“He’s a regifter!”

french bulldog

It’s been a challenging week.  I think my dietary changes have messed up my executive functioning.  The red flags consist of:

  • Excessive wandering (Exhibit A: Fitbit data indicating 20k+ steps in a single day without leaving my apartment)
  • Sudden inability to complete basic quests in World of Warcraft due to complicated instructions
  • Unexpected difficulty in recalling how to respond to simple internal messages like nature calling
  • Increased rigidity requiring time-consuming self-talks on being reasonable
  • Excessive frustration from minor failures, even though I know, intellectually, they’re helping me succeed, eventually (Yep. I’m Komma Kamelion)
  • There’s more, but this is discouraging, so enough already

I strongly suspect my brain needs me to eat sugar in the form of fruit daily.  The only things I crave are water, protein, sugar, fat, and salt.  (My body doesn’t usually ask for anything more specific.)  I eliminated sugar a week ago today.  Ever since I’ve been thinking about mangoes, bananas, and pears; it seems to be the only thing my mind can hold on to at the moment.  Everything else is annoyingly just out of reach.  (Including my grammar, no doubt.)

bowl of fruit including mangoes

I’m convinced I need to acquire some fruit and rectify this situation.  I’m using an app called Carb Manager.  It’s deep with helpful tools (premium version) to track my intake and develop a food plan tailored to my particular body.  It allows me to determine my goals in several categories.  Five stars.  It’s like having a friend who’s studying to be a dietician in my phone.  Everyone in my social tribe is striving to be their best self.  The support and information sharing helps tremendously.  I’m going back to gummy vitamins and supplements, too.

I’m sending others to attend The Beyoncé Movie (aka Lion King) on my behalf (due to excitement regulation issues.) 😆🤪🤭 Sending local friends is easy peasy.  Then I tried to buy tickets for friends of a friend in another state.  Unfortunately, Fandango sucks so severely; it made me wonder if the company is just a front for some illegal activity.  Enter Fandango scam in any search engine, and you’ll see.  So shady;  my bank automatically won’t authorize transactions from Fandango.  Period.  Wow.

Fandango complaint

In my head, Crissle West, (First of Their Name), from The Read podcast, responded with a read so scathing, hilarious, and spot-on.  Then (I imagined) she ordered the CEO to take a naked Walk of Atonement down Internet Street until they emerge open-mouthed wailing while covered in shit, feet bleeding.  (I also imagined) Kid Fury was ringing a bell and yelling shame the whole way while wielding a shield to keep the flying filth from touching him.  (Just like they did the Goodwill bitch from Illinois this week ((who since got a clue.))) 😂🤣😭

walk of atonement

Congrats go out to Gwendolyne Christie for submitting herself for an Emmy and getting nominated.  That was even cooler than beating the Hound so thoroughly he decided to embrace karma.  I’m thrilled by so many nominations; it’s ridic.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks. 💜✌🏾

“I haven’t had a decent sandwich in 13 years.”

RA by Hey Fran Hey

I got my special gift from The Friendzone Podcast.  (!!!) It’s fabulous (despite my crappy photo.)  The shipping box, the presentation, the product;  all well designed and created by Hey Fran Hey and Resonance Apothecary, specifically for us, (listeners.)  It’s beautiful all the way through.  M is upset I didn’t have the partnership acumen to purchase one for him as well.  (Ouch.)  Therefore, I’m sharing mine with him.  (Lesson learned, application in progress, ego pouting.) 🤪🙃  I feel a bit like I’m in school again.  The universe is showing me all sorts of things I either didn’t notice, declined to process, or wasn’t prepared to accept in the past.

