Restart….

I think it’s time to do a restart. Again. It’s been a long time, and I’ve been through a few burnout periods in that time. I’m fresh out of the latest burnout and feeling (surprisingly) pretty unscathed this time. Maybe I’ve finally learned to be gentle with myself during a burnout. But just as I started last year, writing just a tiny bit to document my days, I want to try that again. With no pressure of writing for an audience (so I’ve turned off the automatic share to facebook).

I’ll start with yesterday, as it’s the first day in a while that a) I managed to actually make the transition from Indoors to Outdoors and b) actually took any photographs.

It always amazed me how difficult it was to get outside. People kept saying “all you need to do is just walk out the door” but there’s so much more to it than that – today I finally recognised and acknowledged the existence and significance of Transitions, thanks to someone on facebook (Allison Davies) putting words to the feelings. Transitioning between Indoors and Outdoors is so much more than just one step. Add executive functioning issues in and…. There’s the clothes. Sometimes it requires more than just putting a jacket on. Am I wearing the right things for Outdoors? (Often, no I’m not, because I’ve not got dressed yet.) Have I found enough pairs of socks so my boots will fit? The weight of the clothing I’m wearing changes. Get Erika dressed for Outdoors too – where are her clothes hiding, which ones will she agree to, I’m getting warm with these layers on. I had to get cold to get dressed, then I’m too warm, then out into the cold air. Layers of socks, slippers to boots, jackets and – and at least this one is usually welcome – hat.

And coming back inside is just as hard! Hot-cold (cold air, hot from working hard) to cold-hot (cold face, warm air indoors). Weight of clothing changes. Footwear changes. Body has changed – do I need to eat? Drink?

It’s a sensory and cognitive onslaught every time, particularly when adding others into the equation (like Erika for example), and sometimes I just don’t have the energy required to deal with all of that, sometimes I have to do it anyway and it pushes me to the edge, sometimes I do it almost without thinking. And I never realised that this is what was going on, and why it was making “just go outside!” such a big effort. Now I know. And can start creating ways to help my Self deal with it.

Anyway. Yesterday.

Made it outside. The boys thankfully now are fully capable of sorting themselves out and apart from finding errant gloves or hoodies (usually exactly where they were last abandoned) they don’t need my input to get outside. Erika does need assistance.

Took out the kitchen compostables and fire ash, dug up a patch of couch grass, brought the mail in (not sorted it yet though), clipped some errant ivy and fashioned it into the base for a wreath, collected pinecones with Tiger’s company, cut some plum branches to bring indoors for some hopeful spring blossoms, and picked snowdrops for my windowsill.

Indoors the kids played with lego and playdough (separately), minecraft, and read.

By bedtime they were exhausted and So Many Big Feelings came out (along the lines of desperately wanting to snuggle with each other and missing each other when separated) that we had a bedtime story all together on the sofa with Charley almost falling asleep curled up on my lap (I have to remind myself that he is just big for his age and is still really only 7 years old) and Ben’s head getting so heavy that they both needed carrying to bed after.

They want to play outside again today, and I’ve been given free reign to dismantle and use all the remaining pallet wood so I need to trick myself into getting through all those transitions again so I can start dismantling the pallets…

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Jeni, your blog will soon be added to our Actually Autistic Blogs List (anautismobserver.wordpress.com). Please click on the “How do you want your blog listed?” link at the top of that site to customize your blog’s description on the list (or to decline).
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)

    Like

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