Did he send you part of our VCR?

Today was a good day.  I saw my therapist yesterday, after not seeing her in a while.  She helped me devise a new plan for my morning routine, and when I tested it out today, it worked.  I ran, spent 30 minutes playing with my cat, and showered.  The 30 minute addition was enough to snap me out of deep-thinking mode, enabling me to focus on the steps for my shower.  I cut my shower time in half on the first try.  Bonus.  We also discussed my feeling pressured to move, and what not to do when the pressure starts wearing me down.  Also helpful.  I like my therapist.  I asked about seeing her less often, and as I was asking it, I wondered if I was asking only to hear her response.  Her answer settled that for me.

I’ve been having a rough time ever since I found out my sister is sick.  Of course this isn’t the time to step back on therapy.  This would have been clear, had I finished the thought silently.  It’s the first time I recall being embarrassed over asking the obvious.  I’m changing in ways I wasn’t keeping track of, and it startles me at times.  Stating the obvious is like breathing to me.  At least it used to be.  I’ve been playing hashtag games casually for a year now.  It’s had an impact on how I relate to people.  I think it’s positive.  I’ve learned so much about social rules, and people.  How to think of things through a humorous filter, to avoid being offended, for example.  How to step away when someone upsets me, rather than telling them off, and blocking them as my go-to reaction.  The first time I noticed I was upset over a misunderstanding, I was so relieved I chose to walk away, rather than react.

I’ve learned a lot from other autistic people and activists too.  I know now that it’s okay to disagree with some things, and agree with others.  I don’t have to write off people who hold beliefs different than my own.  It’s better to just listen.  I still think Trump is an abomination, and hope he’s defeated.  I’ve chosen to support Clinton.  There’s a lot that could be added, but it would just be my opinions, based on my limited view of the world.  Perspective seems to be the biggest factor in determining political choices.  I’m learning a new way of processing human interaction, and it’s difficult.  Imagining myself as someone else, with different circumstances, values, and goals is challenging, but rewards me by broadening my perspective.  It’s worth the effort.  I hope I’m able to master it.  It’s an abstract concept, but if I stand on my mental tippy-toes, I can do it.

It’s amazing to me how a single day of my routine being restored has vastly decreased my anxiety levels.  I can remember a time when having my routine disrupted was as devastating to my family as to me.  I’ve come a long way…  But I’d rather think about where I’m going next.  I’m off to read.

Autism Therapy

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