Rambles of an Insomniac 5

Hey guys!

So this one is kinda me being slightly selfish, but it seems to be keeping me up anyway, so I’m going to write it down and get it all out. On the bright side it’s probably also going to be pretty shortish.

I care about people. A lot. Like, way too much most of the time. I don’t have many friends, and I’m okay with that, but I always know exactly what’s happening in their lives, and I can barely remember what’s going on in mine. If something is upsetting one of them, then I’ll help them through it, and make sure to watch for it after that for the rest of time. My friend was starting uni, and I knew they were nervous about it, so I put an alarm on my phone to make sure that I would be up in time to wish them luck, and talk to them if they needed me. And if something is really important to them, then I’ll remember it. I do everything in my power to make sure that they’re all okay, and most of the time I do that without complaining once. I hardly tell them about my problems because I am constantly worried that I might upset them. No matter how tired I am I will stay awake until the one I’m talking to has gone to sleep so that I can be sure that I won’t be asleep if they happen to need me. And I know that none of them will ever care about me as much as I care about them because honestly, I’m not that important. And I’m okay with that. What gets to me sometimes, is when I get called heartless. When I’m told that I don’t care about anybody. When I’m told that I’m selfish, and never think about anybody else, when that is all I ever do. I only ever think about other people. And because of that I can’t ever tell them how much I do for them.
I find it difficult to actually express emotions in person. When someone comes to me upset then I’ll listen, and I’ll talk to them about it, but the emotions I’m feeling on the inside won’t show all that much on the outside, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care! And I wish people could know how much I do for them, but they can’t, and it sucks.

Anyway, like I said, short and slightly selfish. Thank you for reading and sticking with me. Love you guys, and until next time,

Glitch Xx

Decision Making is Difficult!

Hello there!

This evening I would like to discuss decision making, and how it affects those with anxiety, and autism. Now, there are countless research reports on how anxiety physically affects the brain’s ability to make decisions, it has something to do with the Prefrontal Cortex (When I have time and can get my hands on some resources from the library at uni I will probably study that some more), however, what I would like to discuss is what goes through our heads, or, at least, my head, when a decision is suddenly thrown at me, no matter how big, or small that decision may be.
I’m going to try and write it in stages, so that it might make a bit more sense.

Stage One: The Decision 
Now, this can happen anywhere. Decisions, and questions are everywhere, and nobody really thinks twice about it before suddenly there is a question thrown in your face. It can be as simple as ‘what do you want to eat?’, or ‘what’s your favourite movie?’, or as complex as ‘do you want to go out tonight?’ (a very complex question in my opinion), I will still react the same.

Step Two: Confusion
Let’s say you asked me what my favourite movie is, first of all I have to process that you have actually asked me a question, and that I have to find an answer. Depending on the location, and the situation, this can take up to a couple of seconds, so I can sometimes stand there looking like an idiot until I have processed that you are staring at me and expecting an answer, and then comes:

Step Three: Panic
My thought process at this point goes something along the lines of ‘fuckfuckfuck okay movies what movies do I know WHY CAN I NOT THINK OF ANY MOVIES okay I have to think of something, what movie did you watch yesterday? No you can’t say that it’s stupid they’ll judge you. Can you not think of an actual good movie come on it is not that difficult. Okay. Genres, let’s go superheroes. But what if you say one that they hate and then you have to justify why you like it so that they won’t hate you fuck have they said anything about their favourite movie before we can just use that…’
This all goes on in the space of about 0.5 seconds, and so it’s kind of hard to grasp anything that is even going on in my head, and by this point stage four has already ensued.

Stage Four: Pressure 
By this point your friend/family member/whoever is now saying stuff along the lines of “Just name one!” and “It’s not that difficult.” and “We don’t have all day!” YES I KNOW! I know we don’t have all day. And I know it shouldn’t be that difficult to pick a favourite movie, and in any other situation I could probably give you an entire list, however the moment you asked me that question all options and logical brain functioning just left me and I am kinda floundering right now and you telling me to hurry up, and that it’s not hard is just making it even more difficult.

Stage Five: Humour
This stage might just be personal to me, however, if I feel trapped I will often turn to humour to try and back out of having to make a decision. I’ll start making sarcastic comments in an attempt to distract the other person and get them to say something first so I can theoretically follow up with ‘omg I love that movie!!!’ and then all will be right with the world, however, that rarely happens.

Stage Five (Alternative): Crying 
Depending on the day, and the situation, and my emotional state, if someone starts pressuring me I might just break down in tears. Which then just makes me feel stupid because why the hell am I crying over choosing a favourite movie?