I’m glad I have this new healing tool to help train my brain to adapt to these revelations.  The effectiveness of aromatherapy in this process is impressive.  I smell the oil (Embodiment) whenever I start to wander; both physically and mentally.  I sit on the rug (Criss-cross-apple-sauce) and sniff.  (Putting both feet on the floor doesn’t help me ground myself.)  Then I fill my lungs as full as I can, hold for a moment, and release slowly.  That’s it.  That’s all it takes to get back in my body, now.  🙃  My kit, even halved, will last a long time.  I think some readers didn’t order in time, so I’ll need to wait a while before reordering, (after they recover from fulfilling the first offering.)

Amelia B. my cat
Amelia B: S’up, yo?

The universe is treating me like an adult survivor who has sat with, processed, accepted, and adapted to the joys, traumas, and everything in between on my journey so far.  I’d very much like to fall to the floor and weep because I feel like I need more time to adjust.  But life insists; ready or not, here I come.  I’ve noticed the distinction between sad and depressed as a result.  I’m sad because I can’t make the universe journey at my particular pace.  It’s merely a feeling; not a condition bent on owning me before ending me prematurely.  (Mosquito bite compared to cancer.)  It took longer to type this paragraph than to move on emotionally.  Yay.

I didn’t know what to expect regarding my healing path.  Before I had my map, I felt like I was flailing about aimlessly.  I didn’t even know how to recognize healing.  My intuition served me well as I was already doing many helpful things without realizing it.  The vocabulary and comprehension of what I’m seeking were what I most needed.  It’s certainly a process.  I’m delighted that much of the most challenging work takes place in my sleep.  I don’t awaken from nightmares anymore, which is fabulous.  But I do feel like I spend the nights in an emotionally intense therapy session.  I’m healing my spirit.  (All this time, I assumed it was my mind.  🤪)

My mind is amazing.  It’s not at all broken.  I just had to embrace a lot of hippy shit before I recognized the mind-spirit connection.  If my spirit is curled up in the fetal position in the corner, my mind loses its effectiveness and reliability, (autopilot.)  My eureka moment lasted a while, as I traced the useless pattern back to elementary school when I had an epic meltdown in class.  I learned the difference between memorization and comprehension that day.  Before that, I functioned by rote and memorized everything I heard or read while comprehending little.  My mind and spirit were not working together.  I’m autistic, and the physical environment was far too hostile for me to be all the way there.  (I figuratively sent a tape recorder to class from jump.)

funkopops
My Funko Pop collection (so far)

Then one day, it didn’t work.  Parroting didn’t cut it any longer.  My teacher wanted me to explain with my own words and prove I comprehended.  I just kept repeating my script while getting more and more agitated.  I was like a skipping vinyl record.  When the tears began, I ran home.  It was a horrible, awful day.  Fortunately, one of my brothers taught me math from fractions to trigonometry.  He made it fun, and I love math ever since.  My mom was a voracious reader.  She went through at least two novels a week.  It rubbed off on my siblings and me.  I spent much of my free time as a kid reading the books my mom gave me.  Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Judy Blume, and Erma Bombeck were my favorite living authors until my brother introduced me to science fiction.  😆

In Elementary school, the only classes I could process were art and music.  I also learned about racism, self-defense, and the magic of not responding.  Junior High school was when I figured out how to cope with being in a classroom.  My science teacher, Mrs. Zeeb, was the first teacher I had that treated me like a student.  (She wasn’t overtly-even-to-an-autist offended I was allowed to attend school as the token black kid.)  She saw me as a human child and taught me about science.  It changed everything.  I looked forward to school for the first time in my life.  It was no longer mandatory trauma.  It was a place where I could find out fascinating information about the world.  It was a place where not all the adults were tormentors.  Mrs. Zeeb showed me not all white adults automatically hate me for existing.  I’ll never forget her.

