Living With Aspergers’ Blogs Help to Define Their Understanding of Life

11066100464_9274514703_z“Two frogs were playing on the rafters of a dairy barn one night.  They fell into adjacent pails of cream.  They jumped and hopped and scrambled for survival.  One fought the good fight longer and harder than the other, and stayed the course. When the farmer came in the next morning, he found one frog floating on the top of a pail of cream, dead, and the other standing on a cake of butter, exhaused but happy to be alive.”

Father Giles Bello

1.  Life with Aspergers: “Why Aspies Remember Some Things Perfectly and Completely Forget Other Things”

“My memory is faulty, there’s no doubt about it. On the one hand, it seems amazing. I can remember “whole conversations” which took place years ago, I can quote from literally thousands of films but ask me what someone’s name is or ask me to get some things from the shops and I’ll draw a blank.”

“In fact, face to face conversations with me at work quite often involve me subconsciously using my hands to do gestures of long hair, or glasses simply because I’ve forgotten the person I’m trying to describe. It’s also a common sight at our local shops to see me standing around counting my fingers. I know that I’ve got to get five things at the shop but I can only remember three of them. “

“I think that a lot of my memory is based on repetition. That’s no revelation really, rote learning has been around for years and despite the claims that rote learning provides only lists, not concepts, it’s still recognized as one of the most effective learning tools.”

2. Asperger Ninja: “State of the Nathan”:

“A quick post about Nate’s 1st day of school. New school, new teachers, new kids, new after school program. It was an amazingly huge amount of NEW to deal with for my guy. He handled it like a ROCK STAR. No phone calls, no notes home, no picking him up in a sobbing hysterical heap of sad panda face. We celebrated by having delicious pizza and watching “Dog The Bounty Hunter”.”

“I am astounded by his resiliency right now. I admire his efforts to keep him self calm and focused when everything is unfamiliar. I think I had more anxiety than he did, but I had taken steps to process all the NEW first in order to be an oasis of tranquility so that he could feel regulated and safe.”

“I think that aspie kids, like infants, can “read” you before you realize that you’re in a state of sweating panic. (Yeah, sweating panic-ers! Testify!) I continually try to learn new strategies to help guide Nate through these difficult times. I admit I’ve been a little hovercraft-ish these past two days, but I am learning to let go and giving him a chance to use his social skills first. If you teach them skills, but don’t allow them to put them into action, they don’t get used. And then they’ll cling to you more and do less for themselves, which defeats the purpose of teaching them these independence building social skills.”

“So, in brief, he’s adjusting very well and is being a social ninja, putting his mad skills to work. He is happy, smiling and talking to me about his day. I am so proud of him I could literally burst.”

3. Aspie Wife, Aspie Mom: “Dwell With Them With Understanding”:

“Okay, this is a word to the Aspie husbands who really want to be loving and understanding toward their wives.  Hopefully your wife understands AS and is able to communicate her thoughts and desires to you in a way that makes sense.  But if she doesn’t know how to do this, you should make the first effort to find out what she wants and needs.  The Bible says that husbands are responsible before God to love their wives and to dwell with them in an understanding way.”

“So here’s something you guys can do.  ASK your wife to write down five practical things you can physically do that would make her happy.  It may look like this:

1.  Bring me flowers.
2.  Give me a compliment.
3.  Ask me if I’d like to take a break/nap while you babysit the kids.
4.  Give me a massage.
5.  Take me on a date.  Go to a movie, out to dinner, or once the kids are in bed you can bring home takeout from a nice restaurant, watch a movie, and then do the dishes.

“If she won’t write a list, then try ALL of these things I’ve suggested.  At least one of them should be “her thing”.”

“Here’s the kicker.  Try doing at least three things from this list every week.  When she revives from the initial shock, you will likely find her warming up to you as she feels happy, cherished, and loved again.  These frequent displays of love will help melt away her anger and bitterness.  She will know by these varying and physical displays of affection it is better to be with you (weaknesses, frustrations and all) than to be alone.”

“I recently read of a man whose wife of many years died unexpectedly.  He found her journals to be full of pain, frustration, and anger at the way he had treated her their entire marriage.  This sent him into a deep depression, with enormous guilt causing him to ask “How could I have been so hurtful and thoughtless to my wife?”  Don’t be that man, finding those journals, and beating yourself up once it’s too late to show love to your wife in a way that communicates love to her in her way.”

