I’ve been having lots of cherry tomatoes to eat lately. And the peppers are really starting to produce now.

I’m just waiting for those crisp cucumbers that taste so good in a tossed salad.

I think I may take these to Kendra. She says her garden has produced lots of veggies too. But she doesn’t have cherry tomatoes or this variety of pepper.

When I open the French door and stand on the small step looking out, I see zinnias at various heights. They look like school children in a classroom, hands held high, anxious to answer a teacher’s question.

Some stand straight and tall, unwavering in the heat. Others bow down as if to royalty, with curved stalks and flowers turned downward.

What I love about zinnias is how long they last. They look pretty longer than petunias or daisies or most any other flower. They bring a lot of bang for one’s buck.

They’re also helping to shade my vegetables from the heat.

I just finished a book, “The Woman In The Window”, an intense psychological thriller by A.J. Finn. It’s about a woman with agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can be triggered by a number of different irrational fears (phobias).

Such as the fear of: being a victim of violent crime or a terrorist attack if you leave your house. Or becoming infected by a serious illness if you visit crowded places.

Of course the last one isn’t unrealistic at this point in time with the coronavirus raging.

I read about the author at the back of the book and it was quite interesting.

On the author’s birthday in 2015, before he began writing this book, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis. Instead of it being the beginning of a journey, A.J. Finn says it was the end of one.

He had struggled for more than 15 years with severe depression which had affected all areas of his life. He had tried every treatment imaginable: medication, meditation, talk therapy, hypnotherapy, and even electro-convulsive therapy.

Then his diagnosis was corrected (bipolar disorder) and a new drug regimen was prescribed. A month and a half later he felt transformed, or at least significantly improved.

Then he began writing up an outline for “The Woman In The Window.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

The same type of thing happened to me, but it took many more years to figure out. Since my twenties, I had been given all kinds of diagnoses. One was bipolar disorder, but the lithium did nothing.

Then it was a variety of other things and finally just anxiety disorder and depression. I was prescribed many different types of medication over the years.

It wasn’t until my fifties that I was given the Asperger’s diagnosis. Which was a game changer.

Once you know what’s truly going on, you begin to understand why you do the things you do and then you can go about trying to deal with it.

I still take medication, but now I’m more content because I’m not flailing about trying to understand why I don’t do so well socially. Why I like to be alone and why noises bother me so much. Why I have such sensory problems, etc.

I’m no longer apologizing for not being at family holidays when lots of people are gathered. When there’s more than one conversation going on I hear them all. I can’t seem to filter the others out and hear one. Which leads to confusion and anxiety.

I’ve dropped Charlie off for his acupuncture appointment, so I’ll be going to pick up my little man soon.

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  1. I am as sure as I can be that my sister’s husband has Asperger’s. Neither he nor my sister are aware of it. My sister becomes very upset over some of the things he does or doesn’t do but I am afraid to tell her as I think it would open something that she would prefer closed. If she doesn’t like to hear something she pushes it to the back of her mind where she doesn’t have to think about it.

    They have been married for 15 years and I know it is a struggle for her sometimes. For instance when she asks him a question or for his opinion he just doesn’t answer her and she has to let it go. He does of course speak to her but if he doesn’t want to answer he just doesn’t.

  2. I love zinnias – they’re one of my favorite flowers.

    I don’t have Asperberger’s, but I’m what’s called a Highly Sensitive Person. I’m also an INFJ on the Myers Briggs type indicator. So I too, like to be alone (I get very cranky and anxious when I don’t get enough alone time) and I’m also very sensitive to noises, bright lights and textures. I like being at family gatherings or with small gatherings of friends, but then it takes me a long time to “come down” from all that when I get home. I need to withdraw and decompress.

    I sometimes wonder if perhaps Phil had Asperberger’s. The only thing he was ever diagnosed with was depression. But he was an extreme introvert (much more so than I)…even when he was little, we’d go to a birthday party and we’d go looking for him, only to find him playing alone in one of the kid’s bedrooms. He was super intelligent (scored off charts in standardized tests); extremely sensitive to….everything; hated change of any kind…even when he was little, he freaked out about changing his car seat to a booster seat, etc. etc. Unfortunately, as you know, once he turned 18 he refused all outside help and chose to self-medicate. There are so many questions that we’ll never have the answer to. Thank you for bringing awareness to these disorders.

  3. Indeed it does help to figure out who we are, to no longer bother with other’s opinions of us, and try to FIT THEIR MOLD…we were all created some differently. I finally realized this year that I am truly an introvert (always knew I was somewhat) and no longer care to have much to do, other than one-on-one with other people. I came across a blog devoted to articles on introverted-ness along with personal stories too. Very helpful to me. I also really prefer small groups. Very small. And also learning more about asperger’s and how it makes us (also have problems with noise issues and sensory too)…and though I have not been formally diagnosed, I have no intent to be either. So fortunate we have the internet as well as many books which help one. I feel much more content now, and yes, I do write…letters, some journals etc. No intent to try to publish…just happy to write. I would not do a blog because of so many crass people out there. But I do appreciate those who do write them. Thanks for sharing your journey with such things.

  4. Your description of your zinnias is poetic.

    I will be taking my little yorkie, Dixie to the vets today for her final visit. She’s 15 and blind and last night, I watched her hips shake and wonder, “Did I wait too long?” It’s time to say goodbye to my darling little miracle dog. As my son says to comfort me, “Mom, she has done her job in life and it’s time to thank her and let go.” She has certainly been a support to me during the last several very difficult years. My heart is split into pieces, but I know this is about her and not me. What a good little girl she has been. She was a rescue after years in a puppy mill and it had its affect on her. I hope that her years with me have made up for that difficult beginning of her life in some way. Thank goodness my daughter will be driving us; I don’t think I could.

  5. Brenda, I am glad you mentioned the fact that you didn’t want to be at gatherings with lots of people and how you didn’t do well socially.How noises bothered you. That sounds just like my late husband and now I am thinking that is why he turned to alcohol !

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