Quick Post: A Lady Went Above And Beyond And Was Kind.

Dear Diary,

Today I went to Edinburgh with my Dad to look at the area surrounding my future university campus. Of course going shopping on Princes Street is an essential part of any visit to Edinburgh so as we walked along – or I hobbled ( calling the doctor on Monday because there is clearly something wrong with my leg ) – I looked at the windows of the various retail stores.

I went into Waterstones where I browsed the aisles of young adult fiction and vietnam-styled flashbacks raced through my mind at the sight of To Kill A Kingdom and From Blood And Ash – two books I’ve reviewed on this blog that will stay with me until I die, due to the sheer volume of cringe.

Anyway I digress, after Waterstones I went straight into Lush on Princes Street, Edinburgh and spoke to a girl who worked there. I told her about how I haven’t been taking care of myself properly and described some of my skincare and hair issues. The lady was lovely and called me “Honey Bun” which after being treated like I was a mature grown-up for the past months since turning 18, I thought was really nice.

The girl told me about the different skincare and hair products at Lush and helped me find the things I needed. I decided to get the Mask Of Magnaminty face and body mask 125g after the lady recommended it. I told her about my hair problems and she gave me two samples: Candy Rain conditioner and Rehab shampoo.

I told her about how I’m going to university at Napier in 2022 and about how I’m having a look around Edinburgh to get used to where I’ll be living after my gap year. She wished me good luck and a great rest of my day.

When I went to the counter to pay she wrote me a note and gave me a Scrubee Body Butter for free – as well of course the two free samples.

I’ve seen waiters, shop assistants and others be not helpful and uninterested in the customer but this lady was truly kind and made my day.

I thanked her for her kindness but I wanted to write this post to share how much I appreciate it, even if she never sees it. Because her friendliness and warmth made me happy and I’m 100% going back there to buy more goodies!

My Lush Haul

That’s MY Thing! – Feeling Territorial Over ‘Having Problems’ And The Embarrassing Reality Of Being Jealous That You Are Not The ONLY One In Your Life Who Has Similar Problems

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.

Dear Diary,

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.

What Now? – Being Off Work With No Plans And Growing Anxiety and Uncertainty

Being a grown-up is a hell of a lot less fun than I expected.

Dear Diary,

I’m back writing on my laptop in my dressing gown and drinking a blackcurrent fruit shoot – mind racing a million miles an hour.

I’m trying to locate the cause or reasoning behind this nagging uneasiness I’m feeling and have yet to come to a conclusion. I’m probably embarrased and stressed out that I vommitted at work; I’m probably worried about going back to work in five or so days; I’m probably worried about my theory test and the content I need to learn by then and various other fears; And yet none seem to be the root cause.

I feel like I’m waiting to go back to school at some point and fall back into the routine of being a high-schooler. I’m waiting to be plucked from my new life as a working adult and placed back to where I truly belong, the place I was for most of my life.

Perhaps it’s being off work that is confusing me – (although this week off was desperately needed.) Maybe I’m feeling discombobulated about not following my routine as I have nowhere I need to be. My physical health is very poor; I can’t even walk to my Dad’s car without being extremely out of breath. I may stand still for hours upon hours at work, walking on even-flooring and walking quick short distances and back but these days I can’t walk down the high-street without repeatedly stopping for breath. In my entire life I have never felt this physically unfit.

Whatever the reason; I am lost and not sure where to go from here. I feel like a child playing dress-up, missing the carefree-ness of being a high-schooler (though high-school in on itself wasn’t exactly carefree) and I am scared of being given time to myself.

Food is still bothering me. Textures and hard bits in meats are causing me great discomfort and upset. My OCD is not great; I’m opting to not care about my appearance out of depression and not trying to make myself feel better by wearing my favourite clothes or accessorise.

I guess you could say I’m in limbo. I’m unsure of what to do and anticipating disaster and so are not doing anything productive or beneficial. I’m reluctant to start challenging my OCD or making myself feel better because I feel so damn tired. The idea of redecorating the house before a tornado strikes feels pointless so to speak. I’m just waiting for my tornado – and a tornado will always, always come – in a run-down shack instead of enjoying whatever time I have left in a cozy cottage so to speak.