Photo credit.

How to Heal and Deal With Your Depression

I am doubly blessed with alcoholism and depression. I quit drinking 38+ years (1976) but the depression will be part of my daily life until I die. I also have a slow thyroid which needs daily medication. So I have these 3 physical problems all of which lead to emotional and mental problems if I am not daily vigilant. I know that I have to: (1) take my medicine if it is helping, (2) vary my daily activities to stay out of a rut, (3) seek out others to help to get out of me, (4) spend time alone with the God of my understanding, (5) remember to have fun and laugh everyday, (6) get enough rest and nourishment to feel comfortable, (7) walk three or more times a day, and (8) share my thoughts and feelings with others.

How do others deal with their depression?

1.  From Mary Christine (onesobercatholic): “Back to Basics”:

So, yesterday I asked someone to go to lunch with me (I usually eat at my desk).  We walked downstairs to the Thursday lunch time trucks on the street.  I took a photo of the wood fire for the pizzas – in a truck! – while I ordered a little pizza.  My co-worker and I sat outside and talked and ate, it was very enjoyable.

I wrote an e-mail to an old friend, a Catholic Priest, asking him if he had time for dinner any time soon.  He answered almost immediately and said he would love to see me.  I will write him back today and schedule something for next week.

On my way home from work I stopped at the knitting shop and bought some yarn for a beautiful new project and got to sit with the ladies as they knit as a community on Thursday evenings.  What a beautiful thing to sit and do needlework with other women.  It feels like something I would have dreamed as my adulthood when I was a child… of course, it didn’t turn out that way, but I can still go knit with the ladies.

On the way home from there, I stopped at a church that has perpetual adoration.  I prayed silently with a whole chapel full of other silent souls for an hour.  That’s something I should be finding a way to do every day!

I got home and visited with my neighbor.

I need to force myself to behave as someone who is not depressed.  I need to force myself to think of others, not myself.  When I can do this, my mood lightens appreciably.

Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

2.  From  John-Folk Williams (Storied Mind): “Does Finding Purpose in Life help You Overcome Depression?”:

Finding purpose in life that goes beyond your personal needs is often mentioned as a major stepin overcoming depression. That’s a hard thing to imagine, though, when you’re in the middle of a severe relapse, and survival is the only goal in sight.

Yet, one of the hallmarks of depression is loss of motivation to do anything because you feel that your life is meaningless. You are meaningless, empty, worthless, bad, nothing but a burden. There’s no sense of future, no purpose to give you hope and help pull you back to an activelife.

A sense of purpose goes along with building hope for the future, hope for recovering from depression and getting your life back. Even though you can’t focus on it when you’re struggling, hope and purpose are pretty basic for regaining a sense of who you are.

3.  From Erin (Daisies and Bruises): “Surviving My Invisible Illness”:

A lot of people use their blog as a place to vent about their life.  I try not to use this blog like that because I want to spread knowledge, share tools, and give people hope. I don’t feel able to do that right now, though, so here’s a bit about what’s going on for me in a less-than-uplifting sense:

I’m aware that I’m in a bad spot. In light of everything I’ve experienced, this is minor, but I should stay in tune with my feelings so that I can take care of myself. And my biggest feeling tonight is fatigue. Depression is so hard. It’s always present, sucking at my energy, draining my positivity. Murmuring in my head about how the bus just blew past my stop today only because I am insignificant.

Lately I’ve been spending only a few hours a day with others. More social interaction would probably help me feel better and so I try more and more to be social. But then when someone says no to my invitation, it kind of wipes me out. It’s like, “Okay, there goes my shot for today” because it takes so much out of me. Same for shopping, going to therapy, hell, even going out and ordering a coffee. Functioning is so much work!

And then it pretty much goes without saying that it makes applyingfor a job extra hard, yet having a job would lead to consistent daily social interaction, and more friends, so I really want one. I just can’t predict how I’ll be feeling from one moment to the next.

Then I judge myself for not trying harder to be “normal” and “productive” and “sane.” I fear that the world sees me as self-indulgent, irresponsible, and most of all, lazy. I see myself that way, though I need to take full scope of what’s going on: depression, therapy, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that are keeping me from being at a place where I can work.

Photo credit.