Discharged

Hi. In the last few weeks, I have been discharged from mental health services. Is this good news? I hope so. If I end up unwell again, hopefully I can be seen quickly. I have Bipolar I. The last time I was in hospital was three years ago, over my Birthday. The previous/first time I was in hospital, it was over Easter. I am hoping next time will be over Christmas (Joking). I really hope I don’t need mental health services again. I still sleep too much, eat too much and don’t accomplish much.

I am hoping to get back into setting goals and kicking butt. Or setting goals and achieving them. I already have a long list of things I want to achieve, plus my bucket list, so I am going to print off my goals and stick them on my wall, to look over when I’m feeling bored or uninspired. I’m going to try and get a job in a few weeks, I’m just busy at the moment. Some of my goals are, learn how to use my cameras (DSLR and polaroid), do some travel, lose at least 20 kilos, track my sleep again, write in each of my blogs at least once a week and cook a few new recipes.

Basically, to maintain my mental health, I need to get lots of fresh air, exercise, have a healthy social life, eat healthy, limit alcohol, have a healthy sleep routine and take all of my medications. I struggle with the healthy eating, and I don’t like exercising, although I do walk most days. I am pretty good with my medications, but sometimes 4 o’cloak rolls around and I realise I haven’t taken my morning pills, or I am in bed for the night and I realise I didn’t take my evening pills and I can’t be bothered getting out of bed. I should probably keep my pills and some snacks and water beside my bed so there’s no excuses, but sometimes my pills melt in the heat, especially at this time of year.

I stopped doing my sleep experiment. I drew the conclusion that I can wake up at anytime I want, but I am less likely to get up early if I don’t want to (I need a purpose, some morning goals or a reward to drive me), if I am cold or if I went to bed too late the night before. Basically, I need to get up a bit before my alarm and have a coffee, turn my electric blanket on (I don’t think it works), and sleep in longer pjamas. I also need to write down some motivating things to look at when I wake up, like some things to do that day, and rewards for getting out of bed. I like having a cappuccino first thing in the morning, apparently it’s good for my ADD. My parents got a machine when they were newly weds that makes coffee for them and then an alarm goes off to wake them up when it’s ready. They also had to set out a jug of milk the night before to have with it, which could be a problem if there’s an earthquake, a wondering cat or it’s the middle of summer when it could go sour. I guess you wouldn’t need a hot drink to get out of bed in the middle of summer though lol. Overthinker much? haha

Sorry for not writing much lately. I think I had too much pressure to be a self help blog and to educate about neurodiversity. I think now, I will write about my life in general instead of just providing things that are helpful. I’m no expert about Bipolar, ADD or Aspergers, but I can provide a first person account of these things by sharing a bit of my life.

Enjoy!

School for this Aspie

Elementary School

I love education and I love learning. When I was in elementary school, I loved going to school, making friends and learning whatever the teacher was presenting us with that day. I loved the library, writing long stories, maths, playtime, lunchtime, PE etc. I didn’t really get the point of school though, I think I was just there to have a good time. I never did my homework, except for the odd reading and spelling. There wasn’t really a harsh punishment for this, we just had to do a few extra worksheets at the end of the year. I remember recieving my report cards. Like, I am supposingly a smart woman, but those report cards were not reflecting my best. I used to get mostly 4/5s for marks, and I didn’t know how to improve them, care to improve them or even realise I was being tested. Was I putting my best effort in? I don’t know. Did I know how to get better marks? I’m not sure.

Because of my ADD, I didn’t have great attention to detail, and I had to do these tests and I got these easy questions wrong, because I skim read them and didn’t actually understand what the question was asking for. I think I still do that now.

I was popular. I had lots of friends, and when I had birthdays, I would invite most of the girls in my classes and we would have a great time. My first teacher didn’t seem to like me, but I really looked up to her and adored her. My next two teachers were males, and they were great. I cried when I finished elementary school because I really enjoyed it and I didn’t know what to expect in the future.

Intermediate

Intermediate was exciting. Lots of new kids and new classes. Unfortunately, my first teacher there hated me, and was somewhat of a bully who picked favourite students. I was not one of them. I loved the new classes, we had electives such as cooking, sewing and woodwork. We got to do school plays. We had school teams in different colours. I was there for two years. I got bullied badly in the second year and started talking about suicide.

