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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Coping, and What Red Rover Taught Me

This is not me, but it sort of looks like me! This is how
I feel when I am anxious.
HI everyone! You may or may not have read my melting-down post last night. It is hard to tell if people come to this blog or if it is showing up in feeds, because although my Blogger stats claim that I have a hundred visitors a day, the Feedjit on my page makes it more like 1 or 2 visitors a day. If you really want to know what it is like for me to have an anxiety attack (although it is more like a long-lasting state of high anxiety that doesn't end) go check out that post. 

To make a long story short, I was basically freaking out about leaving my parents... the same way I did last September when I was supposed to move, and the same way I did about 10 years ago when I was supposed to move away for college but ended up bailing. 

I am sort of proud of myself for figuring out a way to cope. I realized that a lot of my anxiety was being provoked by my mom pushing me to make a clean sweep... she had said she wanted me to pack up my room and that after I left whatever I left behind would be sold or thrown away. I was already nervous about being homesick, and this made it feel so permanent and definite. So I began to have an anxiety attack. 

A few days earlier, in equine therapy, I got to work with a little pony named Red Rover. He is a little shy, and when I went into his stall he sort of got startled and walked away from me, and kept facing the wall, as if he was hoping if he didn't look at me I'd go away. I thought if I got down low on the ground, he'd be less afraid, so I crouched down by the wall. He got curious right away, and came over to sniff me. He spent a lot of time just standing there by me and Julie (my human therapist) and being with us without making any real contact. A few times I tried putting out my hand, and he'd sniff me but didn't want me to touch him. 

Julie told me to visualize myself brushing him and try to send him that message. I did, and I got the feeling that Red Rover was a little nervous but was going to give me a chance. He was still a little startled when I went up to him, but I went slowly and gave him space, and soon I was able to brush him. I brushed him gently and lovingly for a long time. Red Rover got very calm and leaned into me. I had asked him to give me a chance, while leaving him room to escape or refuse. He'd taken the chance even though he was nervous, and he'd ended up having a great experience being brushed and petted and loved. 

I thought maybe what I needed was to do things on my own pace, without being forced to make a commitment. I talked on Facebook with my Auntie Em and asked her what she thought about me only committing to stay and work as a substitute in Oregon until the end of the school year, without any pressure to start looking for a place to live. I could work, join an autism support group that they have there, try to make some friends, and maybe go visit my brother and Sunny and Squeak once or twice, all while knowing that I could go back to Chicago in June. I'm not even going to make any plans or after June... I am just going to take small steps and work on getting out there for just a little while. My Auntie Em thought this was a good idea. 

I also talked to my dad about it. To my surprise, he agreed that it was a good idea. He told me to just think of this as an extended trip, and remember I could come home if I wanted to. 

I haven't talked about it with my mom yet. She is such a Type A personality, she likes things to be ALL THE WAY or NOTHING. 

Anyways. As I was consulting the Internet today, I read about Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder. This is a real thing, although it is sort of rare... it is similar to childhood separation anxiety, where children freak out if they are separated from their parents. But it is when this same thing happens to adults on a frequent basis. They grow attached to someone, and they panic if they have to be away from the person. In worst cases, people cannot even go to work, because they are terrified to leave the side of the person or people they are attached to. For a lot of people, the person they attach to is their spouse or significant other. I don't have one of those, but I have, in the past, got extremely attached to friends and gone through similar anxiety issues when I had to be away from them. 

I went onto this Facebook group I belong to for women with autism, and asked if anyone had ever heard of adult separation anxiety disorder, and whether they had it. Within five minutes I had ten replies from women with autism who said that they thought they had this, maybe not as a diagnosis but definitely all of the symptoms! Many of the people said it started out as anxiety separating from their parents (as adults, not as young children) and that after they got married their separation anxiety transferred to their husbands and even their children. 

So at least now what I'm dealing with has a name... one more thing to add to my laundry list of issues. The bad news is, it doesn't have any specific treatment. It can be treated similarly to generalized anxiety disorder, and it can be treated similarly to treating childhood separation anxiety disorder, but really if you have it you will probably always be dealing with it. Which makes me feel more panicky. I don't want to have to feel like this on a regular basis for the rest of my life! 


Monday, March 30, 2015

Melting

I am supposed to be moving to Oregon in 3 weeks, and panic is starting to set in!

