Thursday, February 27, 2014


     People often talk about their own Autistic children, and how one of the key indicators of their Autism was an onset of regression around the age of two. That never happened for me in the classic sense—I learned to talk while I was young, and I kept my language abilities all throughout my years. There were meltdowns and shutdowns that have left me unable to find energy even for my own thoughts, let alone words, but I consider this different than being nonverbal. We hear all about Autistic toddlers who regress—but what we don’t hear about as often is the adults who do. That’s me right now. My life is a wreck.

     Let’s start with the basics. My hygiene is a major concern. I often don’t bath, and even less often do I brush my teeth. I know I need to do those things. I know that my health will deteriorate if I don’t. But I also know, as far as the tooth brushing thing goes, that my gag reflex gets triggered, and it causes me to have to stop brushing whenever I do. It’s painful. It’s tedious. And it raises my anxiety just to think about brushing them, even though I know my teeth need the extra care an attention. If I’m being honest, the bathing thing has more to do with forgetfulness. I forget how many days it’s been since I last did it. And the sad thing is, I actually enjoy baths. But it doesn't show in how I deal with them.

     Now, let’s get to the worst part… my apartment. The apartment I share with my husband. It’s a borderline hoarding situation—and while I have no sentimental attachments to most of the stuff in our apartment, that doesn't change the fact that a big part of this mess is mine. Dirty dishes left uncleaned, garbage thrown on the floor, dirty clothes covering the floor so that you can barely see it. There’s stuff that has needed sorting through since we moved in here back in July, things that need donating, selling, throwing away… but we have such a backlog of household chores that we have to get through in order to even begin getting this place to look like a home. Our apartment is tiny—we don’t really have room to live like this. But we do.

It all comes down to anxiety, and spoons. My anxiety is crippling. I can’t even begin to think about cleaning this place up without having a moment of panic. I can’t think about cleaning ME up without panicking. It’s that bad. I don’t know what to do, other than just do it—but doing it is the hardest part.

Thanks for reading. To end on a positive note—even in this period of regression, there has, and will, be growth for me. I will come out the other side of this a braver, stronger, more independent woman than I ever was before. I will overcome, and when I do, the world will be better for it. I have to remember that my worth isn't in my failures—it’s in my successes, however small and trivial they may seem to others.

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