Small Epiphanies

A long time ago, I figured out that I was autistic based largely on things I learned from Jack and because I was researching things about him. That, and other revelations about myself that stem from Jack (and also my other kiddos sometimes) still arrive from time to time and I always feel like a dumbass for not having figured them out sooner.

Let’s take breaks from school and routines for example. I have long known that Jack is far more regulated during the school year, when his days are structured and full. Within the past year, I’ve come to realize this about Quinn as well. He may complain endlessly about being forced to go to school, but he is far happier and put together when his days have routine than when he is untethered during summers or other extended school breaks.

I finally added a couple of things together in my head and realized that what I often refer to as ennui could be brought on at least partly by my own dysregulation from lack of structure and routine. I swear to god, I almost heard the BING! above my head as the lightbulb clicked on and I started flashing back to times when I have felt depressed and at loose ends for no real reason. I don’t really need to go into a lot of detail, but suffice it to say that I could trace this pattern back for years.

I had my revelation yesterday and although I know that it is not a problem so easily fixed, I decided to take a step in the right direction today by doing something other than sit on the couch, eat caramel corn, and feel depressed—and not just because I ran out of caramel corn.

Thus began Operation This House Will Be Spotless for the New Year, ensuring that the remainder of 2014 is regulated, tidy, and involves everyone being resentful and angry that I’m making them clean all the things.

I vacuumed under my couch, people.

I found french fries.

I felt a lot better today having a goal and getting something done. I understand that it’s not always as easy as “give a depressed person a task and they’ll feel better,” but today it helped. I think that recognizing that there is a pattern will help me at least recognize why I feel the way I do during these times and prepare myself for them.

Life is a process, folks. I’m getting there.

11 thoughts on “Small Epiphanies

  1. Yup I totally get this. I am having the hardest time this year since all three kids are in school full time, and it finally dawned on me over this holiday break that just like my kiddo, I need boundaries and structure. On the days when I work, I can actually accomplish something because I have constrained times. On the days when the kids are gone from 8am – 2pm, I find myself on the couch watching horrible talk shows when I have a to do list and an anti-clutter list a mile long.
    And like you, I have realized that I have been this way for a long time and through some very difficult times.
    So I am joining you in the epiphany and the change in what I need to do to stay happy.
    Although vacuuming under my couch scares me. I might start with clean up microscopic Legos.

  2. I can really relate to this post. I have ALWAYS been a creature of routine. I have my weekday routines when the boys are in school. With no school and little structured activity outside of Tate’s therapy, I am at a loss during break. I find my patience is short and I just want to be alone..and that isn’t happening. Cleaning is a good idea..I will get alone time with that, as my boys make themselves very scarce when I mention anything about tidying up the house…hmmm. That plan has merit!

  3. Someone told me recently that the forties for women are often about discovering ourselves after spending our thirties obsessed with our kids. I too am reaching eurekas about stuff I just thought were my quirks or issues. I too like structure and the freshness of the new year for changes. Xo

  4. I hope Operation This House Will Be Spotless for the New Year is a huge success!

    P.S. This is why I prefer a couch that you can see under. And a dog who will crawl under it to eat petrified french fries.

  5. Good for you for making the connection. I am of the age where hot flashes are a frequent occurrence. I noticed that a brief horrible feeling of “not-rightness” went along with them, and now, when I get that feeling, I know it is an early warning signal of the hot flash, and I start taking off sweaters, scarves, etc. I am then occupied during the “despair” phase of the hot flash, and less sweaty when it arrives about 30 seconds later.
    Noticing patterns is incredibly useful. Guess I should get off the internet and do some laundry.

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