Romantic Relationships Experiences of an Autistic Women

Hi all,

I know that this has been a long time since I last wrote in my blog. I had to come away from it for a while to regather my thoughts and also to know what I was hoping to accomplish for my channel as well as this blog site that I hold close to my heart. I want to try and be true to you all either via through my writing as well as through my channel when you see me in the flesh or not as a human too.
I was doing a collab with Eneida Capaldi who’s from the UK and she’s a mom to an autistic son and she came to me by finding me on Instagram and was sharing with me that she wanted me to participate in a collab for her thesis based on her paper that is stated above in this title of my blog entry.

Before I begin, I did some videos based on this topic about Dating and Relationships for Autistics which you can find by clicking on the link to the playlist here:

(Reference: Autism/Aspergers Syndrome & Dating & Relationships – Help Central)

We came to an agreement and understanding about how for many of us autistics especially females, we are invisible and majority of what is shared is based on a male perspective or experience of whatever that given topic is. It’s also known that with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome it was known to be a male diagnosis. In most cases, people receive an autism diagnosis in childhood, usually after the age of 4 years or even as young as 2 years old and this is usually for males. Research shows that Autism Spectrum Disorder is more prevalent in males than females by a ratio of three to one. But there is increasing evidence that this gender difference may be slimmer than we think, and that autism symptoms in women and girls are frequently overlooked and misdiagnosed. 

However, some adults live with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. Even people with more severe symptoms may not have received the correct diagnosis.There are some similarities between Autism Spectrum Disorder and certain other disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.A survey conducted in the United Kingdom by The National Autistic Society found that compared to males, women and girls are more likely to be misdiagnosed, with 42 percent of females diagnosed with a mental disorder other than autism when being assessed, as opposed to 30 percent of males. 

There is no clear explanation as to why women with autism are often misdiagnosed. Child psychiatrist Meng-Chuan Lai, a clinician-scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says that while there is a range of different reasons why women receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder later in life, one possibility is that autism characteristics aren’t so evident in females: “Girls and women may be more able to master ‘Camouflaging,’ so ‘Typical’ autistic characteristics could be masked when they learn social skills.” 

Lai describes this as the ability to learn neurotypical social behaviors such as eye contact, gestures, holding conversations, and the utilization of social scripts. These neurotypical behaviors represent those who are not on the autism spectrum, in contrast to the neurodiverse behaviors which refer to differently wired brains and cognitive styles attributed to those on the autism spectrum. 

In the foreword for Safety Skills for Asperger Women by Liane Holliday Willey, Tony Atwood describes this “Camouflaging” phenomenon, reporting that young girls mask the symptoms of autism by socializing and interacting with their peers, causing a delay in diagnosis.  

Lai notes that another possible reason for the misdiagnosis is that women and girls tend to have restricted and repetitive behaviors that are less likely to be recognized:

The issue is that some of these narrow interests of autism in males, if you only look at the content, are more traditionally male-typical such as trains, dinosaurs, trucks, and they are most easily recognized by clinicians because of our own stereotypes of autism. For girls, their restricted and repetitive behaviours might not be captured by standardized instruments as they are deemed as less noticeable.”

Recent research has touched on the idea of bias in the way autism is diagnosed. One study showed that girls are more likely to be diagnosed if they had additional intellectual disabilities or behavioral issues. However, without these, many women are receiving incorrect diagnoses or none at all. Hannah agrees: “Sometimes you might feel like you don’t fit in anywhere, everything everyone thinks about autism is male-biased. However, as slow and painful as the journey is, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It takes us a little bit longer to get to it, but it is worth the journey.”

In a study looking at sex differences between children with autism, researchers recommend new strategies for improving autism recognition in females. In fact, Australia is the first country to form new national guidelines to help increase early diagnosis of women with autism. Considerations of social camouflaging, anxiety, sensory overload, and depression are being included in these new guidelines.  

If these guidelines are implemented, it will be possible to decrease the number of misdiagnoses in women and girls who have autism, leading to less frustration for these women and more time to learn how to manage their diagnosis.

I talked about some of the Reference: Characteristic Traits in Females with Aspergers Syndrome which you can click here to find out more:

Receiving an Autism Spectrum diagnosis later in life can be helpful for many reasons, but particularly because it can provide people with better access to services and support.