Highschool

The bullying continued. I really didn’t get the point of school at this point. I read online somewhere that school was a babysitting service for parents. I bought into it and stopped trying. When other people were listening to the teacher and taking notes, I would be drawing pictures in my exercise books or making my own notes like “I love Bob”. I was obsessed with Avril Lavigne, and had pictures of her all over my books. My teachers were nice. I did okay in some subjects, when I did pay attention. Maths comes to mind. I got bullied by a lot of people. Someone threw a banana at my head when I was giving a presentation. Someone threatened to smash a bottle over my head. People laughed when I fell upstairs. Pranks were played on me. Bubblegum was stuck to my skirt, and when I wore pants the next day, rumours spread that I had peed myself. That’s only a small part of what happened to me at that school. I got bullied all day, every day for two years.

I finally got relief when I changed schools for year 11. I had friends again. I enjoyed school, but I still didn’t really apply myself. I got kicked out of one class for being rude to a teacher because she used to ignore me and my friends, and when I would ask her questions, she would launch into five minute monologues instead of giving the thirty second answer I wanted. Yes, I was an asshole. I started struggling with my mental health and I would try to remember what I learnt in class, but my head felt like it was filled with fog. I went back to not having friends in year 12, then in year 13, a childhood friend let me hang out with her group. I was so close to not getting University entrance. Luckily, I got my act together and started putting some work in. I did an English class that marked each assignment at three different levels, so if I did an assignment at level 3 as an achieved, I would get a merit at level 2 and an excellence at level 3.

Now

I have a passion for learning. I love books and documentaries. I love learning and doing my best, but I hate being marked. When you do a course and you get marked, it’s so permanent… it’s like, the best you can ever do. I would rather have assignments and exams as a tool to see where you need to improve, not as a final thing where you never get better or where the learning stops.

My ADD/Aspergers

I feel like school wasn’t designed for people like me. People that are so easily discouraged. I needed intervention at a young age and to be inspired to learn. I guess I didn’t see the point in learning. When I was in highschool, I wanted to be an actress. I guess I didn’t see how school could help me. I should have been studying English, Journalism, Drama, History… I should have still been aiming for something. I wasn’t prepared for school to end and the real world to begin. I guess I never believed that I would finish school or the future would come, or that it was tomorrows problem. I wasn’t ready to learn because I had no idea what the future held or what other job I could do. I did a career quiz to help me, and it said I should be a hat maker! What? I don’t know if anyone found that career quiz as useless as I did.

Things I loved in hospital, during my Manic Episode

  1. Weighted Blanket- I wrapped this around me when I wanted a rest in one of the rooms set aside.
  2. A massage chair… I used this most days
  3. The spa bath with many jets
  4. The art room- I didn’t really make anything in there, but I had discussions with other patients and showed them youtube videos on my laptop
  1. The courtyard…. I used to wake up at 6am everyday, and do laps of the ward, then do laps outside once the yard was opened. They thought I was pacing because I was upset, but really, I was trying to get my steps in!
  2. My vision boards- I was determined to lose weight and live my best life
  1. My year books… this ones a bit of a mystery
  2. The exercise bike

Weight Gain

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight and self image. I have put myself on diets since I was ten years old.

I wasn’t really overweight until I was seventeen, after fundraising for a trip by selling chocolate bars. The main person buying the chocolate bars was me. The weight really piled on between ages 22 and 25 due to epilium and eating whatever I wanted.

I feel like the sleep experiment is going really well, so I’m going to start an experiment for weightloss. I’m not going to publish it until I have completed 30 days.

I will post more about this at a later date, I just don’t really feel like writing right now.

A Movie About Me

If a movie of my life was made, it would be very boring- the last 10 years at least. I’ve spent most of that time sleeping, watching Netflix, talking about losing weight, making and losing friends and eating very poorly. I think my childhood and teenage years would be interesting, and hopefully my future. I think a lot of addicts and people with mental health issues have the same issue- we have the lost years, the dark ages, the years that we didn’t grow.

I saw a quote recently asking “are you really living, or just existing?” or something along those lines and it hit me hard. Are you playing hard, living hard, working hard, setting goals, dreaming big? or are you just watching the days go by?

There’s a brilliant quote from one of my favourite movies, A Cinderella Story, and it says “Don’t Let the Fear of Striking Out, Keep You From Playing the Game.” I think it’s a good quote to live by. I haven’t taken many risks in my life, and I think it’s time to start.

Opps! Renaming The Blog

When I started this blog, I named it Neurodiversity Queen. Then I googled it, and it turnt out there was already someone with that name! I then decided to call myself The Neurodiversity Universe because I thought it would be a safe option. Unfortunately, I found out this morning that someone else is already using a very similar name.

I’m very sorry, but in a few days or weeks, I will be changing the name of the site, hopefully permanently. I will have to get all new names for my social media sites, such as youtube and instagram. I know it’s annoying that I keep changing names and addresses, so I am very sorry.

