speaking of zombies…

Just after writing my epic top ten list of zombie novels, Max Brooks, author of World War Z (#5), went on NPR to talk about how the panic surrounding COVID-19 could have been prevented. It’s very interesting, check it out!

all of this could have been prevented” Author Max Brooks on Covid-19

WOAH, woah, woah- in looking this article up I have discovered something that I should have already known. Max Brooks is THE Mel Brooks’ son. THE Mel Brooks. Woah. My mind is disproportionately blown considering the state of the world.

They did a fun little PSA on Twitter about COVID-19. Check it out…

Alright guys, you heard it from the guy that literally wrote the book about the end of the world. #DontBeASpreader


Agoraphobia, COVID-19, and the Zombie Apocalypse

Like you, I have been watching what is happening to the world from the view window that is my computer screen. And I will admit, it’s making me a bit extra. One facebook thread from a man in the Chicago area made me very worried for all those infected with the virus. (It reminded me a lot of my allergic reaction to macrobid antibiotics.) And an instagram post from a pregnant woman made me feel so compassionate for those experiencing huge life changing experiences at the same time as a global pandemic. And the rationing of medical treatment in Italy… well, let’s just say, that broke my heart.

Last year, when my former therapist was diagnosing me with a plethora of new disorders (I sometimes question these diagnoses because they all seem to be just indicators of my autism, but nonetheless) he also diagnosed me with agoraphobia. I think it was my panic attacks while driving on bridges that was the deciding factor for him. That and perhaps my anxiety in stores? Or taking busses? Or the post office? Oh wow, I just checked out a layman’s definition of agoraphobia- it says, “you fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd.” Well, then. My apologies to Jack. That’s right on target.

So, I have agoraphobia. Which means on any given day, the world outside of my house has always felt incredibly dangerous. Now that it potentially is dangerous, that agoraphobia has gone into overdrive just a bit.

So how do I deal with that?

Continue reading “Agoraphobia, COVID-19, and the Zombie Apocalypse”

Instagram Storied

Curating our lives for mass consumption

From that subtitle, you would think that I don’t like Instagram. Could not be further from the truth. I literally just started Insta and I am hooked. I have posted like 36 images and I still want to do more. I do have one problem though, other than a new digital time-sinkhole I have found myself in… Because of my OCD, I have to post in groups of three, or my profile becomes unsettling. That is my problem with Instagram, but looking at other people’s pages, I wonder if that is the problem for others?

I don’t think it is. In fact, I think I know the problem.

Social media is the neurotypical’s mask, isn’t it?

You might have heard about autistic masking from me or know it from your own experience, but it’s basically the act that autistic people have to put on to be like other neurotypicals. It’s an exhausting practice that often leads to burnout and serious mental health crises. For me, it’s what lead to a late diagnosis and years of mental and physical anguish.

So the question for me is– if an autistic mask leads to anguish for autistic people, does a digital mask hurt neurotypical people?

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Self diagnosing Autism

TO BE OR NOT TO BE…

In one of my most recent posts I officially “came out” as autistic. I told you that I “got” my diagnosis at the age of thirty five, but what I didn’t tell you, is that I was self diagnosed first.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. And maybe not for the reasons that you think.

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Hannah explains autism

This is one of the best explanations of my personality I have ever seen. Again, if you are a neurolurker, especially a woman neurolurker, or if you want a primer for who I am- take Hannah Gadsby, add a dress and change the accent. She makes such a wonderful shortcut for people like us. The next time someone tries to ask me, “Who is Holly on the inside?” I am just gonna point to Hannah.


Watch this now…

No seriously, I can’t say this enough. Watch this now.

This TED talk from Hannah Gadsby last year would have transformed my life had I seen it sooner. If you are a woman, a neruolurker, or even a person who has experienced trauma- watch this. If you are a comic, a writer, or a person who has interest in either- watch this. If you are a human being- watch this.

Hannah Gadsby is a true lifesaver. She is a hero in every aspect of the word and I am so proud to be a fan of hers.

So without further ado… Hannah Gadsby.


Comments Part 2

More than a year ago, I wrote a post about how I had closed the comments on my blog. This is mostly due to 1) my Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and 2) my problems with letting people be wrong.

I have decided though, to open up the comments.

Why? Because I am over it? NO! Oh my no! I am so not over it. But I am working with a counselor almost daily on my RSD. Honestly, we’re working more on the emotions that come up from my RSD, like, the fear of conflict, the hurt of rejection, the pain of judgement, et cetera, et cetera… So, if you suffer from a fear of the comments section, or maybe an obsession, pull up a chair. Welcome to my support group. I’ve got some tips to share with you…

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Where were you during the plague years?

At home, where we are all supposed to be.

Even though my doctors long ago decided that I did “not have Avoidant Personality Disorder” I still keep up with my AVPD peeps, because our sensibilities and fears are so similar. There is a great group on Tumblr, there are support groups, and most importantly for me, there is the ever effervescent Jenny Lawson, Author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy. She also wrote a fantastic adult coloring book called You Are Here: An owners manual for Dangerous Minds and, as always, her wonderful blog, The Bloggess.

