Something Good- Day 227-229

I went to the park on Friday with a friend. We talked and played games. It was fun to spend time with her and her cute little family.

Yesterday I went to Logan for my niece’s baptism. It was a beautiful ceremony, and she was so happy. Afterwards, my brother took me to dinner with his family. It was a long drive home, but it was so good to see everyone.

I slept so much today. I was exhausted from my trip this weekend and my sister’s cat has been waking me up during the night, which makes it difficult to get enough sleep. My friend was worried about me because my sister could not get in contact with me, so she came to check on me. I was grateful for their concern and glad to wake up for some dinner before heading back to bed.

Something Good- Day 204

I am trying to wake up earlier for work so that I am not rushing so much in the morning. This morning I was able to get a Wendy’s breakfast sandwich because I was a few minutes early and had a coupon. I love being able to eat a good breakfast, and it helped because I had a lot going on today.

Something Good- Day 141-142

I did not feel like posting last night. I felt hurt and depressed and just could not think of something good. I have learned, though, that most things get better in the morning. I know that if I can just fall asleep, tomorrow is a new day. Luckily, I fell asleep relatively quickly last night and woke up in better spirits.

We packed our bags and gifts tonight to take to my brother’s house this weekend. I am looking forward to spending time with my nieces and nephews again.

Something Good- Day 118 & 119

I had a major headache last night. I talked to my friend for a bit, but then I had to lie down. My sister brought me some pain medicine and an ice pack. I was grateful that I fell asleep quickly and felt better this morning.

We finally got our cash machine fixed at the bank today. It has been broken for about a week, and we have stayed late every day since because of it. I am hopeful that this week will be better than last week now that it is working again.

Something Good- Day 83

I love clean sheets!

The bank where I work decided to reduce our hours this week to limit our social exposure. I was excited to have a couple extra hours each day to clean and work on my house. My sister surprised me when I got home though with clean bedding! She had washed all my sheets and blankets, which is a lot because I sleep with about 8 blankets each night. I am excited to have a clean bed to sleep in tonight and to get some more cleaning done tomorrow!

“Watchman, what of the night?”

I cannot sleep tonight. It’s the first night since I’ve been better that I haven’t just drifted off in peaceful bliss. One rough night doesn’t mean that you have slipped back into depression, but when depression has been such a constant in your life, one night can bring back so many reminders.

My mind is like a floodgate. Once the gates of self doubt or anxiety or depression or feelings of worthlessness open, the thoughts come bursting forth like giant waterfalls flowing along the well-worn paths they have carved in the landscape of my mind.

Half the time, I don’t even know what I’m thinking because I’m thinking so much that I can’t even process it. My thoughts choke me. They suffocate me. I gasp for the peace and reassurance I felt just a few hours ago. Where did it go so quickly?

There’s this scripture I love in Isaiah that says, “Watchman, what of the night?” It basically means, “how long will the night last? When will the morning come?” Sometimes the night seems to last so long, but morning always comes. Tonight, I am asking, “when will morning come?” But I know that it’s there, just on the other side of the darkness.

Lessons of Pain

Pain teaches you things. Sometimes, the more intense the pain is, the more it teaches you. Today I have been in excruciating pain, and I have been thinking about the lessons pain has taught me.

  1. My body is amazing. Sometimes we tell ourselves how much we hate our bodies because they are not what we want them to be. When it becomes hard to move because of pain, you realize just how amazing your body really is.
  2. My body needs just as much love as I do. I learned this by  unintentionally starving my body. Eating causes me pain and time is a short commodity, so I simply did not eat meals for two weeks. By the time I realized what was happening, my body needed a whole lot of love to get back to normal.
  3. Everyone suffers. Most of the time, no one knows I am in pain. I resist the urge to slide to the floor and curl up in fetal position when I’m talking to someone. It has made me wonder how many other people resist similar urges and what unseen pain they may be suffering.
  4. You may never fully understand the power of a hug. When I am in intense pain, physical touch can sometimes be unwelcome. But a hug is almost always something I want. A hug releases some of the tension, alleviates some of the pain, and above all, let’s me know I’m not alone.
  5. Compassion and empathy. Everyone experiences pain differently, but because I know what pain feels like for me, I can sympathize when you describe what pain feels like for you.
  6. Gratitude. When I have a good day, when I feel well enough to do something extra, when pain doesn’t describe my state of being, I am so grateful. It makes me grateful for the little things like being able to stand and able to eat and sleep, etc.
  7. Pain is temporary. Even though I am almost always in some kind of pain, I have realized that the intense pain is temporary. It may feel unbearable in the moment, but eventually it will become bearable again.
  8. Sleep is my friend. Sometimes I delay sleeping because of depression. Sleeping seems like a darkness that I do not want to enter, but sleeping almost always helps me feel better.
  9. People care. Pain didn’t really teach me that people care, people taught me that they care. But pain made me realize and notice people caring.
  10. Service. Pain makes you realize the frailty of life. It helps you realize what is most important. To me, what is most important is other people. If I can make someone’s life better, if I can make them a little happier, if I can help someone, I want to do it. My pain does not disqualify me from trying to help someone else.

Weighted Blankets

It’s amazing what a few extra blankets can do. In the summer, I usually sleep with at least 3 blankets. Two comforters and one soft blanket. When I am not feeling well or it’s a little colder, I can sleep with up to 10 blankets.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized it is not the heat, but the weight that makes the difference. I do get cold more easily than most, but the reason I need extra blankets to help me fall asleep is the weight.

Sleeping with enough blankets that they press upon you is like being hugged all night long. Some people think that people with autism don’t like hugs, but the truth is most of us probably do like hugs. We just need to expect them and be prepared for them. If we are not ready for the hug, it can feel more like abuse than a gesture of love. It has gotten better for me over the years, but before if someone hugged me unexpectedly, it felt like it would leave bruises from the force of it. However, if I expected it, it was the most amazing feeling in the world. It is like a relief from the sensory overload I experience all the time.

I don’t get nearly enough hugs, but I am very grateful for the ones I do get. I am also grateful for blankets that feel like hugs and help reduce the sensory stress so I can sleep at night.

Much to Do

I feel like a new person. Between therapy, everything I’m learning and all my goals for myself- physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional, I am becoming better than I was and it’s been so amazing.

The past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to fall asleep when I go to bed. I keep thinking of all of the things I want to do and then I can’t sleep until I do them. It’s been good though because I’m doing so many more good things. I’m taking time to write letters and send messages and pray for people and just do all the things I was afraid of before. 

There is so much to do when you realize you can do anything you want. Luckily, I’m starting to catch up with everything I haven’t done so I’m starting to get enough sleep again!