My First Experiment: The Humble Alarm Cloak

It’s shameful to admit this, but since lockdown started a week and a half ago, I have been sleeping in until 1:30pm! It’s not like I go to bed late either, sometimes I’m in there by 9:30pm.

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

I guess I get sick of my family being around all the time. So much noise. So much talking. So much you’re sitting in my chair “MOVE”. And then there’s the toddler standing on the dining room table. Don’t have kids. It’s a bit of a disaster trying to get some work done while sticky fingers are playing with the powerpoints and climbing everything. I say that I get up late to avoid it, but the noise is there the entire time I’m awake. I would be better off getting up at like 5am to get some alone time with my internet provider.

So anyway… the experiment. Obviously, I can’t spend the rest of my life sleeping for half a day everyday and expect to be in paid employment. Maybe, I should join a sleep study? tempting. Or maybe I could marry a farmer? I stayed at my friends house once, and her father was a farmer, and the alarm blared for like an hour. I got sick of it because it was talk radio and it was LOUD, so I got out of bed and into the parents bedroom and I was shocked to see the dad still asleep. I was mortified.

Anyway, onto the experiment… (lol)

I have set my alarm to go off every half an hour from 5am to 1:30pm, and I am going to let these alarms go off until I either throw my phone off a cliff or have better sleep/awake times. Wish me luck!

I will update here later with the results. 🙂

Results:

Day 1- I didn’t sleep the previous night, thanks to the help of an energy drink. At 5am, I started working on this blog, and the alarm faithfully went off every half hour until about 9:30am. By then my eyelids were feeling very heavy, so I went back to bed for a few hours.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Day 2- I woke up at 5am… and 5:30am, 6am, 6:30am etc… Every half an hour I had a different dream, it was awesome! I can’t remember any of them though. I think in the last one, I had a car and the wheels ripped off. I got up at about 10am and had some toast and a drink, then had a disagreement with someone and went back to bed for several hours. I think I need a reason to get out of bed and stay out of bed.

Day 3: I tried going to sleep. I think I had coffee too late in the day. I ended up getting up at about 2am and making many draft blogs and playing Egg Inc. I went back to bed a few hours later and tried meditating. Nope. I turned off most of my alarms and ended up falling asleep. I woke up at about 7:17am. I think I’m going to stay awake now that I’m up. I would consider that a success. Just before I woke up, I had a dream that I started a podcast. I dreamt that I made many episodes, but somehow died after two episodes. I died when I was very old, but a mere youth in spirit. I dreamt that I died in my fathers arms and with my family around me in heaven. This made me very happy. Dreams are interesting aren’t they?

Day 4: Today I forgot to set my half an hour alarm cloaks. I woke up at about 6:43am. I am improving!

Day 5: I got out of bed at about 8:30am. Ready to face the day and go for a walk! I woke up several times before this, but couldn’t bear to get out of bed because it was too cold! I think I need to buy some warmer pjamas, a kettle, a water bottle and a cup, so I can put the kettle on when I wake up and have a hot drink! Not sure what to do about the milk though. Wouldn’t want it to go funky during the night.

Day 6: I woke up about six times, before getting up at 9am. I would have gotten up earlier, but we had a guest and I didn’t want to disturb her. Up the time I did get up, I felt sluggish. Might go back and sleep a bit more or go for a long walk and see if I feel better.

Day 7: I got out of bed at about 8:30am. The alarm went off several times and I was too tired to turn it off. My room was freezing cold. The reasons I stayed in bed for so long was because I was cold, I was waiting for my tablet game to reset and I wanted my phone to be fully charged before I went for a walk. I went to take my phone off the charger, but it was only at 60%.

Day 8: I woke up at 5am and wanted to get up, but we had another guest. I got up at 6:30am and made dad breakfast in bed to encourage him to go for a walk with me, but he ended up being busy, so I went for a walk by myself. I think getting some morning exercise is good motivation to get up early. Hopefully he’ll join me in the future.

Day 9: This morning, I woke up to a nightmare about my grandma, whose ashes are currently in our house. I reluctantly went back to bed, then reluctantly got up at 5:30am, watched some Big Bang Theory then reluctantly walked the dog. I am getting closer to my goal! It should be easier with daylight savings which is a few weeks away.

Day 10: I got up at about 8am. Too tired to remember much.

Day 11: I got up at 10am. Couldn’t be bothered getting up earlier today.

Day 12: I ended up turning all of my alarm cloaks off and enjoyed dreaming and sleeping in, ahh.

Day 13: I stayed in bed because I was cold. I got up at about 9am and walked the dog.