Life Ramblings

Phoenixx

Well-known member
Part 2

Which brings me to my somewhat monotonous voice. I've never been able to change the pitch in my voice very frequently. Like how some girls get so excited and get really high pitched and yell and whatever? Yeah not me. Never me. I can mimic these things and make fun of these things and joke around, but I actually have to really try. My voice has never really varied in pitch and it's always been soft. Speaking can be hard for me, especially with people I don’t know, because I’m always so focused on what to say rather than how to say it. Then as I’m saying it I constantly have to repeat things to people when talking with them because I’m either talking too softly and/or I’m not pronouncing my words properly and/or it just comes out all wrong. That's also part of the reason why I'm so self-conscious about my voice and don't always talk much. I cannot listen to myself on video or audio and I refuse to page anyone at work because of this too. More than once growing up, especially in my teens when everyone else's voices were changing and mine didn't much, I was teased relentlessly for "sounding like an old man" or sounding like a nerd talking about things and I once even got compared to Ben Stein. Yeah makes you feel really good about yourself doesn't it?

Talking to other people has always been difficult for me, but of course being bullied certainly didn't help matters any. As a little kid I actually didn't have a problem trying to play with others in school or in my neighborhood, but making friends was different because you actually had to get to know them and I couldn't really do that. I was also petrified of adults and those in authority. I could never talk to adults or look at them. Hell I was once punished by a teacher back in elementary school because I wouldn't talk to him. Each week he'd want me to tell him something that happened or what I did that week. All the other kids talked to him, but not me, and that made him feel bad. Or so he said. I remember towards the end of the school year he had a reward system where if each kid did something exceptional that was difficult for them, they'd be rewarded with extra activity time or something stupid like that. Of course mine was talking. I hated doing this little "exercise" every week and even though I got rewarded once, guess what? It didn't make me want to even talk to people more, it just made me resent talking to anyone. I still think of this punishment every now and then and wonder, “Are people really that offended by silence?”

Getting to know people and being comfortable with them is something that has continued to be difficult for me, especially as an adult. It takes me a good year to be comfortable around people I work with enough to try to joke around with them or even talk to them about anything in my life. And I have realized that the "comfort" I'm speaking of has more to do with understanding people through observation. It takes me a good year to observe people enough to understand their reactions and personalities and what they like and don't like to know what to say around them and try to be myself. It's a weird explanation. I'm not trying to say I have different personalities, but I have come to realize that I actually do mimic a lot, moreso now and not always being aware of it. My true self is very snarky, loves to joke around, and talk about all the nerdy things I enjoy, but I know a lot of people don't like this. So it takes time for me to assess what people do like and I tailor my own reactions to being more socially acceptable I guess you can say. I really don't know how to explain it without it sounding so fake, but I'm not a fake person. I just tend to mimic sometimes. It's not unusual for me to memorize quotes and one-liners from tv shows and movies I've watched and liked and use them in-person. Very few people have actually picked up on this and I enjoy it honestly lol. It sometimes makes talking and joking around easier with people.

I am still not very good at conversation though and never have been. If people partake in small talk with me, that's fine but I cannot carry a simple conversation very well to save my life which is probably why some people don't bother. Initiating a conversation? Forget it. I feel like people are weirdly against silence between two individuals too and I really don't know why. It's just quiet. It's not always awkward to me. Talking about my interests though, I try not to start those discussions because I know I'll never shut up about it. A coworker got to talking to me about cooking the other day. I could tell she enjoyed the conversation, but I know it wouldn't be something she'd want to talk about forever. I had to force myself to keep my mouth shut otherwise I would be going on and on about different materials for pots and pans and how those materials all conduct heat differently and how that works with different fuel types depending on the stove or cooking range you're using. Don't even get me started on recipes and cooking techniques. Oh my gosh.

Speaking with people one-on-one is obviously so much easier for me than speaking to multiple people. Even just speaking to two people at once will make me stumble over my words and make me feel incredibly self-conscious most of the time. I also have never been able to look people in the eyes. It's always something I've had to force. I can't even look my own family in the eye most of the time when I'm talking to them either. I also had an intense fear of getting my picture taken growing up and for a long time as a young adult. I was so self-conscious about my looks and being "ugly", but it also just freaked me out, I don't know why. There are very, very few photos of me as a little kid actually looking at the camera. I am always looking away or looking down. If I did look at the camera, I was squinting. I don’t know why (this was prior to my eyesight being shit like it is now). School picture days were absolute hell as you can imagine. Now I can take selfies and have pictures taken with not too much of a problem, thankfully. But it took a lot of my own work towards myself and my confidence to be comfortable with it. I still can't capture or watch videos of myself though. That still petrifies me to this day.

