females.  A development becoming more openly welcomed rather than shunned, but there is a unique presentation of Autism in females, that is fundamental in helping better identify and treat, those who may have the disorder.

I am terrible with consistency out with my personal comfort and timescales, also I medically pop in and out on paper, for help due to all the labels, stigmas. Worst of all can come from those you put your trust in to help, their treatment can be the most damaging from those claiming, to only be trying to help. Unfortunate but true, sometimes your biased, stuck or uneducated view makes everything extremely more challenging, for all parties involved, especially the patient or clinician.  For me it can put me on the slippery slope of depression, because all the professional words continuously contradicting one another, leave me more confused at times, than when I started

These challenges are for a number of reasons because, not only are females just as diverse as any other groups of individuals with the disorder, but there is a more pressing matter I would like to stress.  I yet again keep hitting a metaphorical brick wall that makes it harder for me to gain access to the help I need, and that is because most autistic screening and diagnostic tools were developed and based, primarily on, observations and behaviours of boys.

I was reading an article by a clinician who was expressing her views and opinions that I happen to agree with.  That was in relation to specialist research and those closest to the individuals in questions, which was the matter at hand of, missing girls with symptoms who do not fit the “typical boys presentation”.  This brings me back to an article I previously wrote with regards to three tests added to the mix, one for the female, one for the male, and a combined more generalised one and see what that produces.  I very much would like a test more relevant to my sex plus a more generalised to give me the answer, it would be very much appreciated. PDA is one of the better questionnaires, especially with wording, that has not had me wanting to pull my hair out.  My next articles will include the different profiles, will include PDA, an area of personal interest I will be delving into.

Anyways this article written by the clinician, helped me to be able to, word, that as a female parent, by my own and many professional opinions, am in fact Autistic, but where I fit seems to be the time consuming and frustrating process, that is like pulling teeth out, the most mentally, invigorating, deteriorating experience I have ever been through, which believe me you, says a lot.  My children are raised by a self diagnosed ASD (awaiting diagnosis if relevant) but a clinically diagnosed ADHD female mum, they are not going to meet the levels of ‘norm’ for your criteria necessarily or to the T, I work really hard flipping their stuck mindset and helping them gain broader and greater understanding.

For that reason, I listen to what my children’s words and body tell me, that is why I listened to my tween’s teacher as she explained, my daughter met the criteria for both ASD and ADHD, she even went for a second opinion, but doctors dismissed it, hitting another brick wall.  Therefore with the 10 years of knowledge gathered between raising the two of them, 30 years of being me, and what others have learnt, written or communicated, I am beginning to find answers and better ways of doing things.  Not everyone has the ability to be a self-directed learner and it comes with its costs and sacrifices to.

My daughter is the double of me in so many ways its unbelievable, she see’s the world in the most amazing way, and like her mum can learn and excel at anything she puts her mind to, but her focus is language.  My 3 year old son appears as a mute in nursery at times, didn’t start communicating properly till 3 and really flags a lot of the criteria.  He took years longer with verbal speech but is a little mastermind, when your truly listening and watching, he has to be comfortable too, he’s a possible mathematical Wizz in the making.  So here are 3 possibly undiagnosed Autistic people, who are unreachable and unhealable by those who could, but simply unobtainable due to stigma and stereotyping.

That is why as a female parent, who by my own and many a professional opinion, am in fact autistic, and now that I am in touch with someone from the National Autistic society I might actually get somewhere with the diagnosis, hopefully one step closer to those that can give it.  Because of how easily dismissing the process can be, (I’ve been in it since 12) I’m scared to let my daughter walk in my footsteps and it isn’t right to be made to feel this way.  I have a feeling things are about to change though, for the better and maybe my trio can be helped

I started by looking and reading a little into biological science, which tells me I’m delving into a subject that is, extremely confrontational and debateable.  As a minority myself I agree and disagree with what is to follow but they are personal opinions, I’m not educated enough and have nowhere near enough information to say anything without a shadow of doubt, but I need to start somewhere.   This is just what I’m coming across on my personal journey for answers into where my cluster fits on the spectrum.