I shared briefly about diagnosis in females that has autism on my channel which you can check the link here to view more about this: Reference: Female Aspies Young and Old on the Spectrum

Eneida Capaldi answered me the following questions to her thesis paper and they were as follows along with some of my answers in response to it which you can read and also listen to soon on my channel.


***
Reference: To find out more on this collab, you can find me answering more to the questions of what she asked me during the collab on my channel here is the link to it:

QUESTIONS

  1. How do you describe/define a romantic relationship? What does it involve?
    My definition of a romantic relationship is especially for autistic females coming from myself as an Autistic female adult would involve like similar workings as for Neurotypicals that they would have an emotional and spiritual connection between them (Male and Female) or whatever their gender type is. Platonic love from my understanding starts out as being friends and then it grows more into another level of the relationship. Most friendships begin as either personal or professional. In the latter type of relationship, the connection is intellectual and revolves around a common work interest. Loving others means understanding them in a special way, and as author Judith Blackstone (2002) says, “The ability to love goes beyond having an emotional response to or understanding another person. It requires a capacity for contact, and this contact does not necessarily have to be physical. It can include how you speak to them, the emotions you display to them, and the awareness you have about them. It’s about being in tune with another person.”
  2. How is it different to other types of relationships?

As we are aware that there are many different types and stages in a personal relationship that we go through in our everyday life. They may vary from person to person yte it works the same as you continue to grow a relationship of any kind. Yet, these are just a few based from Terry Hatkoff, a California State University sociologist, has created a love scale that identifies six distinct types of love found in our closest relationships. 

  • Romantic: Based on passion and sexual attraction 
  • Best Friends: Fondness and deep affection 
  • Logical: Practical feelings based on shared values, financial goals, religion etc.  
  • Playful: Feelings evoked by flirtation or feeling challenged
  • Possessive: Jealousy and obsession 
  • Unselfish: Nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice

Researchers have found that the love we feel in our most committed relationships is typically a combination of two or three different forms of love. But often, two people in the same relationship can have very different versions of how they define love. 

3. What should healthy romantic relationships be like from your perceptive?

A healthy romantic relationship always starts the very beginning of any relationship and that is built on friendship, trust and honesty. Along with that you will have commitment and communication, being able to accept one another’s differences in their ways of who they are and what they are as well as accepting the faults, flaws and imperfections. Being willing to stand by them through the good and the bad times.

Characteristics of a healthy relationship:

While in a healthy relationship you:

  • Take care of yourself and have good self-esteem independent of your relationship.
  • Maintain and respect each other’s individuality
  • Maintain relationships with friends and family
  • Have activities apart from one another
  • Are able to express yourselves to one another without fear of consequences
  • Are able to feel secure and comfortable
  • Allow and encourage other relationships
  • Take interest in one another’s activities
  • Do not worry about violence in the relationship
  • Trust each other and be honest with each other
  • Have the option of privacy
  • Have respect for sexual boundaries
  • Are honest about sexual activity if it is a sexual relationship
  • Accept influence. Relationships are give and take; allowing your partner to influence you is important; this can be especially difficult for some men.
  • Resolve conflict fairly: Fighting is part of even healthy relationships, the difference is how the conflict is handled. Fighting fairly is an important skill you help you have healthier relationships.
    (Reference: Conflict Management/8 Steps to prevent anger with someone who has Aspergers – Link to video:


4. What is an unhealthy romantic relationship from your perspective? What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship?

At times all relationships will have some of the characteristics listed below. However, unhealthy relationships will exhibit these characteristics more frequently and cause you stress and pressure that is hard to avoid. This tension is unhealthy for both members of the relationship and may lead to problems in other areas of your life.

