Posted in Blogging, Mental Health

Things that make sense now that I realize I’m Autistic: Echolalia

I’ve always loved singing and will almost always sing along with whatever music happens to be playing. And when I sing along, I always adopt whatever accent the artist singing the song has.

I went through a Les Misérables phase in middle/highschool and the fact that I adopted an accent was extremely apparent during that phase because I always listened to the original London cast recordings.

My friends would point it out and make fun of me for it, but I couldn’t understand why they didn’t do it too. In my mind, the accent of the artist is part of how the song is supposed to sound. Not adopting the accent would be wrong.

This doesn’t just happen with music though. I have to be very careful when talking with other people not to slip into other accents. Either the accent of the person I’m speaking with or potentially an accent that I’ve picked up from a TV show or movie that I’ve recently seen. I pick up accents extremely quickly and will slip into them without even being consciously aware of it.

Words and phrases will get stuck in my head as well and will become a part of my vocabulary. I quote lines from books, or TV shows or movies quite frequently as part of conversation with others.

I literally just realized last night that all of this behavior is probably part of my Autism. It is probably part of something called Echolalia. The Bing search results for the definition of Echolalia were a bit insulting though.

meaningless repetition of another person’s spoken words as a symptom of psychiatric disorder.
•repetition of speech by a child learning to talk.

The repetition is not meaningless. It is an attempt to communicate. An attempt to connect. My (7 years younger than me) brother is also Autistic. He has an official diagnosis and everything, because he “looks like” what doctors expect to see when diagnosing Autism. Even with him “checking all the boxes” so to say, it took until his mid 20s to finally get his official diagnosis. He just turned 30 last October.

Anyway, my point in bringing up my brother is that he almost exclusively communicates through quotes from cartoons, or TV shows or movies, or through “scripts” that he has created referencing these things.

His communication style, my communication style is not “meaningless”. We are attempting to communicate and connect with the world around us in ways that make sense and are comfortable to us.

Posted in Blogging, Mental Health, Random

I’ve got a bunch of new alarms on my phone now…

I felt like I wanted to write a blog post, but I’m not exactly sure what it is that I want to write about, so here we are. This post could very well be all over the place.

As I’ve written about previously, I’m on a bunch of medications to try to get my anxiety under control. I already have FOUR different pill organizers strategically placed about in the hopes that I’ll remember to take the correct pills at the correct time.

That strategy was no longer effective so I recently set up a bunch of alarms on my phone to remind me to take my pills. So far it’s working out okay, but I’m totally expecting that at some point I’m going to be in the middle of something, silence my alarm and then forget to take my pills.

And speaking of my anxiety medications, boy have I needed them the last few days.

My state is planning a “partial reopening” starting on May 20th. It is contingent on quite a few conditions being met, one of them being a decline in hospitalizations for 14 days. 2 days ago hospitalizations rose compared to the day before, therefore resetting the count.

Only my state is saying that they have “achieved” this goal.

That’s not how this works.

My state is still moving forward with it’s plans to start reopening. They are literally playing with people’s lives here and I am beyond upset.

I think that’s about all I’ve got to say right now. I hope to have more coherent less ragey posts soon.

Posted in Adulting, Blogging, Mental Health

My “I Hate Everything” Mood

Now that April’s challenge is over I could just go back to ignoring my blog again until the next challenge comes along, but I’ve decided to at least put a little bit of effort into keeping this blog alive now that I’ve resuscitated it.

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything other than haiku on this blog that this feels weird, but this used to be one of the places that I could go to process things, and sometimes that needs more words than a group of haiku can provide, so here we are.

So, a little bit of catch up for those of you who have followed this blog for years and stuck with it even through its dormant years. Remember how I told you all that I was diagnosed as being bipolar? And how I was put on a bunch of different medications because everyone thought that I was bipolar and those medications only made me worse until I lost my insurance and therefore could no longer take them?

SURPRISE!!! I was misdiagnosed in my teens. I do not have bipolar disorder.

I am, in fact, Autistic. (I’m still seeking an “official” diagnosis.)

The diagnosis of Anxiety was spot on though, so at least they got that much right.

If you’ve read any of my recent haiku you have probably already figured out that I have started to seek mental health care again and am on a few different medications now, the latest combination does seem to be helping.

Unfortunately, the timing of me restarting therapy wasn’t all that great. I had just reentered the world of mental health care when the pandemic started to shut everything down. So everything has had to be virtual. So some of my therapy is not as effective as it would be if I could actually meet with my therapist face to face, but at the same time I might not have my current therapist if the pandemic hadn’t have shut everything down because that’s when she was able to pick up new patients.

Now to explain the title of this post. Lately I have been in my “I Hate Everything” mood more and more frequently. I have named this mood what I have because the words “I hate everything” literally repeat themselves in my brain like some kind of twisted mantra. There are days where “I hate everything” are my first coherent thoughts of the day. Medication is helping with that some though.

It’s been almost 2 and a half years since my husband and I had to unexpectedly relocate from one part of the country back to our hometown, and in that entire time we have been living with various family members. The latest (for almost 2 years) has been in my (rebuilt after the fire) childhood home with my parents and 30 year old (also Autistic) brother. That’s 5 people in a small house with thin walls, where my husband and I have shoved as much of our lives as we can into a tiny room (it’s basically dorm room living) and there is only one bathroom. It’s been challenging to say the least.

My husband and I were on track to really get our finances in order and try to find a way to afford to live on our own again in this stupidly expensive state… And then the pandemic hit.

My husband is considered an essential worker, helping to build and deliver medical supply trays to some local hospitals, so we still have his income coming in which I’m grateful for. However, trying to keep this household stocked up when there are shortages has been way more expensive than I anticipated. It’s been quite frustrating.

I am in no hurry to get everything reopened though. We are still in the middle of the first wave of this pandemic and it is still not safe.

Which is where my “I Hate Everything” mood starts to come into play.

Because there are plenty of people that don’t understand that reopening things doesn’t mean that the virus is gone and you can go back to doing whatever you want to without worrying about getting sick/inadvertently getting someone else sick. So reopening now, or in the next few days just seems incredibly risky to me.

And then there are the people, some of them politicians, who think that we should treat this like a “survival of the fittest” situation. That if this virus kills off the old, sick and homeless it will “solve a lot of problems”.

I. Hate. Everything.

What I hate the most though is how this pandemic has fundamentally changed me. I don’t know if I will ever feel safe in public spaces again. I was already agoraphobic before this, so this has not improved things on that front. I would like to be able to go out and do things again, but I think it’s going to be a long time before I’m truly comfortable, if ever.

So, I feel trapped, especially in current living situation, but I don’t feel safe going anywhere.

So, yeah, currently “I Hate Everything.”

Posted in Blogging, Mental Health, Poetry, Writing Challenges

April Cheer Pepper – Day 27

I’m taking five meds

That can cause some drowsiness

But mostly I’m fine

During the daytime

I’m “let’s go, let’s go, let’s go”

(Might be the coffee)

But once I can stop

And finally fall asleep

Meds catch up to me

In the morning time

Wakefulness is slippery

Sleep has a firm grip

I struggle to wake

To get up when I want to

It never works out

Need to make a change

Need to break this cycles hold

Reclaim my lost time

If you look closely, there’s a dragon in this coffee.