Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Forgetting the Basics About My Life
(The following Aspie issue that I struggle with can be related to a few things. For more information on these ideas, click on them: Theory of Mind, Executive Function Disorder, and perceptions of time.)
I forget the most basic things about my life on a daily basis.
I forget, if Marcy does not remind me regularly, that we, as a couple, are the foundation of each of our individual lives. This is not some co-dependent neediness. I truly get befuddled and cannot remember. It usually happens when we aren't getting enough time together, and for this brain "NOW = FOREVER," so that if we aren't getting enough time together, it must mean we are not really together.
Because again, whatever is going on RIGHT NOW, my brain thinks it will continue to go on ad infinitum.
This sounds, I'm sure, beyond weird to anyone reading this who does not have this different sort of memory.
I can remember the most esoteric little facts about my special interests, but I can't remember that Marcy and I are the foundation of things?
Another example: I forget that I love dance -- my life's driving purpose.
I get so caught up in the confusion of running from one teaching gig to another, writing blog posts, keeping track of all the little details of my "working" life, that I forget that everything I do comes from this intense passion for dance.
The very thing that is my Special Interest...I FORGET that it is my special interest.
Forgetting my foundation, forgetting my special interests...this all leads to confusion and confusion leads to anger.
I have thought about getting tattoos that remind me of basic things, but I would forget to look at them after a while. They would just become part of my visual landscape...and once that happens to something, I stop really seeing it.
So...how does one remember to remember what is important?
This issue has caused so much frustration in our lives, but I think I have developed a way to deal with it that has, within a few weeks, shown great promise.
Since I have started doing this for myself, my emotional life has been steadier. I am more relaxed in general.
I am using some basic technology to help this brain move through the day, remembering basic things.
I have scheduled pop-up reminders on my iCal.
Normally used to keep track of my schedule, I now use iCal to remind me of what I should remember.
I have a wide variety of reminders that are anywhere from one to three sentences. I have some that pop up every day and some that pop up a few times a week.
For example, at 7 PM every single day, (because I am sure to check this computer before my bedtime bath), I get reminded that "It is okay to just be happy."
For someone with my brain, the world and life in general can feel precarious, threatening, scary. Autistics tend to have persistent anxiety issues.
But when I see this pop-up on my screen, it never fails to make me take a deep breath. I feel my whole body relax just from reading those seven little words.
And every single day, it's like I am being reminded for the first time, and I inevitably say to the screen (out loud, of course), "Oh...right..."