While in an unhealthy relationship you:

  • Put one person before the other by neglecting yourself or your partner
  • Feel pressure to change who you are for the other person
  • Feel worried when you disagree with the other person
  • Feel pressure to quit activities you usually/used to enjoy
  • Pressure the other person into agreeing with you or changing to suit you better
  • Notice one of you has to justify your actions (e.g., where you go, who you see)
  • Notice one partner feels obligated to have sex or has been forced
  • Have a lack of privacy, and may be forced to share everything with the other person
  • You or your partner refuse to use safer sex methods
  • Notice arguments are not settled fairly
  • Experience yelling or physical violence during an argument
  • Attempt to control or manipulate each other
  • Notice your partner attempts to controls how you dress and criticizes your behaviours
  • Do not make time to spend with one another
  • Have no common friends, or have a lack of respect for each other’s friends and family
  • Notice an unequal control of resources (e.g., food, money, home, car, etc.)
  • Experience a lack of fairness and equality

If some of your relationships have some of these characteristics it does not necessarily mean the end of that relationship. By recognizing how these characteristics affect you, you can begin to work on improving the negative aspect of your relationships to benefit both of you.

  • What diagnosis do you identify with it? Can you tell me a bit about how you realised?

I shared about my diagnosis with Aspergers Syndrome on my channel which you can find me on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWKw1HpNsu_EyAhhEJrayyw?view_as=subscriber

AS Denied AS Diagnosis – My Story

Life of an Aspie/Part 6.1 My Life Story with Aspergers Syndrome

To be short and brief about how it all came about for me in the way of my diagnosis. When I was younger about sometime before I hit my early pre-teens that my parents found that something about me was different. I used to struggle in school and also when I was in kindergarten. I used to go through speech therapy when I was in primary years to play catch up as well as also during my primary or intermediate years of schooling my parents decided to take me to also see a person that specialises with children with Special Needs especially with specific learning disabilities which is known as SPELLD NZ. When I was in my intermediate years of schooling while I was being tested that I was diagnosed or misdiagnosed as having ADD/ADHD and then in my early teenage years or about to be diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome to confirm this at the time when I was 16 years of age.

Most of my topics I have shared so far on my channel is now also in a book that was written in 2016. Here is a playlist of my Animation/Audiobook of “Life of An Aspie”. This is also available online where you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Aspie-Everyday-Aspergers-Syndrome-ebook/dp/B01D6NM4HO

  • Please describe the romantic relationships that you are or have experienced.
  1. How did the relationship begin?
  2. How would you describe the relationship?
  3. If ended: could you tell me about the ending of the relationship
  4. If still together: could you tell me about what’s helped you to stay together?
  5. What works/worked well?
  6. What are/were the challenges?
  7. How have your romantic relationship experiences affected/changed you?
  •   Autism and romantic relationships (based on your own experiences)
  1. How does being an autistic effects (if it does affect) your romantic relationships?
  2. Has it positively affected your experiences of romantic relationships in any way and why?
  3. Has it negatively affected your experiences of romantic relationships in any way and why?
  • What context or situations have influenced or affected your experiences of romantic relationships?
  1. Have sensory differences (if any) been significant?
  2. Have social skills differences (if any) been significant?
  3. Has verbal and non-verbal communication (if any) been significant?
  4. Were/are there any barriers/difficulties in the romantic relationship?
  5. What would help you to achieve the romantic relationship that you want?
  • You and your partner
  1. How do you think your romantic partner(s) see you?
  2. How do you see your partner?
  3. What qualities would you look for in a partner? Has this changed and why?
  4. What kind of romantic relationships would you like to have? Has this changed and why?
  5. What are your hopes or expectations for the future, in terms of romantic relationships?Is there anything else that you want to share or explore further in terms of romantic relationships?

Organisations and books might be a source of further support and/or information:

Organisations providing information about autism and Asperger’s Syndrome:

·         The National Autistic Society:  www.autism.org.uk

·         Ambitious about autism:  www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk

Websites and articles:

·         http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/

·         https://www.asperclick.com/

·         http://wrongplanet.net/

·         Asperger’s Syndrome and their neuro-typical loved ones’ based in Richmond, UK:  http://thegirlwiththecurlyhair.co.uk

Organisations providing support for domestic violence and abuse:

·         http://www.refuge.org.uk

·         http://www.womensaid.org.uk

Books written by/for women on the spectrum:

·         Asperger’s Syndrome, A Love Story. By Sarah Hendrickx

·         Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder. By Sarah Hendrickx

·         Love, Sex and Long-Term Relationships: What people with Asperger’s Syndrome really want. By Sarah Hendrickx

·         Asperger’s in Love. By Maxine Aston

·         Ultraviolet Voices: Stories of women on the Autism Spectrum. Edited by Elizabeth Hurley

·         The girl with the Curly hair. By Alis Rowe

·         22 Things a Woman with Asperger’s Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know. By Rudy Simone

·         Aspergirls: empowering females with Asperger Syndrome. By Rudy Simone
·         Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum. By Jennifer Cook O’Toole 
·         The Asperkids’ (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens and Tweens. By Jennifer Cook O’Toole  

Books written by or for professionals or parents:

·         The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. By Tony Attwood

·         Asperger’s and Girls. By Tony Attwood and Temple Grandin.