Stage Six: Frustration 
This is for both parties. They are getting frustrated because, to them, I just look like I’m being purposefully awkward, and they’re getting annoyed because, to them, it is a simple question, and I am being an idiot. I, on the other hand, am getting frustrated at myself because I feel stupid for not being able to answer a simple question, and I feel awful for making them get frustrated, and I hate myself because I end up doing this every damn time, and I would love to just sink into the ground and have never existed.

Stage Seven: Shutdown 
This can happen two ways:
One: You kept nagging and I just stopped being able to deal with it, and so I just look down and stop talking, at which point you give up and leave, and I am left feeling like a failure of a human being.
Two: You have given up already and changed the topic, and I still end up feeling like a failure of a human being.

Step Seven (Alternative): Panic Attack 
This tends to come if I reacted by crying in step five, although it can happen either way. If I am feeling particularly overwhelmed I start to freak out and panic, and the fact that it’s over such a stupid thing makes it even worse.

Now, I am not trying to say that all this is anybody’s fault. It is not your fault that I reacted that way to you asking me a question, and it is not my fault either.
However I do ask you not to lose your patience with me. If I look like I’m struggling to answer something, you can give me nudges in the direction of an answer, such as “What was that movie you were watching the other day?”, or “Do you like action movies?”. Just narrowing down my options helps a lot. Or if you are feeling particularly kind, and want to give us the day off, casually stating what your favourite movie is helps, especially if you know that we like it as well. Maybe it’s not our favourite, but at that particular moment in time it becomes as such.
Please just don’t dismiss our struggle. We’re not doing any of it to annoy you, or to be awkward. In that moment, for us, the struggle of that simple question is very real, even if it doesn’t make sense to you.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to share with anyone you think might need help understanding.

Good day and good luck to you,

Glitch Xx

Rambles of an Insomniac 4

Hey guys! Now, I know what you’re thinking; Glitch is back already? It must be Christmas! Well, no, it’s not. However it is less than a week before my birthday, so does that count?

Anyway, confession numero uno: it’s only 9:40, and I could probably fall asleep right now if I tried, and that leads to confession numero dous: this is more of a general rant, but I didn’t want to make an entire new chain of posts just devoted to my rants, and considering this one is mostly me ranting, only at like 3 in the morning when I can’t sleep, I figured I might as well write it here anyway.

I have a lot to cover in this one, and instead of talking about it to friends, or possibly even a psych, or someone who can help, I figure I’ll just tell a bunch of strangers on the internet, and get the whole thing off my chest. Makes total, logical sense.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the divorce on here before. Possibly, possibly not. Anyway, my parents are getting divorced. Obviously. And that’s not an issue for me anymore. I got over that ages ago. What does bother me is the drama that is going down because of it, and I am stuck in the middle.

To start at the beginning of the drama that is currently bothering me, mum and dad had to decide who gets the kids, and when. Now, my brother (L) is pretty highly autistic, and because he’s young he hasn’t quite figured out his coping mechanisms yet, so mum was suggesting that she has the kids during the week, as dad has work until 6, and it’s not fair on the eldest of those three (M), to look after them all every afternoon, and it’s also not fair on L because M isn’t all that great at dealing with him. So mum would have them during the week in school term, and dad would have them on the weekends, and he could ask whenever he liked if he could take them out, and unless there was something else planned, then he could take them out. The only catch to that was that, until things settled, L would always stay the night with mum, until he got used to it. Now, this, to me, seemed fair. Dad, however, wanted to do week on, week off, which isn’t fair on the kids. But there was a massive argument about it, so it became a massive thing, and I now have to stand in court, against my father, and openly side with my mother, because I am classed as an ‘impartial observer’.

This was a massive thing for me at first, because one, massive anxiety about talking to a bunch of government people, and two, I didn’t want to openly oppose my dad, because anyone who even remotely sides with mum is the devil in his mind, and I didn’t want that, because he and I are fairly close. However, I recently found out that he has been telling mum a bunch of lies about me, to try to emotionally manipulate her into me living with him instead of her, and to get her to drop the case with the kids. Now, multiple things about this piss me off. He lied about me, and used me to hurt my mother (who is someone I am incredibly close to), he emotionally manipulated her, and he is acting without the kid’s best interest. I know he loves the kids, I really do, but this is not the way to go about it. Also, none of this seems like something he would do, but then, I honestly don’t know what he would and wouldn’t do anymore. So I am trapped between feeling incredibly angry and being perfectly fine with openly opposing him, and feeling incredibly guilty and scared about openly opposing him. I don’t know what to think anymore.

