How Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Affects Soberslothling
is a broad spectrum of birth defects that are caused by prenatal exposure to
alcohol. These include physical, mental,
behavioral, and/or learning disabilities.
birth defects do I carry?
I was born with a complex and rare heart condition
called Transposition of the Great vessels. Basically my heart works double time
to pump oxygen rich blood around my body. As I get older my heart will continue
to weaken. Eventually I will have to undergo more heart surgery which is said
to eventually lead to a heart transplant and or pacemaker. All of my internal
organs are backwards or otherwise known as rare condition called Situs Inversus.
Mental/Behavioral/ learning disabilities:
As a child I had no concept of consequences and was
unable to properly control my behavior. I had trouble adapting to change or
switching from one task to another, I still have issues with that today.
I had trouble paying attention and processing information. I found school
challenging and repeated grade 1 as a result. I was able to make it through
high school with no special aid and I graduated with the highest honors. I struggle with impulse control from time to time and sitting still can be a challenge. A lot of my cognitive
troubles have improved as an adult and drastically stabilized since getting
is it like to live with FASD?
As a child I was lucky to have parents who gave me a
very firm structured environment to grow up in. I know I pushed my parent’s patience
to the breaking point. I can’t imagine how frustrating it was for them some
days. My mom used to tell me; “some days you understood a concept perfectly and
the next day it was like you had never even heard of it.” Example: tying my
shoes. I distinctly remember learning to tie my shoes was the hardest thing for
me to remember. Some days I could tie my shoes effortlessly and other days it
was like I had never even seen a shoe lace. I remember my mom and dad often
telling me to settle down. I was a high energy unfocused ball of crazy
sometimes. Luckily I was also diagnosed at an early age and was properly
prescribed with my “miracle drugs” since the age of about 5 or 6. Without these
medications my quality of life will be negatively affected and it significantly
compromises the stability of my mental health.
The best way to describe what it’s like living with
FASD is; imagine being somewhat drunk 24/7. The
brain of the person with FASD functions similarly to the way the person who is
The hardest thing to deal with is that I cannot be
cured. FASD is a life sentence. I sadly will never outgrow my physical or mental
disabilities. It is incredibly frustrating at times to live with FASD. I see and hear things very differently than the average person. It contributes perfectly to my skills as an artist! I’m
very sensitive to my surroundings. I find it incredibly frustrating when things
I say are misinterpreted. My own tone of voice and body language are confused the
connection there is just missing. I get past and current events confused and I
get conversations and details of conversations confused. It’s gotten me
in trouble so many times and it’s just because I struggle to remember things. It
hurts when people get angry and frustrated with me because I struggle to
understand a concept.
FASD and Addiction
I don’t even know where to start.
FASD definitely had a part in my addiction due to lack of impulse control and
poor judgement. Drinking and drugging magnified that. Balancing sobriety and
FASD can be a bit of a challenge. It’s actually a miracle that I’ve managed to
stay sober this long with having FASD. I think because I have such a good
understanding of how FASD affects me, I have been able cope with the challenge
of getting and staying sober. Proper medications help too.
What you need to know
I am not retarded or handicapped and
I refuse to allow myself to be treated any differently than individuals who do
not have congenital conditions. FASD is not my fault I did not choose to be born
this way. I have learned to cope with the consequences of my mom’s choice to drink
during her pregnancy. I have overcome many challenges and surpassed the expectations
of many doctors and statistics. I am capable of many things; I am a creative, intuitive,
passionate and resourceful person. I am loved valued and worth being known.
Eating disorders are so irritating because one day you could be laughing, eating a pint of ice cream and 7 pieces of pizza with your friends, thinking you’re completely recovered and then the next you could be crying in the bathroom wanting to purge because you ate a salad for dinner.
AKA saying things like “WHAT is going on with you!?” or “you ate that last week with no problem at all!” to someone who is affected by an eating disorder will not do any good. If you’re confused about their actions… imagine what it’s like to be the one feeling like they’re less than everyone else because of how back and forth they feel. Living with an eating disorder is already stressful enough, and pointing out the unsteadiness makes it all the more overwhelming.
I’m sure I’ve seen a post about this before but nevermind. I’ve been using app for a little while and it’s available to download for free on iOS and Android as well as being available online. I highly recommend it and thought it may be helpful for others to know about it.
It’s a guided meditation app that allows you to input how you’re feeling mentally, physically and emotionally and then brings up suggestions for meditations.
It’s been so useful for me as I often have trouble relaxing and slowing down. All the meditations are brilliant and the woman who talks you through them has a lovely voice. The meditations are different time lengths so even if you only have a couple of minutes to spare you can still listen to one to unwind.
10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Wellbeing (with added kitties)
1. Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
2. Keep active
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you
concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain
and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit
towards improving your mental health.
3. Eat well
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and
function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s
good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
4. Drink sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the
alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is
not a good way to manage difficult feelings.
5. Keep in touch
There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face,
but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them
a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication
open: it’s good for you!
6. Ask for help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.
If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope,
ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help
or a listening ear.
Local services are there to help you.
7. Take a break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.
It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a
half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A
few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me
8. Do something you’re good at
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?
Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy
probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your
9. Accept who you are
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique
than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about
yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places
and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a
10. Care for others
‘Friends are really important… We help each other whenever we can, so it’s a two-way street, and supporting them uplifts me.’
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up
relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer