Here’s how my days often begin.

I wake up in the morning feeling good, with a lot of energy. Last night, I tried to get to bed at a better time. Every few days, I try to recalibrate my thinking if it’s off. So, I was ready to go, inspired to work on a project in my profession.

And then, I am reminded of the dogs. They need their medicine, outside, treats, and so forth. I can’t be upset with them, of course. One of them is old, and the other a bit hyperactive. I’m already distracted from my work.

My wife and I have a system where she leaves information on the kitchen counter for me to review in the morning. I’ve told her if she does that, then I have time to process it when nobody is around. Otherwise, I tend to process out loud, and that comes with some inevitable questions, often with some kind of perceived hostility that I do not intend. So, this is a great system. Even though it stresses me some, I don’t have to add to it the stress of upsetting someone or them upsetting me. My wife might receive a text or two asking for clarification or grumbling.

In this case, I needed the password to get into the online store for a pickup today. That caused some anxiety as I’m out of some of my safe foods. Those are foods I can eat that don’t cause me reactions. It’s a rather small list, and food sensitivities are one of but many reasons the holidays can be horrible. Therefore, when I’m out of something, it is not just about missing out on something tasty. It’s about whether my senses will go crazy that day, if I can breathe well when walking, focus on work, not have a multiple of other physical symptoms. At my last job, the mold was such a problem that it caused much cognitive disfunction, to the point it created real problems. So, all of this creates anxiety, as I have to get it correct to have a chance to be around people or function.

Thankfully, we have that system.

And, I was determined to take a shower this morning. I can’t remember the last one I’ve had. I bet it’s been a week. Not only that, but I have a beard now due to laziness and apathy, but I don’t really like it.

Then, there is an online appointment in under an hour. That’s not enough time, but maybe I can get a shower in. My routine is complicated, not because I want it to be, but because it’s what it has to be without bad consequences.

So, this is what tends to happen. Every morning. I’m inspired. I get distracted by normal life activities. Next I must do my daily routine. By then, I’m tired and get back into bed. I’m frustrated. I feel like all I do is stay alive just to keep staying alive. About the time I get my energy back, my wife will get home, and, while I’ve been alone all day, I’ve not felt like it. There has been constant pressure to just get going. Moreover, I feed off her energy, but she also can watch the dogs, and I am more comfortable just having her around.

But, she will usually end up leaving once or twice in the evening, so I have to do something when she gets home. I want to do something with her, to have some human interaction. That’s frequently walking, and that’s good. I still get my fifteen minutes to share emotions, although she doesn’t always let me discuss autism, and that’s very frustrating. We are trying to make Christmas plans, and it’s impossible on my end.

OK. I really need a shower, and I think I can do this. But, this is how my day goes. It’s also why I like to stay up late, when everything is quiet and everyone else is asleep. That presents its problems, though not working right now avoids many of them.

It’s time to act like a normal person and get in the shower. I believe the word often used is “adulting.” Unfortunately, that is one of many triggers for making me sad, and that’s a long story I don’t even quite understand. Yes, I better get in the shower before my appointment takes me until noon when the dogs will again attack. Maybe I’ll get more done then, but I will be tired.

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