·         Girls Growing up on the Spectrum: What parents and professionals should know about the pre-teen and teenage years. By Shana Nichols, Gina Marie Moravcik and Samara Pulver Tetenbaum.



Coping With Depression After a Break Up

This will share you guys advice on how to cope with your breakup with depression. Enjoy~

Break-ups can be devastating. Break-ups can also cause so many mixed feelings and emotions as well as for many of us some or so many unanswered questions
to why we break-up in the first place.

We shouldn’t have to always always dwell on it as sometimes yes break-ups for many of us will take time to get over that particular someone. It’s a rough transition from sharing every part of your life with someone that you loved and cared about, to picking up the phone and suddenly remembering that it’s a bad idea to call them.


In some cases, people can slip into depression: a mood disorder that can feel so heavy and difficult that no one else can possibly understand what you are going through.

Caring for yourself, and deciding how to move forward, can be a serious challenge for many of us.
Here with this video comprehension guide today, I will be giving you four methods on how to deal with depression after a break-up. They are as follows: Method 1: Handling Depression, Method 2: Handling your feelings, Method 3: Caring for yourself and Method 4: Avoiding Isolation.

So, as I said before basically break ups can be really hard for many of us. It can be devastating for many of us. We tend to question to ourselves over and over again as I said why is this happening? Could I have done better? Was I the problem etc etc. Right? But in saying this though, we need to know that we’re not at fault sometimes as break ups happen in our lives regardless how old we are or even young we are if we’re trialling out the dating life. So, here is the methods now that I am going to share
with you all. So, the very first one of method 1 as I’ve mentioned is

Method 1 : Handling Your Depression

  1. Know the difference between sadness and depression.

Sadness and depression are two different emotions with different symptoms. It’s okay to not be okay once in a while.
We all will go through a break-up sometime in our lives as I said. After a breakup, it’s normal to cry, lose sleep, get angry, and temporarily lose interest in regular activities. This is part of the healing process for us. But you might have a more serious problem if you’re experiencing things like:


*Serious changes in eating or sleeping habits
*Fatigue
*Often feeling worthless, empty, or hopeless
*Unbearable, relentless emotional pain
*Irritability
*Difficulty focusing or making the right decisions
*Failure to clean your living space and manage basic hygiene
(Thinking about death, or even hurting yourself)

  1. Log your symptoms or journalling your symptoms.

As I shared before that it is always a good idea to write down our feelings, emotions, symptoms so that we can keep ourselves on track. So, basically I said about this in one of the videos that I shared earlier in the piece about handling your loneliness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPx-BEzDJzg.


When we do see something out of the ordinary of our everyday lives, we should be able to seek help no matter who it is from. Be it from our medical expert team.Be it through our friends or family or whoever.

Never be ashamed to ask for help when you need it as this is the first step to acknowledging in ourselves that there’s a problem.

It’s okay to ask for help as that is the first step for our recovery process for any recovery process. Be it our break up. Be it addictions. Whatever it may be. And this is the first step also in recognising that something is wrong with us or just something wrong in general.
If you suspect that you may have depression however, or that something else might be wrong, then try as I said keeping a journal to note down what it is that you’re going through.


If in doubt, write it on paper, or on your computer wherever it may be, for you to keep track of what you’re going through. It can be helpful to review later, and you can bring it to the doctor if you decide to get an evaluation as well as just some help.

My advice here is: Try writing down basic feelings, like “I felt hopeless all morning” or “I tried to have fun but was mostly listless and tired.” You don’t have to be very detailed if it’s too upsetting though, just to bear in mind also.
Try writing down what you did in that time period, like “I watched movies all evening and cried a lot” or “I stayed in bed for 3 hours in the morning because I had no
energy left in me.”

