Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fun times ahead!

Today I'm going to a store called Vidler's 5 & 10. It's a really kewl, historical place. I've always been captivated by all the neat little things they have to offer. I think I was 12 the last time I was there!

I always take time to appreciate the little things in life, whether it be a toad hopping across my yard, or a nifty little toy as I browse stores like these. The slightest things grasp my attention and it's only a matter of time before I'm hooked, and I'm in my own little universe. The rest of the world around me seems so far away and I often have to snap back into reality!

No matter how busy life gets, always remember to stop and smell the roses. Life is short. The years fly by with increasing velocity. If you can make tiny memories such as these, you'll always have moments of pure happiness to look back on :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the inside looking out

It's been several months since my diagnosis, much of which I've been on a great journey. I've learned a lot about myself, and am still learning. I am realizing, however, that as much as I'm enjoying the ride, I need to look outside myself.

Yes, I've been talking a lot about my journey here and on Facebook. I've been wondering if I've been talking a little too much about autism, yet I'm tired of apologizing for myself and compromising what I feel is important at this stage of my life. As much as I worry about bothering others, it's also time I stand up and say what I feel. If I want to keep making autism posts, I'm going to.

Then a Facebook friend gently reminded me that there is more to life than autism awareness. At first, I became a little defensive, and said that this is very important to me, especially being recently diagnosed. My friend understood where I was coming from, and what they said resonated with me as well. Maybe it's not that I need to stop raising awareness and acceptance, but to look beyond myself and remember that there is a whole world put there!

You'll still see me posting about autism, but what I'd like to do differently is to not talk about myself and my journey all the time, but what YOU may want to know. That and I'll still keep mixing it up, adding my funny posts and adorable animal pics, cuz that's what I do :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The benefits to learning you're on the spectrum

Once I discovered I had Asperger's, it's like a light bulb went on in my head. I finally had a name to put to why I've always been different (and gladly so), have had certain challenges, and interpret the world the way I do. It was great to gain this insight into myself.

For the next 4 years, I researched everything I could find about Asperger's. I realized that I HAD to be on the spectrum; it just made so much sense! After several online tests, lists of traits, and personal accounts of other Aspies, I decided to get the answer I was looking for: an official diagnosis.

After a series of three interview-like appointments with the same psychologist who had diagnosed me with ADHD six years earlier, and questionnaires completed by my parents and myself, voila! It was determined I AM indeed on the spectrum! What a relief it was to finally confirm what I had been suspecting for so long.

Once I got this answer, I could put my questions to rest. I had that certainty I so longed for. This also meant that nothing had changed about me as a person; I had ALWAYS been an Aspie, it's just that now I knew this for sure! Then began the journey of self-discovery and learning more and more, which I'm in the process of at the moment. It's been a very rewarding journey, and I look forward to continuing to learn and help others along the way!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Functioning Labels

I'm sure you've heard the terms "high" or "low" functioning before. While people may use them only intending to describe the level one operates at, they can be very misleading and ableist. I'll do something here I've seen a few times:

Zoey, 31, received her Bachelor's in Social Work. She holds both a full-time and relief position working with people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Zoey has an active social life, spending time with her friends and family. She considers herself a mediator, as keeping the peace is a strength of hers.

Max, also 31, still lives with her parents who provide her with a lot of moral support. She struggles to manage money, having difficulty budgeting. Max feels that she is at a turning point in life, in a developmental stage similar to that of a teenager. She is not sure just what she wants out of life and is trying to find her path.

Now, looking at the two above stories, you'd probably assume that Zoey operates at a "high" functioning level and Max on a "low" functioning level. The truth is, if you haven't figured out already, Zoey and Max are both facets of me :) The point of this all is to prove that functioning labels are not always accurate, as one can be BOTH "high" and "low" functioning, in varying areas. Everyone is created unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses. One may excel in living independently and struggle with social relations, while another may still be getting their footing on independence, but be a social butterfly....sound familiar? ;) The next time you hear someone using functioning labels, remind yourself that there is a lot more to a person than meets the eye!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Work, work, work!

What a busy weekend! I worked my second job on Saturday and Sunday from 8a-4p. All in all, it was a good weekend :)

How are your jobs all going?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


In light of all the negativity I've been expressing over the past few days, I'd like to shed some positive light!

1) I make mistakes, yet I can learn from them. It doesn't have to happen a second time, and even if it does, I'm only human.
2) I'm conscientious. I take care to try to do things correctly with the best of intentions.
3) I enjoy helping people. While things can be stressful, at the end of the day, I'm happy to be making an impact on the lives of others!
4) Life is good. I have friends and a family who care about me very much, and support and understand me.
5) I have a unique operating system, and have been programmed with gifts that when harnessed, can bring great things to the world!
6) It's summer. That one's self-explanatory :)
7) I have things that I'm very passionate about, and put lots of effort into.
8) I love animals, and they love me back!
9) It's already Wednesday.
10) When I weigh the pros and cons life gives me, the pros always outweigh the cons.

There you have it, 10 things that make me happy today! Spread the joy :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#aspieproblems and crummy days

Everyone has those days they wish they could fast forward through. Add to that the Aspie caveats of literal thinking and not thinking of things that cone to others with seemingly no effort. It makes for one crazy day!

Yesterday, I had to do a move for work. The movers were supposed to show up at 11am. Well, it got to be almost 1pm, and there was no sign of them. I called the moving company, and they said that since they had tried to contact the person I was helping to confirm and couldn't reach them because their phone had already been turned off, they hadn't sent anyone over. I immediately felt that it was my fault, as it never dawned on me to give them the person's CELL number or my own number, when I had arranged the move two weeks earlier. It should have come to mind that their phone was going to be shut off, naturally because it was being switched to their new place. But do I think of things like that? Of course not.

The move ended up being pushed until the end of the day, only their truck broke down and my person had to wait until this morning. I felt so at fault, like such a failure. Why don't things just occur to me that seem to occur to everyone else? I was feeling really down about this. After venting to Facebook friends, my best friend, my parents and my brother, I felt a lot better. They reminded me not to set myself up for failure by beating myself up. They encouraged me to tell myself I can do it!

I must realize and take ownership of the the fact that things are going to be a little harder for me than many others. It's part of the way I'm hardwired. Rather than let it get me down, though, I need to use it to make myself stronger, and chalk instances like these up as learning experiences. I may not have thought to give the cell number this time, but I'll surely never forget next time! I also need to recognize where I need help and go about asking for it. With the right supports, I can do anything! I'm Aspie Strong :)