Life on the Gluten free/Casein free diet, Weekend Worries (CHIEFS FOOTBALL IS BACK)

Thursday, September 7th

8:42 am

Since starting the diet on Tuesday, I’ve felt pretty good about myself. Working around donuts, sandwiches, and seemingly all the pastries in the world will not be easy today. Although the bakery across from our stand does have gluten free options, I don’t work for them, so I don’t get them at a discount. Anyhow, the first few hours will feel like torture. I like to nibble on our apple fritter bites in between customers and on my lunch break, so saying no will take considerable fortitude.

Honestly, though, I feel like once work is over, I’ll be okay. The benefit to not being big on eating out is that I won’t be constantly surrounded by foods I can’t eat. Also, I still kinda get my way because chicken is okay. Just not breaded chicken. Or chicken with a lot of sauce.

9:41

Damn it. Made it to work, and I’m reconsidering the ease of this. Gotta stare at donuts until four. Gotta smell sandwiches until four. Gotta watch people eat delicious, gluten laden food until four. Sigh. Hopefully I can make it till my lunch break, and I might grab…some…something.

2:38pm

Whoo. So far, so good. The first forty five minutes or so were utter torture, but after that the desire basically just dissapeared. At least until one my customers came up and started chatting about pretzel dogs. Anyhow, I’m starving. Just a few more hours to go, and I’ll be out of here.

4:27pm

Forget it. I gave in and got myself an eggplant wrap. (I went the whole day without eating one donut, though. So, progress?) It’s so delicious to eat, but I feel kinda bad giving in this early. My head started buzzing right before I left, so that might be what they call withdrawal. Anyhow, I’m going to enjoy this food during tonight’s game. After seven long months, I’m super excited to see my boys in action. Hopefully, unlike the last time I saw them play, we emerge victorious.

Friday, September 8th

8:22am

I didn’t even eat the wrap I got last night. I gained a slightly uncharacteristic urge of strength and decided to keep my streak strong. Working again today, but since we’re far busier on Friday than Thursday, I’ll have an added distraction.

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9:22am

THE CHIEFS WON. Beat the living —- out of the Patriots defense, putting up over five hundred yards, including two touchdown passes from Alex Smith of 75 and 78 (to rookie back Kareem Hunt and WR Tyreek Hill, respectively). Vegas had us as nine point underdogs, so it made perfect sense for us to beat the defending champs at their house 42-27. We got three fourth quarter sacks, two of which came on one drive courtesy Justin Houston. We had 14 penalties, so it wasn’t perfect. Eric Berry also might have torn his achilles (crying) so last night wasn’t all cheers. I feel bad for him, because he was playing so well. We’ve got ten days before our next game against Philly, so I’m praying the MRI comes back negative. People are laughing at me on Facebook because I posted “Patriots about to pull away, good game Chiefs” back in the second quarter, when we got down 17-7. Safe to say I didn’t even expect my boys to win.

2:11pm

Still going strong. It’s really, really hard to resist the urge, especially considering its staring me right in the face. Eating some wings on my lunch break.

4:34pm

Today did not provide the rush I anticipated asb distraction, but it didn’t matter. My head is throbbing, and everything hurts more than usual.

Saturday-Today, 5:15

Not eating bread and sugar has been made fairly easy thanks to my homebody personality. If it’s not in the house, there’s little chance I’m going to run across it. Eating pumpkin and flax seeds (recommended diet foods) has really cleared up my head, and my headaches even stopped. If you read my post last night, you’d know how closely linked stomach issues and autism are, and since going on my diet, my lower body feels better than ever! The aches and pains are starting to go away, and constipation is nonexistent. I’m also not as tired as usual, which I was having a problem with over the last couple months (I nearly overslept on my lunch break a couple times). I am craving pizza like hell, but there’s no gluten free pizza places nearby. Listening to “Jet Pack Blues” while I write this…..

