Vulnerability time, deep breath. As you know, I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and while high functioning, I cannot lie and say life is always easy. Sensory things can overwhelm me to the point of silence and breathlessness, sometimes it’s sound, sometimes it’s crowds, sometimes it’s just making it through a day. From time to time, I feel hopeless, I feel lost in my own mind, I feel buried in thought and while I can always see the light hovering above, it can feel unreachable. It’s times like this that support is needed, that we cannot be too proud or too stubborn or too afraid or too anything, to ask for help, and to accept it when it comes. I am lucky, in that I have someone in my life that understands this, that knows when I am far away, and that knows to offer shelter from the thundering of my own brain, my own life. If you have this person, seek them out when you are low, if you do not, seek out anyone who will listen, and there is Always someone who will listen. At the very least, if you’re lower than you think you can handle, call 1-800-273-8255 and there will be someone there, ready to help. It’s a thundering life, we all need a shelter.
My grandma. I am so thankful for her every single day of my life. She’s always been in my corner. When I was younger I felt like she was the only one in my family who never judged my mental illness, who always had arms wide open & who has saved me time and time again. Now, she has Alzheimer’s and I’m her full time caregiver and even with all the things she’s losing, she somehow every time just knows if I have a bad day always comforts me. I’m not sure how long I have left with my Grams but I am hoping to find shelter as strong as hers once she’s gone.
I know this is going to sound crazy but my "guardian angel" is my shelter (whom I met just over 3yrs ago) after accidentally "awakening". She does not have wing, so perhaps she is a guide. I have fibromyalgia which started after I had a viral infection. I also have hemochromatosis. Both leave me in extreme chronic pain. My nervous system is very broken & I easily get overwhelmed by too much light, movement or loud noise. So much so that I completely zone out. I try to make the most of the days where I am in less pain. My guardian angel is my greatest comfort when things are difficult, especially when I deal with the pain. She always helps me to find that peace inside myself.
For me it’s my best friend, Sasha. It’s amazing and beautiful how the people you meet on your journey can become closer to you than your biological family, and in turn become your true family. It’s really a blessing.
My husband John is my absolute solid rock, and I his. He too has difficulty with over stimulating situations and environments. Literally every feeling you described is what he deals with often. I didn't see this inside him, and I mean REALLY see this, until probably after a year of being married. With my background in psychology, being a kindergarten teacher for many many years, and having a Masters Degree in special education, I thankfully knew what I could do to help him during those times of need. And reversely, for me, living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be quite debilitating. He too didn't see this dark monster living inside my head and my heart until a few years in. He is so angelic and knows exactly what to do when meltdowns, panic attacks, or depression sets in. For both of us, it's basically an unspoken ritual to take control of the other's mental and emotional health when we notice even the slightest cry for help. I honestly don't know how I would function or live without him. I do have to add something as well..... since joining Chasers and Wanderers, I have found so many people that have woven a blanket of support, friendship, family, and unconditional love. And they are always there when I need them. xo
I have a friend who provides shelter and I in return. How we met was a crazy circumstance but we are always checking in with each other. Sharing music. Sending words of encouragement. It truly helps.