Small walk ahead. Small talk avoided. Shift in schedule takes a shift in consciousness to progress. But I digress to the topic of focus. Focus takes an inordinate amount of energy. To refocus takes some hocus pocus and not fewer than a few days to reclaim the train. Therapy session today is why I am always drained. Drained due to trying to maintain focus on topics that disappear without effort. Like cooking to maintain good health. Like those investment ideas to generate wealth. Like that shower seems so far away so not today. Here in lies the conflict. If the brain wants to stick to a topic, not even I can remove it. Not without effort that was for the next several days. So then I sit in the state of deficit for thoughts to return from break. Thinking drains like wine from rusty lanes. Trains of topics without tickets ride by. I scarcely have time to wave bye. When the thoughts of how to energize actively drain. When the thinking itself is the strain. This is where I find it difficult to maintain. This is where I am today. So I walk away from the rusty mind. Hoping for a sip of the sublime at some time up the road.
The day like a dove dipped into darkness. The pen sits so silent again. Streaming consciousness kisses the melodic mood on the swing set. The flame at the waters edge enlightens the ripples of an alternate reality. They roll with anticipation of evaporation like a mood made of wood. Ready for the chisel and hammer? Some use a saw to recreate the perfect mode of expression. These wood beams glare over the seas. Names not their own have been carved into their skin like tattoos of lost love. Rings of age surround the fingers of the knife that digs near the shore. In order to explore the depths, the cuts must be made. Branches like bones are broken again to fix the brokenness. Men are like trees walking towards the dusk. Women walk along the edge of dawn waiting for the perfect place to rest under the shade. Too close and thorns. Too far and the fruit is out of reach. Two is better than one unless the one is broken. Two broken is worse than one if the brokenness is bitter in the roots. Better not to be bitter unless the bitterness is bittersweet. Better not to be sweet if it always leads to brokenness. The bitter broken token has been paid. The shade creates a shadowy threat that is ripe with fear of pain. Fear of pain is the root cause of long walks from the park to the waters tears. Not even sure if today existed. Tonight is perfectly perpetual. Pain carves through like a rusty knife in a wood branch. A dove dives towards the bitter broken branch brooding over the names. I still see one. It’s not my name but it still feels like mine in the dark.
To drink or not to drink, often I don’t think of water. Another multi-doctor session via air ways to protect our air passages from passing infections. Lesson learned that once again adults on the spectrum often are undiagnosed due to lack of testing. The grapevine shakes with juicy news of new tests in the field that are being grown. Here’s my acceptance letter to assist from afar, offering the proper inquiry necessary to prevent accidental misses of adults who articulate early. First, I don’t feel thirst. This anomaly indicates perhaps pituitary dysfunction which shakes hands with this thyroid who needs a steroid to balance. Not actually a steroid but to keep the integrity of the scheme that places words in one act plays. Syndromic Autism or as it is on my file, ASD with a specific specifier having a genetic cause. Next stage is to zone in on this torrential waterfall a take a sip. It’s all about the perspective. The daunting dance of the psyche has finally concluded. Now we can begin again with a direction that the entire team is satisfied with. Now for the neurologist or genetic specialist to assist in naming the physical claim that has caused damage to this brain. However, not for some time as the wear of this strain is still draining like a snow cap in the summer. So, adults with Autism I salute you. Especially those who didn’t know until you were adults. All sides of the spectrum I wish you the best. I guess this is where I drink from the sink with a tank to think of all those struggling with something unnamed. As with mental disorders this genetic malfunction has been named, claimed, and then rejected all the same. To wit, out of 5 doctors (none specialists) 3 proclaimed Marfans syndrome while 2 others nodded in another way. So strange that genetics can spring forth with so much ambiguity. The good news is, that knowing this perfect label for the genetic syndrome pales in comparison to just knowing why I don’t fit. Sure, I wish to know. Soon I will obsess to find out. However, the ultimate question has been quenched. The water of the unknown psychological issue has been agreed upon and formally written in the file. Self advocacy was definitely necessary. So I feel for those with perhaps less energy or ability to shine lights where darkness looms. For those who wish to speak up but not know what to say. Not to mention, the other co-morbid issues have not gone away. Especially this OCD which is 17 times more likely in the likes of me. 75% of the spectrum moves with a mood disorder which may trump all other diagnosis in terms of order. Hence the reason so many can mask so long without detection. Anxiety…well…sure. IBD most likely due to the conflict of constant tension in the living situation called this body. Fortunately, I don’t still have the temper tantrums that I used to display when play didn’t go my way. Next phase is the sensory processing issues. That deserves an entire post as the senseless senses played immature games with my consciousness constantly. Just a touch of sugar in my drink and I sink. Just a single degree change of temp and I fall limp from the heat. Now he is sweating but I need a cover. Now the shower is too hot so why bother. The sounds, the sounds just keep sounding the alarm harming the already radiating headache. That was just this morning. The good news is, I know why and that really makes a big difference. Due to the years of research and doctors visits, I may have been the first person ever to hear… “congratulations, you have Autism” and fight back tears of joy. I realize now what I wish I knew then, it’s all about perspective. Time now for me to take a drink from the falls, not because I feel thirsty, but because I can.