 

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The Cure (?)For Autism, Part Two

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Speaking of the inside, that brings me to the point of this article. I titled this “The Cure For Autism” because I have it. I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about the affects of Aspergers on me, and how I go about modifying my life to balance both my internal needs and those of the people around me. People say that autism is incurable, because it’s not a disease or something of that ilk. However, I believe that there is something that can greatly reduce, if not eradicate, the effects of autism. It’s a four letter word we use everyday.

Food.

Complex? Far from it. See, when we talk autism we immediately think of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Especially when regarding aspergers, since it is perceived to be a neurological disorder, do we assume that there’s something wrong with the brain. What scientists, autistics, and everyone in between fails to see is that our lower body is a mirror image of the upper regions. There is science out there that shows the similar the gut and the brain really are. The gut and the brain are connected, and when you alter one you alter the other.

A study released in the summer of ’15 showed that there was autism rates jumped 18% in children of teenage mothers. “This hasn’t really been seen before, and we can’t really explain it,” says Brian Lee, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University and a research fellow at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. He hypothesized that it may have to had to do with sub-optimal pregancies and health care, but what if has to do with the poor food choices made by teenagers in America today?

Reading on “Food For The Brain”, I found these key pieces of information in the fight for autism clarity:

“Deficiencies in essential fats are common in people with autism. Research by Dr Gordon Bell at Stirling University has shown that some autistic children have an enzymatic defect that removes essential fats from brain cell membranes more quickly than it should. This means that an autistic child is likely to need a higher intake of essential fats than the average. And it has been found that supplementing EPA, which can slow the activity of the defective enzyme, has clinically improved behavior, mood, imagination, spontaneous speech, sleep patterns and focus of autistic children.”

“There is much overlap between ADH/hyperactivity and autism, so for autistic children who show signs of hyperactivity, improving blood sugar balance is a must.”

“Dietary studies consistently reveal that hyperactive children eat more sugar than other children4. Other research has confirmed that the problem is not sugar itself but the forms it comes in, the absence of a well-balanced diet overall, and abnormal glucose metabolism. A study of 265 hyperactive children found that more than three-quarters of them displayed abnormal glucose tolerance, – that is, their bodies were less able to handle sugar intake and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.”

“In any case, when a child is regularly snacking on refined carbohydrates, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, juices and little or no fibre to slow the glucose absorption, the levels of glucose in their blood will seesaw continually and trigger wild fluctuations in their levels of activity, concentration, focus and behaviour-. These, of course, will not help any child’s brain function.”

“Paediatrician Mary Megson from Richmond, Virginia, believes that many autistic children are lacking in vitamin A. Otherwise known as retinol, vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also vital for building healthy cells in the gut and brain.”

“The best sources of vitamin A are breast milk, organ meats, milk fat, fish and cod liver oil, none of which are prevalent in our diets. Instead, we have formula milk, fortified food and multivitamins, many of which contain altered forms of retinol such as retinyl palmitate, which doesn’t work as well as the fish or animal-derived retinol. Megson began speculating what might happen if these children weren’t getting enough natural vitamin A12.”

“She realised that not only would this affect the integrity of the digestive tract, potentially leading to allergies. It would also affect the development of their brains, and disturb their vision. Both brain differences and visual defects have been detected in autistic children. The visual defects, Megson deduced, were an important clue because lack of vitamin A would mean poor black and white vision, a symptom often seen in the relatives of autistic children. If you can’t see black and white, you can’t see shadows. And without that you lose the ability to perceive three-dimensionality. This in turn leaves you less able to make sense of people’s expressions, which could explain why some autistic children tend not to look straight at you. They look at you sideways. Long thought to be a sign of poor socialisation, this sideways technique may in fact be the best way for them to see people’s expressions, because there are more black and white light receptors at the edge of the visual field than in the middle.”

This research is ASTOUNDING because it explains so much of what plagues those on the autism spectrum. Here we are, putting our heads in the sand believing that there’s nothing we can do for autistics, when in fact the very cure is right in front of us.

Take it from me, someone who works at a donut and coffee shop and whose favorite foods just happen to be the worst foods for me. It will be hard for me to give up things like donuts and pizza, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t give so my limitations could be breached. I’ve read the stories and heard the struggles. They can end, right here, right now.