3 . Know the time frame and urgency level that typically constitutes a problem.

Experts usually recommend waiting around 2 weeks to a month to see if things get better for us.
You also have a problem if your sadness is preventing you from doing basic living tasks that you take for granted (like working or caring for your kids). You should see a doctor if:
You haven’t improved at all within 2-3 weeks period.
You can’t work or take care of yourself or your family. You think that you might hurt yourself.

4. Talk to a doctor about treatment options.

Your doctor may recommend therapy and/or medication to correct chemical imbalances in the brain.
The brain can get sick just like other body parts can. There’s nothing “wrong” with you to remind yourself if you have depression, or if you take medication to help fix it.
Not just fix it but to keep it in balance realm and don’t basically be afraid to take it.
Do try and trust the medical team either via through your consellor and or doctors etc as they’re there to help as no shame again to ask for help.

  1. Contact a crisis line if you’re in immediate danger.

If you think that you might be in danger or about to harm yourself, don’t just sit there. Grab your phone, and find a line to text or call them.
If you feel more comfortable in talking to a trained counselor or texting a crisis text line wherever you will be.

WHERE TO GET HELP: If you are worried about you or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider here in NZ.
However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
Or if you need to talk to someone else here are some NZ organizations that may help:

• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757

Otherwise, if you live in a different country there are some International Organisations/Services that can help:

IF YOU LIVE IN ENGLAND: NHS 111: Telephone 111 (open 24 hours)

Samaritans: Telephone 116123 (open 24 hours)

IF YOU LIVE IN WALES: NHS Direct Wales: Telephone 0845 46 47 (open 24 hours)

Samaritans Wales: Telephone 116 123 (0808 164 0123 Cymraeg) (open 24 hours)

IF YOU LIVE IN SCOTLAND: NHS 24: Telephone 111 (open 24 hours)

Breathing Space: Telephone 0800 83 85 87

If you live in Northern Ireland: Samaritans: Telephone 116 123 (open 24 hours)

Lifeline: 0808 808 8000 (open 24 hours)

MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA SERVICES

Do you need to talk to someone? If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.

You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.
Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.

MENTAL HEALTH AUSTRALIAN SERVICES

beyondblue aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Blueheadspace provides mental health and wellbeing support, information and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their families. Call 1800 650 890.

Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free 24/7 confidential and private counseling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25. Call 1800 55 1800.

Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counseling, support groups, and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.

The MindSpot Clinic is a free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression.
They provide online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression. The MindSpot Clinic does not provide an emergency or instant response service.
Call 1800 61 44 34 AEST, 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-6pm (Sat).

SANE Australia provides support, training, and education enabling those with a mental illness to lead a better life.
Call 1800 18 7263, 9am-5pm AEST (Mon-Fri).

Suicide Call Back Service provides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal.
Call 1300 659 467.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) provides 24/7 free and confidential,
nationwide counseling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, and anger. Call 1800 011 046.

Method 2: Handling Your Feelings

  1. Recognize that processing your feelings will take time.

Especially if the relationship has been long-term, this will be a difficult and probably a
long process for you. Expect that, and give yourself as much time as you need to get over the breakup.
Some people believe that the recovery from a breakup takes about half the time that the relationship lasted. For example, if your relationship lasted 6 months,
then you may need 3 months to fully recover. Keep in mind that everyone is different in this process, so you may take a little longer or shorter than this.
Because this is just a given guideline.

2. Give yourself space and time to feel your difficult feelings.

It’s normal for people to feel anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and all kinds of emotions after a bad breakup. Some of them may not be related to your ex at all. That’s okay. Let yourself cry and be upset. It’s okay to mourn the lost relationship.
Try labeling your feelings if they’re overwhelming you. Are you feeling insecure? Worried about the future? Are you lost? etc etc.

  1. Put away any reminders of your old relationship.

Take everything that reminds you of your ex (pictures, letters, keepsakes etc etc) and put it all in a box.
Then put the box out of sight and out of mind, like say in a closet corner or under your bed. Leave it there. You can sort it all out later, after you’ve gotten over the breakup.
Don’t throw it all away. You may regret that later.
If you think you might be tempted to revisit the box too soon, try putting a notice on it, like “do not open until a certain month like April or whatever.”