Change is a must when not to change is the enemy of better days. Yesterday stares at the future wondering what could be. What should be. Trust that the process out of this mess is, as far as I can guess, truly necessary. It’s scary how many are growing stagnant. Older but not wiser but any means. The seasons seem to predict that constant effects are needed to promote new causes. Just because I feel safe in misery does not mean the risk outweighs the means. The committee speaks in community forums about scores of individuals on disability doing nothing. Nothing! Truly the process to help process this mess is better than this. Seriously! No, I am just being facetious but with a word full of tongue in cheek. Let’s speak as those who are in the know. We know that yesterday is not gone. We know tomorrow is already here. We know that if anyone is reluctant to change that it is all the same. I can predict the future. It looks just like yesterday without any change.
Off to a mountain type rocky start to the finish of a play. Playing with vibrations that transport swifter than an all terrain vehicle. Getting back to normal is a fallacy for the insecurities of fall leaves that ride the winds. They never see the tree again from the same view, only a few may stay awake long enough to notice anyways. Why are such unmoving, but living to give by the sea type trees so bountiful? They seem to play every time a breeze visits. So stable. So able to just be. Alive and unmotivated to move beyond what the roots authorize. No surprise that they last past the blast of the winds. This tree that my little i does see has been around to see more than me. Perchance, just a glance and he has seen those who made me and escorted me into the scene to breathe. Same chance that once only this type survives, a time when this very tree will see those who read from me. Those from eternity that earth is yet to see. The deer pants and does a dance for the fall of minds. Hunted like a prey. Sought after like for play. Life and death in the tip of the arrow. Buckets of bullets pierced the winds, vibrating the leaves as the tree shook with pain, while the watcher took aim. Cheers! Another death. Someone earned a trophy for the wall case. More leaves fell. The water grew silent in view of the violent vibration of blood on the ground seeping towards the roots of the trees. Tonight we eat. Tonight we sleep. We sleep with the leaves that fell last fall. We eat with the deer that fell last night. We dream of the trees that witnessed the blood. Let me be like a tree. Let me be like a deer. Let my mind rest from the vibrant run of the vehicle that crosses all terrains.
Recently received a call from a friend who has Aspergers with a strong dose of Bipolar 2. This night I sat on the other side of the desk. He was drunk and seeking methods of suicide to hide from the pride of failure. An ex felon with a job that he hates. Working hard to no end but a paycheck that doesn’t pay respect. He felt lost and abandoned and was definitely 14 cans of beer drunk when the call was made. He said that the suicide hotline often calls the police when chatting and as an ex con, that brought back traumatic memories. When calling for help causes more problems. So he decided to call me instead. Have not spoke with him in months so it was hearing from a ghost for me. No time to catch up on anything casual as life and death was upon the phone lines. To die or not to die. Not quite the poetic version but this was not a fictional story from history but a reality facing me. I am not used to sitting on this side of the desk. No training on suicide prevention. No idea what to say. So I just listened. I listened to the problems pouring out like a cold drink on a summer day. I listened to hopeless words stammering forth like sentences from a broken type writer. I realized he was sitting in a room that I had visited myself more than once. After quite a spell, he retained enough common sense to confess that Bipolar Depression is winning over his will power. That going to the local bar for counsel was not quite working to overcome such negative thoughts and feelings. I am in a mixed state as I contemplate his fate. So happy to hear he was alive. So sad to hear he is thinking about death. The previous prison record prevented him from purchasing a gun. So he went to research in the light of the dark web. It did offer a plethora of hidden advice on suicide methodologies. He shared his thoughts. I listened. Tomorrow he officially loses the job that he hates. Tomorrow he wakes up to not having a friend that he had known for years. The obituary spoke so clearly.
