Reframing as a choice.

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In the last few days my mental health has really started to fracture.

I don’t really know what is happening with my body right now. All I know for certain is that something has happened to me and my body is different. The drs tell me it’s a spinal cord injury, but they can’t explain why.

The problem with this situation is that without a proven reason for what is happening the injury does not feel real.

I end up questioning if anything is wrong at all. That leads to intense emotions like fear, shame and guilt. It’s bloody scary.

The doctors have been amazing and they are doing a wide range of tests to try and understand what is happening. It’s like a really big MOT on my body.

In order to try and preserve my mental health I’ve made a decision. I’m reframing this from a medical situation to a series of choices about how I use my body.

Amazingly reframing it this way doesn’t change things much. I’m not using all that much more support than I used too and my friends are doing more or less the same number of visits. Whether it’s medical or not they say they want to help. They didn’t mind things like the buggy. It makes life easier for autie or walky reasons.

This works in other areas too. For example it works well for cycling. This isn’t the first time I’ve chosen to ride a trike to make life simpler. I do it all the time when we visit center parcs. I am just choosing a trike more often and one with a funny seat I find more comfortable.

This lens is more friendly. It also mirrors how I approach my life in general. I make hundreds of changes to make life more suitable for how my autistic body works. This isn’t really all that different.

This simple reframing is a powerful tool to protect my mental health till we have a better idea of what is happening.

Hi, I’m Jamie. I am autistic. I am a bit wobbly on my feet so I choose to use things like a trike, buggy or a wheelchair sometimes. It’s nice to meet you :)


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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