With all the mandated social distancing going on with the, you know, coronavirus global pandemic, (you may have heard something about this) I thought I’d check on the people who were social distancing before it was cool, the AVPD. Specifically, my secret soul sister, Jenny Lawson.

Bad news: her sister is sick.

While my anxiety is not as high as it typically is, probably because social distancing is my natural state, I have been afraid of how this virus was going to touch me personally. And when I say that, I don’t mean if I’m going to get sick. Last time I checked, the estimate was that 40-70% of the population was going to catch this virus. That seems pretty likely on some level. I probably should be more worried for myself, I am somewhat immune compromised. I have some pulmonary damage from side effects to an antibiotic I took… There is also a pervading theory that people on the spectrum are more at risk for inflammation. Inflammation, by the way, is how a lot of people are dying of organ failure after becoming sick. (Don’t panic on my account or anything, that’s just a theory that I read. I am so far from a doctor that it’s not even funny. And my husband’s doctorate is in the law. So don’t update your will just yet.)

No, what I am more worried about is who am I going to lose?

Continue reading “Where were you during the plague years?”

Poor Maureen


This post was originally written in May of 2018. Continue to read to the end for an update from today.

I have been talking a lot about my Avoidant Personality Disorder. Which has made me feel like an ambassador of some kind. But then I started thinking about my diagnosis, which was less than facebook official, and became suddenly wary.  (Which ticked my anxiety into high gear ironically—feelings of inadequacy, “I’m a fraud,” blah, blah, blah)  I don’t want to go into how I was diagnosed and subsequently medicated (boy, that sounds nefarious) but technically, well,  I’ve already mentioned it once before on this very blog so you probably already know… Cutting to the chase, I got my anxiety disorder diagnosed by my general doctor and not a psychiatrist.

Psychiatrist seems more legit, right? That’s what I thought too. So after a confusing series of emails to my doctor, the poor nurse may have thought I was some kind of nut (nothing’s wrong I just need legitimacy. No, I don’t want to hurt myself or others to get it. She wasn’t wrong about the nut part, but that’s not the point) I get an appointment with a counselor. They must deal with worse because she gave me a referral to the same counselor I saw when I first started my meds with very little hubbub. A counselor is like a psychiatrist, right?  I think to myself. Either way I don’t want to be too much trouble, so I take it.

Continue reading “Poor Maureen”

I am not a worm

AVOIDANT PERSONALITY DISORDER OR REJECTION SENSITIVITY DYSPHORIA? OR BOTH?

At the start of this blog, I thought I was suffering from Avoidant Personality Disorder. I had found the diagnostic criteria, brought it to my doctor, not a psychiatrist, and thought I had my answer. Once I finally went to a psychiatrist, he called that a misdiagnosis. I thought, What a big mistake I’d made. Surely, yes, you should bring your ideas and research to your doctor, but bring it to the right kind of doctor. Your gynecologist should not be setting your cast, and your GP should not be diagnosing your mental health issues, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Years later, after much tumult and strife, not only did I find out that I was autistic, I was also diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD. And part of that ADHD was a lovely thing called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria.

So now, that my meds are working, and my diagnoses are hopefully settled, I’ve been looking through old posts with my supposedly 20/20 hindsight. And I couldn’t help but notice just how similar the symptoms for Avoidant Personality Disorder and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria can feel. So this sent me searching for a connection between the two. One of the more interesting ideas I have found is that Avoidant Personality Disorder is the result of untreated childhood ADHD, much like my own. How interesting would that be? If I had been on the right path after all?

So with that idea, I’ve brought up an old post I called “I am not a Worm” where I looked up the definition of Avoidant Personality Disorder and responded to each symptom. Now the fact that I tried to refute any of it may tell you that I was misdiagnosed BUT you also have to understand the power of masking when you are autistic. I fought against these traits because I was “supposed” to… because I was supposed to be offended, not relieved. Anyway, let’s take a look…

Continue reading “I am not a worm”

About Me Update

It’s a few years since I stopped and started this blog. And many things have happened to me in the meantime. So it’s time for an update.

When I started this blog, I had Avoidant Personality Disorder and an Anxiety Disorder. I have since found that both of those were misdiagnoses. One misdiagnosis is hard to handle. It makes you question everything. Since then, I have gone through several more misdiagnoses, or at least- incomplete diagnoses. Those include Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Those of you that are like me, may already see where this is going…

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IT’S ALIVE!

So, can we skip the awkward part? Because that is why I tend to ghost my problems. The awkward part where you quietly think about how flakey I am for not writing for almost a year, and that you’ll never trust me again.  Yes, that whole thing.

Or really, I’ll explain as quickly as possibly.  I haven’t written… because I thought I killed you.

Continue reading “IT’S ALIVE!”