This is the beginning of research, delving into the mystical world that has become the  differences between males and females.  Something I see often happening, is sex differences put solely down to culture differences, but science suggests a biological difference between the male and female, in relation to the brain.  These differences are not absolute, have been generalised as the majority and tend to be skewed depending on ones sex.

I looked through a narrow scope into why males appear geared towards math, where as females language, why women are more emotional, how the sex’s feel pain differently, how males are more likely to suffer neurological disorders, where as women are more likely to suffer mood disorders.  The gender difference’s apparent before birth and, why it appears women handle stress better than men, and finally why we are led to believe males have weaker impulse control.  But what if you are a minority?

Changes are noticeably presentable from birth, but even before that, taken to the development stages when you are still in the womb, things are different.  Gender is determined immediately upon fertilisation, meaning the sperm is the only one that knows what sex it is going to be, and the egg only carries a stationary X.  The 23rd pair of chromosomes establish the sex of the baby.  So to illiterate more clearly, the female egg contains one X chromosome, whilst the male sperm carries either the X or Y chromosome.  Once they meet the egg becomes XX=Female and XY=Male, so in a nutshell

“The baby’s gender is known before it is even consider a foetus” during the first few weeks the external and internal genital structures are the same, but this is just the process within the development stages.

The foetus gonads will either become ovaries or testicles, the phallus either a clitoris or a penis, and finally the genital folds will become either Labia or scrotum, depending on whether or not testosterone is present, which in turn determines the “default sex” of either categories of male or female.  Remember the sex is determined by the males sperm , to the mystery of whether it is carrying either an X or a Y, because the egg holds only an X.

Intersex describes a variety of conditions, where the minority of individuals who are born with, a sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit typical presentations, of a male or female.  Examples would include a person born with genitals that are between the usual descriptions of, male and female parts, or, they could be born with both XX and XY chromosomes.

A way that has been described to try and help understand intersex, were words written to think of gender like the colour spectrum. As sex organs vary in shape size and dimension, of course it seems only common sense, that so would the sex chromosomes determining the default sex.  As these conditions are very rare, however, they do still exist.

“It is argued to be a humanistic way, of categorising people into gender categories, not the original way of nature”

As gender is determined upon fertilisation, at around the 16th to 18th week of pregnancy, the foetus produces a bud called a genital tuber, at the site of the genital.  By the end of the 20th week, the external sex organs should be fully formed for both the male, and female sex of the foetus. At around 26 weeks, the female foetus generally starts developing thicker corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres, than a male foetus.  This information helps explain why women tend to use both, whilst men tend to lean towards the left hemisphere, which leads me on to my next point, that might explain what you have just been reading.

I often hear people saying that he or she is not in their right mind, but if looked at in a biological sense, women are the ones more in their right mind the majority of the time.  I say this because men mostly use the left hemisphere, to process information, where as women are more skilled at using both hemispheres, as we see happens because of differences in the making, of males and females in the womb.  So there is an obvious difference between males and females, which would affect the workings of their mind, would it not?

“So in a literal sense women are the only one’s in their right mind.” but what about the minority of males who do not fit this notion?

It is believed women are more likely to suffer mood disorders, than Autism and ADHD, because male brains, synthesise serotonin, far more quickly than the female brain.  Obviously when looking into biological factors, it’s then placed into categories and researched for many a year, seeing patterns develop, so yes the majority of people fall into the criteria’s described, but now doors are opening for more insight and analysis into the minds of the minorities, who may be more alike to some once classed, part of  majority, than we once thought.

