My Name Is Sharon, and I Am Chronically Disorganized

Everybody’s taking quizzes on Facebook nowadays.  Well, I took one myself yesterday.

“If you answer Yes to the following questions, you are chronically disorganized…
– Has getting organized been a challenge for you most of your adult life?
– Does being disorganized negatively affect your quality of life in some way every day?
– Have you been unable to sustain organization?”  (Taken from the book Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg)

Yes! Yes! and YES!

I LOVE this book!!

 

 

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I have ready many a book on decluttering and organizing in my life, but this is the first one I read that was written for someone whose mind does not operate well on conventional/traditional organizational methods.  It’s a short, easy read, and instead of writing theory, the book is literally just a collection of stories that exemplify various organizing techniques for the chronically disorganized.  For example, I had no idea that you could file your papers emotionally!  I have now constructed my first “shifting time” board.  I am super excited and will reread this again before I give it back to the library.

I would highly recommend this for anyone who has tried to fit their lifestyle and organizational methods into a system someone else premade and has been unable to maintain it.  This book suggests inventing ways to manage your life in a fashion that suits your mind’s bend, based on your learning style and needs.  Great read, Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg.  Check it out!  I shall let you know how my experiments turn out!!

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The Carefree First Time Joys of Parenting

Despite being my third child, William is really giving me so many joys of the first time parent.  He’s in that incredibly fun stage right now where his development is exploding, he’s just learned to walk, and the whole world is his oyster.  He oooo’s appreciatively when something interests him, whistles like a tea kettle when he’s happy, hoots like a train when he’s mad, and his favorite pastime is toddling around the house, waving items he’s found and yelling “Whoa! Whoa!”

We were sitting in the rocking chair the other day reading a book together when it struck me.  I had never been able to sit in a chair and read a book with Michael or Gabriel.  They just couldn’t do it.  Michael was three years old the first time he was able to sit in my lap, and Gabriel didn’t understand how the reading aloud activity worked.  Then some of the other differences started coming to mind.  At fifteen months of age, William already has about half a dozen discernible words.  Michael and Gabriel were well into their thirty month mark before we heard anything we could understand.  William mimics me and REFERENCES me, things I’ve never seen before.  He has more enthusiasm about exploring and engaging the world around him.  You can just tell it’s easy and fascinating for him.  I don’t have to work at communicating or interacting with him.  I don’t analyze everything he does.  It’s different celebrating a new skill acquired when it came naturally instead of after hours of teaching and practice.  It’s just fun.

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I thanked God for giving me these little moments, they were special gifts from Him, the wonder of learning and growing, the carefree first time joys of parenting.  It’s more meaningful and bittersweet watching Michael and Gabriel meet their own milestones because of the effort and years involved, and I am incredibly grateful that the Lord has brought as much healing and restoration as He has to them.  But little William is bringing me new and special joys of his own, and I’m loving it!

Vacation Started a New Journey

Quick post today: I learned something on vacation.  It seems like it should be intuitive, but I guess it wasn’t for me.

I need help.

I’m still learning SO many things about myself with regards to my own limitations.  I’ve gone on for so long assuming that I function like those around me, and it’s just been in the last few months that I realize how different my brain is.  The more I try to carry on like everyone else, the more I struggle and the more stressed I become.  I don’t cope with things the same, and I have different stressors.

What this boils down to is I’ve realized I have no idea how to cope with my stress.  This is not a mental thing I’m talking about, this is more of a physical one actually.  In doing some basic research this morning, I learned new things about how in spectrum folks, the sympathetic nervous system isn’t disengaging and allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to turn on and actually bring physical calm back to the body after a stress has occurred.  So in my life, all the random little things (in addition to all the crazy huge things that come with living with disabled children) that happen that folks can recover from (i.e. loud noises, unexpected phone calls, disruptions in the daily schedule, etc.), I’m not getting over them, I’m accumulating them.  Which is why by the end of the day I’m usually a mess that needs some crying time under a blanket in a quiet room.

God has provided some wonderful young people to our family that like our kids and are VOLUNTEERING to spend regular time with them, and I am totally taking them up on it.  I also plan to start researching help and information on adults (not just for my kids), and see what I can learn about things like organization and stress management for those with ADD and Asperger’s.  I think if I learn how to function with the specific “bends” of my mind instead of just carrying on in the what always appeared to be the traditional way of handling things, my stress levels will go down.  I’ll find counselors who deal with spectrum adults if I have to, but I am really excited about learning to cope with the things that go on around here.  Usually my mind gets so overwhelmed that I just completely shut down and let chaos reign, and that’s not the kind of wife and mom I want to be.