4 . Find a good outlet.

Coping with strong emotions can be hard. It helps to find a good way to let them out. Experiment with different ways to express yourself, as long as they’re healthy and safe. Here are some ideas I suggest to you all:

  • Exercise
  • Express yourself using the arts: painting, making music, drawing, writing, etc.
  • Cry
  • Imagine yourself dramatically telling your story on a talk show
  • Write in a journal
  • Rip or cut up paper from the recycling bin
  • Scream into a pillow and hit the bed
  • Smash ice cubes in the bath tub.

Do whatever you can and want to get it out of your system after your break-up of your emotions but yet again as I say this- do it safely.

  1. Engage in your hobbies, and try exploring new ones too.

It helps to find new ways to be productive and creative. Also in saying this like that it’s okay to do similar hobbies that you’ve done in the past as well as maybe as I said before exploring some new ones if we haven’t done them of what we wanted to do when we were younger, but you couldn’t. Try doing it now! It’s never too late!

6. Ask yourself what you need right now.If you notice yourself having a rough time, stop. Ask yourself “What would help me feel better at this given moment?”

Think about what you could do right now that would make this difficult situation a little easier. Perhaps things could be improved a bit by something like…

  • Calling a friend
  • Taking a warm shower
  • Playing with your pet
  • Drinking hot chocolate
  • Getting a hug from someone else
  • Doing something else that feels right at the moment

7. Work towards moving on.

Remember you can’t dwell on what happened in the past of your ex and that you need to be determined to move on and focus on you and yourself because it is always
important to put us first in the bigger picture possible because basically it’s important in this point of time of a break up obviously it’s healthy of us to just sit down, re-evaluate things and actually focus on ourselves on our mental health, spiritual health and whatever else it may be. It’s also important in this process also so that you’re ready to conquer anything that may arise now and in the future also.
Eventually, you’ll need to accept that the relationship ended, and be able to plan for a future that doesn’t include your ex.

This is your goal. Keep it in the back of your mind. You don’t have to be there yet, and it may take a while. It’s helpful to remember which way you want to be heading.

  1. Remember that recovery isn’t linear.

Setbacks does happen, however but that doesn’t make them permanent. You may get better a while, and then suddenly feel a little worse.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t recover. You may bounce back from the setback in a day or week or two or more depending on how strung out you are.

Method 3: Caring for Yourself

1.Try to keep a regular schedule as best as you can.

It’s going to be hard at first as we know as we go through a break up, but you may have to force yourself to eat regular meals and sleep regularly. This too will take time, so be patient with yourself.
You may need to function at a sub-optimal level for some time. This is okay also.

  1. Find sneaky ways to be a little healthier.

When you have depression, it can be hard to put effort into your health. Something is better than nothing. Find little ways you can look after yourself, and then be proud of yourself.
If food prep is hard, try eating a healthy no-prep snack, like an apple or string cheese. You can even keep a non-perishable snack (like a jar of nuts) at your desk.
Do mini exercises, like leg lifts while watching TV, or lifting a five-pound weight while lying in bed.

3 Work on basic hygiene.

Depression can make ordinary tasks (like brushing your teeth or showering) monumentally difficult. They are, however, very important for your health.
Neglecting them for too long can make you sick, or cause health problems later on.

Try to brush your teeth at least once a day. Even a cursory brush, without toothpaste, is better than nothing. You can also scrape your teeth with a washcloth to help
remove buildup.


Try to shower at least once a day or once every other day. Use baby wipes to wipe areas that tend to get sweaty, like your armpits and the zone under your bra. Apply deodorant.
If you’re too tired to get dressed, at least change your pajamas and your underwear every day. You can also put on an old t-shirt and sweatpants if you’re feeling well enough.

4. Stay away from unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Sometimes, when people are suffering from depression, they are tempted to abuse alcohol, use drugs, or binge eat and the latter.
This can harm your body, and make you feel even worse.
Look for other options if you can do so. Also, make sure that you’re not in the wrong company.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you with self care and other basic tasks.