I have to side with mum because it’s best for the kids, and I care a hell of a lot about my siblings. I just also don’t want to be hated by my dad. See my problem?

This was kinda the shortened version of it, but it was enough to stop me from feeling so worked up about it. Funny how that works isn’t it.

Anyway, I hope you are all having a wonderful day, and I shall be back soon!

Love always,

Glitch Xx

Symptoms Fluctuate

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to discuss how the symptoms of your mental illness fluctuate. And I wanted to talk about this because I was in the shower this morning, thinking about how some days I can talk on the phone (a rather large trigger of mine), and sometimes I absolutely cannot, and that got me thinking about an article I read some time ago where someone was giving ‘signs’ as to whether someone could be faking their mental illness, and one of these ‘signs’ was if someone was fine one day, and not the next, and so I wanted to talk about that. (If I can find the article I’ll link you to it if you’d like to read it.)

Now, I have Aspergers (not a mental illness, but it does factor into this), anxiety disorder, and depression.
As I mentioned before, talking on the phone is a trigger for my anxiety. Most of the time I just stare at it until it rings out because I’m too afraid to answer it, and if I hang up they’ll know I saw the call, so I just leave it. Unless I have been told before hand that someone is going to be calling me, and they have told me what the call will be about, then there’s a very large chance that I will not answer. However, occasionally I will be having a good day, and if someone calls me, I can pick up the phone. This anxiety mostly stems from my Aspergers, because when talking on the phone, I can’t see the other person, and therefore I can’t always understand what they mean when they said something, like I can’t always tell if they’re joking, or if they’re actually upset with me, and it stresses me out a lot. I also don’t know when I’m supposed to talk because, again, I can’t see them.
Fortunately people who I am close to understand this, and so if they want to contact me they generally just text me. Mum only calls if she needs an answer quickly, and if she calls she only asks me straightforward questions, so I can’t misinterpret anything. And if my close friends call me they know not to expect a conversation, and usually only call if something’s up and they want to rant about it, which I’m okay with.
But, just because I could answer your call one time, doesn’t mean my anxiety over this issue is cured, and that doesn’t make me rude for not picking up the phone the next time you try to ring me, and trust me, I’m beating myself up about it enough without your input.

There are some days that I am perfectly happy to go out, and some days where I’m really not okay to go out. Most days I would prefer not to, but I do anyway because I know that I’ll be okay. But this does sometimes mean that I will cancel plans. Even plans that I organised. I’m not cancelling because I don’t want to spend time with you, I am cancelling because I am mentally not up to it. If I was cancelling because I had become sick, you wouldn’t be calling me lazy, you’d be asking if I was okay. Same concept.
Again, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who understand this, even if they do get a little frustrated with me sometimes, they’ve never just assumed that it’s because I don’t want to hang out with them. However, I have had people tell me that I’m lazy, and that I’m making up excuses for not wanting to hang out with them, and that if I didn’t want to go out in the first place I should have just told them before we made plans. But that’s not the case. Chances are, when we were making those plans I was really quite excited to see you. Chances are I am actually rather upset about having to cancel on you, but I also know that I will not be able to cope, and that you would probably prefer me not to be there having panic attack after panic attack and crying in the bathroom.

The point I am trying to make is that mental illness symptoms fluctuate. To put it in a more physical context, if that might help anybody understand, a friend of mine has chronic back pain. She has had it for at least four years now. She has been in and out of hospital, operation, after operation, and so many medications that they fill up an entire cabinet. Nobody can deny her pain, but some days she can move around, and do most things like normal, other days she’s in so much pain that she can’t get out of bed. This doesn’t mean that on the days she is okay that she is cured, and it definitely doesn’t mean that the days she can’t move she’s faking it, or that she’s lazy if she cancels plans because her pain is too high.
This is the same for those of us with a mental illness. We’re not faking it because some days we can cope, and others we can’t.  We’re not lazy because we cancelled on you. We don’t have control over when we have good and bad days. We are sick, and we deserve the same respect that you would give someone with a physical sickness.

Here is the article: ’10 Signs Your Mental Illness is Made Up For Attention’ https://anongalactic.com/10-signs-your-mental-illness-is-made-up-for-attention/
They made a part 2 about sexuality that I might touch on another time, but that’s linked in the article if you want to read that as well.

Anyway, goodbye for now my chums, and have a fantastic day!

