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.
Frustration is unmet expectation coming to fruition. Agitation which can clean clothes so dirties the mind with toxic moods. The process of the the proper place is the space between sentences. The moment after the period causes more respite than the common comma but not as much as the line break. That’s the pause that causes alarm but truly does little harm. The area between ideas. The rest that wrestles with the next thought. In this between is where the theory of growth begins. The man is addicted to his thoughts. She is accustomed to her thinking. The solution for the problem was perhaps when the seeking ceased for a moments rest. This wakefulness of sleep. The silent pause in the crowded room begs for the reality of realignment. The Religious spoke of it, calling it meditation. The businesses mandate it, calling it vacation. What’s the thread of each idea that weaves a tapestry through the aging era? What’s the effect that causes so many, from so varied, to all agree at least in theory? Rest. Pause. Take time to take no thought. That is to say, let it all go for a season to play. Have no worry, if the problems of anxiety won’t go away. Leave them be and just be. I say this with addictive thoughts vying for attention to be dispensed into ink and vibration. Finding this path. Making every effort to enter into rest. The phone song is off. Texts flash forward to test the resolve. This is the moment of letting go. Starts by going slow. Moves by forgetting. Enhanced by the sitting still. A moment to be a human. So many human doings and not enough human beings. It’s when the being becomes that the rest follows. Oh but the asking is so incredibly insurmountable. Easier to say to me, “calm the ocean waves in the spring storm.”
Easier to say “take anxiety and just make it the norm.”
Still. Still we were born for being. And the being is better suited in coats of peace than shirts of agitation. Just a theory. Rest more. Take a vacation from the sensation of needing to fill every moment with a thousand thoughts when a few will do. In time, the doing will morph into being and be able to do more without the agitation of so much anxiety. I am now a certified doctor of rest. I prescribe to you, have a nice day and take two mental vacations today of at least 15 minutes. I know, I don’t have time either. Perhaps that’s why.
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.
Met with psychologist recently and everything went decently as far as I can find. Went over treatment plan to ban together on how to deal with the masking tape issues that my facial features seem to stick with. To deal with leaving the agora without any phobia of returning home drained from the strain of acting very typical. To uncover the buried headline from recent times, my friend is doing fine. At least so far. Quite the leap from treatment plans to suicide prevention but this is how the world spins. This is how the nation winds around from experiencing exhausting shopping days to counseling former friends on the dangers of depression while alone and unstable. Now he is able to go to work again. Now he attempts to be normal most likely with the same hope that historic dark days were just a passing fad. He is glad to be alive for now. So am I. Follow up is so underrated. He and I even debated on the entire system of mental health that was created to assist the imbalance. Much more to explore but the discussion of personal performance perfection is tough to ignore. It is not a perfect system by any means. Yet, why allow such imperfections be the reason for rejection. I have received wrong orders from fast food establishments and still go out to eat. I have received bad advice from friends and still call those few almost weekly. I am on my 6th or 7th psychiatrist but I still keep going. They are who they are. If imperfections were the reason for rejection why do anything? Yet, the depressed mind has reasons that are very personal. Reasons from the place of pain and not quite fully functional. At least for my friend. Today however, he is better. Today he is at work. Today I sit at home and write. This is my job. This is my imperfection written with light and letters. My assignment is to work on masking. My treatment plan is to uncover. This is the first layer. I almost went to get something to eat today. Once my family came home I decided to just stay in my room and avoid them. The hour is later than I realize. I will eat snacks tonight and try again tomorrow when everyone is at work. Small talk is so trying. So useless. So dangerous. I will wait for the moment. I may stay in this corner all night as all day. With a mask that burns to peel away. I feel hungry. Where did this day go?
Energy to mask is missing. Must maintain some sense of normalcy. Wish to be abnormally normal. Read my mind, not being unkind, just drained. Straining to keep a straight face. Wish this waiting room was as empty as those cracks in the floor. Wish I could look up to see the time. To see the clock staring at my insecurities. The hands rotate to imitate my unconscious stims. So difficult to determine what’s going to happen next. Why is he still talking to me? Such small talk, such big bulky words for no reason. This season is unmasking for no reason at all. Plan an escape. Make way to the hallway for a bathroom break. Yeah, if he keeps being normal, I will flee to safer shores in stalls and writing on nasty walls. Where smells swell from deep dwelling places. Perhaps I will stay here. That sounds worse than a curse from an old lady with green teeth. Why so hard to be normal today. Why is this mask so heavy. This smile so fake that it breaks my heart to lie like this. This deceptive grin is against my religion. 15 minutes of waiting is carrying the weight of 15,000 thoughts made of shame. My mask has a leak. I am sure of it as the clock continues to peak and peer right into my abnormal. Those hands just don’t move fast enough. Am I next? Count the feet. Yes, only four left. I must be. Voices of calm are fading into the walls. I am going to make it this time. I am next! Whew!
One appointment and done. Small drive and still alive. So why am I Drained like the first breath after the last step of a marathon? Why is this mask so full of holes, getting so heavy? Just wear the T-shirt as a flirt with social norms. Alone is not all bad. This clock in my own house stares at me. It has seen me before. It knows what time it is. The alarm of taking off the mask is beyond snooze control. Today, I am too tired to be anything but maskless me. Maskless for recovery. I have another appointment next week. I hope I recover in time to make another mask. I hope I discover in time to fake another task. Until then, I am going to stare back at this clock until I know what I really look like.
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?