Depression can make it hard to initiate tasks, and stay focused on them. Sometimes, having another person there with you can help a lot.
You can ask for help with some hygiene and cleaning tasks that you’re struggling to manage. Here are some examples of things you could say:
“I’m exhausted, and having a hard time cleaning my house. Would you please come over and help me? I’ve got root beer and vanilla ice cream,
so I could pay you with a root beer float afterwards.”
“I know that I’ve been a mess lately, and that I’ve been forgetting to shower. I’m sure you don’t want a smelly roommate. Would you give me a push if I’m turning stinky?”
“This breakup really has me devastated, and I’m struggling to stay on top of chores. Would you be willing to be my laundry buddy, and do laundry with me?”
“Dad, I’ve been too tired to cook for myself lately. Is there any chance I could come over for a healthy dinner sometime?” Or even if it’s your mum.

Method 4: Avoiding Isolation

1. Reach out to your loved ones.

Spend lots of time with your friends and family during this time. They will be your support system as you deal with the aftermath of the break-up.
Did you see some of these people much during the relationship? If the relationship was intense and long-term, chances are you haven’t seen some of your friends or
maybe even family for months. Take time to spend quality time with them and do something fun.
Tell your loved ones what you’re going through. It’s okay to say “I had a rough breakup and I could possibly really use a friend right now.”

2 .Make socializing part of your daily schedule, if possible.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of self-isolation during a depressive episode.
It’s crucial that you keep reaching out to people, so that you don’t start spending days or weeks on your own.
Try to spend at least half an hour every day on quality time with your loved ones. But as I said before that it’s okay to be lonely for a particular
time period for some of us depending on the given situation.

3. Say your feelings out loud.

Being honest about your feelings helps people know how to respond to you. Don’t rely on subtext or hints to let people know how you feel.
Say what emotion you’re feeling, and go from there. Examples:
“I’m feeling tired today.”
“Right now, I just want to do something easy, like watching a movie together.”
“I’m exhausted. Could we talk in the morning?”
“I’m feeling better today. I think it would be fun to go out. Are you in the mood for that?”
“I feel kinda nervous and shaky.”
“I don’t have the energy to go out. Does staying in and hanging out sound OK to you?”

4. Tell people how they can help you, especially if they are confused about what you’re feeling.

Most people want to help you, but they may not necessarily know how. And, there is a right way and wrong way in helping others of whatever it may be.
I’ve done a video on how tos of handling people with depression and the like which I will in the playlist above me and below me so that you can find it of what not to do and say
to people that are depressed, etc etc.
They may misjudge what it is that you need.
The best thing you can do is tell them how to help you.
Here are some examples to share with them:
“I could really use a distraction today. Wanna go do something fun?”
“I just need someone to listen and be there for me right now.”
“I’m not ready to meet cute guys or girls yet. I’m still not over him or her, and I need time to process.
I’ll let you know when I want you to point out some hotties for me.”
“I need a hug right now.”
“I’m tempted to text her. Can you hang out with me, and help me not do this?”
“I’m feeling lonely, and I could use some company. Anything from taking a walk or talking to watching TV together would be really nice.”

5. Find some trusted people to confide in.

Trust is really important when we do seek help either through friends or family or someone else that are willing to help us. Trust can be broken in an instant. Trust is one
important foundation in building up a relationship or a friendship however as we know. We need to know that we’re not alone when we do face our struggles and situations.
Facing difficult emotions is hard, and it’s even harder when you do it alone. Look for a good listener, and ask them if it’s a good time to talk about things.
Letting it all out can help a lot.

Emotional Baggage: Can it affect our new relationship?

Emotional Baggage: Can it affect our new relationship?

While I have been away it has come to my attention while in my quiet time to think and meditate, I have been thinking about this alot. I know that this will affect people differently or even other people will have different views and understandings on this. But from what I have learnt so far after being in so many relationships in the past is this:  This answer will vary from person to person, yet I will say also everyone once in awhile will struggle with this based on our feelings and emotions that were in the way towards/to the person that we are trying to be with.We need to understand our feelings/emotions and that we also need to learn from them. They are there for a reason some of the feelings/emotions we feel. Sometimes, we need to confront them and also we need to be real. The question is that we need to ask ourselves is how do we deal with the “emotional baggage’? AND what the behaviour is when dealing with “emotional baggage.”