I don't know what is wrong with me, but the anxiety has a tight hold on me. A week ago I was so excited thinking about going to Oregon, about my business plan, about everything else. But ever since the plans started to be finalized (which was yesterday) I've been in a panic attack.

Maybe you could help me by just lending your ear even though I know you readers, like all the people in my family, have heard this all from me before.

I feel like I have the flu. My skin feels too tight and my chest feels like there is a boulder sitting on it. My blood feels too hot. I feel like my heart has a fever. My throat hurts. My stomach feels like I've been stabbed. I have, um, lets say, an upset stomach that is manifesting itself in my rear end.

I took two extra Wellbutrin, which calmed me down enough to write this, enough to eat some dinner and watch TV with my mom. But I could barely choke down one fajita, couldn't even finish my Dr. Pepper. I could barely pay attention to the show even though it is my favorite. Even looking at or petting my small dog, something that usually calms me, is too much stimulation and makes me want to scream! Right now my dog is sitting behind me, which is good because her weight and warmth helps calm me, but I don't have to actually look at or touch her. (That makes me so sad to say. I love her more than anything! But seeing her right now makes me want to cry.)

What do I want? I don't fucking know! I know that a week ago all I wanted was to get to Oregon and start my business. But right now in this moment, if someone were to hold a gun to my head and tell me what I'm feeling, I would say, "I just want to stay here, don't make me leave, these walls are keeping me safe and this is my whole world and please let me just stay."

The situation became worse when my mom came home from work today and mentioned immediately that I need to start cleaning out my room, because although I am not bringing everything I own to Oregon right now (since I'll be staying with my Auntie Em) when I get a place and come back for the rest of my stuff, she will throw away whatever is left behind.

Maybe I belong just staying here. Maybe I should be happy just to be a substitute teacher forever, and live with my parents until the day I die.

My dad just came home and immediately started talking about the move, and I got a huge wave of sickness over me and I feel so hot like I am going to throw up!

I have to pretend everything is fine because otherwise my parents will be so mad at me. I just want to cry. I want someone to hug me (for once in my life I'd actually be happy for that) and let me cry and scream and melt down.

I want to go because of all of the good things I'd experience, but I don't want to leave. I want to stay so I can be near my parents, but then they will be angry and I will never have the chance to move again.

I want to be dead. Being on Earth hurts way too much. But I don't really want to be dead, because that would be like leaving also. I just want to feel safe. I just want someone to help me.

I think it would be good if I could just go on an experimental basis. I could go and stay with Auntie Em and sub until summer time, and see how things go. But no, it has to be a permanent decision, it has to be do or die, according to my parents. I cannot make my dad drive all the way to Oregon with me, just so I can turn around and go home.

I need to melt down but I cannot. I am exploding inside but trying to keep it all in,

One of two things will happen.

A. This feeling will pass, I will wake up tomorrow and the anxiety will be gone, and I can move on

or

B. This feeling will get worse and worse, it will snowball, for three weeks, until my brain liquifies itself and I die.

I can't even distract myself by playing Solitaire or Singing Monsters on my phone. I have to type this fast because if I slow down I will feel sick.

The thing about it all is, even if I have family members who love me, in the end I am really all alone, because nobody else has to feel what I am going through, nobody can take some of it and help me with it,

I can't even stop to look for a picture for this post because I can't concentrate that long. I am writing this off the top of my head which is why I am able to do it, but now I cannot sit still anymore, so I'm going to walk.

I wish someone could help me feel better.

I wish I could say, "Just let me go there and work for a few weeks. Let me bring my car there and work and make some friends and live like I live there, with the opportunity to come home at least for a few weeks in the summer, and let me decide then." Do I have the right to ask for that? Will they agree to it? I think I could really do this, they could just let me have a trial basis. Like holding my breath, jumping in, and seeing if I swim, with the possibility of grabbing onto the ladder and climbing out if I find that I am drowning.

For an autistic person I am pretty good at metaphors.

Starting to calm down now. See, talking to you really helps! Or maybe it is the Wellbutrin. It feels good for a minute to feel calm. I wish I knew how to make it last.

With love,
from Angel














Friday, March 27, 2015

Review of CBD Oil By Dose Of Nature

A few weeks ago I was offered the chance to review a unique product that I think might interest some of you. It was a product I had always been curious about, so I jumped at the chance to try a sample. Before long, I received my little bottle of Dose Of Nature Redstrap CBD in Hemp Seed Oil. 

