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Milestone last night

jsilver256

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
While I've been active on this forum, there's been another side of me which is extremely insecure about my autism.

The first three months after stopping drinking were about managing the extreme post-withdrawal anxiety and my brain readjusting. The autism diagnosis didn't seem debilitating and served as more of an explanatory factor for certain things in the past.

Then, around the three month mark - I don't remember a particular trigger for this, it happened over the period of about a week - the repetitive thoughts disappeared, I started developing new stims (particularly hand flapping which is very embarrassing and very involuntary), I started developing extreme sensory issues, my meltdowns happened multiple times in a week. I felt like I was going crazy and that I had to be gaslighting myself somehow.

On the other hand, I started playing with my kids - not out of parental obligation, but because I actually wanted to. People around me noticed the positive changes, even my parents.

It was only my faith that carried me through this cognitive dissonance - Matthew 12:22-28, good things which are undeniably God's works, cannot be from the devil. I kept telling myself, it's impossible for me to be gaslighting myself, because this other good progress is happening. But there's always doubt. Blind faith has never been a strong suit of mine.

The other day, I was thinking, oh, I haven't stimmed in an hour or so, I guess ASD really doesn't exist. Then I looked down and, yep, I was hand flapping, just it was completely out of my consciousness. It's not a logical thought process.

Last night, my husband went on a long vent about something happening at his business. You could say he is in the craft business - he started this business about an year ago, and he recently won his first silver in a competition. He worked hard on improving his product, and is really hoping to win a gold in a different competition tomorrow.

I was actually engaged in this vent. I didn't have focus problems, I didn't have to force myself to listen, I genuinely wanted to hear what he had to say beyond an intellectual "support your spouse" level. It's been many years since I've been able to do that. This is an objective, undeniable milestone which is almost miraculous, but which also validates everything ASD.

It took me about 30 minutes to push past the emotions, the shutdown, to tell him this. He was very patient, loving, waited for me to say every word. And he told me he was very happy and proud of me.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't think I can ever go back to the kind of corporate job I was doing. I'm hoping my startup succeeds, but it'll take some luck to get to a place where it can actually pay me. If I have a next job, I will most likely have to downlevel 3 to 4 levels. But again, that is where faith comes in.

And I think I can finally accept that I don't want to go back to that old self, the self that had a very shallow glamorous exterior with a money and a title. To quote the author of Amazing Grace -

I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.
 
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I don't think you need to judge yourself by others' standards. Involuntary tics don't say anything about your character nor does having limited energy for attention and social contact. I often feel like I've run out of gas and people are going to see me staring off into space instead of being engaged, and oh-well. You have to be considerate towards yourself, too, and not add pointless stress because your limits and needs are different.
 
I don't think you need to judge yourself by others' standards. Involuntary tics don't say anything about your character nor does having limited energy for attention and social contact. I often feel like I've run out of gas and people are going to see me staring off into space instead of being engaged, and oh-well. You have to be considerate towards yourself, too, and not add pointless stress because your limits and needs are different.
Thank you for the encouragement. It means quite a lot.
 
My husband also claims I did the hand flapping early in our marriage, I just didn't notice.

Fun fact, there is significant overlap between the parts of the brain which alcohol acts as a depressant and which parts are involved in stimming/sensory processing.
 
I'm glad to hear that things have come along.

Things have been coming along for me too. Though I have lingering delusions I still intend to break.

Here are some of my thoughts:



You are stronger than you know. To have the wisdom to realize the poison that infects you inside out, is the first step to removing it. This poison isn't anything but the nightmares of the past. No matter how much they haunt us. No matter how much our minds seek doubt in our capabilities. They are nothing. Just memories. Just pain we chose to hold on to. Just lies in our minds that skip beats in our heart.

The monster in our mind, is often our own reflection. Doubt in the 'could be', the possibilities. But it's never a reflection of reality.



In alot of ways, you are in a far better position than I am. But this isn't me deprecating on myself. Just me facing facts. But in truth. I couldn't be happier to know you are in a better space in your own mind, now, than before.

My mind is far better than it was too. It's now about taking responsibility for myself and disconnecting the easy outs I resort to. Outs that hold me back.
 
I'm glad to hear that things have come along.

Things have been coming along for me too. Though I have lingering delusions I still intend to break.