Standardised intelligence test show no statistically significant differences, between males and females. When looking at the brain we can see lots of differences, take the findings that suggest that genders tend to slightly lean towards, categories with regards to their abilities, in maths and language.  Males are said to have a larger inferior-parietal lobules (IPL), than females, which is an area of the brain that is thought to, influence mathematical abilities, which matures in boys about, 4 years earlier than girls?!

The frontal and Temporal areas of the cortex, are larger in females, and are thought to influence language, matured approximately 6 years earlier, than the males.  All these words I have written to date, are just me summarising my findings so far from what I’ve gathered, and this is a subject I do not specialise in, I’m learning for vast and varied reasons now. It is a very debateable subject obviously, because a minority or girls can be maths wizzes or vice versa, minority of boys can be language masterminds, that comes down to individual choices, opportunities and circumstances. Personally I excelled in all subjects at school just some more acutely, some of my most traumatic problem’s arose during high school, with social communication and interactions, where my biggest cost, was my education.  These are the years where I learned to become a chameleon the best, with some of my harshest lessons.

So, from that we see above the majority of males mature quicker mathematically, by approximately 4 years, and the majority of females mature 6 years earlier, than males in language.  There and always minorities and splinter groups, who do not fit where the majority of others do.  Take the way we feel pain, there are even differences there between males and females.  When men experience pain, they tend to activate their right amygdala, where as for women, they tend to activate their left amygdala, which leads us to believe, women feel more pain.

“The left amygdala is more closely associated with the ‘internal functions’, this is the reason behind why it is often thought and expressed, women experience more pain than men do”

According to biological science from where and what I’ve been reading, males are more likely to be dyslexic and autistic, than females, this is noticeably explained in the skewed differences in ratios, between males and Females.  It is also said, that males are more likely to experience Tourette’s  and ADHD.  Females appear to be found, and thought, to be more likely to suffer, mood disorders.  The reasons for this is because, females have larger hippocampus, and deeper limbic systems, than males.  Therefore allowing females to feel the full range and depths of the emotional spectrum, more so than males. Is that why this minority female, keeps getting caught up in the Bermuda triangle effect of, Autism, ADHD and bipolar?

I wonder what a visual image of my brain would give insight into for someone, me in particular.  Since someone once said to me I am like the human equivalence of the Rubik’s cube, it has kind of stuck in my mind since, because no one seems to have figured out the riddle that is me.  If someone specialising in neurology or psychology was to take an active, time-scale appropriate interest, into researching my brain, I wonder what findings would be discovered, as I’m already aware I’m a minority thinker.  Maybe one day that will be possible, but at the moment, it’s a fantasy, my reality is just words, opinions, views, theories and a lot of both reliable, and unreliably communicated evidence, and experiences, in the search for the answers, to my questions.

I’ve been reading that, when it comes to differences in intelligence, between the two sexes, there are more males than females that differ, and become more skewed on the results.  Male IQ has greater variance from one perspective, than the female IQ.  This is why females appear to be more clustered around the middle, where as the males occupy the extreme high and low end, of the intelligence scale.

Studies have shown that the majority of women, handle stress better than men.  Science shows that whilst both the male and female release the hormone oxytocin during stressful events, the difference is by combining oxytocin with the female estrogen, it produces a calming effect, whereas male testosterone only makes men more aggravated.

It is coming to a point in need to finish up writing this article, before I end up writing the never ending story, that never gets published.  I will stress, I am no expert, just someone currently going through the process of life, just like you.  If I’ve worded something that upsets or offends, I assure you that was, and will never be my intention.  I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my words, message me personally, shared and helped me on my feministic journey into the spectrum.  If you have a story that’s related please comment.