I have also always been a highly sensitive person. I remember when I was little, while I loved going to the movies, my mother would always have to pack cotton balls to take with her to put in my ears because the volume was just too much. I remember nearly crying and covering my ears the first time I experienced the movies and my mother -- always thinking ahead, smart lady -- tearing up cotton she brought and plugged in my ears. She knew I'd be sensitive to the noise even though little me didn't know anything about that. Certain textures have ALWAYS bothered me too. I am the only person that I know of that hate cucumbers and gags because of their texture. Water chestnuts and other similarly textured foods also make me gag. It just feels like styrofoam in my mouth and I cannot stand it. I also hate the feel of styrofoam, but not so much it makes me cringe. Not like velour or velvet or courdoroy. I refused to wear those materials when I was younger too. Velour especially. Oh my god it makes the hair stand up on my arms and makes me cringe and I cannot take it. Especially when you rub it the wrong way, ugh. *shudders* Today at the hair salon, a woman was wearing velour pants and I could not help but keep looking at them. Not because they were kind of ugly, but because I could not get the sensation out of my head of what they must feel like and I got so tense thinking about it. I feel like a crazy person typing that, but between that and hair dryers going and people talking, it was a lot of noises and sensations that left me feeling quite tense. I was so relieved when most of everyone that was in there finished with their appointments before I was finished with mine. I got some peace and quiet in the salon prior to leaving.

I have more characteristics that I share according to various female autism checklists, but I think this post has gotten long enough for now. I’m not currently looking to pursue a diagnosis, especially given how hard it would be to do so in my area anyways. But this is definitely something I want to look into and investigate more about myself and maybe post more about in the future. If you read this whole thing, thank you for hearing me out and seeing what I have to say. :)
 
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Phoenixx

Well-known member
Had a really fun weekend in the Catskills and checking out some new little places off the beaten path. Our AirBnB was SO quiet, and the older couple hosting their rental property were incredibly nice. If I ever go back to the area (which I probably will someday), I'll definitely seek them out to stay at their place again.

We got there Saturday afternoon with no trouble at all. And the drive really wasn't that bad either. Mr. Phoenixx drove the whole way, but it only took us 2 1/2 hours from our place. It was a much quieter and simpler drive than going the other direction to Buffalo or Rochester which we've obviously done many times. We got settled in right away and then got ready and headed to the wedding that evening. That was a simple drive too and the venue was easy to get to. We knew no one else at the wedding besides the bride and her family, and there was only one other couple that was our age with no kids lol. We ended up being with them most of the night. I didn't talk to them much as I never know what to say or ask, even though I did enjoy their company. They were very nice people. Mr. Phoenixx really liked talking to them which is why we were with them so much. He's such a good conversationalist. He's not the most social person either, but he can always start a conversation and knows what to ask people to make small talk. Everything I'm not good at.

The wedding overall was good though. Lots of dancing, which I definitely don't do either. But the food and drinks were fabulous and we left like we got done having Thanksgiving dinner. So many appetizers, open bar, plus a 5 course dinner with dessert. It was a wedding on the fancier side and I loved it. I got to talk with my friend (the bride) quite a bit and catch up and of course meet her other half. Her husband is very friendly and sociable too, I liked him. We did stay the whole time at the wedding, so 6 hours. It mostly went by fast, but the last hour seemed to drag. Only because the loud music was getting to me and I was ready to call it a night. I was done socializing and already feeling sleepy from all the food and the 1 1/2 glasses of wine I had. (I rarely ever drink but I do love a nice glass of wine. However since I started taking Prozac, my alcohol tolerance is practically zero.) We got back to the AirBnB around 10:30pm and pretty much went straight to bed. Wasn't even that late, but it felt like it lol.

Yesterday was spent exploring the area and checking out the site of Woodstock (and the museum) since we were in the area. I wanted to go for the history and art and spent much of the time reading exhibits and watching videos. Mr. Phoenixx isn't much for history or art, but he knows I love these things so he actually added the tour to our admission which was a half hour long. That was really fascinating and I enjoyed learning about the local history. We took the scenic route to Woodstock so we actually found a random state park area that we checked out too. It was a quick unexpected detour, which are always the best parts of a trip. We got home yesterday evening, not too late at all. We managed to even squeeze in a couple episodes of The Boys before going to bed last night too.

