TW: ableism stuff, probably?
Why does it matter if I need a checklist to remind me if I have showered yet today? Or if I have eaten or exercised or brushed my teeth?
How does it matter to you, an almost-stranger, a casual-acquaintance?
Or even those family members?
Why does it matter?
I still shower fairly regularly. I presume frequently enough so I don't smell.
I brush my teeth before I leave because it is on my morning list. And I complete my morning list before I leave.
Having a list (Todoist!) means my morning routine CAN be interrupted and I can still get places at a reasonable time. Having a checklist means that I will still brush my teeth and take my meds even if my roommate is taking a shower when I wake up. I can make lunch instead, because it is on my morning list. And then when she is done, I can remember I haven't brushed my teeth yet. And then go do it.
I didn't need a check list before I went to college. I had a morning routine at home and there were enough bathrooms for the people awake in the morning (and I woke up and showered first anyway) that I got everything done in the same order.)
Wake up 30 seconds before the alarm goes off. My alarm is set to static on the lowest possible volume I can hear it from my bed. The alarm goes off at 6 am, turn off my alarm. Wake up my sister and then shower. Wash my hair one day and shave the next. Get dressed into uniform. I wake up sister again and make sure she is out of bed. It is now 6:07. Brush my teeth and feed the animals. Make lunch for school. Eat breakfast and read the whole newspaper cover to cover. Leave at 6:30am.
It was the same for 4 years, with only a few exceptions. The first 2 years, my sister was in elementary school so I didn't wake her up. One year, we had 6 sheep and 2 pigs and 2 goats and chickens and bunnies and a horse, so feeding took a lot longer and I woke up at 5:30 instead.
But I had a routine and it worked.
And now I have a list.
Today I lost my car in a mall parking lot. Parking lots can be really big. And there were multiple parking lots by Sears. Boyfriend and I probably spent a good half hour driving around looking for my car.
I don't have a list for parking my car.
I have NEVER remembered where I park. My friends know to remember for me.
(But that doesn't help when I drive places alone.)
There's also no reason to care about the fact that I have a giant PANIC flowchart taped to my closet door. It is not complete yet.
(This is largely because I can't think of a solution if I am not tired or hungry. I am sure there is a solution. And also I am sure sometimes I panic for other reasons. I just can't remember.)
People who live in the world, this flowchart makes your life better. Especially since you probably know me fairly well if you are looking at the inside of my closet door. But trust me. Having something that tells me what to do in a panic is a GOOD THING. You will like it. If you think it is silly, you probably have never had to find me sobbing in Walmart when I got lost there and my phone died and I couldn't come up with a solution to find my friends. Or really dealt with any situation where I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO CALM DOWN. Because I need directions. And now I have (some) directions.
So going back to why does it matter?
It doesn't matter.
And it really isn't an concern of yours how I manage to get my teeth brushed and eat. And if I mention something about them being on a checklist, which sometimes happens from time to time, since I tend to check things off right away, well, that is perfectly all right, too.
And you better be ok with it.
Or if you aren't, show it with subtle body language that I don't understand at least, and then I won't be offended or upset. But also, you are probably a jerk.
Thought you ought to know.
Labels: adventures in apartment living, asking for help, asperger's, autism, boyfriend, coping mechanism, meltdown, my family, organization, ramblings, rant, words