Follow a Path

New year and new decade. I have acquired a personal vision for the future and set goals accordingly. I just seem to generally focus better when I can visualize where my life is going. Kind of like having a road map to keep me moving toward the destination. On the other hand, I guess you could also call me a dreamer. Except for number one, these are in no particular order.

  1. Grow spiritually. Attend church, read the bible daily, attend bible study group, meditate and pray daily.
  2. Be a life guide for Kasey. Continue overseeing her meds and therapy, get her working on her GED, teach her to drive, and facilitate her introduction into a good life skills program.
  3. Become fit (I know every one says this). Cut the carbs, eat nutritious food, restrict sugar, expand my exercise routine.
  4. Be a good steward of my meager wealth. Maintain a budget, have an emergency fund, continue saving for retirement, give back to the church, live within my means, stay out of debt, invest wisely, and leave an inheritance for my children.
  5. Be more social. Continue helping to grow our local autism meetup group, obtain a close friend, go on a date, become closer with family members.
  6. Be a good son. Assist my parents to navigate through their elderly years. Care for them as they cared for me.
  7. Volunteer. Nothing grand, just lend a hand when opportunities arise to assist the less fortunate.
  8. Learn a sought after skill that I can leverage into part time work. I think bookkeeping would fit me well.
  9. Be a good employee. Perform diligently, be respectful, do not create unrest in the workplace, avoid gossip, focus on meaningful tasks, and keep my skills fresh enough to avoid becoming obsolete.

Well, enough for today. Have a blessed day!

Merry Xmas 2019

Seasons greetings. I just wanted to lay down a reminder what today is all about. Like everyone, I fall into the trap of obsessing over gifts, travel, cooking, and the over commercialization surrounding Christmas.

I consider myself an unapologetic, saved christian believer (strange, how a public declaration of christian faith like this has somehow become politically incorrect). And, this is a day to celebrate the birth of our savior, our Lord, the baby Jesus. Preferably, in the company of church members, family and friends. I pray today that all believers can celebrate in reverence and fellowship, and not be overwhelmed by distractions.

Merry Christmas to all!

This is Depression

I hate to write this during the holiday season, but I wanted to lay it down while everything is fresh.

My thoughts today are black. I anticipated going to church and bible study this morning, but I slept through it all. I just felt too tired and worn down. All my emotional energy has been beaten out of me. Life has won, and I have lost. I feel sad, unmotivated, guilty, disappointed, reclusive, and ashamed. Living a satisfying life is forever barred to me and there is no use to continue trying. In other words, I am depressed.

What comes to the forefront of my thinking is that I need help but cannot ask. After all, I am blessed to have faith, family, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and health care all available to me. There are unfortunates in the world, my country, my state, and my community living without these necessities. How dare I feel sorry for myself when my life is filled with such blessings! So again, I need help but cannot ask.

I am a guardian and caregiver to an adult special needs daughter. Like me, she suffers with ASD, depression, and anxiety. She just seems to withdraw from society to a larger degree than I do. She can also be emotionally fragile, so I certainly cannot burden her to witness my frailties. I must continue presenting myself as a strong person, regardless of what I feel. So again, I need help but cannot ask.

I don’t really have any family members to share problems with. It just doesn’t feel proper to transfer my issues onto family. Way too uncomfortable for me. So again, I need help but cannot ask.

I no longer have any friends to talk to. When I moved away from the area where I grew up, I failed to maintain contact with my few close friends. Now, thanks to ASD and lingering depression, I have been woefully unsuccessful in making any new friends. So again, I need help but cannot ask.

I cannot think of any health care professional able to provide me with prompt care. I already have a psychiatrist and therapist and see them regularly. When I try to contact them at a time other than a scheduled appointment, I get a standard recording of, “If this is an emergency call 911 or go to the closest emergency room…” From past experience, ERs only want to deal with you if there is a likelihood of harm to yourself or others. And, if this is the case, you will be admitted to the psych ward for treatment. Not an option for me. I have a daughter to care for. So again, I need help but cannot ask.

I desire to enter an intensive outpatient treatment, but can not because I need to work during the day. I want to tie one on, but this is an absolute no-no! Addiction problems linger in my past. With four plus years of sobriety under my belt, I will never touch another drink. Not for the rest of my life! Maybe some intimacy and cuddling with another will help. Well, there is no “other”. I am alone.

In conclusion, there is no help coming. Now, if I was reading the above statements about another person, I could easily refute all of them with logic. But, those statements ARE about me! There is nothing left inside but despair. I am an empty set of clothes walking around, without purpose, without happiness, without hope. It does not matter what happened yesterday, or what will happen tomorrow. Today, I am worthless.

And that is depression!