loot
New Stuff! 👍🏾

I believe I scored well on testing because my mom had me keep a journal so we could communicate effectively since before I began school.  My brothers bought me puzzle books and loved having me recite mathematical equations for their friends, and do their homework.  (It probably would have amused teenaged me, too.)  Most of what I knew about the world came from novels and lyrics before I joined the Army.  While I had nicknames like Yoda and Professor Einstein in training, the fact I couldn’t pull off a conversation with people led to my being evaluated and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  At my first permanent duty station, they called me, E.T., because I was obviously not from this planet.  (I love E.T., so I was like, bet. 😂)

I’ve been filling in knowledge holes ever since.  The assumptions I made based on limited information were probably right once in a while, but it seems like they were wrong a great deal of the time.  (For example, I assumed birth control pills were necessary to get pregnant.)  Conversations with people are required.  😂  I played basketball with my neighbor the other day, and we talked.  I’m having second thoughts about being her friend.  I like her.  Her blatant, willful ignorance, also hurts me.  She gleefully announced she’s lazy and gets all her news from a single, questionable source while denying climate change.  (In my head, I was defining what friendship entails.)

I’ve decided we’re neighbors who greet one another.  I’m unwilling to invite her into my life as a friend.  I don’t want to spend time with someone who hurts me because they’re too lazy to grow and become their best self.  I don’t want to waste my precious energy, trying to coax her into being a reasonable citizen of Earth and adult.  It’s her choice to ride her privilege rather than live her best life.  Many choose this path, unfortunately.  Not it.  I’m low-level grieving what could have been.  However, I won’t allow anyone to hurt me.  I’m off to band practice.  💜✌🏾

 

“Jerry, you’re getting your father too excited.”

50th birthday cake

Welp.  You know what? I’m 50 years old!!!  Can you believe it?  I made it!  I win!  I survived everything the universe has thrown at me for half a freakin’ century!  Every time I remember, I feel a surge of overwhelming joy. 🙃 (Also, chicken butt.) I stayed in my apartment and lay low on my birthday because I can’t believe I’m still alive!  I nearly convinced myself there would be a life-ending freak accident that day, merely to send me on to whatever comes next while laughing my ass off.  The universe likes to play like that, don’t you know. 🤭

I can still breakdance, but I won’t because it’s so not worth the painful (and embarrassingly long) recovery period.  I’m satisfied just knowing if I end up in a life or death situation where breakdancing is my only path to survival, game on.  💪🏾 Dr. Keia reduced me to a quivering puddle of goo on the floor from laughing at her Pet Peeve this week on the Gettin’ Grown podcast.  (It didn’t help that I could hear Jade ugly laughing with me in the background, probably also from the floor.)  For some reason, in my head, Dr. Keia morphed into Marsai Martin while delivering her sound (and hilarious) advice on just how hot lukewarm my summer should be at my age.  (Yep.  It’s fun in my head.)  😂

Marsai Martin
Photo by Martina Tolot

My attempt to eat my way through my junk food stash before starting a new diet had less than ideal results.  Before I finished, I overindulged, and now I don’t like junk food anymore until I forget this happened.  I realize I panicked and did the opposite.  Whoops.  (Flashback to my brother punching me in the shoulder, then asking, “What did you learn?”)  Sigh.  So my do-over will consist of slowly lowering my carb and sugar intake over a month to the goal amount.

Once I master that, I’ll move on to step two.  (I forgot about baby-stepping.  Doy.)  😉  It’s not a diet; it’s a tweak.  Introducing crunches into my daily routine has gone smoothly.  I cheat on all exercise-related activity by turning on Beyoncé’s Homecoming while I do it.  It makes exercise as appealing as eating cake while getting a massage by someone whose touch reminds you of why having a body is magnificent.  (Also, I laughed so hard when Le Twins used their interview to tell Taylor they wouldn’t dance for her.) 🤣

jon-tyson-1581881-unsplash

I watched the first episode of Euphoria, thanks to Dustin from The Friend Zone podcast.  I believe it’s the most intimate portrayal of Generation Z I’ve seen so far.  I can tell from just that episode it’s mandatory viewing with my full attention.  It’s not my world anymore.  I recognize my role is to support the millennials who are spreading their wings and training their skills.  It’s their turn in the natural order of things.  Today’s young people are traumatized by the state of the world before they even get a chance to find their place in it.  As an adult, I must act.  Therefore, retired now means time privilege to address these big-picture issues.

