Autistic Living, Personal, self care

An Actual Down Day

Today is my down day.

Like, an actual down day. My first since last session.
Eight days ago.

A day where I’m not worried about rent. I’m not worried about food. I’m not worried about Dad’s health, or waiting for a call from Dad, or going over to help him, or prepping myself to go over and help him. A day where I don’t have any Doctors appointments, or meetings. A day when I can just be with myself (and the cats of course) and be quiet and calm and low stress and do some mental healing until I have to go out again.

I know that usually I do that over the weekend after session, but Dad’s immune system decided to go haywire and he’s needed me to help him just keep it under control. I feel so bad for him (yes I know that’s horrible English, but I’m sticking with it for impact so *raspberry*). His back looked like he had scales the hives and subsequent scabbing over was so bad. I’ve been telling him for over a month to GO TO HIS DOCTOR. Not a walk-in. His GP. And he finally did. And got a course of Prednisone. And then a second because the first didn’t work completely. And I also had to unclog his upstairs bathtub for him.

And yeah. I haven’t had time to take to just mentally take a step back and process everything until today.

*deep breath and long sigh*

I’m not just lazing about though. Because I’m not the type to do that (c’mon, this is me we’re talking about). So I’ve also taken down the dirty cat litter, and the kitchen trash, and I’m doing two loads of laundry right now (they’re in the dryer atm). And once this post is written I have to do the dishes too. So I’m not being lazy, but the quiet is good for me.

Time to find centre again.
Time to process instead of just react and survive.

I have until Sunday when I see Dad again. He wants to play some cribbage, and I am up for that. But between now and then, I am taking some down time. Repairing instead of preparing. Resetting. Processing.

It’s very overdue.


Disabled Living, independent living, Personal

Pay It Forward

I went to Giant Tiger to get some milk for my coffee and a couple other things.

Standing in line, the man ahead of me didn’t have enough for his groceries. He had peanut butter, the cheapest jam you could get, powdered coffee creamer, the cheapest coffee you can get, and four loaves of the bread that’s on sale this week.

I know that shopping list.
I’ve lived on it myself. For many years.
No fruit, no veg, no meat, no dairy.

I’m on Disability benefit myself. Walking into the store I had just over $120 for the rest of the month now that rent, phone, and the basic bills are covered. That doesn’t even include laundry and bus fare.

And I know that shopping list. From personal experience.

So I just told the cashier I’d cover the rest. He gave her $33 in fives and change and I put the rest on my debit card. It was only $6. My groceries came to less than his total. But he has food for the next couple weeks until the mid month cheque comes in.

I can’t exactly afford to do it, but what did that six bucks buy him? The jam and the only protein in his bag? Three loaves of bread? Most of the tin of coffee?

I’ve lived that shopping list. And I’m allergic to the peanut butter and the powdered creamer both! But I’ve lived on exactly that for long stretches of my life; both before and after I met the ex.

And now I’m safe in my apartment. With heat that works. In a warm bath (it could be hotter, but this is not a time to be complaining). And my cats have food. And we’re safe. And there’s actual cream for actual coffee tomorrow. And eggs. And toast. And I’m really lucky to be living here and to have this roof over my head, and today I passed it on a bit. Wish I could have done more. But at least, hopefully, now he can make it to the mid month cheque and he has food.

autism, Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Self-Sufficiency

Don’t Take Rote for Granted

In one of my last posts I was talking about my Godmother reminding me that things I wave off as “just rote” now weren’t always, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I think about all the trouble I got into when I was a teenager and maybe just 20 when I got thrown out for the last time. I’ve been thinking about the things I couldn’t manage to even think about doing after the attack. I’ve been thinking about all the things that I struggled with even 2 1/2 years ago when I started working with Dr P.

The verdict is, I’ve come a long way. I mean, I know that I should totally be dead a dozen times over already, but when you were thrown out on your own, and Autistic, and lacking so many basic living skills, it’s honestly utterly humbling to realize how far I’ve come.

I could go back to the beginning, but I’m just going to look back today at the things I struggled with just 2 1/2 years ago vs now. The rest can come later. Continue reading “Don’t Take Rote for Granted”

Personal, trauma recovery

Catching Up With Me

I haven’t written anything here in 10 days. Feels kinda weird. But I honestly don’t feel like I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. I mean, yeah I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. Taking care of the cats. Helping my Dad. My One Thing A Day journal has pages full of stuff done, but I haven’t been doing very well to be perfectly honest.

I think I’ve really been just trying to do all the things since Dr P went on leave, and I haven’t really been taking care of myself. I haven’t been giving myself the time to adjust and reorient myself properly. And now I’m starting to feel it.