I personally am recieving extreme difficulty waiting, like many of my readers and those taken the time to message, just to see someone who can analyse and determine, whether or not i have autism before gaining access to, the help that is available.  I’m aware we do not have a vast number of people that specialise, but something does need to be done here to accomadate.  So the studies indicating it is more challenging for a female, undiagnosed in childhood, to obtain a diagnosis later, i fuly agree with, from first hand experience.  I am living proof this is the case, for getting access to the help already out there, that one requires, firstly you need the label that is the diagnosis.  I was suspected back in spring 2016, referred and awaiting specialist input, many a moon ago.  This week is the first time i have met with someone, who does specialise in an area i need help with, who looks like she can and will help, where she is able, she gave me hope, that things are changing, and that space may be possible.

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

Trip down memory lane March – July 2016 – 08/07/2018

“Every action good or bad, has a repercussion that impacts something or someone, a chain reaction negative or positive.”

How does one begin telling their story, ultimate question that has been continuously on a never-ending loop in my head, forcing me to a decision? My story is a complex headache…. Not my words, the words of one professional opinion some years ago. I started writing my version of my bible when I was 28 years old, so I think I should start by sharing one of the first full consistent pieces of writing I was able to do, when I lost the ability to communicate verbally and written.  This was one of the most scariest moments in my life and my families to date, followed by a more recent one 2 years later.  I have also included a piece of writing after an appointment with a clinical psychiatrist,

My words are brutally  honest at times as things only go wrong when I mince them.  They are just my perspectives and insights into a world, at that moment. A world that becomes more confusing and complicated every day, what’s acceptable today may not be tomorrow, and what once was acceptable and learnt may now, not be. I struggle every day, fighting like everyone else to breathe, my journey just has more obstacles shone on in a different light, reflected back to you in the words I only know. Some people can do this naturally, a skill I admire and wish I could hurry and learn.

Sometimes my efforts feel pointless, then those I’m attached remind me I’m a survivor, just like you. Take one of my favourites I learnt through a course I studied, taken from morgens metaphors (not had the privilege delving into his story yet), the be like a living organism metaphor, which in essence means constantly evolving to the change around you. Not just relevant to business but everyday life for the entire human race in a society encouraging difference, diversity and dynamics you need to be open and susceptible to change

Back in Spring 2016 a lot of events contributed to one of the most traumatic episodes of my life to date, a major contributor to the already stacking up PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) traits, until I began learning a lot about many varied things I once was oblivious to. The difficulty in learning how to manipulate myself to handle the changes that seem to occur internally, an on-going journey of discoveries, is a detrimentally challenging one, at times.

Whatever happened in 2016 was an extreme vortex of emotions, a meltdown of all meltdowns where all levels of communication were unattainable, so I gave up even trying at points welcoming the black hole because it was easier than my reality. Whenever I did try and communicate it was never precipitated or received in the way it was intended, becoming pointless, when I did communicate everything was magnified worse in extreme ways. The loss in control was triggered by events well and truly out of one’s control, there is truth in the saying you can’t run from your past.

After an intensely surreal experience with a clinical psychiatrist, I was asked to keep a journal. I explained, in probably the worst verbal dialect, my sensory senses were through the roof, I had lost the ability to write and I truly had at the time, but because of this request I began writing and drawing again, if you can call it that. It was chaotic but understandable to me, titled ‘my bible’ to make it symbolically significant to me, started March 2016.

As I’m reflecting on these moments I’m going to write about them, as my bible was a go to whenever the thoughts in my head became too much and needed an out let, almost like a personal religion that brought comfort and hope. I was that far in the depths of my black hole, not just skating along the circumference, that too many times my body nearly gave up, mind, body and soul were not one. I think the clinical psychiatrist glanced at it when I took it in months late, her comments were along the lines of ‘good reflection, as tangled as my present’, and closed the book. That is the only time she set eyes on it, no one else appeared to be interested in the words written

I began writing in Spring 2016, quite symbolic, time of growth, new life, evolving with good old mother nature, a time of year the world becomes brighter and new life begins, another looped cycle of life. Personally, my favourite season is Autumn, but writing seems at its best and most reflective and useful in spring. Each diary entry reflection will have the date it was done and follow that pattern, so my blogs will be the dates I reflected on the writings. There’s a quote from a piece of writing that I once wrote that I want you to remember as you read the insights given into my life.

