Today is the 3rd of January and I’m back from meeting up with my friend from high school who is currently at university. It was great seeing her and finding out all about her experience at university aswell as catching up.
The best part was that I felt happy. I’d made an effort this morning to wash my face, make my hair look pretty, wear jewellery and accessories aswell as wearing my nice clothes – which felt so good! I feel less misery-guts and seeing someone outside of my family after being stuck indoors with my B12 deficiency for the past months. I still needed to use my walking stick and I fell over at one point onto the pavement after loosing my balance but it was really nice.
It has made me much more positive and I feel much more tolerant in dealing with sensory problems and less irritable when it comes to family members who have gotten on my nerves for simply existing, a phenomenom which has afflicted thousands during the first lockdowns.
For the past few months I’ve sat by the phone awaiting a call from my G.P and co. like a clingy highschool girlfriend awaiting a call from a crush that’s just not that into her; so it was nice chatting to a friend for a change.
Things are not 100% good with me just yet though. My fall today was bad but not as bad as falling into the staircase wall and cracking my head on Christmas Eve or not being able to get up from a beanbag yesterday. I’m going to have to chase up the medical practice again and listen to that God-awful jingle they play whilst you’re on hold.
Feeling like you are the only one feeling a certain way is awful; but the complex feelings that develop when you learn that some people close to you, outside of the people you know through your disorder, also may have similar issues, can be complicated to process.
Perhaps the most strange of feelings is the realisation that your wish of being accepted by the people you knew before your diagnosis is trumped by your misplaced-irritation at no longer being unique.
I spent so long subconciously treating my OCD, depression, anxiety and autism as my defining traits, which for all the time I’ve spent sad, anxious and doing compulsions – is understandable. Everything that was wrong with me has become the very thing that defines me. I am the one with issues. I am the one who has had to deal with mental health struggles and I am the one who has a messed-up brain.
The problem with thinking like this is the fact that in my misplaced jealousy about my so-called soul defining characteristic – the thing that only I have – is not exclusive to me.
You spend so long annoyed about being different and being a certain way that you begin to view it as the only thing about you that matters; that it’s the one thing that makes you different and special – even if it’s for what you percieve to be a bad reason.
When you meet like-minded people through your disorder/s it feels like it is something away seperate from your day-to-day life and those you know previous to the diagnosis are in a seperate ‘box’ so to speak. That is not real life though. People who are alike end up finding each other, or knowing each other anyway because that’s how life works. Things can never be kept completely seperate and that is the reason for so many good things. If sections of our life never interlapped no-one would ever have friends or have relationships in anyway.
The reality of the situation is that just because other people I may know have their own struggles and challenges to overcome, it doesn’t make my challenges and achievements any less important. The only thing that you can do is support the people in your life who have done the same to you and continue to make the most out of your life. One person’s struggle does not make another’s less important and feeling territorial over certain ‘problems’ doesn’t help.
It may feel weird to realise that your not quite as different to the people you have known for years as you thought you were; but just maybe it will ecourage you to be kinder to yourself. Afterall the people you care about are not defective or wrong – so many it’s about time you stop viewing yourself as such.
I’ve been keeping a small diary of my days as a waitress in paper from my first day as to not forget anything. Perhaps I will one day publish them anonymously but for now it is a nice ritual I do as soon as I get home from work.
I can’t really believe that I have a job. I can’t believe that I’ve left high school or that my life has completely changed. I reckon that getting a job has insured me that I’ve kept my routine and the long hours have enabled little time for rumination. There are draw-backs to this of course. I may be thriving…or, I may be a bottle of coke being shaken and will eventually erupt. Only time will tell which is one thing that sucks about being autistic – I never know how I’m feeling until it’s too late.
But I’ve enjoyed working as a waitress. It’s been really tough don’t get me wrong and my feet are in constant pain from blisters but I’ve enjoyed working so much. No-one aside from my boss knows that I’m autistic so far and that’s the way I’m going to keep it (unless it is necessary for me to reveal that information) secret from my colleagues. I would hate to be treated differently by my colleagues who don’t understand what autism is as they don’t know me well enough to be able to see who I am beside the diagnosis.
I’ve made some money and it feels really good. Having the ability to buy myself a new phone in the next few weeks is an amazing thing. I’m extremely grateful for my parents for giving me lifts to work at early morning shifts and lifts back at late hours and I appreciate it more than I feel I am able to successfully communicate.
Something that I’ve loved about my job (aside from meeting some really cool colleagues) is meeting some incredible and kind customers. I’ve had talks with people who have left an imprint on me with their kindness and their respect. I’ve recognised people like me and spoken to them and their parents and felt a lovely sense of community with people like me. I have never seen my autism as anything positive but my ability to recognise a little boy like me and treat him with respect and fun meant so much to his parents they told me and meant so much to me.
So yes. I’m now consistantly tired; Occasionally bored; Frequently excited due to interesting events at work; Sometimes insecure about forming friendships at work but mostly relaxed around a great bunch of people; Endlessly in pain over my feet but ultimately damn happy. Things are really, really, really, good right now.
I started my first job today and I had a great time! It was weird being a grown up when I’m so used to being the pupil in school but I loved every minute of work today and I can’t wait for tomorrow where I’ll be covering the night shift.
When I got home I was quite tired and I felt very sensitive. When I told my parents a joke that didn’t land and they thought I was being serious – I felt really hurt. I started thinking that they hated me and thought that I was bad. This is a sign that I’m tired and my OCD are causing my brain to malfunction.
I won’t let my own insecurities ruin an all round great day so I’m going to go to bed in a minute and get a good nights sleep!