“If it wasn’t for my mom”
“I just don’t want to put her through this”
The thoughts that kept him around when all else was failing. Chemicals in the mind like chemtrails decline from the sky. I kept listening. Bipolar depression lesson continued for almost an hour. He almost talked himself sane and sober. Not to suicide. Sure, horrendous English but the best news. I was finally able to offer some free advice. Get help! I know that the last psychiatrist really let him down. He called and texted but she was too busy to return any message. He gave up. I hope now that he knows what so many have to learn. Bipolar depression is real. It is a big deal. Most can’t cope on their own and without help, there can be a loss of hope. He did call. He did reach out. I passed the baton onto the professionals. Hopefully, after losing the job, he finds his way to the office to find his life. Today I officially started my new job. Suicide prevention hotline. I officially quit. My number is not listed. I filled out no application. My only experience is…experience. I felt the voice of depression. Suicide has called me before on unlisted numbers. I almost answered the call. I didn’t. So far, he hasn’t. I hope that he calls me back. If he does, I will work again. He is my friend. I don’t want to lose anyone else to depression. To die or not, should no longer be the question.
Thinking in terms of trains. Not quite the obsession just hear the lesson in each neighborhood since childhood. Sets on the floor. Days to set up and more minutes to explore. The thought to add a few more cars to the track. Research the connection to each tunnel through which each wheel passes for a brief moment beyond the realization of the observer. Power source seems so innocent. Quick decision to spend more money on more parts to start a new ride. Inside the tunnel each connecting car runs without the need for an engine. The energy of itself carries it with the proverbial caboose. The train keeps running. It just keeps running. The cars no longer strictly connected. They run alone without power, with a power all of their own. The whole set is unplugged and full of tunnels. Still they run. No longer fun. The job of the track to keep all intact has failed miserably. Now they run scattered across basement floors to search and discover for more stops. Crowds make connections but I assume they will all be late. I am sure that I will be as well. I can’t tell where the enigmatic engine is. The tracks are just a puzzle to muzzle the vibration. The energy within is stimming like a steam engine as I approach red. Just lay on the tracks, on the back, on the basement floor. There’s the door but first must muster the many cars to realign into a track design. Must connect the train of thought to the real reason it was bought for such a price. Too tired to engineer anything meaningful. The train runs away again. Hopefully it hits the breaks before it breaks apart of me. Too tired to chase. The steam has morphed into dew. Whew! Now there is time but no steam to do anything but stare at the wet basement floor that I thought about cleaning up all day.
Undiagnosed for years due to linguistic semantics that professionals still debate about. We wait around in waiting rooms for eyes to watch for ours. Play this game. Seems insane. Seriously? The symptoms I wrestle with are not found in simple table games and eye contact. I have contacted the pain of strain trying to maintain a straight face. Like fried ice cream, masks cover the mental melt down. The frown is not me, as much as the smile is contrived to fit the scene. Just ask me, just ask how I feel when I leave. Why depression leads the way home from social scenes. Really it’s another semantic due the pedantic gathering of experts with expectations that we are all different. Yet, judged by everyone who is not the same. Drained! Drained from the rain of sounds and lights. Drained from driving down a new street with out stop signs. They Beep! The horn honks a new meaning that green lights means Hurry Up and wait again. Red means rest from the rare radiance of roaring traffic. Yellow! Hmmm. So yellow. They told me, “you speak so well”. I thought of this at the yellow. I waited for the yellow again. It’s not a sin. Unless you ask the men behind me who are in a perpetual hurry to get to the next light. I was also in a hurry, a flurry to get home to sit in the freezer and reframe my face. Turn on the melting pot for stew. Everything is different there. Everyone stops to stare at my MPAs. Too much to hide. Energy seems to be a distant diet that I can no longer afford to consume. A diet that is beyond the capacity of the expert chefs. Much like the criteria for social emotional reciprocal relational fictional responses that I gave. It worked. I am OK. The only question now is why is the ice cream melted in the pot of stew?