Here are some of my thoughts:



You are stronger than you know. To have the wisdom to realize the poison that infects you inside out, is the first step to removing it. This poison isn't anything but the nightmares of the past. No matter how much they haunt us. No matter how much our minds seek doubt in our capabilities. They are nothing. Just memories. Just pain we chose to hold on to. Just lies in our minds that skip beats in our heart.

The monster in our mind, is often our own reflection. Doubt in the 'could be', the possibilities. But it's never a reflection of reality.



In alot of ways, you are in a far better position than I am. But this isn't me deprecating on myself. Just me facing facts. But in truth. I couldn't be happier to know you are in a better space in your own mind, now, than before.

My mind is far better than it was too. It's now about taking responsibility for myself and disconnecting the easy outs I resort to. Outs that hold me back.
This thread got moved to the religion forum, so I'll take the liberty of telling you that I pray for you often. It sucks. It totally sucks.

For what it's worth. Yes, I'm in a better position. But I'm also much older than you. At the age which you are trying to overcome and solve your own issues, I was in the middle of nurturing a new addiction. So you'll hopefully end up being way ahead.

I converted about four years ago. Every day I prayed to be released from alcohol. Was confused when it didn't happen. Isn't that the promise of a Christian life? To be delivered from the bondage of sin?

Instead, I was taken through a whole lot of convictions about my current behavior that I wasn't even aware was an issue. Very, very similar to your father's behavior. By the time I finally got my ASD diagnosis which allowed me to finally break free of the alcohol, I was totally broken and humbled.

Now I realize the progression of things had a purpose - if I had received the ASD diagnosis earlier, I probably would have used it to justify the workaholic lifestyle and to continue disassociating from my family.

Hope you can find your peace and freedom from ruminations.
 
I really have no problem with others' stimming, especially knowing what it is, and especially given that I've had OCD-like traits that I wound up suppressing, and which might have even been the same thing. Rather than try to change who you are to fit in, I think it makes more sense to look for people who receive lessons of compassion and humility, and those are others with disabilities and other trials in their life. It's been a very long time since I made friends, but I seem to be hitting off with a family I just met. Why? I'm guessing it's because their son is disabled with meningitis, so, I look entirely normal to them.
 
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I really have no problem with others' stimming, especially knowing what it is, and especially given that I've had OCD-like traits that I wound up suppressing, and which might have even have been the same thing. Rather than try to change who you are to fit in, I think it makes more sense to look for people who receive lessons of compassion and humility, and those are others with disabilities and other trials in their life. It's been a very long time since I made friends, but I seem to be hitting off with a family I just met. Why? I'm guessing it's because their son is disabled with meningitis, so, I look entirely normal to them.
It is really me who needs this lesson in compassion and humility. My problem isn't in support structure, it's in my own pride - associating hand-flapping with something only "others" do.

Hope you can make good friends with this family and build a support network of your own.
 
It is really me who needs this lesson in compassion and humility. My problem isn't in support structure, it's in my own pride - associating hand-flapping with something only "others" do.

Hope you can make good friends with this family and build a support network of your own.
No, I didn't say that at all. I said that instead of changing yourself, look for people who have learned enough humility that they're not going to judge you over meaningless details.
 
While I've been active on this forum, there's been another side of me which is extremely insecure about my autism.

The first three months after stopping drinking were about managing the extreme post-withdrawal anxiety and my brain readjusting. The autism diagnosis didn't seem debilitating and served as more of an explanatory factor for certain things in the past.

Then, around the three month mark - I don't remember a particular trigger for this, it happened over the period of about a week - the repetitive thoughts disappeared, I started developing new stims (particularly hand flapping which is very embarrassing and very involuntary), I started developing extreme sensory issues, my meltdowns happened multiple times in a week. I felt like I was going crazy and that I had to be gaslighting myself somehow.

On the other hand, I started playing with my kids - not out of parental obligation, but because I actually wanted to. People around me noticed the positive changes, even my parents.

It was only my faith that carried me through this cognitive dissonance - Matthew 12:22-28, good things which are undeniably God's works, cannot be from the devil. I kept telling myself, it's impossible for me to be gaslighting myself, because this other good progress is happening. But there's always doubt. Blind faith has never been a strong suit of mine.

The other day, I was thinking, oh, I haven't stimmed in an hour or so, I guess ASD really doesn't exist. Then I looked down and, yep, I was hand flapping, just it was completely out of my consciousness. It's not a logical thought process.