Not looking forward to going back to work today, but it's a short week for me because I have another three day weekend coming up -- my usual scheduled weekend off. :) Our friends from Rochester are coming down to visit and spend the night that weekend. Hoping to drive up to Ithaca with them to spend some time there since it's been a hot minute since I've been up that way. Ugh, I love being able to get back into travelling again -- my heart is so happy. 😊 Mr. Phoenixx and I are already discussing what to do for our time off in January and we're actually talking about going to San Diego. Definitely not decided yet, but it's exciting to think about.

P.S. - Won't post all the pictures I took here, but here's a handful from Instagram. (that I always unfortunately have to resize in order to attach here and therefore ruin the quality. 😕)
 

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Phoenixx

Well-known member
I've been wanting to make a mental health post lately, but can't really seem to bring myself to. It's been hard to organize my thoughts or even figure out where to begin or how to write what I want to write. I've been in a mood the last couple weeks: mostly grumpy as usual, the grips of PMDD hanging on this week as the Prozac keeps most of it at bay, and I've been disappointed that I'm back to working 6 days a week after being spoiled with 3 weekends off in a row. My brain has felt like a scrambled mess lately. I have zero focus at work because I'm so bored all the time. Just running through the motions. All the physical routines, zero mental stimulation. It's really starting to get to me, to the point where I'm doing so much random research and personal life planning at work that it's actually distracting me from my work duties. I know that's not a good thing, so I've been trying to force myself to find even more random stuff to do at work and away from a computer. It's hard, it's physically painful, but I know if I keep getting distracted, I'm gonna fuck something up and I can't risk my job doing that.

My ease of boredom and easy distractions from my own personal thoughts has me reconsidering that maybe I actually do have ADHD and not autism, but it's extremely hard to tell personally as the symptoms overlap so damn much. I know I have AT LEAST one of those, and I seem to match more autism symptoms as far as the social side of things go, but I also seem to relate to a lot of the inattentive side of ADHD as well (not so much hyperactivity). So which one do I have, I don't know. (Hell maybe both? As it is not too extremely uncommon to have one and the other) I remember a couple years ago when I was in therapy, it was briefly brought up questioning whether or not I had ADHD when we talked about my focusing on things, but I said I was never diagnosed and it was never looked into further. I feel like I need to make the step eventually to go to a new therapist and seek an actual diagnosis. Maybe this winter when things in my life are less busy.

Besides working, I've been obsessively gardening and watching The Boys. My interests change frequently throughout the year -- again which is why I suspect more ADHD -- and at this time I've been doing a lot of research the past couple months on how to make my garden/soil better and making more plans for what I want to do with everything on the property. I currently have three varieties of bush beans I'm growing as well as trying sunflowers and pattypan squash for the first time this year. Those are doing quite well. I have the usual zucchini I'm growing, and I already finished the first harvest of beets and spinach a few weeks ago that went pretty well. In a couple weeks I'll be planting round two of them, although if the heat stays the same like it is now, I might just have to push them back even further, to possibly even mid-August, just so they don't burn up with the heat. I planted some old cucumber seeds I had, but only one of them came up. It's still a little small so I'm curious how many cucumbers I'm actually going to get out of that one plant. I also went out today and bought three varieties of bell peppers I'm excited to try out. I bought them already fully grown and two of the plants have flowers and peppers on them already. I'm curious what all the different colors are going to look like -- I have the typical bell peppers that change color from green to red/orange/yellow, then I also purchased a purple variety and a chocolate brown variety. :)

As for The Boys, I am knee-deep obsessed with this show. It's disturbingly gory -- to me, as I don't always handle gore well at all -- but the story and the characters are all A++ that just suck you in. It's an absolute wild ride and Karl Urban's performances just steals every freaking episode, ugh! His character is just *chef's kiss* perfect. Rough around the edges, full of anger, yet has a softer side too that comes out every once in a great while but when it does you know it's sincere. His character development alone from Season 1 - 3 has been fantastic, and oh how the tables are turning from what he used to hate to now what he's actually becoming. I'm only a couple episodes into Season 3 at the moment, but I'll probably be finished with it by the end of the week or next. I never realized it was also based on a comic book series, and honestly now I want to read them. Maybe someday I'll get to collecting and reading those.