Intrusive Thoughts To Do With Greed + Food OCD

Food and me have a complicated history. I’ve always been a big eater and have always enjoyed eating take-outs, at cafes or at resteraunts with my family. Despite how much I’ve loved food, it’s also been a large part of my OCD.

Throughout my childhood certain food was viewed by my OCD as ‘contaminated’. Not by germs ( although ‘germs’ was the terminology I used to use to describe the thing that was ‘contaminated’; a word later added to my language.) or an actual founded in reality, albiat very unlikely concern such as it having some sort of disease; my ‘contamination’ was different.

It was the grease from a bagel, the tomato ketchup from my brother’s hotdog, the slight possibility of a crumb from a sausage roll falling on my scarf when I’m on holiday to Centre Parcs e.t.c.

The thing that was different about my OCD as my phycologist pointed out later was that when I felt like the food had ‘contaminated’ me, I was never in fear of consequences like a loved one dying or getting sick from the food – the typical OCD fears that would fuel the compulsion ( or at least the typical line of thinking that if I do something or fail to do something, X, Y and Z will happen as a result. )

My OCD has rarely been like that. Don’t get me wrong – my OCD is by no means worse or better than any other person’s is – it’s just different presumably because I’m, well, autistic.

When I got ‘contaminated’ by food or any other thing I deemed undesirable, I was not afraid of something bad happening as a result – It was that I felt wrong and bad. It’s hard to explain the way being ‘contaminated’ feels. It’s not real, ‘contamination’ is a way for me to deal with life – I know. But the feeling is awful.

Something that one of my phycologists once said about my OCD being different to the traditional OCD made me think oneday in my appointment about how upon feeling ‘contaminated’ by apple juice – I searched on Google Images ‘celebrities with apple juice in their hair’.

I wanted ( and still do to a degree ) to be like ‘everyone else’, I looked at these ‘normal girls’ in my real life and celebrities. I looked at the girls in my class and on the TV, who I could never quite understand and found flaws in myself in ways that were unconventional. The worst part is that even if someone else got  apple juice on them for example – that was okay! They were not ‘contaminated’ because it was only me who got contaminated…

Because at the end of the day my OCD is not about preventing something bad from happening, I think my OCD is about my autism.

So that brings my point to today. I go out and buy spicy chips from the shops, food I buy with my own money that I truly don’t need as I’ve already ate. I eat them and now I feel the familiar feeling of being ‘contaminated’. I feel greedy because I did not need to eat them and I hate myself slightly for being so greedy.

So tonight I showered, giving into my OCD and as I sit here late at night on what would have been a school night had I still been in school ( a transition that my autism is struggling to comprehend – that I’m no longer in high school ) and a plan to hang out with a friend for drinks tomorrow and all I can think about is how those spicy chips made me feel.

But we all know it’s not really about spicy chips. It’s because I have a social event tommorrow and I’m nervous. It’s because I’m realising that I am no longer a child and have new challenges. It’s because I am autistic. I just wish my brain would believe it.

COVID-19 Vaccine And “Looking Disabled”

Dear Diary,

Today I got my first COVID-19 vaccine. A week or so ago I recieved a letter giving me an appointment for around lunchtime today, I was given the AstraZeneca vaccine and it didn’t hurt one bit. My problem however, was the way the woman who vaccinated me made me feel.

I had brought my identification and my letter and I showed up on-time and the person took one look at me and soon asked me what medications I was taking, unwilling to disclose my taking of anti-depressants I said none relevent. She then asked me some other questions getting sightly annyoyed with me despite the fact I’d done nothing, before straight-up asking me “Why are you getting the vaccine?”

It felt very petty and her whole attitude was very insulting. I was wearing joggers, a jumper and had greasy hair and combining that with my age she just asssuemed that the NHS had made a mistake or something.

Knowing that I had to answer her question for two reasons: 1.) She was going to stab me with a needle and 2.) I just wanted it over with.

So I say “I’m autistic” in the middle of the community centre to this woman who then replies that “She couldn’t see it. [Referring I hope, to the diagnosis on my electronic file on her iPad.”

My point is not that I had to say I was autistic, it’s that I was treated with reluctance becasue my disablility is invisable. I’d been properly signed in, I had been given a time-slot, a letter and yet I was still treated like it was me, who was doing something wrong.

So I’m not very happy about all that. Anyway stay safe.

MEDUSA.