Of #autism, self-loathing and biscuits

the road to enlightenment is long and difficult, so bring snacks and a magazineEarlier today, there was a discussion on Twitter about shame, sadness, and biscuits.

The consensus was, it’s not always possible to overcome your sense of self-loathing and sadness, but in the meantime, you can at least have a biscuit. Creme filled ones seem favored. And chocolate. Always chocolate. Except for me… it triggers migraines with me, which is just not worth the fleeting sense of euphoria.

It might seem trivial, at first, as though having a biscuit is just postponing the horror (the horror…) of our earthly existence. But in fact, having a cookie can be just the thing to take me out of my funk and give me a different perspective.

If only because it gets my mind off my own suffering and – for however brief a moment – gets me to notice the taste and texture and actions involved in eating a cookie / biscuit.

And that’s not a bad thing. Because to tell you the truth, with my difficulty recognizing my emotions (let’s call it alexithymia), I can get incredibly down and depressed, all because I’m

A) hungry / angry / lonely / tired,

B) hypoglycemic — low blood sugar,

C) feeling sick to my stomach,

D) having a migraine,

E) recovering from a meltdown, or

F) any number of other things that deplete my mind and make my body feel bad.

All of it gets confused in my head, and I interpret some or all of the above as depression, despair, shame, despondency, hopelessness, etc., which isn’t accurate, at all.

Just the other night, I was in tears while talking to someone about what’s going on in my life, even though things were no worse than they usually are — they just felt that way, because I was so, so tired, my blood sugar was low, I was in a state of sensory overload, etc. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t despairing. My blood sugar was low, I was exhausted, and I had a few more hours of busy-ness ahead of me. Just overwhelmed, not depressed. And it passed. I’ve been on ups and downs all week,

It passes. Especially if I have a snack. Or read a magazine.

Let the record show, I am not saying others who experience depression and feelings of despair just need to have a snack, and it’ll all be okay. I don’t think that’s how things work. But for me, I know that when I’m struggling, just having a little something nice to pick me up, or getting my mind off my despair, really goes a long way in helping.

So, I need to remember that. Also, remember the alexithymia connection. And cut myself a break — know that I’ll feel down, now and then, and not let that derail me. My biochemistry (luckily) seems pretty good at rebounding, so long as I don’t convince myself that nothing will ever get better. With me, it usually does.

I just need to be properly equipped.

With snacks. And a magazine.

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9 thoughts on “Of #autism, self-loathing and biscuits

    1. VisualVox

      I have had to back off on my biscuit consumption – processed sugar is a huge problem for me. Must find an alternative. Sometimes I do… Or I just succumb to the urge and deal with the consequences…

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    1. VisualVox

      Molasses seems to help. It’s so tricky… the fun stuff gives me the most problems – Walkers Shortbread Fingers, McVities Rich Tea Biscuits… I can find them in a little convenience store near one of my weekly appointments. Must stay away!

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  1. Megan McLaughlin

    When my daughter was young, our first response to a meltdown was always to offer her some food–and usually that did the trick. Today she has gluten-intolerance, so the biscuits are tricky. But snacks are a great thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Oh, snacks are a great thing! I’ve come to love frozen cherries – they’re fun to pour into a glass bowl, and then I love to watch them soften and melt, and each one has a slightly different texture and firmness. It’s very sensory, and very wonderful. Plus, they’re really good for you, they’re sweet, and they’re a real treat. So much fun!

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  2. Aspetrix

    Moods of 3/4 people in this house are regulated by food. We acknowledge this & if someone is curt or grumpy our 1st move is to offer food & take it from there. Incidentally this also affects all other extended family members in whom I suspect or they themselves suspect (no DX) ASD. I do think extreme reactions to and/or total lack of awareness of hunger are really worth exploring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aspetrix

      Just to clarify I count myself in this. I’m a complete beast when hungry and because of whatever sensory joke wiring a large % of the time I am not aware lack of food is the cause. Regular feeding routines/snacking required.

      Liked by 1 person

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