Until next time,

Glitch Xx

Rambles of an Insomniac 3

Hey guys! It’s been a minute. Sorry about that, but I’m back with more of the stuff that goes on in my head when I can’t sleep, because I have found that doing this does actually help somewhat.

So as you guys know, anxiety disorder is a big thing with me. I’ve dealt with it for my entire life, and it’s never going to go away. Some days I’m perfectly fine, and other days going outside and being a part of human society scares the ever living hell out of me. For the most part though I can function normally, until I have to do something that is, even if only slightly, out of the ordinary. Now I’m bringing this up because at Aikido we take it in turns to lead the warm up. That itself scares me. Granted it used to scare me a lot more than it does now, but I’m still not comfortable with it. And in leading these warm ups, we have to count. Loud. Which makes sense, because the rest of the class has to be able to follow your count, but the problem is, I physically cannot make myself do that, especially not at the front of the class. I try, and it’s like the sound refuses to leave my mouth. It’s gotten better since I first started, I can at least count quietly now, but being loud and ‘leading with confidence’, as they put it, is not going to be happening any time soon, and I can’t help that. I’m working on it slowly, but it’s not something that I can fix overnight.
Now, last Tuesday, I forgot my belt, which made me feel incredibly uncomfortable anyway, but then I had to lead the warm up. Fine, okay, I forgot my belt, I lead the warm up, I can handle that. But there was one section where I had to get one of the guys to count for me because I couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t. And sensei looked at me like I had done something terrible and told me that it was supposed to be on my count, and I said that I knew this, but I couldn’t do the count anymore, and he told me that this was my personal choice. This ended with me having a panic attack, running outside, and then spending at least an hour or so fighting off an anxiety attack.
Don’t get me wrong. I love sensei. He’s like a dad to me. But that just really, really hurt. I don’t understand how he could think that I would want to not lead. It’s not a personal choice at all. I don’t choose for the words to not work. I don’t choose to have anxiety. If anything I choose not to have it, but that’s not a choice I have. I don’t want to be so scared that I can’t do what I’ve been asked to do, especially in an environment that I’m usually perfectly comfortable in. I hate it. I hate it so god damn much. But I can’t do a thing about it. And I wanted to be able to tell him this, but my stupid fucking brain just started spinning instead. I want to be able to tell him this next time I see him, but I know that I won’t be able to. And that is NOT a personal choice.
Honestly he seemed kind of annoyed at me from the beginning of class, and I’m not entirely sure what I did, because he was fine when I saw him the last time, but he just sort of blanked me on Tuesday. And I have obviously spent the last two days going over, and over, and over, and over what happened. If he knew that this was how it was then maybe he’d be a little more flexible, but there’s no way I can explain it to him.
I wish this whole thing didn’t make me so scared to go back. And I wish that I didn’t spend hours fretting over everything. And I wish that my anxiety would go screw itself.

In other news though, I recently started Jiu Jitsu again, which is something that used to terrify me – hence why I quit in the first place. But I’m more or less okay with it now, or I was. I mean, I still am. But the thing that’s helped me cope with my anxiety a lot is Aikido and because of Tuesday that’s also now stressing me out, so I’m scared about going back to that too now, but I’m going to do it anyway, because it does make me feel at least a little better afterwards, if not a little shaky.

There’s no way I’m giving in though, no matter how much I just want to hide in my room and never go back anywhere, because that would never help me. I’m going to go back to jits tomorrow, and I will go back to Aikido…probably next Thursday because I have wisdom tooth surgery on Tuesday (another thing I’m stressing about. Yay.), but nonetheless I will be going back, and I will continue to make small steps, because that is the best I can do, even if people don’t get that and want to hurry me. A quote that’s come to mind whilst writing this is one from Game of Thrones:
“Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave.”
It just kinda seemed to fit the vibe of this post.

Anyway, writing this has actually helped me a fair bit. I don’t quite feel so much like crying and suffocating myself with my pillow anymore.
Thank you so much for listening.

Glitch Xx

Six Weeks of Gluten

Hey Friends!

I was originally going to do an article about things you can say to people with anxiety, but then something happened, and I now have something else that I would like to talk about.

Normally, people who write things about gluten are those attempting to go gluten free for a while, and documenting the results, but I have to do the opposite. For at least a year now I have been avoiding gluten because it gave me stomach aches, and bloating, and I just figured it would be easier to just cut it out. I used to be able to have small amounts every so often and it would be fine, but recently I have found that small amounts of gluten seem to leave me heaving over the toilet and feeling absolutely awful, which is not gluten intolerant, that is coeliac. So, I have to get tested for coeliac, but to get accurate results, I have to reintroduce gluten into my diet. For six weeks.

