Run To the Hills

Those of you who have followed me for some time will know that whenever a Time to Talk Day comes up, I’m all over the concept. That’s going to be particularly apposite this coming February, when the next event is scheduled: by then I hope to have begun my training as a Champion. The first meeting to begin that journey happened last Saturday, in my county’s main town. Needless to say, it’s changed quite a bit since I was there last.

I almost didn’t make it there at all.

Driving was fine, parking no problem. At the venue, there was an unexpected attack of nerves: walking into the meeting room, where one other person was already, made me feel unwell… and then I was in the bathroom, managing a potential panic attack. The reason for this, of course, was easily rationalised. Unfamiliar surroundings, people I didn’t know. I should have visited the venue earlier in the week to calm my fears.

Having come all that way, in the rain and wind… it would be foolish to just turn around and go home again. So, I walked back into the room… and now I’m so very glad I did. This is the first step of a journey that should have been started a long time ago: finally there’s confidence to stand with a group of people whose commitment and care is abundantly apparent. I can’t wait for formal training to start in January.

It also gives me an opportunity to consider what it is I’ll do for Time to Talk day 2020. I’ll want to do it online, of course, because that’s the place where I feel I can do the most good in terms of supporting people whilst assisting the process of obtaining the help and advice they’re looking for. I feel both poetry and imagery have a part to play in this… so I wonder, what can I do to pull myself out of comfort zones in the process?

There are some ideas in my planner. Watch this space for more details.

The Grand Tour

This has taken all day to write. It should be obvious shortly as to why.


This is by some way one of my favourite GIF images, for several reasons. Uppermost is the sense of calm and contentment I gain from watching doughnuts get coated. This is the kind of mental relaxation that, after a hard day having to cope with being on the same wavelength as the rest of the world, is sorely needed. It’s not just eye stimulation that’s required either…

This piece of music has an amazing, regenerative effect on my brain, in much the same way as the doughnuts, but is far more subtle. There are points in the music where it is almost as if parts of disparate subconscious come back together, fusing into a stronger and more capable version of myself. It could almost be considered a version of ASMR were it obviously not something far more significant.

In preparation for going into autism assessment, there’s a lot of thought being given to what makes me calm and relaxed, countered with the things that can (and inevitably do) trigger a sensory overload. That means looking at triggers, which has not been an entirely pleasant experience to sit down and recount. There’s a list now, the things that will undoubtedly push me over the edge. If you want to know what that feels like in my brain, this is a pretty accurate visual representation.

As to the triggers themselves, mine are a fairly complex bunch, and no I’m not going to share them. However, there are lots of notes, far more than ever existed before. Sitting down and admitting to yourself that something can cause you mental anguish is not an easy admission. This blog post was significantly delayed because of that very epiphany, realisation there’s more to be gained from not sharing everything.

Needless to say, this is significant progress, and is allowing an expansion of my consciousness into situations that were previously inaccessible. However the biggest single change is in writing: being able to accurately convey the issues, using language that makes it easier for other people not only to interact but react to my issues… this is an amazing place.

This truly feels like a step forward.

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