My life so far has made me willful, resilient, joyful, forgiving, and loving.  I’m my own best friend.  I trust my ability to cope with whatever comes my way.  (I was there all those times life was kicking my ass, and I took notes.  Then eventually, I applied them when I realized it was also necessary.)  🤪  I’m impressed by the younger generations.  It’s evident to me they represent a better version of humanity.  It’s hard for me to elaborate, but I’m honored to support them in whatever ways I can.   They generally make me proud.  I’m off to read.  ✌🏾💜

“And the heat! My god, the heat!”

feet standing on ON sign

It’s ridic humid and hot here.  Menopause is forcing me to make some lifestyle decisions.  Since I am not able to power my home with excess body heat, there’s no point in risking spontaneous combustion.  From my perspective, it seems menopause is a built-in get-your-shit-together-or-burn stage of life.  I found a supplement on Amazon that works well for me, called Breeze.

After the first bottle, I was hot flash free and thought that meant they were over.  I was mistaken, (and winter tricked me.)  Next, I tried a soy isolate supplement, and it didn’t help at all.  So I went back to using Breeze.  After only a few days, the hot flashes disappeared again, (and I internally kicked myself for playing.)  My electric bill doubled in May from running the central air at 68° F all that time.  🤭🤫

Now, I’m a fan placement ninja.  I have it set at 70° F, and am comfortable.  I’m able to sleep until my cat wakes me at 4:30-ish AM.  Then I return to bed for a few hours after feeding her.  I’m feeling tired earlier in the night, now.  I felt sleepy and went to bed before 11 PM last night (without being ill.)  I haven’t done that since Jr. High.  In the Army, they told us we only needed 4 hours per night, and I believed it without question.  🤪  My side hustle was ironing uniforms and polishing boots while the smart soldiers were sleeping.  (And you know I thought I was the smart one.  🤣)

workout gear

I had an orange and royal blue sweatsuit and matching sneakers I wore after hours while ironing and shining.  I thought I looked so cute until someone asked me if I worked at Dominos.  😂 (I kept wearing it because funny is even better IMO.)  I bought an RX7 and later a BMW 525 SI IIRC (both used), so the extra fundage served me well during my car-caring phase.  Driving a late model BMW while a glorified private still cracks me up.  (Even though it was a flashing neon sign saying, I’m new and have no concept of tomorrow.)

I’m devouring all the junk food in my house this weekend.  After that, I’m adopting the Keto diet.  One of my autistic besties made the change recently, and it’s eliminated issues we share.  The headache upon awakening and lots of other minor inflammation and pains I didn’t notice when not in my body are being addressed.  Also, my new belly.  At first, I was going to keep it, but then I realized it’s bullying my wardrobe options.  Plus, spandex looks hot.  Hard pass.  The belly has to go (do crunches.)

I’m reading, The Three Body Problem, by Cixin Liu, (translated by Ken Liu, who wrote the Good Hunting episode on Love, Death, and Robots on Netflix.)  I love it so far.  Before this, I read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, and Exhalation by Ted Chiang.  I’m enjoying all three authors tremendously.  I watched the new season of Black Mirror.  Suddenly, I love Miley Cyrus.  I want her to cover more NIN songs, then move to Nirvana, Green Day, and keep going with alternative rock.  It fits her like a glove.  Also, Netflix, please release the Ashley O songs for downloading and streaming.  (That shit on Spotify?  Really?)  Thanks!

