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In A Rut

By Aaron Tanner

· Rut,Depression,Insomnia,Wellness,Allergies

Before reading this blog post, I must warn readers that there is no one direction that this particular post will be going. Also, this blog will be much longer than usual, and not everyone may agree with the content of this post.

I usually post fun, and positive things on my blog and I hope to do that in the coming weeks. However, for the past couple of months, I have been in a rut, and I thought I would share my experiences, what I learned and how I am getting through this process.

Health wise I have not been the best. Most of February was spent getting over a cold, which meant I could not exercise which made me feel kind of blah.

Until recently I spent the late winter and early spring having trouble with sleep. This lack of sleep affected my mood greatly and caused me to think negative thoughts. After a visit to my doctor, she determined that the lack of sleep was due to the pollen count was higher than average this spring. Also, it has been stormier this spring across the South than the last few springs. The combination of pollen-induced head congestion and the constant pressure falls with storm systems moving through caused me a considerable amount of insomnia.

On top of this, my writing work hit a dry spell with story ideas falling through. Writing for this blog has been my main avenue of honing my writing skills for the past two months. Keep in mind that I wrote my latest article in Okra magazine last summer.

All of these issues combined caused me not to think straight and wonder if maybe my best days were behind me. After all, I also celebrated a birthday recently and sometimes getting old makes me sad.

Enough with this pity party. Now I will explain my ongoing process of getting out of this rut.

The big thing I learned is perseverance and to not give up. Everyone, not just those with Aspergers, goes through rough patches with their job, their health, and their spiritual life. These periods do not last forever. There were times I wanted to quit my job at the dental lab because the workload became too much. I am glad I stuck out my job there and continue to have job security.

As far as writing, perhaps this is a sign that I need to diversify my freelance writing business and find other magazines that I can regularly write for so in case one source of income for a publication slows down that I have another magazine that I can fall back on.

When going through severe periods of insomnia, the body eventually will start craving junk food and overeating becomes an issue. I noticed that sodas were creeping back into my diet because I needed caffeine and sugar. This unhealthy diet can lead to weight gain. When up late at night, you cannot sleep, and it is tempting to gorge on potato chips, instead have healthy snacks on hand instead such as nuts and fruit. If your insomnia lasts for several weeks, do not be afraid to see the doctor.

In the past, I mentioned adult coloring books are a great way to get one’s mind off of racing thoughts. Since there is minimal excellent programming on TV late at night, invest in some coloring pencils and adult coloring books and eventually your mind will relax and fall asleep.

As I mentioned earlier, sometimes I get depressed around my birthday because I am not only getting older, but I feel like I am not up to par with my neurotypical peers and a lot of times I mentally feel like I am still a teenager. Instead of getting upset about your age, focus on the positives of what you have accomplished as you have aged.

Many have commented on how much I have grown maturity wise from even a few years ago. I do not have near the number of meltdowns that I used to and am more aware of managing my emotions. Also, I can drive to Florida by myself to see my grandma. Speaking of trips, I can reserve a hotel room by myself, compare the dates and price of a hotel room and stay in a hotel room by myself. People comment that despite having some areas where I have issues, I do a lot more than many young adults my age with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.

Even though it was difficult, praying and having people pray for me helped me through my rut. I find it ironic that this rut occurred so close to Easter where Christians will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. In my personal opinion, I believe he has helped me manage my Asperger symptoms, even on my bad days.

I apologize again that this post was longer than usual. I am still digging out of my rut. However, my hope this post will help others who may or may not be on the Autism spectrum be able to get through difficult times and see the light at the other side of the tunnel.

Have you ever gone through a difficult period in your life and if so, how did you get through that dark time? Comment in the section below.

As another reminder, I am now blogging for Tennessee Valley Unite and will eventually be moving my posts over to that site. You can visit that website by clicking here.

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