‘How a person interprets words depends on many factors to name but a few…. Their natural and unnatural environment, circumstances on which its heard, the emotional meaning, or message portrayed in projecting the word, may it be tone, style, word choices, body language, personal circumstances, past experiences, current knowledge…… The list can go on and on, but the point is words are pointless if they confuse, misguide, hurt, destroy……if you don’t understand, if you don’t give your full attention and truly listen to what’s been said, to imply and interpret the words heard in a way that is not meant……then how can you understand, how can anyone help…. Sum it up you REBEL or OBEY against a fight that will never be eliminated just changed from minority to majority is awareness vs Ignorance.’

What I hope to achieve is help, for all individuals needing it, and together we can gain better insight into individuality. By understanding and preventing stigmas, that these labels are in no way concrete they are a way to generalised through a lot of research, time, and experience. It is a way to place information into categories and sub categories that are easier and easier to understand and communicate to all levels of society.  This first week of July 2016 entries seem to be reflecting on the entries written so far, so I’m going to include them here in the order and date they were written.

My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries.  I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment. My diary entries are to follow, 3 are about the sections named above as I reflect over what has been written into them in the months leading up to the entries.  I thought I would also include a Diary entry from March 2016 and an entry written after a psychiatrists appointment.

23/03/2016 An attempt at writing again

10:37am – 11:15am

Concentration is border lining on impossible now.  Quetiapine in one sense has helped but it’s like it’s blocking half my brain and is pulling me further and further into darkness.  I feel so low and just want to cry my heart out.  I’m losing hope, every day I must be conscious with my word choices and actions but right now my scales are so unbalanced, body, brain and mouth just won’t work together.  This is the first time in months I have been able to put pen to paper.  I have battled more than half my life with this ‘illness’ but my old coping mechanisms have no relevance in my life just now.  If I lose concentration for just 1 second, my train of thought just disappears and I’m unable to remember what was happening.  I have not felt this out of control since I was 11-12ish when I took my over dose, my mums eyes will always haunt me.  The difference this time is I am an adult and I have managed to raise 2 amazing children and I will never commit suicide.  I am not that selfish or cowardly (words are harsh but necessary at the time) as I once was in my deluded narrow outlook on life or flip that when I gave up on humanity.  I try my 100% best everyday just to co-exist and I’m sick and tired of it.  Mental health has changed so much but not nearly enough.  I have never been an open book, learnt that at a young age with a punch in the face, or simply allowing others their own perception whilst with-holding mine (was easier that way).  So, since the age of 8 I have created masks for every dimension of this ‘illness’ and blocked my traumas.  But there are so many triggers now.  Nobodies wiped my arse for me since I was 12, I was viciously bullied or misunderstood, creating problem after problem not understanding the consequences of my actions. My behaviour was so out of control, I’d come home it was like being interrogated.  Nobody has ever been able to understand so I started running away and then my parents were put between a rock and a hard place, and I ended up in the system and even they didn’t help just a whole new bunch of traumatic events.  I spent most of my time living on the streets, up or under trees, cornfields etc. Help was never available in any way that was of use, and I just became so numb and that is exactly how I am starting to feel again.  All I do is survive I want to start living again.  I’m naturally a reflective learner but I can feel myself putting my walls up.  All the wrong meds this last year has put all my scars + pain + trauma out in the open this stops now

PLAN

Take my mood stabiliser despite my fears

Try to stay in my present and take one day at a time

Accept the fact now I’m not taking very good care of myself

12/04/2016 Personality and ‘my bible’ explained

I’m going to start with one-word Personality which in turn creates a character. Is it the end or the start of a new thought process, beginning of a new sentence? Or the end of the previous? Well in this case the final full stop at the end of this sentence indicates a temporary break until I ponder over the words PERSONALITY