Drastic reductions of symptoms are possible, IF we change our lifestyles. These changes are not easily undertaken, but gradual reductions of things like gluten, casein, and artificial sugars can change the lives of autistics across the world.

Starting today, I’m going to change my diet. The process will be gradual, but I will document each day. I’ll record how I’m feeling and thinking. I believe that if I have the ability to make myself better, why ignore it?

Maybe I’ll even encourage my fellow autistic bloggers to do the same.

The Cure (?) For Autism, Part One

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I’ve lived eighteen years on this wonderful planet, but only in the last five have I known I was on the autism spectrum. I barely knew anything about the condition except for that people who had it were not treated kindly, there was an organization that supposedly strives to raise awareness, and they are often very smart. My own personal story has made me reconsider much of what I thought about autism and how I respond to what people say about us in the news. I used to think that if someone changed their opinion too much, they couldn’t make up their minds.

 

Now I know it’s essential, when gaining new knowledge and insight, to always be changing. You cannot gain and stay the same. At least I couldn’t.

The last five years of my life have easily been the best. I needed a window out of my confusing and easily angered childhood, but early on my Aspergers diagnosis only made me angrier. I hated this weird sounding name that made me feel more obvious than I already knew I was. What I needed was an example. I wanted to find someone, anyone, out there that was succeeding. If they could, in spite of our numerous limitations, then I could too. That’s when I discovered John Elder Robinson. I read his books, and more importantly than the information I gained, my entirely different outlook on my new life.

I wasn’t just the angry, confused, autistic kid.

I was the weird, informed, confident (and somewhat arrogant) autistic kid.

Over this time, my life has changed drastically. Some ways were obvious, like my need for music. I spend a great part of my life just listening to it, and I feel stronger when I do. The silence (without being silent) is immensely therapeutic, and I thrive when I have this balance. I’ve also gotten outside more often. Not only did my job require it, but I’ve felt the desire to get outside and, yes, even be around people. Contrary to the garbage that comes from Autism Speaks (among others), people with aspergers don’t mind being around people. In my individual case, it’s how many for how long. Being around two or three people for a couple hours is totally cool with me. Surround me twenty people for less time (funny, huh?) and I’m a disaster on the inside.

(The second, and most critical, part of this piece will feature tomorrow night. I hate to be so blunt with the ending but I wasn’t sure how to end)

Silence Heals My Insane

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There’s a silence

That heals the insane

The wild, racing part of me

Never kept in check

By a voracious heartbeat

Dying to love you more

But hiding it all in life

Manic meltdowns

Leading to tear soaked pages

And curses uttered

From bottomless agony

Never meant to harm

But to release me

From the grapple of

The darkness

I still somehow

Can’t escape

 

The Arrogance I Shine

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bent and broken

my face the token

of your socialite policy

fears and flames awoken

by the silent shaming

of ears pricked up

hairs peeled back

when I make a statement

misinterpret a joke

the costume falls flat

and now I’m forced to reconcile

into the life and love I never had

it was plain to see

but it took them to crucify my heart

betrayed by a suicidal mind

to see the reality

I had ignored for so much time

they don’t care for me

they’re not the friends for me

don’t understand me

can’t reprimand me

because I do the same thing

everyday

because I don’t care about a thing

everyday

while you sit around waiting for me to change

oh hey

I’m insane

the arrogance I shine

tans you like an ultraviolet ray

I don’t think about what I say

because I really was born this way

I take no for an answer

because I’ll say yes to myself

I dish it because I can take it

look at the hand the devil’s dealt

feel the welts

no, they’re on the inside

feel the shockwaves

they flow every time

you start speaking

I start leaking

every ounce of content

until I’m bursting with anger

and all darkness

ceases with one final dagger

to the soul

now silent again

 

Blogger Recognition Award: Thanks For Choosing Me Over Everyone So Much Cooler

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For the third time in less than a year, I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award.