Speaking of these interests, this is pretty much all I think about every day and have been for the last couple months, which has been as enjoyable as it has been annoyingly distracting. I have always been like this though, ever since I was a kid. I have actually found it harder to keep focused on more important things now that I'm older, probably because I don't have outside influences affecting the structure in my life like I did when I was a kid -- aka parents, teachers, etc. I have gotten out of touch with making to-do lists lately and setting timers which I've noticed has really started to impact my time management, or rather lack of. When I lack motivation and I have a long to-do lists to tackle, I will often set a timer for at least one hour to see how much I can get done in that hour. If I stay motivated after that hour, I set the timer for another hour to tackle even more things. It sounds silly, but it helps me a lot with getting things done. I also have three different calendars I use -- a written one for personal events and appointments, one on my phone that gives me reminders everyday of things I need to do around the house (that I set up myself), and another on my phone for my gardening. But I've gotten out of touch with all of it because my schedule has been so all over the place this season, between going to special functions, trips, having more overtime during my work weeks, and of course working around Mr. Phoenixx's hectic summer schedule too. It's been hard keeping up and my house especially is really starting to see it between piles of dirty laundry not getting washed, washed laundry just sitting in baskets, Willow furballs scattered across the floor from her summer shedding, the kitchen always in the limbo of being half clean and half dirty with dirty dishes still in the sink and all the clean ones just hanging out and not put away. It's so extremely hard dealing with this because one half of me absolutely HATES seeing everything as it leaves my head buzzing from the sensory overload of seeing everything out of place, but then the other half of me can't even be bothered to keep up even though I want everything clean because I'm so tired and unmotivated 3/4 of the time. So lately I've been doing what I do best and either invest myself in my interests every single day through watching YouTube and/or working outside when I can tolerate the warm weather.

This has been a late night scatter-brained post that I wanted to jot down since I haven't posted in a while. I know it's a little all over the place, but that's just how my head's been lately. Hope I can get a grip on myself and get organized again, both physically and mentally.
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
Covid finally caught up to me and is working on kicking my ass after not being able to catch me for 3 years. Damn. I feel like a hot pile of garbage. I took an at-home test and was already testing positive 2 mins in out of the 15 you need to wait. I forwarded this to my supervisor today. I knew she was on vacation but because it's covid it's kind of an emergency situation since another employee is out for covid too (and I'm positive that's where I caught it -- not getting into that but I'm pissed about the whole situation). I didn't contact HR because HR doesn't work on the weekends (yep it's stupid). But nope. My supervisor, being on vacation, could not be bothered to forward my email to HR or anyone at my work AND my work apparently does not take at-home test results. I need to get to a doctor to have a test done -- somewhere I literally cannot drive to because I'm too sick and out of all the days my husband ended up working is today. So he'll be taking me to the urgent care as soon as he gets home. But the whole situation is just so fucked up, I'm beyond livid at this point with the shit management this year at my work. All these managers cannot even be bothered to care about any of their slaves that are forced to work 6 days straight with only 2 weekends off every 5 - 6 weeks. Fuck this shit anymore. I'm so done with everything. 🤬🤬🤬
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
Covid has finally let up for the most part. Today was the best I've felt since I got sick Thursday night. (The rest of covid crept up on me on Friday, feeling like nothing more than a cold until that evening when it hit me like a freight train. Then tested positive on Saturday when I could actually have someone get me a test.)

I spent a majority of the day disinfecting the house and catching up on dirty laundry, basically washing everything I sat or slept on the whole weekend while I was sick. I still have some symptoms -- my sinuses still feel a bit full, my brain doesn't feel 100% yet, my sleep schedule still sucks, and the fatigue comes and goes in waves -- but a majority of it is finally gone. The worst of it was the body aches for me. Oh my gosh the body aches were so painful. I have never had back spasms before and I can tell you I never want to experience that ever again. Standing or sitting up straight and laying down were the only things I could do without aggravating the pain. Bending over for anything was a nightmare between that and my head feeling like it was going to explode. I also had the weirdest skin sensations. Like pins and needles across the surface of my skin almost all the time. I wouldn't let my husband even touch me on Saturday because my skin felt so awful along with the body aches and pain. Ugh, I'm so glad that's over. I can handle a stuffy nose, a sore throat, a fever, etc. But the aches were terrible. The coughing also kept me up at night a lot too, and also really aggravated that pain on Saturday. I still have a coughing fit here and there, easily set off if I'm not getting enough fluids, but not like I used to.