A personality is a person’s individuality and quirky character ,that defines the person’s identity therefore defining their personality. By altering the thought process, I have come to an understanding. I started with one-word personality which is a bold word which in favour should have an ending which for me, is ERASED

What I did today was get up, get dressed, went shopping and came home. After a meal, i wrote in this book with a new pen and some new paper, now let’s see if I can work out how we clean up my messy tangled Personality, with (A) start + (B) Tangle = (C) End / (A) past (b) present = (C) future

This was the structure to the writings placed inside my ‘bible’

  • My green section of my bible – Black and white (logical)
  • Pink section – Black/White/Grey (Summary)
  • The turquoise section – Black (Forma) (data) (Tasks)
  • Blue section – Multi coloured (tangle)

 

4/07/2016 Pink section reflection so far

Yet again I seem to be at a loss for words. I have started with this section because it is one of the easiest. In this section it is obvious my moods are reflected in my writing. There is a lot of spelling mistakes, Grammar, different writing and wrong words but oh my that was hard. I told my Crisis Nurse once…. Sorry lost my thought process. Reading through, oh wait I remember what I was thinking. I told my Crisis nurse I always have a blind spot, where I’m not aware and was quite surprised at the things I’d wrote, that I have put to the back of my mind. So much has gone on but the best thing I have ever done was forcing myself to write and get back something that is my safety blanket. I thought I was writing for the sake of it, couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of what Is written here are things that I was not capable of communicating for whatever reason and probably might never be. But to read it back has made me feel a sense of pride in myself and my family for being able to handle all that has happened. It was like therapy in a sense but was always so scared to read. This section is mild, the blue is the worst so easing myself into that one. I was in a really bad place and I’m lucky I’m alive yet again, but how many times can you cheat death, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. We’ve all came along way, my other half, Welfare and Housing officers, Crisis/CPN, Clinical psychiatrist, GP and friends have all helped to get me out of the dangerous, self-destructive place I was in. I will always be grateful and thankful for all their help and I’m glad I get to read and reflect, give myself time to pause on everything that has happened

05/07/2016 Green Section reflections so far

From reading this section, I can see more detail has been put. At the start of each section there was a labelling system of writing, but as things spiralled more and more out of control, I just started writing anywhere. Some bits are quite unsettling to read because my head was in a scary place, but writing about them was a brilliant idea, as reading through these has given me a clearer perception. I find it strange that my writing even reflects what is going on inside my head. The weight on my shoulders doesn’t feel so heavy. I have had a hard time trying to get better, but my moods are still quite uncontrolled. I take 600mg quetiapine a day, divided in to 3x daily to slow my brain down, 3 of what I call pixy Trixie’s to try handle the side effects from the quetiapine and 100mg Lamotrigine a day plus 7.5mg zopiclone to help with sleep. I rely a lot on meds at the moment just to live in my circumstances, I know how reliant I am on them because if I miss a dose my head just goes off on one. Can also tell by the way I talk, and act becomes apparent, others notice this and make me aware of this, so I take them. Seen my last bit of writing saying I burned down my first house but it was unfinished, so I will elaborate, I set it on fire so that I didn’t have to live there no more, I was young lost and confused. I’m surprised by my writing and how much I have been able to write. I have started a separate book for writing about my past, and only my past inside this book, written in a general journal where my writing requires no restrictions. The last entry in this section is dated May 20th 2016, so haven’t been writing in this section

