Inspired

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A few minutes ago, I talked to a man who’s Hindu. We discussed what I’d call “higher consciousness.”

The discussion began, because he had the dot on his forehead that symbolizes The Third Eye.

We discussed meditation. He gave me a start-up method that is suggested for beginners: lighting a candle and focusing only-on-the-candle for 5 minutes.

Thoughts will come, as you meditate. Let them pass. Let them be. Try not to judge your thoughts. “Watch” them pass by.

Mel Robbins, an inspirational speaker, says to write your thoughts out. Even if those thoughts include an old episode of a favorite show.

Meditation and/or writing the thoughts out makes room in your mind for the things you’re actually wanting to focus on. All people experience fatigue within their minds.

Mark Zuckerberg has a reason for wearing the same, simple clothing every day. He chooses to wear the same, simple clothing every day, because of what’s called decision-fatigue. There’s only a certain amount of major decisions that your mind allows you to make, per day. After that, decision-fatigue sets in.

Mark, I read, would rather wear the “same thing” every day, so that his clothing is not one of the major decisions he invests in.

The man I met today suggested that I stop reading about higher consciousness, meditation, and focus, so much. I read and study A LOT. I love to learn and I love to learn in a detailed manner.

He suggested I stop that, to a major degree.

Do it. Practice it. It’s great to have the information, but without practice, it is all meaningless.

There’s my share for the day.

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5 years!

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WordPress has informed me that I registered this blog 5 years ago, today!

It’s amazing what has changed in 5 years!

I’m so excited about this new chapter of my life. Today definitely began a whole new chapter!

 

 

Blog to ya soon!

Changes

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So much has changed. So much.

Just in one year. Just in two years. And so much, in the past six years. What? It hasn’t been six years since Chloe’s adoption, has it?! You do the math. I don’t want to. I don’t want to come to that realization, so… no math, for me.

I’m not great at summarizing things, but I will try.

I suppose the biggest changes happened in April (2018), but the years prior were of help, as well.

Without the years before finding the anti-depressant that genuinely helps me, the anti-depressant wouldn’t have been enough, I don’t think.

In those last six years, *cringe*

I’ve learned a myriad of skills: coping, money management, employment, interpersonal (including conflict resolution) skills, etc.

Please excuse my sentence structure. I haven’t yet attended college for this. I will, though. Definitely.

I am grateful for all of the teachers, case managers, therapists, and friends who have helped me learn (and some of them continue to help me learn) these skills.

Without my anti-depressant, though, I was unable to use the skills I had intellectually acquired. 

Once my anti-depressant began to work, my life changed. It has been the length of April-May, and these last two days of June that my life has very much changed: all for the better. It feels like it has been longer: probably because during this time period, I have been very slowly adjusting to having a stable mood, a lessening of PMDD symptoms, and a generally great outlook on life.

I am working.

I am studying Spanish. The app I’m using says that I’m studying at the highest intensity that they have a classification for.

I am less driven to study French, but I am slowly learning the basics. The pronunciation is difficult for me.

I am doing at-home workouts, but I really struggle with the form of most exercises. That will take some study.

I’m studying keyboarding and 10-key typing, to increase my speed in each.

If I can ever afford a tutor, I would like to re-learn Algebra. Once I finally learned it in high school (after failing twice), I was a literal ace. I want a tutor, so that I can become a tutor. My senior year classmates (in Edinburg, Texas) said that I taught it in a way that was very easy to learn. My teacher took the day off and just observed.

Life has become so full of possibilities. I have the energy, most days (85%) – I have the motivation, and I have the confidence.

I’m not a person that I recognize anymore.

Last year, I began smoking cigarettes. Today is my sixth day of not smoking. Little by little, the cravings have lessened in intensity. I definitely had a detox-day, on the third no-smoking day. My body was angry!

Otherwise…

Chloe is 8. 

here’s what I know: she likes to dance. she likes to read. she can do handstands.