Last night, my husband went on a long vent about something happening at his business. You could say he is in the craft business - he started this business about an year ago, and he recently won his first silver in a competition. He worked hard on improving his product, and is really hoping to win a gold in a different competition tomorrow.

I was actually engaged in this vent. I didn't have focus problems, I didn't have to force myself to listen, I genuinely wanted to hear what he had to say beyond an intellectual "support your spouse" level. It's been many years since I've been able to do that. This is an objective, undeniable milestone which is almost miraculous, but which also validates everything ASD.

It took me about 30 minutes to push past the emotions, the shutdown, to tell him this. He was very patient, loving, waited for me to say every word. And he told me he was very happy and proud of me.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't think I can ever go back to the kind of corporate job I was doing. I'm hoping my startup succeeds, but it'll take some luck to get to a place where it can actually pay me. If I have a next job, I will most likely have to downlevel 3 to 4 levels. But again, that is where faith comes in.

And I think I can finally accept that I don't want to go back to that old self, the self that had a very shallow glamorous exterior with a money and a title. To quote the author of Amazing Grace -

Very encouraging to hear. I think we all have different roads to travel but when you see the trees are more beautiful, the animals more amazing, and your partner once again the wonderful person you fell in love with I would say you are on the right road. Or to put it in spiritual terms, humbled in the face of God's creation.
 
Thank you, I misunderstood.
Oops, no, it's me that misunderstood. No, you don't need lessons in humility. It's something you do unconsciously, and it doesn't (or shouldn't) have any meaning or consequence to others. Tics run the gammut in terms of intentionality, and mine were more like OCD ritualism arising from a need for catharsis. I found it very ugly, so I quit doing it. Now, if I was involved with someone who exhibited involuntary hand-flapping, it would just be a reminder, to me, that that's someone who needs more care and understanding than usual. I dated a disabled girl for the first time some months ago, and she acted like her (significant) problems were a big joke, so I felt like that was permission to prank her every now and then to emphasize she only had one working hand. After she was done laughing and smacking me, I'd hug her with this desperate love and compassion, and I'd tell her that I just wanted her to know that I like the idea of holding her up where she is lacking. I still miss her, and I didn't see her problems as unpleasant, but rather as opportunities to show her love.
 
yeah i think so too. I had already given up alcohol by that point. But it took a stress related illness to do it and me thinking it was the alcohol. Anyway i needed a scare.
 
@jsilver256

Well done making some really positive changes in your life. Even though the process of change can be grueling and can even introduce new problems, you have stayed the course with sobriety and this is a great celebration.

I know it isn't easy in the beginning (no matter how much we are committed to change) and I congratulate you on your progress. My hope is that you continue to benefit from long term sobriety and take back some of the elements of life that alcohol can hide from us.

I think that for some of us, understanding and accepting autism can be the greatest force for staying sober. Before I understood autism, I didn't have a chance. When I paired learning about autism with my latest attempt at sobriety (starting 587 days ago), I've had very encouraging success. I am hoping and wishing the same for you.
 
@jsilver256

Well done making some really positive changes in your life. Even though the process of change can be grueling and can even introduce new problems, you have stayed the course with sobriety and this is a great celebration.

I know it isn't easy in the beginning (no matter how much we are committed to change) and I congratulate you on your progress. My hope is that you continue to benefit from long term sobriety and take back some of the elements of life that alcohol can hide from us.

I think that for some of us, understanding and accepting autism can be the greatest force for staying sober. Before I understood autism, I didn't have a chance. When I paired learning about autism with my latest attempt at sobriety (starting 587 days ago), I've had very encouraging success. I am hoping and wishing the same for you.

You have to know thyself before you can begin to like thyself, and then you can stop abusing thyself.
 
@jsilver256

Well done making some really positive changes in your life. Even though the process of change can be grueling and can even introduce new problems, you have stayed the course with sobriety and this is a great celebration.

I know it isn't easy in the beginning (no matter how much we are committed to change) and I congratulate you on your progress. My hope is that you continue to benefit from long term sobriety and take back some of the elements of life that alcohol can hide from us.

I think that for some of us, understanding and accepting autism can be the greatest force for staying sober. Before I understood autism, I didn't have a chance. When I paired learning about autism with my latest attempt at sobriety (starting 587 days ago), I've had very encouraging success. I am hoping and wishing the same for you.

Congratulations on your 587 days. I hope to get to 587 as well.
 

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