We chase down library delinquents.

I endured a week of appointments, including a biopsy of something in my jaw.  I started another round of antibiotics, because the first round didn’t finish the job.  I was given more hydrocodone, some 800 mg Motrin, and the disgusting antibiotic pills that are chalky, and begin disintegrating before I can wash them down with water, leaving a nasty aftertaste.  I have to take 8 of them a day, which feels ridic.  Unfortunately, I can’t run until they’re gone, so I’m complying.  The pain is history, but I’ve been running a low grade fever today.  I went to the new ER that’s just down the street.  It was full of shiny, and I felt like I was dreaming the whole time I was there.  I’m home now, and feeling a bit better.

Next week, I have more appointments.  I’m not as stressed out about it as I would have been in the past.  Therapy is helping.  I’m much better at taking a deep breath, and just getting things over with.  I don’t fear meltdowns so much anymore.  They don’t have much power over me anymore, because I’m pretty good at shutting them down before they ruin my day.  That’s awesome.  Here is a photo of my cat in the little fort I made her.  tuxedo cat under a blanket

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.

Didn’t you see the sign on the door?

I’m in sinus hell today.  It’s so humid outside, it feels like breathing through a wet sponge.  I just finished writing another letter to the USPS.  It’s a complaint, of course.  I got one out of two packages supposed to be delivered today, but both were reported as delivered.  This is the third time in 3 months that I’ve had this exact issue.  Oddly, my first complaint was far more vehement.  Proof that therapy is helping.  I didn’t even know it was quirky to write complaint letters until a few months ago.  Complaint letters are something I’ve been writing since I was four, and discovered our typewriter.

I felt clever about it, because I thought I’d discovered a great equalizer between those considered children, and those considered adults.  Nobody could tell (in my mind), that I wasn’t an adult when I typed my complaints.  I knew that would give them more power.  Now I recognize the fact that most people don’t bother writing them.  At first, I was bummed by this information.  It suddenly felt as ineffective as talking about, rather than voting in elections.  But I still write them, sometimes.  It helps me feel less powerless in a world where all is subject to relativity.  At least they’re getting shorter, and slightly less condescending.  I think my goal for September will be to shorten them to the length of a Tweet.  I was going to say stop sending them, but I prefer acknowledging reality.

I get so intensely frustrated when things like this happen.  I internalize as much as I can, but so far, some still leaks out in complaint letters.  I think I automatically stop internalizing when I get too close to the meltdown barrier.  I’m slowly getting a stronger sense of where it is.  It’s hard, because narrowing down the point where a meltdown occurs feels a lot like playing Russian Roulette in slow motion, ten minutes after winning the lottery.  The whole process makes me cranky.  Now that I’ve sent the letter, I’ve calmed down considerably.  This is a situation that used to always end in tears, and I’m not even that upset anymore.  Nice.  Further proof in efficacy of therapy.  I love that word:  efficacy.  So, dear USPS, there will come a day when I shrug off your constant incompetence, and carry on- like it never even happened.  (And I didn’t even immediately follow that thought with- and that’s the day I live within walking distance of a brick and mortar Amazon store.)

It’s like swimming through a flabby armed spank machine.

Today was good.  I had therapy, and we discussed my upcoming move.  We also discussed recognizing when I’m triggered.  In the past, I’ve existed on autopilot as a way of avoiding being triggered.  I’ve also restricted what I view on TV or in movies for the same reason.  I watch a few sitcoms, Adult Swim, and Conan on a regular basis.  I stick to sci-fi/fantasy, comedy, and animated films at the theater.  Sometimes the sci-fi movies are too intense to watch in the theater due to overstimulation.  I hate when that happens.  When I saw Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in the theater, it made me physically ill.  No, the film wasn’t that bad.  It was the pod racing.  The volume level was excruciating, and it went on for a fair bit of time.  I refused to leave before it was over, but hurled in the parking lot on my way out.  That sucked, and I had a wicked migraine right afterward.

The pod racing was exciting, though.  It just exceeded my stimulation tolerance.  I’ve been wary ever since.  I did see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the theater on opening night.  Because duh.  I think seeing General Leia, which made me cry, countered any overstimulation that may have occurred.  That was an event I’m certain I’ll remember until I die.  Or more hopefully, until I upload my memories into a digital format, and put my body in zero tao.  Or something.  And I’ll make the grandchildren of generation Z roll their eyes and groan every time I tell them the story of Princess Leia, and the rebellion she led.  Right after telling them to get off my virtual lawn.  Frakin’ kids, those days.

I don’t know if I can be friends with you anymore, after this display.

Today was good.  I talked to my therapist, again.  She makes me laugh a lot, which is awesome.  I chatted with an Apple Support rep. online, and we fixed my main issue.  I was ecstatic, because I thought I’d have to take it to a tech in person.  I went online to check my AppleCare dates, and figured I may as well check their database to see if it was an easy fix.  Nothing came up, so I went into the chat.  It was an easy, albeit time consuming fix.  However, I’m still having problems with powering down.  I wasn’t planning on seeking support for that, as it’s an OS X issue, and contacting support for a software issue is against my religion, (as a software engineer).

I got my case number and thanked the guy who helped me.  He did a good job, and didn’t make me feel frustrated by over-explaining simple tasks.  I think the way I explained my issue was enough to inform him that I wasn’t a computer neophyte.  That’s all just pride and ego flexing.  I think it’s practically a human trait to dislike being told how to do what you already know how to do.  It could just be an American thing, though.  I’ve had more than one non-American imply that we tend toward arrogance.  I don’t get upset when non-Americans criticize our nation because it amuses me.  When there’s over 300 million people being insulted right along with you, it’s kinda hard to take it personally.

The whole concept of nationalism amuses me to a degree.  My amusement over it increases with age.  The older I get, the more I see myself as an earthling, and less as an American.  My time in the service helped me see beyond the lies we’re taught in school.  I suppose that’s what experience does.  It alters your focus and perspective.  I still have mind boggling (to me), experiences on a regular basis.  Sometimes I think it’s because my world went from being very small to huge overnight.  But I think it’s probably more complex than that.  I’ve always been the kind of person who faces fear like I’m secretly participating in a lifelong game.  I jump in with both feet, and come what may.  The more it scares me, the more likely I am to rush in and get it over with.

Even as a little girl, I would jump into the pool rather than slowly allow my body to adjust to the temperature.  I think it’s because there’s not a detectable difference in how I experience fear, be it from a spider, or jumping out of a perfectly good plane.  Both scenarios scare me as far as I can be scared.  So I kill the damn spider, (after trying to get anyone else to do it for me).  Or I just say, “Fuck it”, and jump.  I’d like to say this strategy is working well for me, but who knows.  I can say that it makes my life pretty exciting, sometimes.  Usually, the exciting parts are far better in hindsight, though.

My brain tends to forget the sucky stuff, and put a red bow on the rest.  For example, I have fond memories of basic training, and remember it as a fun time in my life.  But if I challenge that ridiculous notion with a little thought, I can recall sitting on a bench in the latrine, wondering if it was possible to lose weight from crying.  When I had that thought, I was extremely stressed out, and spent an indecent amount of time wishing hateful things on my Drill SGT’s.  Now, I look back and laugh.  I was such a spoiled child when I showed up for basic.  The Army cured me of both being spoiled, and being a child.  Uncle Sam had a lot of practice long before I came along.  Although, according to my Drill SGT, I was the most suggestion making, why asking, Private he’d ever trained.  So there’s that.