suzefricker@mylifeaccordingtome.org Available all the time, just send me an email and I will get back to you.

Meltdown – remembering

So because today I have been recovering from my meltdown yesterday, I have been thinking about my childhood. Obviously, I was not diagnosed with my autism until very later in my adult life and I have pushed things to the back of my mind but today I have been thinking about all the random times.

There are two that I currently remember. Once when my mum decided that my sister and I had to walk to school on our own. I was thrown because she had never done this before and I broke down into a major wreck until and crying massively. My mum had to come down and in the end, had to take us to school.

In hindsight, this was due to the change in my routine which I could not handle. This is something that could have been worked on had I been diagnosed as a child. My mum would have known not to change my routine and honestly, it could have saved some people some stress. I had to deal with many things that day, however, I remember that meltdown clearly in my head.

The other time was when I was a teenager. Once again I was supposed to be able to go to the library with my sister. My parents were supposed to come with me however, my dad had to work suddenly and could not come. My mum was also sick that day and could not come to the flat. Once again this was a change to my routine and I broke down into tears and kept saying “bye” to the front door. My sister, at the time, got so annoyed she punched me in the stomach. My dad heard my scream from the flat and came running down the stairs and brought us up to the flat. I then spent the rest of the day curled up on my parent’s bed and I wouldn’t speak to anyone including my sister.

Again, in hindsight, had I been diagnosed maybe they would have not made plans that could potentially be changed and maybe be a way in which they would be kinder to me. That would seriously have been better.

What I remember is that I was drained after each meltdown, however, I don’t remember having it feel like this before. Maybe the older I get the harder to deal with the aftermath of a meltdown.

Honestly, I wish I had a service dog to help me 😦 What I am noticing that now I have been diagnosed I am trying to embrace both the positive and negative parts of it, however, the negative sides can be quite horrid. Now I have the diagnosis I do not need to hide it which made it worse, however, embracing it would be so difficult.

Advertisements

Autism – Social Energy

Last year during International Day of Persons with Disabilities we had a talk from Genius Within and they talked about the theory of Social Energy.

Basically, it is like the Spoon Theory for Lupus. We all have social energy tanks. Those who are Neuro-Typical have larger tanks than Neuro Diverse people. This is the key thing to know. Now like the spoon theory every action that we do takes away from your social energy tank. The problem is is that when someone who is neurodiverse who has a smaller tank thing gets drained a lot quicker than a neurotypical person.

Unlike the Spoon theory, however, we can refill our tanks. The idea is that if someone who is neuro diverse’s tank dips below 30% then we are likely to be in a meltdown mode. So with your social energy, it is very important to know where you are at and how you refill your tank.

For me, to refill my tank when I am at work, I go to the coffee shop and speak with the staff there. I find the break from work and what is draining my energy is a way to refill. When I goto my coffee shop I can be a little crazy and let out stresses. When I then return to work I find that I have avoided a meltdown. For me when I am in meltdown mode I know that I go very quiet and you can’t talk to me and I won’t talk to anyone. So to avoid this I keep an eye on my energy levels.

The other aspect of this is the fact that you need to find your safe space to do it. I know one person who stands in a closet. Others go and sit on a bench doing nothing but people watch. It is your safe space to find it.

Since learning this theory my team at work and I use it a lot. They ask me what my number is at when I need a break. This helps me focus on my own needs. I think that you all need to work on this to see if it can help you try and avoid your meltdown phases.