04/07/2016 Blue Section reflections part 1

Oh my, haven’t even begun reading what’s still attached in this book. I remember ripping out a few pages I’d wrote a little while ago. These words were my first attempt at writings at the start  It really is like the ramblings of a crazy person, my heads all over the bloody place. Confused mostly of communication, trying to get the right words to explain because I was saying all the wrong words and confusing everyone, these writings are from the 15th April, 2 weeks after hospital, in fact the first is dated 14th April but things had already started going unbalanced back in the year my son was born. When you read this and in my case, it just takes me back to an extremely embarrassing cringe stage which is upsetting and unsettling to read about. Just had to put this point down as was my thoughts on reading those loose bits of paper. The tangle in my brain where I have managed to draw and word on paper some of the stuff that was tangled but wow I really don’t know what else to say, just wow……

05/07/2016 Blue section reflections so far part 2

Just finished reading the last bits of the blue section. Clearly my moods have been more negative than positive. I need to remember where I was and where I am now. I have managed to reach a level of stability in some respects when it comes to my emotions. Reading this has put me in a place where even I must be proud of the fact, that together with my family, have managed to pull me out of one of the darkest and most lost places I have ever seen. Today is my appointment with my clinical psychiatrist and I’m never sure what  to expect, because you only get a small amount of time with her then it’s over, months before you get to see her again.

06/07/2016 reflections after psychiatrist appointment

I had a better appointment today with my clinical psychiatrist, but it was intense. I struggled communicating at some points but overall it was a lot better. My lamotrigine I’ve learnt is a mood stabiliser. Since taking that it really helped prevent me from hitting the lows I was in, that could last for months. Before November which is my next appointment with my clinical psychiatrist I want to of filled this book, but I also want to finish the book I started where I only write about my past. Was glad to see that my writing was starting to improve, was noticeable when I began to read it. I know I am in a better place than I was before, and I really like my clinical psychiatrists because she is a thorough person when looking into what my condition is. I’m going to work on relaxing and reducing my stress levels. My past may be messy and messed up, but my present has barely any issues, that’s probably why my struggles and behaviours became more apparent, they were out of my realm of the ‘norm’. The level of quetiapine I must take is high, I’m wondering if I should begin reducing them down in the future when my body has adjusted, to the increase in the lamotrigine. My clinical psychiatrist hopefully, will now know roughly how or what the right way is to help me recover from everything that has happened. Trying to find positives about myself is something that I have always struggled with. I live a quiet life, the only issues I seem to have is from an ex that is not even mine. I could not predict, understand or control the actions of others or the outcome, because it was that insane with no logical or rationality, full of nothing but emotions. It was a really scary place so how I reacted was affected and influenced by my moods and having to stop all the meds I was taking. My anxiety was extremely high, to be honest I probably should have admitted myself into hospital the year before. I don’t blame anyone for my actions I take responsibility. With the help of CMHT (community mental health team) and the people closest to me I’m hoping I can bring back my confidence and like myself. People always seem to initially attract towards me because I am different, but eventually they will back off. I have great insight in people, but nobody likes their flaws out in the open. I have a bad habit of analysing people and trying to figure out why they are the way that they are. These types of people are not a constant and cannot usually handle constructive or a criticism of any type. I can find that hard myself especially when I was really depressed, in a way I probably use them as they are the type of people that want company from everyone and it’s quite clear they are never going to change their ways for the better. Right now, is quite challenging because I have a lot of past issues and traumas to work on. I can feel myself constantly putting up walls but at the same time more are getting knocked down. This is not going to be an easy journey but through all this I will have a better quality of life possibly, and that is worth its weight in gold, baby steps.

Writing is extremely useful as once you read it back it takes you through a period in your life that you can reflect on and get a better perspective of what’s been going on. I’ve been thinking a lot about my conversation with my clinical psychiatrist. It was so intense, and my brain raced a lot so got a little more tangled with my communication. I feel sluggish today, not too much energy but that’s just a little off, and by saying that I mean different, not myself, at times I question who I am, but I know I’m still here

A lot of issue highlighted are still the same and what I was told could help has never happened, yet again holds merit to that saying ‘don’t believe everything you hear or see.’  I’m going to end here and start this off another day from more entries from this particular journal.  Thanks for reading.