Megan’s Story

Greetings all!

I have been reading the stories here, and I thought that I would offer up some of my coping mechanisms. Our strange and misted life can seem like a living hell to those who don’t know – don’t understand what we are going through. I’ve been depressed and defeated oh-so-often; more than once I’ve wondered if I have anything to contribute to this society or if I should just end it all.

Every time just as I get to the bottom something wonderful happens. I remember that I’ve seen things that no one else can see. I remember that MY internal clock doesn’t run from 8 to 5, that I (whether it is my choice or not) am not trapped in the same run-of-the-mill world that everyone else trudges through.

I remember that I move through life according to my own rhythms. So I can’t sleep? I watch the sunrise. So I don’t have the money to shop? I make Tuna Surprize. So I can’t remember the wonderful experience I had last year with so-and-so? I make the one I’m having now just as good as it gets.

I remember that I do not live my life like the others around me. I will never plan, save, organize, think-through or finalize things the way they will. Instead I must do things in a way which feels right and natural to ME. I live my life FOR THE MOMENT in a way that they never will. I am not designed to be the long-term planner – instead I’m the one designed to see the new thing and be the first one to discover how it works, how to use it. I’m the one designed to measure up in a crisis, to come up with the solution from somewhere ‘way out of the box’.

I am ME, and I will never again make the mistake of allowing others to put me down because of who and what I am.

And along these lines, I offer some things that have helped me cope:

I use on-line bill-pay. Automatic deposit and on-line billpay have saved my financial hide. FIND A BANK that offers it and USE it. It only takes one burst of energy to set up billing that will happen automatically every month – on time! Schedule all payments through your BANK, not through the individual companies if you can help it. That way you can look at your bank website and see all of the bills coming up in the next month. Set up EVERY bill you get online – even if you’ll only pay it once. That way you have records that you can’t lose! I deposit my paycheck into two accounts – one for bills and one for spending. I never touch the account that I set up for bills.

I work a job where I have set hours and set duties but is not repetitive. I help people over the phone with computer problems. This allows me to use the analytical and creative portions of my brain without having to worry about scheduling my time – the customers call in and I’m there!

I study on-line with tutorials and interactive programs whenever possible. They will keep your attention and only require you to initiate the automatic “sit down and turn on the computer” sequence. If you’ve got to study from a book, write a paper, or produce a project requiring timed effort, go with the flow. If it’s not flowing, stop. If you sit down in the middle of dinner and suddenly begin to study or write- GO with it. I bet that you have good cognitive abilities. You only have to read something once to ‘get it’. Use that to your advantage. Remember that others may take hours to study something that you can absorb in minutes and don’t be afraid to leave the book open on the table so that you can sit down and study in little chunks as the mood strikes you. The key for me is “make it available / visible”. Don’t allow others schedules around the house to dictate yours. It won’t work. Oh, and turn off the TV.

I have multiple projects going at once. Don’t we all? I keep big blue bins stacked in my room – one for each project. I label the bins in big lettering – “Quilt” or “Bookbinding”, etc. That way I have a quick visual record of what I am doing, and a big blue place to throw everything related to that project when I am done working for the day. I do NOT allow myself to set completion dates for projects. Nor do I intentionally make things for scheduled events. They never get finished on time. Instead I feel free to work as the whim strikes me and I usually have something finished when the time comes to make a gift, etc.

I find socializing easier through ‘games’. I have a monthly board-games club that I attend through which I’ve made some wonderful friends. If the atmosphere has some kind of pre-defined structure like a role-playing game or a board game or even a ‘murder-mystery’ dinner I find it much easier to concentrate and relate to those around me. I have something automatic to “talk about” and it can often lead to better friendships down the road. I love Trivial Pursuit! Even though I love to read I find that book clubs or other groups that require you to read something within a set amount of time are just not worth the trouble.

If I must schedule something, I try to recruit those more ‘organized’ than myself to help. For instance, I warn my Doctors and Dentists, etc. that I will need a “reminder” call before an appointment.

I hope that there is something here that can help people,

Best of luck to everyone!