“…And it’s preying on my mind

…That there’s nothing left in my hands but time
Time don’t really care if I carry on.”

I have a few things on my mind so I figured it would be important to get it all out in the open.

Sometimes people send me an image pertaining to Autism with the best of intentions and yet the imagery is so widespread that the notion of it being offensive fails to cross the mind of the person sharing it. I do my best to write about these things in my blog but not everyone takes the time to read my articles. 

I was sent an image of hands in a handshake position that had one of the hands being disgustingly adorned by a rainbow of interlocking puzzle pieces with words like “awareness” placed over top of the neutral/skin-toned hand. 

Autism Daily Newscast

Immediately, a wave of frustration with a dash of anger washed over me. I thought I had made it very clear how I felt about these words and images used. I had even posted this image a day prior:

I had responded with a numbered list of how generally we (Autistics) don’t like skin to skin contact, that the puzzle piece is offensive and that we do not need awareness. I also linked an article titled “the ableist history of the puzzle piece”. The response I got surprised me. It was not taken well. I had to explain that Autistic people are generally fact based and that my attempt to educate had no malicious intention.

I can not sit idly by and not say anything- that just isn’t in my nature. 

On another note, I am in the process of updating my sales terms on Etsy in as many places as possible.

I am not sure how many people know about print on demand but it is a service that I utilize for the majority of my offerings.

Here’s how it works:

I upload my artwork to their website and I configure it on a number of products. The website creates a very realistic looking digital mock up of said item. I add the price, edit the description and list it on my Etsy store. The item will say “ships out of the United States” or sometimes China, depending on where it is manufactured. 

I would say that 95% of my customers live in the USA. It didn’t occur to me that “ships out of the United States” is not enough information in regards to duty. 

I purchase a lot of things from online American retailers and I also live near the British Columbia / Washington state border. Duty is something I always consider and take in to account. I have even been sent promotional items for review and had duty slapped on.

I will be adding “This item ships out of the USA. I am not responsible for duties, shipping and exchange rate incurred” on each listing. I have nearly gone through two out of five pages of listings so far. My laptop can’t handle it. 

I also need to express that some people have perhaps attempted to reach out to me through various channels and I am not always quick to respond. This is because I am still going through a lot of personal things and I am doing my best to prioritize. However, I am under a significant amount of stress and I am having a very difficult time viewing things accurately because of how clouded my thought process is. Anxiety is not easy to deal with.

I am doing my very best and trying to cope in a way that I am still able to be productive. I just need a bit of room to breathe. 

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Influential enough for you?

Consume Media or Create Media?

I have been seeing the term “micro influencer” used more frequently and I have come to realize it’s the perfect label.

Micro Influencers have a smaller reach and are focused on a specific topic, which perfectly explains what I do. I have been trying to build up my audience but it’s slow and steady, not as fast as I thought it would be.

I always have the hope that someone will reach out to me and offer me a great opportunity without me being the first to contact and in the last couple days I have received emails for 2 potential collaborations.I got frustrated about those messages. One was in regards to a business that is run by a Neurotypical person who used all the wrong language about Autistic People and it seems to be based on that whole inspiration porn format. The other one is a supplement that apparently helps adults and children “with Autism” and they want to get in front of my audience. Regardless of the efficacy, it’s not something i’m comfortable peddling. There’s no financial agreement I would make to sell you all something like this. With that being said, I am NOT seeing any monetary gain from my website.

I felt like I hit a dead end yesterday. I contacted one of the largest tech companies around and I had a great idea to pitch. I received an email back from the PR company representing them and was told they only deal with the press. That made me feel very defeated and frustrated. The first thought that popped in my head was “do I need certification to prove i’m press?”, I posed this question on my facebook and A fellow blogger said it’s all about building those connections and that specific press certification does not exist. I’m confused that none of my collaborations that i’ve successfully initiated are worthy of me being considered press. I attempt to find other ways to contact different companies and I end up reaching their customer service support and they don’t know where to direct me. If they do direct me somewhere, it’s a telephone number, which is not an accessible option (that’s a whole other problem) and I can’t form proper thoughts when i’m speaking on the phone. I’ve been called “honey” or “sweetie” in a condescending fashion before, i’ve called and been told they don’t know what to do with my questions or requests or I end up catching someone completely off guard and I get very confused. I still have a hard time with regulating the tone of my voice and having “normal” conversations.

