Yesterday I tried out the mindfulness/meditation class at the rehab centre. I have tried meditation before but not really enjoyed it, but since I need to go to at least one activity per week I thought I could give it a try.
But it was really not my thing this time either… I see where they are going with it, but as a neurodivergent person I just can’t relax and let my thoughts pass by. As with ADHDers I get too little stimuli. My brain doesn’t work that way.
I think the mindfulness people try to reach a state of mind (being present) that I already go to in other situations.
I can just watch the insects or flowers or floor tiles or lamps and feel truly present. As autistic I even struggle with being too aware of beautiful details. When I walk or drive the car I tend to get stuck on things I see around me and kind of lose sense of what I am doing.
When writing this I’m not sure if it’s the same thing, though? But I sure am present when doing this. Even if it’s not exactly the same thing.
Another thing I think people are trying to find (especially when they are soulsearching in India or Mount Everest or whatever) is the sensation of flow.
It’s like the opposite of mindfulness/presence since time and room disappear into a flow of feeling good with what you are doing.
ADHDers and autistics usually go into flow rather easy (hey, special interests!), but I guess neurotypicals can’t since they keep trying to find the feeling by doing quite weird stuff like taking drugs, running marathons, dancing all night long at rave parties, parachute diving, etc.
Anyway. I prefer the state of flow when my thoughts wander freely. Counting the minutes at a mindfulness class is about the opposite of what I need in my life. (But I do believe other people may benefit from it.)
I’ve always been afraid of swimming in the in the ocean when the sand is full of creatures, as here on the west coast in Sweden.
Since it was my last day of the summer vacation and it has been very hot I decided to go to the beach today and actually wear a swim suit instead of just wading with pulled up shorts.
There were a lot of creatures though, but I decided to use my sandals and then I was fine. (I am sensitive to textures and just can’t stand having animals/seaweed/similar touching my feet.)
But it was really fun to wade around and check out all animals. Maybe I should get some swim shoes and go more often?
I am now staying at my third place this summer. We are in the very south of Sweden, staying in my brother-in-law’s new house.
I don’t know if it’s me getting older or due to exhaustion and/or autism, but there are so many things that must be in place for me to sleep. (In my early 20s I could sleep at the floor, in the forest (LARPer), etc.)
I have to have a comfortable mattress, my memory foam pillow (I always bring it!), the room cannot be too hot or light and I always listen to audio books when falling asleep.
I need a toilet close by and a lot of stuff when I wake up in the night (1-2 times) allergic nasal sprays, tissues, water, saliva spray, pain killers (my body aches due to being so tense), charger, lip balm etc. I also take melatonin and some light sleep meds. I normally stay in bed for 12-13 hours per night due to fatigue.
This will be my bed the following four nights. I think it will be alright.
I wonder if it’s just me or if it’s aging, autism and/or fatigue?
As autistic I mostly hang out with other neurodivergent people (ADHD etc.). There are many similarities between ADHDers and autistics, but there are also huge differences.
I live with fatigue, stress sensitivity and a need to plan ahead. I always finish well before the deadline to avoid stress and panic. I can’t think straight when I am short of time. (I don’t know if this is autistic or stress management?)
My AD(H)D friends and relatives on the other hand just can’t do stuff without the adrenaline that comes with deadlines. They use to ignore upcoming things until it’s almost too late and then they get the energy they need to complete the task.
This of course stresses me out completely. I try to accept the behaviour, but I get stressed anyway since the late solutions often affects me.
If the ADDers make it in time (kind of) they are probably less affected than I am who have been worrying about the deadline for days or weeks. So, I guess both behaviours are draining energy in different ways.
But imagine having to work together with these different kinds of behaviours. 😳 (That’s my life. 😬)
We were hiking in an area with a lot of remnants from the last ice age yesterday. It was a really beautiful place but as always I get so mentally occupied with my interoception (sense of signals within my body) that I had a hard time enjoying it.
I get worried about getting hungry, going too hot or cold, having pain or needing a toilet. I usually bring food, a fan, a sweather and toilet paper and try to feel confident in me solving my needs, but it’s not easy.
I go mute when I feel too uncomfortable in my body and if someone tries to talk to me I get very rude. So I try to stop my meltdowns before that.
I wish I could enjoy trips more and not long for my house. But it’s hard to get around in this body.
I’m on vacation and staying in an old cottage on the countryside. It’s nice to have the nature around with beaver safari (the kids saw one), berries, lakes and no traffic, but I also suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) due to fatigue and hygiene discomfort since we have no water in this house and an outdoor wooden house with holes in a bench for toilets. (And a separate house with a shower but no toilet.)
I’ve started using a urinal/potty in the night. 😬 This takes a lot of energy for me since I as an autistic is very sensitive to discomfort and temperature changes.
But apart from that it’s really pretty here.
I made another self portrait some days ago to check on my inner self. I am apparently clenching my jaw, bracing myself and staring at the future with doubts. And it’s all too true.
My family’s summer vacation has almost started and there is packing, travelling and staying with relatives and friends coming up. It will be fun to get out on the countryside, but it will also be tough since I am living with fatigue and autism.
But I hope it will be alright and not too tiresome.
Image: A child who is drawing on a paper.
Text: I can listen better if I get to doodle at the same time. People who struggle with focus and restlessness don’t (generally) fidget/doodle/ wriggle to distract themselves or bother others. It’s a coping mechanism to be more present and able to listen. Let people doodle!