 

But in saying/writing this,  it also might be that I have finally reached a place in my life where I have matured, learnt and experienced more to where I can now be  feel thankful, blessed and grateful for all the circumstances in my past (as challenging as it may have been at times) and allow them to be situations that have helped, guided me in making better choices as I decide to move forward as best as I can for myself and no one else but ME. And in return, I can have that same awareness and point of view when it comes to someone I am dating. Sure, I still have some “red flags” now and again (who doesn’t right?)  that I do my best to avoid in relationships — things that would not work for me in the long term, etc. — but for the most part there isn’t a whole lot I am unwilling to work through with someone if I feel like it’s “worth it.”
What I can say/write here truthfully, that  we will  never really have any idea what is going on for the other person when we get into a new relationship. Because we are just starting out and that there must have been some form of spark or connection we made with that particular someone in our life that has come in.  In the beginning, things are usually at an all-time high- high like some form of ecstasy feel and no one is really thinking about anything other than love, lust, and that new sex position that had obviously never been discovered before. But as relationships do grow, progress forward and with the  intimacy we feel begins to deepen and things do start to “get real,” our issues that may not have been dealt with may or eventually will tend to surface and we can either avoid what’s going on (and have it come out later, somehow) like we abort it altogether(as the sirens starts to ring and shrill at us) – figuratively speaking;  or we can deal with it, work through it, and see what kind of positivity the outcome brings. And most of us already know what our issues are and can point them out, name them, and even pinpoint when and why they get triggered. I think today with  a lot of people that go into relationships looking to the other person to “fix” their feelings or issues. For example, in a relationship between a man and a woman, a woman might feel insecure about her body. She may ask the man to remind her over and over that she is beautiful and skinny, though even after he tells her over and over, she still does not fully believe him. In this situation, the woman is looking to the man for validation about something that can only actually come from her. Sure, it feels good to hear nice things about our bodies (or other parts), but the issues really begin when partners look to each other to  try and “fix” things. A lot of the time, people in relationships will eventually come to a place where they don’t actually want to do the personal work on themselves anymore and instead want to focus on the relationship. But this gets old so fast and that it can lead to all sorts of resentments and unhealthy dynamics that can be otherwise avoided.

 

In my personal opinion, the key to handling emotional baggage is to be aware of it, know it, own it, and handle it. I do think that open communication is helpful and necessary in any and all relationships (especially romantic relationships), but I also don’t agree that sharing every tiny detail of feelings is necessary either. Personally, I know what my baggage is. In a new relationship, it will inevitably come up but my first rule of thumb is to see how much I can handle on my own. I ask myself three questions: 1. Is this a new or old issue? 2. What is actually happening in this moment? 3. What can I do to take care of myself? If I can get to the bottom of what’s really going on (example: a jealousy issue, a trust issue, etc.) then when I do to my partner, I’m not a jumbled mess of emotions. My preference is always to handle what I can on my own, take care of myself, and then come forward to share with my partner. There’s a time and place to be emotional, and as a woman I can certainly be emotional, but handling myself with integrity is important to me in any situation. On the other side of that, it’s my hope that my partner has similar views and is aware of his own issues just as much as I’m aware of mine. Not everyone works things out in the same way, and there’s always room for compromise and understanding, but it’s much easier to have an honest, communicative and productive conversation.
The thing is, this “baggage” that we all think drives relationships apart can actually be the everlasting force to hold them together. There isn’t really anything that’s more emotionally intimate than sharing from my heart and saying what I am feeling, without asking someone to fix or change anything. It’s not my partner’s job to “make” me feel better — or less insecure or less critical of myself, or less jealous, if that’s how I’m feeling. That is all down to me. I am the one that can only do this for myself and be in control of it all. We are all human and need the time and space to experience our own feelings and emotions, and when we feel the time is right we can share them in a way that works for us. We all do have a past. We all do have a skeleton in our closet somewhere. We’ve all been hurt in one way or another and we’re all scared on some level — that’s human nature. But we  all have a choice as to how we let them impact our decisions when it comes to moving forward with someone else. Sure, we could drag our “baggage” around with us or we could realize that what’s in the past can stay there and we are free to move on  forward taking only what we really need and want. At the very least, it might result in a very different relationship and in all honesty, why not we all take the risk? Old relationships ended for a reason and you never know how special or amazing the next will be.