I believe when given the chance, I can create pretty engaging content. I’m getting more comments on my YouTube channel each day and it really lifts my spirits.

I’m Neurodiverse, I’m AUTISTIC and I think differently. I just hope people take note that if someone wants to talk through email or text messages that it’s not an inferior form of communication. This is who I am. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about me, although i’m very used to it.

Whether I influence you or not, that’s okay. If you’ve interacted with me, thank you. If i’m feeling low–writing, creating art and connecting on social media are things that are vital to my wellbeing and personal expression. I hope you continue to join me on my unique journey.

My SSRI Story

SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Simply put: Antidepressants.

joshua-coleman-623113-unsplash.jpgJOSHUA COLEMAN

The last week or two of September were exceptionally cruel to me and even still the withdrawal symptoms linger. I have been strongly against taking these pills ever since I was a child. My childhood Psychologist would constantly mention these as an option to help curb my mood disorders and I was always hesitant and frustrated. I would put up a fight till my eyes were read and tears were streaming down my face.

This was not something I wanted to do. I did not want to partake in taking pharmaceuticals to help me. I didn’t even like taking Tylenol for any generalized pain.

I felt like being alive was bad enough;

I might as well suffer.

Fast forward to now and I still feel like a shell of myself. I’m always worried about the actions of other people and how they create a lasting impression on me. If someone says something rude, I dwell on it. I ask myself repeatedly why they did that and I start to feel unwell about it. I negatively obsess.

My activism, coupled with the horrible emails I receive from companies, corporations and wealth management companies make my mood worsen. I try to focus on the bigger picture and the hopes of creating a positive impact through my own pain and the pain and misunderstanding associated with my peers in the #actuallyautistic community.

I just can’t deal with anything very well.

I have tried three types of pills: Escitalopram (Cipralex/Lexapro), Sertraline (Zoloft) & Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) with absolutely no positive experiences.

The Cipralex left me feeling very hollow, very distracted and very much like I was just dragging myself to do anything – although, out of the three I tried, it worked the best.

The Zoloft didn’t seem to do much at all.

The Effexor XR just made me feel really unwell and my mood was worsened so, I decided to just stop without tapering off. The withdrawal effects were worse than what I expected. Sweats, vomiting, car sickness, the worst nausea I have felt in what seems like forever and a “shaky brain” feeling. There was also a strong need for a whole lot of sleep.

I went to another appointment to my Psychiatrist and it didn’t go particularly well.  He is incredibly dismissive and has me in and out of his office in 5 minutes or less.

He asks me questions completely unrelated to my suffering:

“How are your parents?”, he asked.

“Well, I don’t REALLY talk to my Dad… so.. yeah. My Mom is fine though.. but why didn’t you just increase my dose of Cipralex?”

“Oh, If it wasn’t working at that dose then it’s unlikely it will work at a higher dose.” He then followed that statement up with another unrelated comment.

The sense of defeat and the dark cloud over me seemed to take on more rain at that instant.  It’s apparent, This person, this professional, this DOCTOR who is supposed to help me just wants me out of his office as fast as possible. I like to call them “Fast Food Doctors” because you’re in and you are out very quickly so the Doctor can see more patients and make more money in a shorter amount of time.

My depression and anxiety make my already intense light sensitivity and poor balance much worse. I often feel like I’m going to faint or fall over and my heart starts beating a mile a minute.

What now?

Well, I can’t even work. How am I supposed to get anything done when I just am running out of viable options? I can’t afford to get any kind of mental health assistance where I can talk to a psychologist. That’s not in the cards for me.

 

 

Disclaimer: Please don’t take my article for professional advice. If these medications worked for you then I wholeheartedly commend you on your successful wellness journey. These are my own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect my readers mental health/wellness plan.

New JOB!

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Today I embark on a new (actually, continuation) of a journey I was once on. I was with an amazing company for 3 years. I helped set the store up and, sadly, I helped shut it down too.