I know that for some of you, your eyes will narrow at the word "hemp," before you even learn what CBD oil is. For my most cautious and curious readers, I will start out by explaining what it is, and why I felt comfortable trying it out. If you don't want to read all the informational stuff, just scroll past it!

PART 1: THE INFORMATION

CBD stands for Cannabidiol. CBD oil is, basically, oil extracted from marijuana plants. However, it contains little or no THC, which is the substance in marijuana that will get you high. It may contain traces of THC, but according to this article in the Salt Lake Tribune, it is less than 3%, not enough to cause people to feel high.

Cannabidiol is a relative of medical marijuana. It can be used to treat people with chronic pain, and can help offset the side effects of chemotherapy. It can also be used to help treat a whole bunch of medical, neurological and psychological conditions, including autism, ADHD, depression, and anxiety. 

Usually you need a prescription for any form of medical marijuana, and it has to be legal in your state. However, hemp (the fiber of the marijuana plant, which is extracted from the stem) is legal in the United States, and is used to make many products... from rope, to paper, to clothing, to food. (You should try hemp milk, or hemp seed waffles! They are pretty good! You can buy them at Whole Foods or most other health food stores. But I digress...) Since CBD can be extracted from hemp, this particular version of CBD oil is actually legal, and considered a dietary supplement, instead of a medicine or an illegal substance. 

(I wrote to the people at Dose Of Nature and asked them tif they were completely sure their CBD oil is legal in the USA, and they sent me a long email explaining why it is. If anyone is interested in seeing the email, which is much more technical and detailed than I can write in this blog post, let me know and I will forward it to you!)

What have we learned so far, kids? Please take out your notebooks and copy this down. It will be on the test. 
1. CBD oil is a substance extracted from the marijuana plant. 
2. CBD oil contains little or no THC, which is the substance in marijuana that causes people to get high.
3. Dose Of Nature's CBD oil is derived from hemp, which is legal in the United States. 
4. Dose Of Nature's CBD oil is considered a dietary supplement, and not a medicine or illegal substance. 
5. CBD oil can be used to treat the symptoms of many health conditions. 

Okay, moving on to the review part. 

PART 2: MY EXPERIENCE

In a related story, a week or so before I received that email offering me a sample of Dose Of Nature, I went to my psychiatrist to update the prescriptions I take for depression, anxiety and ADHD. I've been taking one of these medications since December 30, 1999... just in time to survive the Y2K scare! I only have to go to the psychiatrist about once a year, for a short "check up." This year was the first year that I actually paid with health insurance. I've always self-paid or been on some form of county mental health aid. Since I have health insurance now, my psychiatrist surprised me by asking me to go get an EKG. She told me that one of my medications, when taken over long amounts of time, can mess up the rhythm of your heart! 

Yes, the medication that I am dependent on, the medication that makes it possible for me to do normal things like drive, work, and not kill myself, may slowly be killing me. 

The thing is, I am afraid to go off of my medication, because I've tried that before, with terrible results. But I have been curious about the possibility of replacing my prescriptions with some more natural type of treatment. Ever since I started considering moving to the west coast, I've wondered about whether I could treat my depression and ADHD symptoms with medical marijuana. I would not completely replace my prescriptions right away, but would try tapering them down and seeing what happened. 

My first challenge in trying the Redstrap CBD In Hemp Oil was to actually get it into my stomach. The instructions on the bottle say to take 20 drops a day. I can swallow any pill there is, but I have a strong aversion to any medicine I can taste. I can't take any cough syrup or anything like that. I will, reflexively, spit it out or start gagging on it as soon as I taste it. So I was worried about tasting this oil, which had a pretty strong scent. I don't know how to explain the smell... it wasn't bad, it was just strong. I first decided to try putting it on my sandwich (avocado and cheddar cheese) but I kept smelling it and it sort of made it hard for me to eat. Its a sensory issue, I guess. 

Since I couldn't put it on food, I decided to try a more direct method. I put the twenty drops in a small glass of water, added a squirt of lemon juice, and chugged it down. It looked kind of weird... like this. 
Its like abstract art! 
But it didn't taste too bad. In fact, I mostly tasted the sourness of the lemon juice. The oil didn't taste as strong as it smelled. 