Daphne is 6 (in August).

here’s what I know: she likes drawing. she likes video games. she’s quite picky on most everything. ( ( ( I have chosen not to have contact with her or her father, until a later date. ) ) )

Isaac is 5 (in November).

here’s what I know: he’s analytical, focused, shy, and a goofball (who doesn’t like Santa).

Juliet is 4 (in December).

here’s what I know: she loves animals. she tries to do handstands. she’s brave. she loves her big brother a lot. she’s in dance classes.

Fine. They’re allowed to continue growing. Like most people who have kids, I sometimes wish there were a pause button. 

A quick snapshot of how I feel about the most recent change that I’m not quite ready to blog about: 

I have mixed feelings. I’m sad. I’m happy that you’re happy. I’m happy that they’re happy. I’m worried that they’ll blame themselves, someday. I’m worried about their eventual, emotional reaction to things. I’m worried that the situation will change again.

I guess, by percentages… I’m mostly worried.

I am happy, but that’s a less natural emotion toward it.

End.

the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

PMDD

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Want to see what I’m like, when I’m TRYING to be nice – when PMS (or, in my case, PMDD) hits? See previous blog post.

Darn, that it had to hit during Mother’s Day weekend!

It’s all over and I’m back to being the-real-me.

Step 1: bloat

Step 2: crave chocolate; be not-as-nice

Step 3: be really, really not-as-nice

Step 4: notice that I’m not-as-nice

Step 5: feel better, become the-real-me again.

There’s more, but this is my attempt at documenting it, without being all-TMI about it.

Hey, my-daughters, beware that you’re susceptible to this PMDD junk. It really sucks and mine began affecting my life at age 16. I just forget, every month, and then live in denial, until it hits again.

Love y’all.chloe

Asperger’s and homelessness

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Recently, I’ve learned and have accepted that until I feel safe…

(not at-risk of being homeless; being able to pay my own bills; being able to eat regularly)

it will be more difficult to do and to learn the things that will lead into independent living.

That’s definitely true for people who have Asperger’s Syndrome / are on the autism spectrum.

That’s also, to an extent, true for neuro-typicals (people who aren’t on the autism spectrum), too.

Many homeless individuals would fare better, if they were taken out of what’s called DEFENSE MODE. 

I’m not faulting people who have never experienced homelessness. Yay, for you! You’re able to hold a job, manage your money (well enough, apparently), and pay your bills.

But… until you’ve been homeless (even worse, street-homeless), you may not be aware of the challenges that are faced.

Basic self-care, especially if you’re on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, can be very difficult – when you’re in a homeless shelter or on the streets.

When you’re autistic (but high-functioning enough that people forget that you’re also low-functioning) and homeless, “simply” asking a homeless-shelter’s employee for your today’s-bath-towel and soap can be challenging.

When you get people (autistic or not) out of defense mode, they’re more able to learn more advanced social skills, job / interview skills, and organization skills.

I think this blog post kind of sucks, but my point is…

if you want the homeless community (autistic or not) to be more able to learn and do what it takes to become productive citizens, please don’t trap them into a situation that is difficult to rise out of.

Homeless shelters / organizations: “Here’s your bath towel, soap, and toothbrush. We expect you to have a job, hold that job, manage your own money, and find adequate housing, in the next 2 weeks.”

Some add, “…also, attend all of your mental health appointments, go to counseling, and follow up with other assistance.”

I think I’m mostly coming from an Aspie-point-of-view of homelessness, but … REALLY??! 

If I were able to do all of that, I wouldn’t be homeless!!!

I know that this blog post is a mess. My brain is currently a mess.

 

Lady Bug Annv

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Yesterday was Lady Bug’s adoption anniversary – of 3 years. Strange, strange. Yesterday morning, I emotionally struggled for about half an hour. I didn’t feel the need to cry, but if I had needed to, I would have allowed myself to.

I browsed pictures of Lady Bug and watched a few old videos of her.

I miss you, little girl. You’re loved. You’re awesome.

You, too – Picklette, Sesame, and Jewel!

Lady Bug – almost 6 years old.

Picklette – 3 years old.

Sesame – 2 years old.

Jewel – 1 year old.

*pinches self