This time? By my friend over at Cocoons Are Sometimes Comfy. https://cocoonsaresometimescomfy.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/blogger-recognition-award-when-being-recognized-is-nice/ One of my favorites on WordPress, I’ve grown close to the words to this poet’s fantastic words and similarities regarding life on the autism spectrum. The stories are sometimes eerily similar to what I’ve gone through, and the resounding strength that speaks far after I close the page is rarely outdone. Thank you friend, you’re the real MVP (or however they say it on social media)

Anyway, the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you’ve nominated them and a link to the post you created.

My blog started back in late August of last year.  I had known about my aspergers for four years but had done little to do anything about it. WordPress has always been addictive to me, but this was different. And better. Blogging gave my voice some wheels, and the knowledge I gained from books (and soon other bloggers, like my sweet soul sister’s Laina, Beth, and more recently the wonderful voice behind Just Me) began to steer my life into the direction I never thought it would. I started opening up, and sharing my experiences (https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/an-aspergians-confession-part-one/), being honest about the struggles my condition gave me (https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/an-aspergians-chemical-romance/?wref=tp), and really just discovering my voice as (from what I’ve been told) a pretty damn good poet. Thanks to so many wonderful voices, I’ve learned more about myself, become a better person because of it, and in turn been able to shine light for others who were just like I was just a few years ago.

Two pieces of advice for you new bloggers. One, just post. Pressing “publish” is the hardest part, but once you do it, the momentum will carry you to wherever you want to go. Don’t make yourself do anything. Let it happen, and you will be surprised what becomes of it. Two, say thanks. There are COUNTLESS blogs, so the fact that someone took the time to read (and maybe comment/reblog) yours is very, very special. Ever since I started, I always remember to say thank you to my readers. It’s not hard to do, and doesn’t take much time. It shows you care about others.

Now, to my nominations….

https://silentfall.me/

https://femiiesther.wordpress.com/ (I will ignore her words “I  I can’t think of why so many people will like it” in reference to my favorite band)

https://solitudeinsilence.wordpress.com/

https://so352.wordpress.com/

https://unabashedautist.com/

https://secretpoetess.wordpress.com/

https://keelythecynicalrejectblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

I Didn’t Believe I’d Be Where I Am Today

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I didn’t believe

I would do anything that I’ve done today

I never saw, or even dreamed

that I’d be where I stand today

just a few years ago I couldn’t come out the house

in fear and angst at the outside world

just a few years ago I didn’t volunteer

and while confident in my abilities to be a published author

I never thought I’d have even a part time job

especially not in customer service

just a few years ago my whole life was porn and Madden

now I’m repaying the anger with hum of fingers on these keys

call me Darren McFadden

the anger I used to take out on my family

on strangers

on me

frustrated at the disability that I could never see

the desire but lack of strength to set this soul free

if only I could see the door trust me I’d make the key

now today I know I’m stronger than they said I’d ever be

when I put down the Clorox

and opened up my soul

to some guy living in the sky

I realized he could make me whole

He showed me that my condition

was a gift

put down the knife, put down the concrete

and mend this rift inside me

aspergers humbles me every single day

it reminds me that without him nothing will go my way

when I’m feeling down I put pen to paper and I pray

somebody please take this anxiety away

away

goes the pain

goes the regrets

go the doubters

and to everyone who saw me write nonstop

and said I was wasting my hours

this one’s for you

for the lovers

for the haters

for those who don’t know me

and those who wish they did

 

 

You Only Know Who You Think I Am

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Poetically cunning

words leaving brains and hearts humming

and while you’re eager to read on

you only know who you think I am

late night writes with Pete Wentz in my ears

in attempt to ward off nightmarish fears

but I put on a smile to cover it up

so you only know who you think I am

work is mental drudgery, and family is worse

but my good moods come in spurts

they think I’m okay

but you only know who you think I am

inside I feel like I’m dying

and this week wants to make me stop trying

but I don’t tell you what’s really going on

and you only know who you think I am

I stand in the pouring rain

there’s little I like better

but you think I’m insane

and I let you believe who you think I am

I sit by myself, I have no friends

hell, it takes me ten minutes just to press send

you think I’m antisocial and crude

stupid world, you only know who you think I am

I write everyday

to reveal everything

and nothing

to make you think you know who I am

I am depressed, anxious, angry, and dejected

broken, shy, disheartened, and rejected

failure makes me afraid to try again

socially I have to pretend

I hope I’m not like this forever

because there’s gotta be someone out there

I just haven’t met her

or I did

and I failed her

(now I’m regretting everything again)

you no longer have to guess, now

you know who I really am

 

