Hello, my friends! I officially have 60 followers and I just want to say a quick thank you to the lot of you. Blogging has certainly helped me make more effective changes in my life and I hope that my blog can be of some help to each and every one of you. A special shout out to ToadieOdie and juanspinkelephant. They are always so helpful and on top of things. I really appreciate their advice and support. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the rest of you, it’s just that I wanted to give them a special appreciation, if that makes sense.
In other news, I did end up having a seizure last night. It’s not really that big of a deal, they are more inconveniencing than scary for me. I hadn’t had one in a great while and so I’m keeping watch in case this turns out to be a clusterfuck. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, though.
As for me, beyond that, I’m doing fine physically. I had graduated pelvic floor physical therapy. I told Charon about the Thing and she suggested that we start phase 2 DBT. I’m on the rocks about doing that. I sort of don’t want to. I’m trying to figure out exactly why I don’t want to beyond the fear and unease that rests in my stomach.
I also got a little finger puppet of a koala bear that I’ve named Osu-sama Kuma, which means Drop Bear. It’s a baby drop bear. I love Osu-sama. I put candy inside of him. I’m struggling to stay on top of my eating disorder behaviour and managed to eat so much junk yesterday and I don’t feel bad about it. That makes me feel happy inside.
Now, yesterday was Wednesday which means I had group. We talked about Wise Mind ACCEPTS skill. It’s an acronym that stands for activities, contributions, comparisons, emotions, pushing away, thoughts, and sensations. This is part of the Distress Tolerance Distract skill set.
Charon and Hel (because I keep forgetting what I’ve named the other therapist because I acknowledge her existence but don’t view her as largely important or influential in my life) made it very clear that Distract is not the same as Avoid. I would say the difference, to me, is that when I Distract, I come back to the issue at hand when I am no longer emotionally volatile. When I Avoid, it’s like I fall into an abyss where I’m stuck and can’t move forward with my life. Huge difference.
So the homework for this week is to do the ACCEPTS. Distract by doing an Activity (such as listening to music, blogging, internetting, whatever gets your mind off the thing that is an effective and non-destructive activity). Distract by Contributing (volunteering, doing random acts of kindness, calling your friends just to say hi and that you appreciate them. Distract by Comparing is something that took me a bit to grasp.
I need to tell you that Comparing does not mean to make yourself feel better or more superior to another person. It’s not about going “oh, at least I haven’t got AIDS” or “at least I’m not that guy”. We are all equally important and equally valuable. Comparing is seeing what others are going through and feeling grateful that we aren’t going through that. I know, it sounds very uppity, but let me explain better.
I have two cousins who are also on the Spectrum. One is ‘higher functioning’ than me and the other is ‘lower functioning’ than me. The higher functioning one is a dick. The lower functioning one is not. The younger one (the LF one), we’ll call Book, because he and I share a love for Young Adult Fiction. We both struggle with a lot of similar issues, such as speech and Executive Dysfunction and Eye Contact and all that fun stuff.
Book will always require speech therapy, whereas I graduated when I was 14. I still slip up sometimes and have to be very careful with my ‘r’s and if my stutter is acting up, what words will and will not come out right. I’m grateful that I was able to figure out a way to use my mouth right. I feel bad for Book, but I don’t feel like he is less of a person or that I’m better than him for the speech issues. It’s just something he has to deal with.
Or, another example is between my ‘higher functioning’ cousin and me. He is able to handle large crowds and he doesn’t struggle with anxiety or auditory sensory issues. However, he has much more sensitive skin when it comes to clothing. I would rather deal with my superhuman hearing than have to be even more picky when it comes to my clothing. I have the tools to cope and deal with my issues. I do not have the tools to cope and deal with other people’s issues. I can feel grateful that I do not have to deal with Book’s or Dickwad’s issues while not feeling superior nor inferior to them.
I really hope that was a good example. I admire that they are both able to overcome their issues while still feeling happy that I don’t have those issues. I do hope that makes sense.
Now, Distract with Emotions is a bit weird. It’s like watching a movie different to the emotion you are feeling or reading a sappy romance novel or listening to emotional music. It’s supposed to help you get into a more effective state of mind to deal with the ‘problem’ emotion.
And then there is Pushing Away. That is not the same as avoiding. Gods no. It’s basically like, when I’m having a shut down or a melt down that is being exasperated by something else, I ‘nope’ the fuck out of that situation so I can deal with the shut/melt down. I’m waiting until I get into a better frame of mind to deal with it.
Distract with Thoughts is using logic to overcome things. Counting, puzzles, doing the tellie or reading thing, something that is engaging to your mind. And Distract by Sensations is basically just stimming, which I am getting better at not feeling ashamed of doing.
I still hate the word stimming and prefer spazzing, but I won’t call what other people do spazzing. That’s rude for some weird reason and so it’s stimming when other people do it and spazzing for when I do it.
Well, that’s all for right now, folks. I have to pee and I want to do my yoga so I can have dinner. You all have a wonderful evening/day/night/breakfast/international travel time.
-The Sarcastic Autist