I’ve said goodbye to many teachers who have supported me and whom I genuinely care about. My last day is tomorrow evening where I’ll go to prom, enjoy a meal and get my high school graduation certificate.
I’m nervous for tomorrow but also so excited. I have a beautiful dress, I’m getting my hair professionally done, I have beautiful accessories and makeup and I’m so excited!
I’m currently painting my toenails for the prom and I’m going to choose my jewellery – I’m definitely wearing my Elena vervain locket and my Elena ring as well as some of my Pandora charms.
I have a busy day tomorrow so I’m going to get some sleep. This may be the shortest blog post in the history of humanity but I want to record how I’m feeling.
I’ve chosen a course that in part surprised me. I know that I can excel at it and I am genuinely excited to get started!
Of course there are the wriggling doubts, the fears, the nagging voice in the back of my head whispering that I’ve made a huge mistake – which sucks but is also normal. I got into a fantastic course that may not have been my ‘dream course’ but is something that I love and can’t wait to begin.
So yes with the celebration comes slight mourning – mourning for a S1 girl’s dream and mourning for the countless other opportunities that every choice we make in life limits you to.
But despite some sadness and anxiety; I feel relieved. I have a clear view of what I’ve got to do and how I’m going to do it and that feels really good.
I am very happy and I think that this course will not only be badass, exciting and that guarantees a career; but will also make me happy in life.
Only time will tell but today is a good day and it requires a celebration – one preferably when I’m neither sunburnt or exhausted from adrenaline. One thing is for sure; I can’t wait to get started!
Yesterday, or rather a few hours ago was my 18th birthday and I had an amazing time!
This is my second birthday in lockdown and yet it was incredible. I woke up feeling really excited and then I was wished happy birthday by my grandparents (socially distant of course) and I returned home where I found bunting saying 18 in the kitchen. My Mum and sister arrived from the shop shortly after I came home with a giant balloon.
After we all were together I started opening up my presents. My siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents got me the best stuff I could ever have asked for and I honestly loved every gift so much. It was so exciting and I felt very happy.
Later on I popped a bottle of champagne and drank some of that in my new 18th birthday glass I was given by my Mum. At dinner time my Dad made his famous homemade pizza and I got a whole one to myself!
As I blew the candles out of my cake; my siblings and I listened and sang along to iconic songs such as “Fireflies” by OwlCity, “How Bad Can I Be?” and “LetIt Grow” from The Lorax soundtrack and “I gotta feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas.
After dinner we all sat down with popcorn and watched Zac Snyder’s Justice League on NowTV. Even though it was four hours long – I loved the movie and the whole experience was great.
So as my birthday draws to a close I realised three things: 1. Turning 18 didn’t mean that everything was changing – it meant I was getting presents! 2. My OCD was really good today (It was barely affecting me at all!) 3. I had the best time ever.
Later today I’ll have to complete my personal statement and do various other administrative jobs like checking e-mails or revising for a geography test. Though these tasks seem fickle in comparison to the fact that I’m going against my nature and resisting the urge to listen to my OCD.
The day after a breakdown is worse than the breakdown itself. I feel nausous and drained, like everything in the world is wrong.
I’m wearing a bunch of jewellery today. For the reason that is that my OCD is telling me that If I wear it, I will ruin it and contaminate it. So I’m wearing a shocking amount of expensive jewellery for a Friday morning which I’m not seeing anyone but well, here we are.
I bought a new ring from Pandora a few days ago. It is the new Cinderella ring that I bought with my own money. It’s beautiful and currently on my fingers. My OCD is whispering your going to ruin it Lucy, It is being contaminated right now and will become even more contaminated after you go to McDonalds’s today. It’s hard to drown the voice out and almost amusing that my metaphorical demon is concerned about a drivethru.
I know why I’m “concerned” about going to McDonald’s, my favourite new intrusive thought – conjealed beef fat – partly originated there. No matter how hard I tell myself that it’s not going to ruin anything (to be fair I don’t tell myself this as much as I should) it still hurts.
That’s the main problem with OCD isn’t it? I think people assume when someone has OCD that when they have a breakdown it’s because something isn’t perfect and they feel stressed. Of course there is stress.
But the main problem is that when you stop giving into your OCD it feels like the world is wrong. There is no romantic, Hallmark movie type panic. You feel like you want to crawl out of your own body and scream. The world feels dirty and disgusting and you can either give in and dull the pain momentarily making the world feel more in control, more good, more clean…or you can feel the agony of years of ingrained beliefs being ignored, you can suffer through the revulsion of whatever the OCD makes you think is the cause of your life’s problems in the hope that eventually after ripping off the bandaid, the pain will go away.
It did for me last time. My OCD was still there and obviously it lingered and grew in strength the more times I gave in a little but it can be done. You can go cold turkey on your compulsions. It just hurts a great deal.
I’ve been feeling sad today and for the past week or so. There is no fancy adjective, metaphor or phrase to be used except to say I feel depressed. Various things and events have led to this saddness and various things and events continue to make me sad. However just the smallest thing today really made me feel better.
Despite my deppression the news that the necklace I had ordered from Etsy had arrived made me so happy. I had recently purchased an Elena Gilbert inspired locket necklace by Italian jewellery maker Lisa Carbone (LAcchiappasogni). It is amazing quality and looks exactly like Elena’s. The packaging was beautiful – I even got a free gift of beautiful earrings! Despite feeling so down and miserable today having my new necklace made me finally feel really, really happy.
Sometimes little things can make a big difference and today a little bit of retail therapy and happiness really did.