Now that i’ve relocated to Vancouver, there’s another location. I was lucky enough to get hired and today is my very first day. I’m so happy to be able to utilize my art supply knowledge once again. I’m a bit rusty so i’ll definitely need to refresh and revive my memory. It’s incredibly nice to be able to ramble about different products and connect with customers on a creative level. It also helps to inspire me and keep my creative flow going. I also love the fact i’m going to meet new, local, likeminded people.

I’m finally focusing more on myself. I have to help my Mom clean out a car soon. I need to go to costco and return bottles. Life goes on. I still need to work more on my Retrophiliac & Co. bags…but all in due time, right?

-Margaux

Evolving, slowly.

I’ve been working on new patterns while we wait for our fabric tags for retrophiliac and co.

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I am very anxious and I have been really internalizing my stress. I’m trying not to, but my appetite is gone and my sleep patterns are all screwed up. I’m napping a lot and I haven’t gone outside as much as I should.

I’m going through a dramatic change. I have a job interview next week and I am crossing my fingers that I get it. It’s something i’ve done before and loved immensely. It’s also walking distance from where I am staying and right down the street from where my sister works.

Making friends or having a social life and getting involved in things that this city has to offer is something I would like to do a lot more of. I feel incredibly lucky to be back here, surrounded by family. I never felt like I spent enough time with them.

Please bear with me. I am growing as a person!

-Margaux

Am I an AUTISM Expert? No.

I remember watching a CBC Documentary “The Trouble With Experts” back in 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2651996758 

It essentially outlined how anybody can call themselves an expert. You didn’t need any kind of accreditation to utilize this title– You just COULD. Now, that got me thinking about self-proclaimed Autism Experts, yeah, you may know the ones. They are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and able to create a profit off of this. I’m certainly not talking about Amythest Schaber who I have the UTMOST respect for. (so please, don’t think that for a moment!) I’m talking about the ones who actually attend talks and tell people how to profit off of their different abilities and have acquired a mass amount of social media followers. I want to make one thing inherently clear: I AM NOT AN AUTISM EXPERT. I will begin to preface my videos by giving a little schpiel about this. My views, my opinions, yada-yada-yada. I’ve been asked for advice and I try to make sure they know that I, in no way, have any kind of training or expertise. I just live by experience. I want to share my story in the hopes that people relate with me but don’t go thinking I’m some kind of shrink. I do this blog because I love writing, taking photos, making videos and trying out things in my very own way.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. It’s more than OK to be a skeptic.

-Margaux

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2 NEW Videos!

CBC Docs POV Presents Love, Hope & Autism

Firstly, I want to say thanks to CBC for giving me the chance to view this incredible film before it even airs on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 9 PM.

Update: This has become my most popular post yet—but I have no idea where the traffic is coming from. Where did you find this post? Comment below and let me know, Thanks!

Love, Hope & Autism centres around fraternal twins Fraser and Hallee Fresco and their journey growing up. Their bond is beautiful. Fraser is Autistic and Hallee is not. The special connection Fraser has with his Cameraman Father is so unique and really amazing. I loved seeing all their adventures captured on screen. The fact that so much of it is footage captured by the Father during the twins childhood provides a fresh perspective like nothing i’ve seen before.

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I hope you have the chance to watch it and open the discussion of how diverse Autism really is and how it can bring some families together, much like it did for the Frescos. There is still a complete lack of funding and resources for adults on the spectrum and this film definitely brings it to light.

For more information, please check out:

@cbcdocs #CBCDocsPOV

 

 

” Autistic burnout is real guys and i’m feeling it real bad.”

I tweeted this out yesterday and I am still feeling the same way today.

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Explaining it to people is devastatingly hard. I commend the attempt at understanding but unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you never know. For me, the exhaustion kicks in, both mentally and physically. The light sensitivity happens and being able to see gets increasingly difficult. Trying to be social is virtually impossible and continues to drain energy that is barely left. I get goosebumps, I physically look ‘drained’. My attempt at tasks that require my fine motor skills becomes a course in ‘how many times can I fail?’

Autistic burnout isn’t a made up thing- I just wish it was easier to explain to people. It’s not an excuse and it’s not like I consciously (or unconsciously) decided to be perceived as lazy or unreliable. There’s such thing as ‘too much’ and I feel as though that’s where i’m at.

This happens to me, and i’ve documented it before:

 

New Videos!

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.