I distinctly remember the beginning of my experience with visualisation, I was about ten years old and lying in bed wondering if I could see what the back of my eyelids looked like with my eyes closed. I lay there looking at the glowy, blackish hue of my inner eyelids. When you try to see with your eyes closed, you can see waves of light barely offering definition, as a child, this light would evolve into stars. This was the beginning of my visual adventures.
My thing is running. Well, running and then walking for a bit when I feel tired.
I wave and say hi to everyone I meet on my runs, because it amuses me to count how few people actually reply. The myth is that autistics struggle with social communication, but I can run for a few miles without reciprocity. Which makes me smile.
In 2019 I carried out a study to explore how late-diagnosed autistic women (like me) managed their health and wellbeing. You can read the summary of my findings here. This is the first of four blog posts describing the themes I identified when analysing the interviews.
The Christmas season is almost upon us, and this year I’m going to be doing advent a little differently. I already have a wooden advent calendar with little doors, that I picked up in a car boot sale many years ago.
Last year I filled it with snowflake window-stickers for the children to make the house more and more wintry as the days passed. I usually go for chocolate treats. There’s something about that build up to the mayhem that is Christmas, that needs some noting.
When it comes to making the world a better place, it can be daunting to take on the big things. Sometimes they are impractical or impossible. Cost, work, location, all these things have to be thought about and considered. There’s no point in deciding to move to the country if your support-network and work cannot be uprooted.
Life is often a series of compromises, but let me tell you a story of the day I decided to completely revolutionise my world.
As I emerge from the studio and step down into the sun-drenched parking lot, a gust of wind hits my face and the cooling sensations race downward. The chilled air is a welcome respite, as I am still blazing hot with beads of sweat gripping my skin. I make my way through the lot to my car, noting the sedative effects of the hot yoga cruising through my brain. I smile to myself, a silent congratulatory nod for physically getting my ass there once more.
Many autistic people have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong. It can be art, music, trains, computers, car registration numbers, bus or train timetables, postcodes, table tennis…An interest in collecting is also quite common.
Autistic people often report that the pursuit of
such interests is fundamental to their wellbeing and happiness.
I’m an analytical sort, so writing about what makes me healthy and balanced needed some consideration. What is health? What is balance? What is it that I actually want out of life? Who am I? Where do I want to be? Where have I come from? Why did I start asking these questions? Is anyone eating that cake?
I have been fascinated by nutrition since I was a child. I remember looking at primary school classmates with grey skin and circles under their eyes and wondering if spending time in the countryside eating ‘real’ bread, butter and fresh vegetables would give them rosy cheeks and add sparkle to their eyes. Maybe this was a side effect of devouring books like Heidi, Milly Molly Mandy and the Famous Five.