I never realized how much I depended on that check in every 2 weeks, until it stopped. And yes, I know I still see Dr W and she’s doing Dr P a solid by taking me on and I’m taking up her lunch hour and I have zero right to complain…. but I’m not complaining really. I’m just stating the fact that after two and a half years of working really hard with someone who took the time to listen and earn my trust – probably the first person who’s done that my entire adult life – I suddenly don’t have that person anymore.

I know I wrote a post about losing my navigator already, but I think I’m just starting to realize what that means for me. Personally. Internally. Saying the words doesn’t mean I really understood it, but I think I’m starting to.

Disabled Living, Growth & Healing, masking, ptsd, self-acceptance, trauma recovery

Part Two: Trauma Therapy and Not Ignoring What is Rote Now

As I said in the last post, I was not functional at all when I first met Dr P in July of 2016. I had spent my life up until that moment simply surviving as best I could, but after January 1, 2007 I had finally hit my limit. The dam had broken. I couldn’t even really survive. I was anything but functional.

And then I started seeing Dr P. Continue reading “Part Two: Trauma Therapy and Not Ignoring What is Rote Now”

Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Personal

Little Steps

For the last week I’ve been struggling with a blog post I really want to write. It hits on some points that I think people will connect with and that some people might really need to hear, but I am having the dickens of a time getting it out.

Today has been a hard day in general, honestly.
It started on time, but then just lagged and everything ended up late. By which I mean I did everything late. Like, NO motivation at all. When days like that happen, it’s hard to not give in to the voices in the back of your head (“You’re lazy … you really are worthless aren’t you … wasting air … wasting space … you’re so useless!”), but eventually around 14:15 I was sitting in this chair and I just thought,

“Get Up Saffron. Get Up. Do. One. Thing. Just one thing and you’ll have your one thing for the day.”

So I gathered up and started a load of laundry.
And then while I waited for the wash to run downstairs, I cleaned off the kitchen counter between the fridge and the stove that has become a bit of a catch-all spot.
And I sorted the papers that I found on it.
And I threw out the trash.
And I filed the important stuff.
And I pulled my new Cuisinart Griddler (full story on my Instagram) that arrived today out of the box and put it on the newly cleaned counter.
And then I bagged up the Styrofoam from the box.

And then the timer for the wash went off, so I took the bag of packaging down with me, threw it out (because the trash room is right next to the laundry room), and moved all the washing to the dryer.

And now it’s 15:30 almost, and in less than 2 hours I’ve done over a half a dozen things. All important. All things that needed doing.

I’m still stuck on that blog I need to write, but I’m not just sitting here staring off into space and losing hours of the day. I’m being productive. Sure, it’s in little ways, but enough little things put together make for a productive day.

Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself while I wait for the laundry to dry.

Disabled Living, independent living, Personal, Self-Sufficiency

2018 Recap II: The Other Stuff, And Looking Forward

And so those were the big benchmarks that I set for myself last year, and I think I’ve done pretty well on most of them, considering. I’ve done the best I can with the situations other people have thrown at me at the very least, and I’m proud of that. A couple years ago all the upheaval with Disability would have landed me in the hospital. And it was not fun, but I kept my head about me and got through it. And that’s huge!

But, there are other points that deserve mention too.

Continue reading “2018 Recap II: The Other Stuff, And Looking Forward”

General Update, Personal

2018 Recap and What I Want in 2019

So at the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog post going over the things I wanted to try and do in 2018 (you can read it here). Honestly I am super surprised that a year has passed since then. Like, 2018 has been a dumpster fire that just wouldn’t end for the world as a whole, but honestly on a personal level it’s gone quite quickly. Continue reading “2018 Recap and What I Want in 2019”

Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Personal

It’s Okay

Today was rent day. And it’s also bitter cold out there. Like, in the -20C range, but with the windchill you can easily take that number down by another 10 degrees or more. I was going to do rent on the bus, but my father offered to pick me up and take me instead so I didn’t have to risk frostbite on my feet again like last month.

(Contextual Aside: Last month I went down on the route 18 bus, and then heading home one didn’t come… and then the one was supposed to come after that didn’t come either. For over an hour. And I had thought I had timed everything so well so I wouldn’t be outside for too long! And, as we’ve talked about before, I don’t have winter boots. And nothing came. So finally I sucked it up and went across the street to the Rexall to warm up an called a cab. That ate $25 of my grocery money. And that wasn’t fun. But then you know what? THREE buses showed up all together. Like, ALL my missing buses were apparently just waiting at the Zoo. And I got minor frost bite on my toes. And it was NOT fun.)