Verbal Communication & ASD

So, I had a psychiatrist appointment which became another example of my poor ability to communicate. I arrived early and was ushered into psych’s office early. Great, get right to it.

I often mentally rehearse what I want to say. I have a tendency to focus so much on the ACT of communicating that I bumble through the topics. In fact, I regularly forget my talking points altogether, only to realize later what I should have said. This time, I had my thoughts written down beforehand.

I had two main points to convey. One, my life has been far more hectic in the last couple of months than I am generally comfortable with. Two, my moods have been oscillating up and down with greater frequently than is normal for me. Knowing this information, should we make any adjustments to my meds? Just a simple conversation. My recent moods have not been bad enough to be considered urgent by any means.

What happened? The session lasted about 10 minutes. I read off the events that have been happening in my life. Some Q&A from the doctor. Then, I left with a prescription refill. Shortly after departing, I realized I had done it again. I allowed the conversation go into a new direction and entirely forgot to convey my recent feelings altogether. Not an omission that will have lasting repercussions, but nonetheless annoying .

Makes me wonder if this is an effect of being on the spectrum, just me being a scatterbrain, or are the meds dulling my head? I will probably never know. What I do know for certain is that this phenomenon is part of who I am, will not go away, and something I will just have to accept and deal with. It does not mean I am unintelligent or abnormal. I am just me, and that is OK. Well, enough for today. Have a blessed day!

What is my Mood?

OK, my head has been in a turmoil recently and I cannot seem to focus on a single item floating around up there. Since I have a psychiatrist appointment later today, probably best to start laying down how I will answer the, “how have you been doing?” question.

First, some thoughts on how my ASD mind works. I often have whole conversations inside my head. The sentences seem logical and, for the most part, flow well together. The topics vary, depending on what is forefront in my mind. The structure of the internal discourse typically takes the form of how would I explain this topic to another person. In fact, I often rehearse conversations I know I will be having in the near future. However, when the conversation moves into the real world, face-to-face with another person, I can never remember everything I wanted to convey. In a quiet, meditative environment, I can recall perfectly fine. But, I need to focus so hard on the ACT of conversing that some (or all) of the content just flies out of my head. Later, when I am alone and again floating within my head, I remember and think, “this is what I should have said”. So, I need to proactively answer the psychiatrist’s question in writing.

First, the Zoloft I take for general anxiety is, for the most part, doing it’s job. No problem there. Second, the Wellbutrin / Buspar mix I am taking for depression still doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot. My medically induced mood is usually steady at slightly a depressed level. This month, I have had experienced significant periods of deeper than normal (for me) depression. There have also been very brief moments of downright happiness. I’ve been alternating between these moods more quickly than normal. We will see what the shrink says to this.

Life in the last month: Traveled to see family for Thanksgiving. Became a founding member of a local autism meetup group. Raced in a charity 5k. Started journalling. Left the kiddo at her grandmother’s house for three days, where she helped her grandma to recoup from surgery. Went to probate court and won legal guardianship of Kasey. Did Christmas shopping. Helped my step-daughter to move into a new home. Dabbled with an online dating site. And…bought a new house! Been a very hectic couple of months. Far more hectic than I am comfortable with.

Important Day

Today, I went to probate court and was awarded guardianship of my daughter, Kasey. What a process! Get a lawyer. Complete basic profile paperwork. Have Kasey’s GP fill out a medical opinion form. Have a court approved psychologist test and diagnose Kasey. Back to the lawyer for court paperwork. Meet with Kasey’s court appointed lawyer. Go to court where I have a lawyer, Kasey has a lawyer, the court has a lawyer, and the psychologist testifies. I was scared to hell that Kasey would have a panic attack. The testimony regarding her developmental disability (ASD) was very blunt and somewhat degrading. But, aside from parking problems, everything went as planned. This process has taken months. Now, just waiting for the lawyer bills to arrive and the ordeal will be finished. Well, that’s enough for today. Have a blessed day!

Long Absence

Been away from here a while (months). After introspection and prayer, it seems that spilling my thoughts into the real world may be the only way I can sort them out. So here I am again.

During my time away so much good has happened. We are buying a new home, with CASH. No more mortgage payments. Found a PHD level psychologist that my girl seems to relate to. During the last year, we have been to two clinics, both having a revolving door of therapists. The new psychologist has his own practice and seems far more stable. My hope is that she can develop some much needed coping skills and start on a path to greater independence. I became a founding member of an autistic meetup group. We only have three active members, but I remain positive we will grow. My guardianship case for the kid is going to probate court next week. This has been a long journey involving lawyers, paperwork, court evaluations, and doctor affidavits. I understand the court’s need to be thorough, because she will be giving up her rights regarding financial, legal, and medical decisions.

Well, that’s enough for today. Have a blessed day!