Here's something I've noticed. When things get tough, it become exponentially harder to ask for help.
I don't know if it's depression, the years growing up in a family that says yes to "can you ...." and no to "do you need ...", or the quasi-despair that comes over me when I try to imagine how to frame my request to people who mean well but have a life without autism issues.
Common sense goes right out the window. I feel like I am carrying weights with me and I can feel my forehead creasing like Roman blinds. I stop answering the phone, returning emails, opening letters. I don't care what I'm wearing and I read about 2 dozen books a week. Re-read them, because I don't go out. Going out somehow evolved into Getting Everything Done Just Right, compiling a major To Do list, assembling half a dozen items into a bag so I can take care of things along the way, and needing to lose 15 pounds before I can put on non-funky clothes and go anywhere. Kind of like those dreams where you run and run, and keep missing trains, dropping things, etc.
And it's not like people haven't noticed or try to help. Like a doofus, I just keep saying "no, that's okay, but thanks." I am becoming aware of just how much time has disappeared into this kind of white fog, and it's unnerving.
So I have started to be better about not thinking and jumping outward more. I pick a project a week around the house and focus on that instead of a book. I sit down and play with the kids a little more. I am going to the gym and working out, even if it means that I'm the only one there sweating my stuff in jeans and a t-shirt & ballet flats (because I can't deal with gym bags at the moment). I've been finding things I'd like to do. Me. I. For me. And then doing some of them. I've made inroads into my backpiled emails.
So I am pleased to announce that this holiday, facing time with both kids on my hands and cold, wet outdoors, *I picked up the phone* and called a parent of a classmate of James': "What are you doing? Want to go somewhere?" And yes, they did. And we did get together with our kids and had a good time.
I think I'll try stickers next, to make the phone seem even less intimidating. Maybe Zurg. We have some of those around, I just know it.