If Dad offers me a ride to keep me out of the bitter cold, I’m going to take it.

So we went and I paid rent, and then he dropped me right back off at home.
And I paid the phone and the internet bills online. I haven’t had TV in over a decade at this point, but I need access to the world, and I need to be able to call for help and talk to my Dad, my Godmother, and my 90 year old Grandmother in Toronto. So phone and internet are the two things I keep.

And I really only have about $150 left to pay for food, and bus fare, and laundry this month. And it’s going to be tight. Like it always is.

But you know what? We’re going to be okay.

Rent is paid. Phone and Internet are paid. There IS money for food (not a lot, but some!). I can do a couple loads of laundry throughout the month (one needs to be sheets and towels. I am very overdue on washing sheets and towels), and I can put enough money on the bus card to get me to and from sessions and a couple trips to and from the grocery store so I don’t have to eat out of the Giant Tiger. And if Dad offers to drive me in exchange for tech support one weekend, then that’s even better and saves me $6 in bus fare!

And it’s okay.

The cats are eating. They have kibble (they’re still both refusing to eat wet food). I know how to cook so I can make most anything into something edible (thank goodness). There’s a roof over our heads, and heat, and clean, hot, running water. I have a phone. I have entertainment. If I’m smart I will even be able to do two loads of laundry this month.

And it’s not a lot. It’s not fancy. It’s Disability Benefit for gods sake, so they kind of build it to be “not fancy”… but it’s enough. It’s more than enough if you think about it. It’s definitely not perfect…

But it’s okay.

autism, Autistic Living, cat mom life, Disabled Living, self care

Of ABMs, Tiredness, and Going Mute

So yesterday I was still banged up from the fall on Saturday. I’m still pretty banged up from it now. Bruises all over, and my hips and knees aren’t doing well.

But my father called yesterday. I guess he was lonely? So even though it wasn’t our weekend to get together, we did. Got a lot of things done. I have some extra groceries in the house thanks to Dad and his minivan making it possible for me to kill a week’s worth of errands in a couple of hours (people who have a car don’t realize how much extra time they have).

Of course after the grocery stores we stopped at a bank for me to deposit my Disability cheque, aaaaand the ABM ate my card.

I know. Like, really universe?!??

I deposited my cheque and then when I ended the transaction the machine errored out, told me the transaction had been cancelled, there had been an error, it wasn’t able to return my card, and I needed to call Customer Service.


Two days before Christmas.

So it took half an hour to get to someone on the Customer Service line, because, you know, two days before and the last Sunday before Christmas. When they finally picked up the customer service agent told me I was the fourth person they themselves had talked to whose card had been eaten by an ABM for not reason. So apparently it was just a thing that was happening across Canada yesterday? I guess?

The agent was lovely though and ordered me a new Client Card and assured me that the cheque was accepted and showing in my account, and would clear by Thursday.

So that’s good?

Sent my heart into my throat for that half hour though.

Today I am so tired. First thing, I got dressed and went to the branch at the end of the street and had a temporary card made for me. I can use it at the ABM, but can’t shop with it. Which is fine. Honestly I don’t want to see another human being until I have to on Friday to pay rent.

It’s just me and the cats now, and I find I’ve gone mute. Which happens when I get completely overwhelmed. The good news is the cats and I can communicate just fine without words, so even if it lasts a couple days it should be okay.

That’s one of the things I really appreciate about Dot and Benny. The two of them have conversations behind my back at a frequency we can’t hear, and that’s fine; but the three of us communicate just fine without words too. I’ve even taught them some hand gestures and signing, so I don’t have to say “Benny, eat your dinner”, I can just sign *Food* and if I feel like it make a lip smacking sound and he knows what I’m saying.

It’s a pidgin worth of signs. Food. Water. Come Here. Bed. Come Up. Sit down. Brush. But honestly between the three of us it’s enough.

You can’t really do that with people I find. If people know that you normally can speak, they expect you to and it can be really hard when you’re just not up to it.

Like today.

I’m covered in bruises still from the fall on Saturday, and yesterday was a lot of business in a short amount of time. Also seeing Dad right after my first session with not Dr P. Also the whole ABM ate my card and told me my Disability cheque deposit had failed. And I seem to be coming down with a cold as of this morning. And I’ve gone mute.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a canary in the coal mine that I’m heading towards a shutdown if I don’t watch myself. So this is a good time to just shut out the world, concentrate on the cats and myself, and try to relax. Eat real food. Stay hydrated. Get enough sleep. I do enough of that and my words will come back to me. I do enough of that and I should be able to avert a shutdown.

So that’s what I’m trying to do today.