My Health Update for the Day: Weird EBV Symptoms, The Importance of Routine and Rituals for a Person With Autism

I woke up this morning feeling weird. First of all, right when I woke up I remembered that a few weeks ago we have a houseplant and that I forgot about it a few weeks ago. It is a miniature Christmas tree that is made from a pine that is common in tropical regions. I have a green thumb and was keeping it alive but for some strange reason just forgot about it.

The other thing that happened this morning is that I woke up in a cold sweat and was shivering. I’m still pretty cold now. It felt like I had broken a fever, but I didn’t actually have one.

My body does, though, have a tendency to show symptoms of a fever without actually having one when I am sick. I remember that this even happened when I got the flu this past October. I had all of the symptoms of a fever and the flu, but my doctor wouldn’t even acknowledge or test for the flu because I didn’t have a fever. Looking back, though, I can remember times that I had colds, flus, viruses, and EBV flares where I didn’t run a fever but I felt like I had one.

Because of this, I’m going to rest again today. In terms of the houseplant, I began wondering this morning how I just forgot about it. I started to think back as to what was going on in my life before I forgot about this plant. I realized that I was writing, reading self help books like Courage To Heal, and doing Yoga. I had developed pretty specific routines around regarding which books I read and when and Yoga. But, my counselor told me a few weeks ago that she thinks that reading self help books will re-traumatize me.

I feel like this counselor had some sort of impression that I was in the emergency or beginning stages of healing. I’m not sure how she got that impression. I’m guessing though that it is because I’m highly sensitive, have autism, and have sensory processing issues on top of PTSD. She talked a lot about how we need to work on things that help PTSD but the techniques that she was trying don’t have any impact on autism or ADHD and can make sensory processing issues worse. I feel like if I would have stayed with her we never would have made it out of the grounding phase because this counselor seemed to have very set beliefs about the order in which you do things in counseling. This tells me that she would not have been able to adapt her practices for a person like me.

As I reflect back on the last few weeks, I think that the meltdowns that I have been experiencing are due to the fact that my counselor basically interfered with my routines and rituals. Because rituals can be a very important way for someone with autism to feel stable and also lessens anxiety, it is really important that we stick to them if they are helping us to cope. When an autistic person’s rituals get tampered with or disrupted, he or she can become upset and destabilize. So as I look back and wonder how I fell apart so easily over the last few weeks, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that a big part of it is that I dropped routines and rituals that were working for me and stabilizing me by recommendation of a counselor.

So today I’m going to spend a little bit of time looking for a new counselor. The counselor that I’m currently seeing tried to blame our difficulties in counseling on DID, but I really think that the difficulties between me and this counselor were actually due to autism.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.

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