Six.

Needless to say, I’m not particularly excited about feeling sick, and bloated,  and in pain for the next six weeks (which, I might add, goes right through my 18th birthday, which is fantastic.) I have this small hope in the back of my mind that if I keep eating gluten then I’ll become suddenly fine with it, but I am well aware that this will not happen.

I’m also scared that my results for ceoliac  will come back negative, and therefore these six weeks will have been pointless. I know I’m definitely at least intolerant, but I’m going to be rather upset if I have been instructed to do this, and it is all for naught. Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t have anything else to say on this matter right now. But I may well report back every so often.

See you guys later,

Glitch Xx

Things That You Don’t Have to Explain Yourself For

Hey Friends!
This particular article comes with a recent anecdote of mine, where I was listening to music, and my mother came in with words a little along the lines of “Why do you like this stuff? It’s awful.” (Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, and I know that she doesn’t mean to upset me, but she doesn’t seem to understand that sometimes you need to keep your opinions to yourself, even though I have tried to explain this to her, she just got insulted and shut down on me). Anyway, I ended up getting really upset and trying to defend my taste in music. It was only a few hours later that I realised that this, and a bunch of similar things, are not things that we should feel the need to explain to other people. So let’s get going with a list, shall we?

1: Things that make you happy. As I just mentioned before with music, you do not have to explain to anybody why you like the things that you do. It is your thing, you’re not making them do it. If you enjoy it then it is nobody else’s place to tell you that you shouldn’t. If you like knitting, then let nobody else tell you that you shouldn’t because it’s an ‘old people’ hobby. If you like that weird movie that nobody else seems to, who cares? If something makes you happy, then you do not have to explain yourself for it.

2. Who you love. If you love someone, then you love them. Be it in a romantic way, or a family way, or a friend way, you do not have to give an explanation to anybody else as to why. You don’t even have to explain why you love that celebrity that you do. They are your emotions, and therefore nobody else’s business. Do not let anybody tell you how, or who to love, and definitely don’t let them make you feel bad for it,

3. What you eat. I’m just going to assume that most people, including myself, have had people criticize their eating habits. Too much, to little, wrong things, ect. Like one time when it was 5pm and I hungrily attacked a large burger and my friend looked at me scornfully saying that I should slow down or I’d get fat. What she did not know was that that burger was the first thing I had had chance to eat all day, and she still made me feel bad about it, and I tried to explain this, but instead I just ended up only eating half of it. As long as you, and your body, are okay with what you eat, then you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it.

4. Your body. This may seem like an obvious one, but people still have not worked out that when it comes to other people’s bodies, it is not their place to scrutinise. I am a size 12, and flitting between healthy, and like 1kg overweight, and while I am not particularly happy with this myself, I am working to fix it, but it is not anybody else’s job to tell me to do so. This is the same for someone who is a size 2, or a size 20. If you are happy with how you look, then good for you! Don’t let others bring you down. And if you aren’t, then fix it on your own terms, and in your own way. Don’t let anybody dictate how you should go about making changes to your body.

5. Your clothes. I personally dress for comfort, and I get remarks on it quite a lot, but I have long since stopped caring. I don’t much care for fashion, and I most likely never will. If you do though, then you keep wearing that stuff, and keep your head above those who try to drag you down for it. Same with people who, like me, just wear whatever they want, or whatever is on top of the mess heap that is their shirt drawer

6. Your feelings. If you feel a thing, then you are allowed to feel that thing, no matter how out of place it may seem to somebody else, because somewhere in your head, even if you can’t find it yourself, those feelings are justified, and you don’t have to make anybody else understand why.

7. Mental illness. Your brain doesn’t always respond to things the way it’s supposed to, and that isn’t always in your control. You don’t have to explain to anybody why you’re depressed any more than you have to explain why you have a headache.

8. Disabilities. This goes for any kind of disability, be it physical or mental, and I am grouping a lot of things in this one. You do not have to explain why you react to something the way you do because of a mental, or physical disability. You do not have to explain why you can’t do something because of a mental, or physical disability. And you should not feel bad about having a mental, or physical disability because of something that somebody else said.

There are so many more things that I could add to this list, but I have to get ready to go out shortly, so I’m going to end it there.

My point here is that people shouldn’t make you feel bad for being yourself, and you shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anybody, because you are you, and that is good enough. In the famous words of Dr Seuss (though apparently that’s a very controversial fact and open to debate, but also not the point right now) ‘Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Stay true,

Glitch Xx