Striking Vipers - Black Mirror - Netflix

Striking Vipers was brilliant.  The actors likely made Charlie Brooker dance with joy.  They gave his characters believable dimension and relatability, allowing him to tell a story about us, whose subject was previously denied, causing unnecessary hardship.  (Keep throwing money at him, please, Netflix. 💜)  Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, starring Ellen Page was fabulous.  I’m watching Pose, now, (thanks to The Read podcast.)  More love.  TV rocks, now.  I’m off to stare at it while depleting my fruit roll-up stash.   💜✌🏾

“You know how I’m always making those interesting comments during the game.”

tyler-nix-1699687-unsplash

I’m doing alright.  The Depression Monster is trying all sorts of tactics, and finding they don’t work so well on someone present in their body. 🙃 I’m busy fighting them off, but it’s different now.  It’s a lot easier to defend the castle when I’m in it than when I’m off floating on a cloud of code.  It doesn’t take all my resources any longer, which is wicked awesome.

Now, even while under attack, I can also work on creating, healing, and collecting moments of joy — significant flex.  Aw.  The Depression Monster must be sad.  Your dethroning after all this time hurts, eh?  I know we go way back, but we’re not friends.  I’m going to name it a Passing Acquaintance.  Thanks for helping me grow.  I’m moving on to whatever comes next.  (In heels AF1’s.)

A great deal of healing is happening in my life.  I think my subconscious is making essential connections while I sleep.  I’m sleeping differently; more productively.  I awaken feeling like I spent all night coding in my sleep, yet feel rested.  My recent changes in perspective regarding trauma while conscious seem like such small changes compared to the results I’m experiencing.  Thank goodness it’s working in my favor.

trust-tru-katsande-605017-unsplash

I can’t remember what I’m dreaming, but I do notice myself acting out briefly, then pausing to examine what is going on.  I felt like my stress tolerance level got reset back to childlike yesterday.  It was sudden and confusing.  I felt intense rage over the slightest provocation.  Um.  No.  So I converted the mysterious rage energy into music with my drums.  (I finally understand heavy metal.)

I recognized I need to go back to Azeroth (World of Warcraft) and spend some time carefully stretching my stress balloon.  It’s my safe place to get frightened and stressed out in a controlled environment.  Any time I feel super frustrated or like I’m about to cry, I hop up and walk around while calming myself and using a Night King boost.  I’m going to build a new toon from level 1 and help other players as I go.

This social aspect of the game helps me build confidence in my ability to connect with strangers (without getting punched if I make a mistake.)  I role-play with my Paladin by acting out my purpose as a protector who serves others in my faction.  I support players who go all out in PVP capture the flag scenarios by healing and reviving, instead of glory seeking.  (I probably don’t play right, but I have fun and make friends.)

ian-dooley-298771-unsplash

Video games get a bad rap, but I see them as incredible tools when used to build up stress tolerance.  It’s a shortcut, (and having a childlike stress tolerance level is hell.)  Adults who are unable to self-diffuse a potential full-blown tantrum before it happens in realtime are in crisis.  Not it.  I need to be able to think before I speak or react.  Video games allow us to work it out at home, (so long as we focus on self-soothing and calming while our brain thinks the shit is hitting the fan.)

For me, I listen to ABBA Gold quietly on repeat, aim a small fan at the back of my neck, and drink soothing tea while I play.  I set a timer for sixty minutes, and I play (as a tank) for strangers with a walking break at halfway.  I know if I mess up, everyone in my group will be disappointed, and their abilities to cope with it will be all over the place.  Some will log off, while others go off.  My job is to take it all in and reflect calmness and kindness.  I feel the stress and let it pass through me, unclaimed.

Each time, it gets easier.  Eventually, the stress and fear become just part of the excitement, not a misidentified provocation to enter the fight-freeze-flight mode.  I love healing at home.  Now that I have my cherished map, it’s inevitable, and that makes me so happy.  I have all these tools and control over how I experience my life now.  The distinction is crucial to me.  I’m off to build my new toon.  💜✌🏽