So here’s to a new journey and learning more about how God made me. 🙂

In It Again

Vacation was amazing and absolutely necessary.  Thanks to my in-laws, Nate and I were able to get away for eight days, which was a perfect amount of time.  I noticed I was so exhausted and wound up, it took me about four or five days just to relax and feel like a normal human being again.  It was a gift from God that Nate’s office paid for us to get away, and now that we have experienced the benefits of it, we are planning tiny breaks for ourselves in the future.

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This is us, when we feel like normal people. 🙂

So we’re back in it again, with the therapy and the yelling and the no sleeping, but it’s a little easier now once our cups have been filled up again, so to speak.  I find I don’t mind it quite as much as I did before and now I can give of myself to my family more when I’m not so completely drained that I’m just in self-preservation mode.  It’s easy to say we need a break periodically, but I’ve found that the execution is much harder and depends on the generosity of others’ time.  I am very blessed and grateful to be surrounded by a supportive family that is willing to sacrifice to help us out.

Here we go.  William is throwing food on the floor, Gabriel is slam dunking his breakfast dishes into the sink, and Michael has had a number of meltdowns this morning already, but that’s OK.  This is where I’m supposed to be.  Well, more specifically, I should probably be cleaning the kitchen, so have a nice day!

 

From The Bottom Of My Heart

I have to thank all of you for hanging tough with me this week.  It was just terrible, one of the worst I can think of in a long time.  The stress, the emotions, my own brain causing me pain and trouble every step of the way.  This was a downright awful week in my life to have ADHD and Asperger’s myself, let me tell you!  I had a meltdown about three times in the past few days, so let’s not even think about how many my kids had.

You, my friends, are all amazing.  You let me cry, you give me hugs, you pray for me, you call me and Facebook me to make sure I’m still doing alright.  I love that you’re OK with me being a mess and that you 100% encourage me and help me along the way.  I absolutely would not survive times like these without you, and I am so incredibly grateful that God has given you all to me as my support team.  You really are a vital part of my life and therefore in the lives of my kids as well.  Not only are you letting God use you and giving me the strength to go on, but you’re also inspiring me to pay it forward when the boys are grown and it’s my turn to be there for someone else.

I made it to the end of my gauntlet, and now I get to unplug and run away with Nate for a few days.  God bless you all, and really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so very, very much.

With love, 

Sharon

A Day In The Life

The last couple of days have definitely been interesting.  You never know what kind of day you’re going to get with Michael.  Some days his brain and body are in sync and you’d never know he was autistic, but then you have days like today….

We started out OK, but he totally hyper-focused and colored for two hours, and I should have known I’d pay for it later.  He went nuts and overcompensated with the sensory processing disorder kicking in.  He was running everywhere, touching things compulsively, pushing his brothers, screaming, squeaking, and losing his communication and self control.  When his therapist showed up in the early afternoon, he sneaked into the cookie jar and ate six Hershey kisses while she and I were in one of the bedrooms talking.  What followed was a 45 minute meltdown which required physical manhandling.  Thank God the therapist was there, it was the first time she had seen him lose it that badly.  She showed me how to wrap my body around his to keep him from breaking free and punching me.  She also kept the other kids out of the room every time they tried to come in.  Michael really took me for a ride, screaming, crying, writhing, wrestling, and flailing with almost no breaks for three quarters of an hour.  We were finally able to talk him down (I would have never been able to do this if I was alone), but by the time we were finished, I was exhausted, shaking, and nearly crying myself.  Thank God Nate came home this evening in time to handle another meltdown because honestly, I don’t think I have another fight left in me tonight.

As I write this, I’m sitting in Gabriel and William’s room, trying to train Gabriel to stay in his bed.  He’s new to the toddler bed and he seems to enjoy keeping William up till very late and jumping into his crib and squashing him.  It’s been a very long day and there’s still a lot to get through tonight.

I have to say though that it helps to remember that this is all important.  It’s a training ground and the foundation for discipline and growth for all of them.  The hard work and effort is totally worth it, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of all the labor in the hopefully not-too-distant future.  I try to use these opportunities to hold these boys up in prayer and remember that none of this took God by surprise, and none of these experiences is wasted.

Hang tough, all of you.