I Will Never Believe In Anything Again

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I will never believe again

in fate or fortune

and my fear of never having a lover

needs an early abortion

I worry too much

in controlling my destiny

when the very key to my wishes

is already inside of me

I worry too much

in trying to be like everyone else

what happened to the old me

that really didn’t give a fuck

about who liked me, and who didn’t

and who saw me do that thing

of which I am repentant

I’ve gotten soft, I think

and need to re-don my hard shell

because inside of this Cancer

is poetic beauty that quells

deepest fears

and shortcomings pointed out

by sophomoric peers

I will never believe again

in luck or chance

and instead in myself

whether my followers be many, or scant

those who care

care

those who don’t

I’ll see you there

at the top of the mountain

the pinnacle of all my work

but at my time, not yours

the world doesn’t run on one schedule

and neither will I

so goodbye

because I will never believe again

in anything I choose not to

no longer will the world abuse

my African American differences

and autistic personality

I choose to live as I am

the Devereaux of this reality

 

Autism Awareness Month Post Twenty-Two: Where Are They Now?

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I’ve turned away a lot of people over my lifetime. Some I didn’t mind turning away (like my Dad, but that’s another story), and others I didn’t know well enough to care either way, but then there’s the ones I regret every single day. The ones you see in your reflection in the mirror. The ones they write songs about. The ones that make you feel less than human for ever letting go.

For me, there’s this one…it was this girl I met a few years ago. Around my age. Pretty.  Blonde. Lived in Baltimore, too. Funny. Very talented writer. Everything I’ve always wanted in a girl. I didn’t know what happened, but we just stopped talking. I couldn’t figure out why at first, and so I was mad at her for while. Maybe I just looked too deep into her, or maybe she was too shallow. Then it hit me.

I remember how I used to text her constantly. And call a lot (if you can’t tell I’m going against a lot of my aspergian tendencies. Tells you how much I liked this girl). I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t think it was wrong, for people who liked each other to talk a lot, and she took it well for a while. And then she told. “It’s really annoying” she said in an early morning text, and that was the last I’ve heard from her.

I didn’t know as much about my Aspergers then, and I didn’t understand that I was intruding on her personal space. I feel like a terrible fool nowadays, and I wish I could meet her just once to apologize for everything. We don’t even have to become friends, it would just feel good to actually be honest with her. I was desperate to make friends back then, so I never told her about my condition. Anyway, this is a poem about her. If she’s reading this, well, it may be too much too late, but I had to write this to bring some closure regarding the incident, and the hope that one day I’ll be able to make it right.

 

Boarded the number ten

as light rain sends the birds

scurrying to the shadows

there’s but a few men

seated sporadically

on the star speckled seats

time alone for this lonely soul

is a rarefied treat

I pass through my city

sober seems to be the mood

with the cloudy sky putting a dent

in many afternoon

some are talking on cell phones

other eating lunch

still steaming in brown styrofoam containers

some hustle down the blocks

some idle in green crocs

those shoes disgust me

Light Rail goes by

I think of heading to work

and enjoying a peach fry pie

on to the number eleven

passing the Charles Street metro

I can’t remember how to forget

how I was a lot more ignorant

and subsequently braver

how I’d approach her with confidence

and think of consequences later

I think she liked that

I think she liked that a lot

but the charm wore off

as the autistic traits I tried to hide

knocked on my wood

I kid you not, it shrunk

as time wore on, she became distant

and I become resistant

at the sight of what had become

and I haven’t heard of her in two years

what have I done