I have had a bad couple of days, and that led me to not want to human, and so, no blog posts. I kind of feel bad about not posting as I am actually enjoying writing these posts and being able to talk about what is going on. If I was to have a conversation face to face about all this, well, there would not be a conversation. That said, lets go over what has been happening since I last posted.
Well, to begin with I guess I should talk about what I mean by bad day, and what made the last two days bad. Like a lot of autistic people, I have my routines, and I plan pretty much everything. Recently I had ordered a tool set off of amazon so that I could do more restoration and dismantling of things. Amazon said it would arrive Friday before 8pm, but on Thursday I noticed a potential issue. I watch order tracking like a hawk, since I want to make sure I am able to take delivery without disrupting any other tasks I have planned. This order however seemed to not be dispatching, and I was starting to get anxious. Friday morning came around, and I knew I would need to be here for the order as it stated it needed proof of age (there is a craft knife in the tool kit, guessing that is why it needs proof of age). I checked the order tracking, at at 10.10am, it was showing at a royal mail distribution center…in North West London! Now this might not seem like a bad thing, apart from I live just outside Bristol, which is the opposite side of the country. I had planned based off of the normal delivery times, and was expecting the order in the morning like all the others from Amazon, and I had planned to go out in the afternoon to a few shops. By around 3pm, it was still showing as sat in London, so I contacted Amazon customer support to see if it was worth me staying home still, or was it more likely that it would arrive Saturday instead. This is where things went from bad to worse though.
One thing I have been very good at before I got my diagnosis was scripting conversations in my head prior to an actual conversation. This would help mask the fact I had no idea what I was doing, but occasionally, it would backfire. See, when you work from a script and the other person is just talking naturally, you can run into the problem of saying something out of place, or something that causes offense. This is why when possible, I type out things instead of actually saying them, because it removes the issue of articulating verbally what I want to say, and I just let my brain talk through my fingers. What has this got to do with Amazon customer support? Well, having grown up using scripted conversations, I can tend to spot when someone is using them on me, and this was the case with the service rep I was talking to via online messenger. I asked my question which was ‘Since my order is still in London, would it be best to say it wont be here today and to expect it tomorrow?’ Now to me this is pretty simple, and I would have thought for a company that sends orders all over the world, they would have some level of common sense to say ‘I can’t say 100% it wont come today, but seeing it is still the other side of the country, yeah, I would say its delayed til tomorrow.’ What I got instead was very much copy and paste scripted responses, which were not relevant to the question I had asked. I very quickly became annoyed with the person I was talking with, and after 20 minutes back and forth, I asked if I could speak to a supervisor, or someone else. I got some more pre-written statements, and then this person posted the straw that broke the camels back. What appeared in the chat window was a direct copy and paste from another service rep, with their name and a time stamp to boot. I was furious by this point, and stated I wanted to speak to a supervisor to complain. We were now 40 minutes into this, and finally I got transferred to someone from the management team. I explained why I was complaining, that I wasn’t overly concerned about my order being delayed, I just wanted to confirm that was probably the case. A couple of minutes later, the manager had reviewed the previous conversation with the rep, apologized for the fact that the rep had just been copy and pasting, and here came the real kicker, I asked the manager to answer my original question, and sure enough, they said pretty much what I posted above. Placing the complaint and getting the answer took just shy of 10 minutes. This had totally thrown my off for the day, and so I had two bad days, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
I have been on about getting a weighted blanket for a while now, even before I started on the diagnostic pathway for ASC. I have never slept properly, to the extent that I have heard tales of my parents putting the stair gate across my bedroom door, and leaving me to play until I went to sleep myself. Now some might say that they weren’t strict enough with bed time routines, and that I have poor sleep hygiene (yes, I have had several GP’s lecture me on how with better sleep hygiene, I would be much better.) Well, getting my diagnosis actually gave me the answer to my sleep problems as well. I couldn’t find the studies I was told about, but simply put, it is not uncommon for someone with ASC to produce less melatonin, and so there are issues with regulating sleep. My biggest issue is actually falling asleep, closely followed by waking up near enough every 3-4 hours, and then repeating the process. I had already learnt about deep pressure therapy for anxiety, but I had also learnt it could help with sleep. Considering I had tried pretty much everything else, I thought what the hell, lets see if this works. My parents decided to buy me one, and it arrived on Friday morning. Needless to say I was eager to see if it would work, so roll around 2am, I head up to bed, pull the weighted blanket over me, and in about five minutes, I was out for the count. This wasn’t the end of the greatness of this blanket though, oh far from it. See, I said about how I would wake up every 3-4 hours, but last night, I slept right through until about 9am. This was amazing for me, I don’t recall ever sleeping right through like that, and to make things even better, I didn’t have the usual cramp/pain in my legs (I usually have restless leg during the night), I had more energy, I was focused, and I felt fantastic for a change. I have to say that I can not stress how much this blanket has changed things for me, but I will say that if you are interested, I have the Highams Weighted Blanket 8kg, and you can find them on Amazon, and they are worth every penny!
I know this is turning into a long post, but there was one last thing I wanted to talk about. I went to the shops today with my wife. Now for most people this isn’t a big thing, but for me, going to shops is hell. There are so many things that can overload my senses that I tend to avoid shops altogether. Today though, I had planned the shops I wanted to go to, I had my bag with my fidgits, my noise cancelling headphones, and my sunflower lanyard, and I went for it. I got some bits that I needed for some projects (my wife still had to pay for them, can’t be at the checkout, and also, no concept of money!) I got overloaded several times from background chatter, cleaning product smell, and lots of people being around, but I did it. Admittedly, I got home and spent an hour stripping two walkie talkies down and cleaning corrosion off of the circuit boards to chill out, but I did it, and so today ended up being a great day.
Anyhow, I think I have bored everyone enough for now, take care and I will post again tomorrow!
*EDIT* I have made a couple of changes on the site, including adding my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Drop me a link and a follow as I post little bits on my social media that you wont always see here!