I'm glad I'm just about over this. It was a very long weekend spent being miserable and having to be back and forth on the phone with my work submitting test results and getting payments set up for relief pay, check-ins, health dept calling too, etc. etc. Having covid once was more than enough. Hoping I don't catch it ever again!
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
Hope I can get a grip on myself and get organized again, both physically and mentally.
Wrote that two months ago and the only thing I can say is that it's gotten so much worse. 🤦‍♀️

I've been beating myself up a lot lately. Especially this week. I'm not in a good place mentally. Haven't been for a while, even despite all the fun activities and travels I've been doing. I enjoyed those, don't get me wrong. I needed the trips away to spend with friends and I loved every second of it. But coming back to reality and my life has been agonizing to say the least. I'm unhappy, but mostly with myself and my lack of doing something about it. Because every aspect of my life is just a constant reminder of what a failure I feel like I am on a daily basis.

I have been doing more research since my autism post a couple months ago. It's hard to say, but now I'm leaning more towards that I DON'T have autism, but I actually do have ADHD. I know the two are very closely correlated and a lot of symptoms overlap, which is why it can sometimes be confusing when evaluating oneself. I found this infographic to be a lot more informative than most I was browsing through on google images. And while I do relate to both, I don't think I'm as concrete of a person that is as present with autism.

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I recently started listening to a podcast on Spotify from a woman and her guy friend who both have ADHD and a lot of their experiences they share are pretty dead on with what I experience too. I'm not one to listen to podcasts or audiobooks, never have been able to because my mind wanders so much and I could never focus on them. But these I find myself tuning into 100%. They're funny and informative and I'm really enjoying listening to them every day. The podcast is called Catie and Erik's Infinite Quest: An ADHD Adventure for anyone who's interested. Topics include daily struggles with ADHD, depression, anxiety, life experiences, and even more sensitive topics such as sex and self-harm. Some episodes are more light-hearted and comedic than others, which I really enjoy. It helps bring me out of my moods where I'm constantly kicking myself when I'm down and allows me to realize, "Hey, it's not just me. I'm not alone and my brain does dumb things sometimes too and it's perfectly okay to laugh about it."

I've been kicking myself a lot this week. Thanks PMDD, that is partly your fault too. Jesus my hormones are all over the place this week and I really, really hate it. It's like I'm not even taking Prozac this week. I don't think I need a change in dosage though, I think I'm just having a particularly bad week because I had a lot of changes to daily life routines going on with planning trips. Not to mention I've completely fallen out of nearly ALL my habits anyways. The things I realized I used to do obsessively I did it because it's what kept me on track (mostly). Writing to-do lists every single day, setting timers to get those certain activities done in the given time and not get distracted, writing notes on my calendar frequently to schedule appointments. I don't do any of those things any more and I feel like an absolute mess because of it. I honestly don't really know what happened or how it happened. It just happened. And I'm finding it harder than ever to get back on track. Because of this my mind is cycling so hard in the mornings and even in the middle of the night with everything I have to do either today or in the near future. And then I get started on my day and - poof! - those thoughts are gone and I don't get those things done I was thinking about earlier because I don't remember them. Ugh, it's such an annoying and sick cycle I'm really struggling to get out of, which leads me wondering that maybe I really should make an appointment to get a diagnosis and seek help again. I'm so hesitant though because therapy in the past has been nothing but a crapshoot. I'm so tired of dealing with non-professionals and those who apparently have an education but can't be bothered to help others. I'm just tired of not having found a good therapist.

Bad habits I have adopted the last couple months is just eating nothing but junk food and impulse shopping. Jesus christ I'm turning into my mother and that is a road I definitely DO NOT want to go down. Lately when I've been unhappy - which is like 90% of the time when I'm home these days - I either 1) stuff my face with sugar and salty foods, 2) watch tv and don't bother with anything else that needs my attention, or 3) shop ebay for Pokemon cards. I do one of the activities, feel good for the time I'm doing it, and then I go right back to feeling like a piece of shit, sometimes even moreso than usual. Rinse and repeat.

The card-collecting hobby that I enjoy is starting to become a crutch which means I need to step away for a while. Every time I feel the urge to want to buy them, I will instead purchase something for the house which will make my life/our lives easier, while also still sticking to a budget. For example, I've been dying to reorganize my kitchen and it really needs it. So on my wishlist for the kitchen I have some organizational items that I could buy instead and at least give myself the impression I have my life together lol. But in all seriousness, it would really help and would save me time trying to find things sometimes.

My brain is starting to quit on this post, so I think I will stop here. I'd like to make a post sometime going more in-depth on the above infographic and outline my own difficulties and ponder what I could do about them. But of course another time when I can actually focus more. I need to get around for work and maybe take a quick nap prior.

Until next time, and maybe next time won't be 30+ days.
 
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