“You got this” is bullshit advice

You’re stronger than the think!
You got this!

Well intended but bullshit advice.

Sometimes you aren’t strong enough because you’ve never had to carry something this damn heavy.

Asking someone to help you carry it isn’t a “thinking” problem.

It’s a shit just got real heavy, real fast and I’m outta TP problem.

When it becomes too much then sometimes falling apart is the right move.

It pushes the stress hormones out of your body, through your tears, and helps you calm down.

I’m mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted at the moment.

I’m not strong enough right now. I’m damn fragile and raw.

I’ll get through this but it’s something I haven’t experienced before. Thank God for those who have reached out to me. I’ll be leaning on you.

Working through the goo really sucks

One of the hardest and most heartbreaking experiences in life is when you realize you can no longer live up to the pressure of being who everyone thinks you are.

You try to be who they want you to be or who you think they want you to be.

When the paradigm of who you thought you were collapses it can be soul crushing.

There are countless stories of people who seemed to have it all only to kill themselves. I suspect many of them were going through this and feared speaking up because a wave of disappointment from those close to them could follow.

I feel like I’m going through this now.

I’m choosing to stay engaged even though it’s terrifying.

Many of you have messaged me with sagely insight and kindness for which I’m profoundly grateful.

It got me thinking about the opportunity in this. I thought of the butterfly.

A caterpillar turns into a goo inside the cocoon as part of its transformation into a butterfly.

The caterpillar is destroyed before it can become a butterfly.

I feel like the goo right now. Knowing I may be able to emerge a butterfly is encouraging.

The goo phase sure does suck though.

No more capes

Working through some stuff I’ve been holding in for a loooong time. I sobbed pretty hard today and feel better having done so. I needed to get it out.

I was terrified to say some of the things I did but the alternative was to continue living in fear and being tortured inside.

It’s hard doing so much work to be a pillar of strength and resilience and still have more and more demanded of you from multiple directions.

One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the belief I’ve failed another person.

When I give my very best and it still isn’t good enough and you’re hearing it from multiple people at the same time it can overwhelm you before you can muster the inner resources to look upon it with some perspective.

I’m absolutely fed up with forcing myself to push my strained executive functions beyond their capacity simply because others demand more of me.

I’m so afraid of letting others down I push myself beyond my breaking point regularly.

I can’t and won’t do it any more. It’s killing me.

I have to set firmer boundaries on my time and energy even if it costs me business. I need to do it for my physical and emotional health as well as my sanity.

No more cape! I’m no hero, I’m a guy trying to figure this crap out. I’ll do my best and share what I learn.

Using your body to calm itself

You’re struggling with recent changes to your routine.

As much as you’re encouraged to see the positive and find the opportunities in the situation. It’s difficult when you’re still trying to feel grounded.

It’s even harder when you are raising a child who is looking to you to help them feel safe during such an unpredictable time.

One step you can take is to start each day with a grounding activity.

Grounding simply refers to an activity that brings you into the present moment.

✔️ You can scan your body from head to toe and stop to wiggle any part of your body that needs to release stress (ages 2+ 😉)

✔️ While sitting you can push your feet into the ground. Just hard enough to almost start standing up. This is helpful for folks who need to release tension while having to sit.

✔️ Tensing and releasing hands, arms, torso, legs helps too.

It’s important to educate yourself and your child in how to use your body to calm itself.

Your body is the one resource you always have with you.

You just have to focus

The attention span of a lot of Spectrumites (ADHD/ASD) is shorter than you think, maybe a few seconds.

Then you space out and eventually back in. The rate your focus goes in and out could be compared to a flickering light. How fast the flicker depends upon the person.

Either way there are going to be gaps in the flow of info as its coming. This is regardless of your dose of meds or the strength of your coffee.

Yes, both meds and caffeine can improve focus but not eliminate the gaps completely. So you’ll need additional strategies.

The go to for most folks (spectrum or not) is to make assumptions, educated guesses about what was said or meant.
Sometime you guess right, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Simple strategies for filling the gaps include asking, “What did I miss,” “What did (so and so) just say,” or the dreaded, “Can you repeat that?”

Dreaded because of the scolding that usually follows for NOT paying attention.

Let me tell you, trying to keep a flickering brain focused is like trying to hold onto a squirming fish. It’s exhausting.

Work with us on this and we’ll both get what we need.

Supporting your kids during the age of Corona

There’s so much uncertainty in the news we’re receiving about what to expect from the spread of the Corona Virus. Except for the certainty it’ll get worse before it gets better.
 
It’s encouraging to see many parents focusing on helping their children develop a routine as close to what they’re used to as possible.
 
With the long list of shouldn’ts that seem to increase daily, it can be difficult to strike a balance between living and languishing.
 
They can still ride their bikes, play outside or explore nature, but at a distance from non family members.
 
Help them structure their plans with safety as the first goal. In fact, here’s a reimagining of the S.M.A.R.T. Goals strategy for this unique moment in history.
 
Safe
Manage anxiety
Acheivement
Reach out
Touch
 
Safe – First and foremost children want to know they’re safe in the world. That’s what gives them the space to take risks, explore and discover. You don’t want their curiosity about the world around them to fade because of this virus.
 
Manage Anxiety – They may be showing increased anxiety or feeling it but don’t understand that’s what’s happening. Either way, it’s helpful if they have activity that allows them to raise their heart rate, expend some energy and even laugh as loud as they want to. Playground activities or exercise works well for this.
 
They’ll experience a release of dopamine and endorphins as they play. Natural anxiety reducers and exercise for the win.
 
Achievement – It helps if they feel they’ve achieved something through their activities. Riding the bike for 30 minutes, going up and down the stairs a certain number of times while helping with chores. Research shows that feeling like we’re making progress in life increases our sense of happiness. Help you child create goals that leave them feeling like they’re accomplished something.
 
Reach Out – Encourage them to reach out to you with their questions or concerns about the virus, their feelings about the changes their experiencing, or just to shoot the breeze. Keeping the line of communication open can help prevent them from bottling things up.
 
Touch – As hand washing is now the go to to prevent spreading the virus, touch has become dangerous. Yet, touch is essential to our feelings of safety and connection. Remind your kids its okay to hug you and each other. That touch can calm the nervous system quickly by releasing dopamine and Oxycontin.
 
So have a dance party where you all sing together (for better or worse).
 
Play at the park with your kids. Put your phone down and laugh with them.
 
Enjoy this extra time to simply be with each other.
 
This is a tough time for all of us. Let’s create some experiences we’ll look back upon with gratitude.