Posted in Self-Care

Stimming with Casual Games: Trying to Recover

Hi, all.

I’ve been trying to write for over a week, but I’ve been too busy.

Any times I’m not busy, I’ve been stimming with casual games I love, like those time management games (most recently Spa Mania and Spa Mania 2) and puzzle games like Patchworkz and Gizmos.  These are basic, casual games, and I play them while watching dull things like Unsolved Mysteries (I think Amazon has them all now; I keep not being able to come to the end of it) and Survivor (some of these seasons are maddening) in my other monitor.

I also burn three Yankee Candles in my office.  They help a lot, too.

I’ve been too tired to play anything remotely immersive, though I’m almost getting there.

This is why:

  1. School.  Clearly.  I was working well overtime most of the last couple of months.  I finally just crashed.
  2. Family obligations.  I was so exhausted I really didn’t want to go, but since our child wanted to go, go we did.  He was low on spoons, too, but we made it a few hours in both cases.
  3. The Last Jedi in 3D.  Obviously we had to see it before the spoilers got to us, so we went immediately on my first day off of school (publics got out a day later).  That movie took me out FOR ANOTHER WHOLE DAY because of the disorienting nature of the 3D event (so worth it though, even though I got very dizzy and headachy) not to mention the repeated emotional gutpunches.  Especially the last one.  You know what it was if you’ve seen it.  I was like Noooooooo!
  4. The death of that horrible fundraiser.  My school has sort of gone to war with this long-standing fundraiser that is the bastion of all the evil and gossip remaining in the parish.  I don’t use the term evil lightly.  The devil was literally using this event to spread malicious feelings and rumors.  The committee decided they’d had it with their shabby treatment (you mean, not allowing people to come into my school at NOON for an event starting at 5:30 (concessions open at 4) and LURK AROUND for hours, unsupervised, is not okay?) and were going to “show me.”  Well, we’d planned for their departure at the end of the year.  It’s even BETTER that it’ll be done at the end of the calendar year.
  5. BUT the death of said fundraiser meant getting work and planning and texting people and phoning people, etc.
  6. Then I had to call the reporter back who called about the closure of this event.  That may or may not have gone well (fingers crossed!)…she has this tendency to “write funny” which doesn’t go over well.  Also, God only knows what this event’s committee will say.
  7. I think that’s it.

The big thing that I learned from all of this is that you can, in fact, have negative spoons.  I think I always knew this, but seriously…  What I call negative spoons is, if you know the spoons analogy (if not, head here because none of this will make sense otherwise), in theory you only have spoons in certain areas: physical activity, executive function, communication, etc.  What ends up happening if you move into exhaustion (at least for me) is, at a certain point, one area will go negative.  My son has experienced negative physical spoons at times, and it can be dramatic.  When he was younger, he literally dropped to the ground at the zoo and couldn’t get up until he recovered a little.  For me, it looks more like I can’t find words in my brain.  Given I think in words, not pictures, this is irritating as heck, but it just means I should stop talking sooner rather than later or I’ll either say something really bad or embarrass myself some other way.

Anyway, we saw The Last Jedi at the worst possible time.  Because we had to see it before more people got out of school and it got spoiled, it was a rush.  Because we rushed to do it, I was still a little low on spoons.  As a result, I left the movie able to walk, but barely able to talk or think.  The next day, I could barely move, think, or do anything, really.

Thus “negative spoons.”  It was like not only did I not get my starter set of spoons that day, I lost some, mostly in communication and executive function.  The executive function spoons were so far gone, they were impacting my ability to move around all that much, and my communication was starting to go.  This was despite the fact that shortly after I got home from the movie, I sequestered myself in my office for a bit, then went to bed (sleep fixes a whole lot of things).

I’ve been playing a whole lot of casual games and watching pointless videos ever since.

I have been able to get work done, and have given myself Autistic-friendly projects, such as culling a mailing list for the best possible combinations of people to send mail to announcing our school changes and just letting them know hey, we’re here.  This involved a list of 8,000 names that I went over with a pencil and circled the best ones, then tallied up how many I had (about 2,750, which is going to be more economical).  I’ve researched a bit about space rental, here and there.  But mostly, I just have emptied myself out, and let God talk to me while I’m playing these casual games.  It seems like when I do that, I have a better chance to recover.

I’m not completely out of the proverbial woods yet, but I’m getting better, and I will be ready to go back to school with kids on the third, easily.

But for now, I’m being careful and conserving.

You may see postings only once or twice a week, or I might toss a ton up there…hard to say.  But know I’m not abandoning the blog.

I’m just saving spoons.

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