Had my psychology appointment last week. Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the writing…a wrench was tossed. A new study was launched. New doors were opened. New answers to old problems and just maybe a few more initials to add to the seemingly ever growing list of issues. Most recent Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I was always on a pursuit to see if all the underlying issues were somehow magically connected. No sooner did I give that up and blog about acceptance of the Bipolar did this arise. Was she just waiting in disguise for my surprise acceptance to issue the next challenge? Perhaps! So I was tasked to research, as she knows I will anyway, to make the connect. Here are some recent but astonishing findings.
I have historically been diagnosed with Marfans Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disease. I also deal constantly with IBS and acid reflux. I also have severe anxiety issues that present all across the anxiety spectrum from somatic issues to panic attacks and everything in between. Still not enough, add Bipolar 1 and PTSD from a host of abnormal life twists and events. So what is the connection? Maybe Autism.
I know, right? But…how could this have been missed? Isn’t autistic behavior seen at a young age? In fact, I am quite certain that you have to be diagnosed before age 2 or 3 for most, not 50!
Come to find out, with still so much research to do, that “syndromic” Autism can be found much later in life. With 50% of the cases being what I will call “classic” Autism, that is to say, Autism as I read it in the DSM 5, there is another 10% with genetic factors. These genetic factors or the syndromic Autism is my new field of study. Obviously not much out there, and seemingly even less consensus. Much like the C-PTSD, which is not in the DSM but still readily spoken about by professionals on blogs and posts.
Now what? If it is true, I have a long awaited answer that connects ALL of the small mysterious dots. If not, I continue to explore and just be abnormal with one less label.
Interesting fact, at least to me, is that so much of my research kept ending up on Autism Spectrum sites. I study Anxiety and end up there. I study IBS and end up there. The kicker was searching for more info on Marfans syndrome and yet again end up there. Thanks to an article, that I need to find again, which showed the results of a study for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and it’s connection with autistic symptomatology. Ehlers-Danlos is a connective tissue disorder similar but different than to Marfans syndrome. Similar in the connective tissue disease but different in presentation. All of that said, I have a few questions.
1) Is the genetic presentation of autistic symptoms still considered to be on the Autism spectrum or as a symptom pattern of the underlying genetic disease?
2) Is high functioning Autism a reality or just spoken of like C-PTSD?
3) What is the treatment plan for such a mixture of madness?
4) Is social awkwardness and language deficiency a must or merely part of a whole that may or may not be present?
5) Is it better to ask five questions when four was sufficient?
Four seasons of medications that tease the sand like the rain on a sunny day. Oceanic under tow flows perpetually often stealing an unsuspecting visitor to the shoreline. Ignore the education. A brief moment to explore the beautiful depths with scuba gear and a breath. Then the wind of the waves rip the side of the vessel. Gravity exists in such a way. Now the enemy of the surface. The surfers can no longer see my face. Still wondering just how deep this decent into depressions may be. There is definitely not enough air from here to there. Calculate the fear or just enjoy the final view of the underwater tomb stones. I knew it would end this way. So dark and cold. Life swims above. Far above. For the first time I see light vanish. A race for eyes to adjust to the new blindness of old darkness. Others are near but who cares when they are not seen. So it’s a million miles to the next breath. It’s a millisecond before I heard my own muffled sound. Counting down to when there is one left. Shhh! Thoughts seem to make an echo. Echo seems to make another thought. The pressure is almost unbearable. The end is just above the waves. The bottom has never been seen. The life in the jacket has become straight. The boat rocks. It’s almost my turn to fall in.