Then I decided to take a more direct approach and just squirt the oil right into my mouth. I used the dropper to drop it into the back of my throat, like I was a baby bird and the dropper was my mother. It went down pretty easily! It had sort of a bitter aftertaste, but nothing overwhelming. This is how I have been taking it every day since. 
At least it tastes better than worms!

What were the effects? 

I definitely don't feel "stoned" when I take it. I don't start dancing around the room all crazy like the girl from Reefer Madness. I feel more of a subtle calmness. I've also noticed that I haven't been getting headaches and stomachaches since I started taking it. 

I haven't been taking it long enough to know if I'd be able to use it to replace my prescriptions. But I do intend to keep on taking it, and see what differences I notice in myself. 

If I order it again, after my free sample run out, I will probably order either the kind that comes in coconut oil or apricot oil, or the Sweet CBD drops that come in hemp glycerin. These options have a sweeter taste, and will be easier for me to take.

The only somewhat negative thing I can see about Dose Of Nature CBD oil is the price. A one ounce bottle of the kind I got is $79.95. In it's defense, one ounce sounds like just a tiny bit, but the bottle is about the size of a typical prescription pill bottle, and lasts about 30 days. Plus the product is pretty complicated to create, and is of a high quality. If I notice a big difference by the end of the month, I would be open to spending $80 for it. Some of the prescription medications I've had to self-pay for have been about that price or more. Still, some people might balk at the expense. I would say, if you're interested, at least spend the money and try it for a month, and decide if it is worth it to you! 

To sum it all up, I am completely comfortable recommending this product, and I would be interested in hearing from others who have tried it. 

Here are some links for more information about Dose Of Nature.

Dose Of Nature's website

Reviews by two other bloggers: Tom Paine's Ghost, and Dried On Milk.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts! 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Do You Read This?

Memes like this one show that parents of kids with autism
feel a bond with other parents of kids with autism, and they
don't always extend that feeling of kinship to adults with
autism. 
The other day I was reading a blog post at Autistic Hoya. In the post, she was contemplating why blogs by adults with autism spectrum disorders tend to get less readers than blogs by parents of children on the autism spectrum. She suspected that people without autism tend to avoid blogs by autistic bloggers, for one or more of these reason(and I am putting these into my own words here).

They think if you, as an adult, are saying in a blog that you have autism, you may be faking it just to get attention or because you want to write a book and get rich or something; they think that if you do have autism, if you are able to write a blog you must be very "high functioning" in every way and therefore have nothing in common with their children who have autism; they think that you probably only write about your very specific experiences and that your experiences will be too specific for them to relate to; or you are unable to present an objective viewpoint of autism and they will not be able to learn anything from you. 

I feel that many of these may be true for many people. I know for a fact that there is a lot of tension between certain groups of adults with autism and certain groups of parents of children with autism. But I commented on that blog, that I think another reason why parents of kids with autism don't read our blogs is not because they think we have nothing to say, but because parent bloggers of any kids usually want to read about and hear from other parent bloggers. Homeschooling parents tend to read all of the homeschooling blogs they can find. Religious parents probably read all of the blogs they can by other religious parents. If you have a child with Down syndrome, you probably search for blogs by other parents of children with Down syndrome. If you adopted children, you may look for blogs by parents who have adopted or are in the adoption process. I could go on forever. And probably all of these parents would even read each other's blogs; ie a homeschooling mother might enjoy reading a blog about foster parenting. But often parents do not look for blogs by childless adults, with or without autism.

And, if an adult without children shows up reading a lot of parenting blogs, some parents get a little creeped out. There is a sort of assumption by many parents, that other parents are generally trustworthy, while people without children are a little suspicious. I understand that; I feel similarly about people who don't like dogs. I'm like, "Whaaaat? You don't have a dog? Uh... why not?"

Which brings me to this question. I can't really ask all of my non-readers why they don't read this blog, since they will never see the question. So I will ask my readers... why do you read this blog? Is it because you have an interest in ADHD or autism, for yourself or your child? Are you just dropping by because I comment on your blogs and you want to reciprocate? Is it because you like my fascinating posts? Tell me why in the comments! Also, if you have a child with autism or any special need, do you read blogs by adults with the same special need, or do you stick to parenting blogs? Inquiring minds want to know! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Living Independently

I did a Google image search for independent
living and this is what popped up, and it
reminded me of my cousin BT because when
he first had an apartment he was always
writing on Facebook about how he was
hungry and had no food!
So I am officially, for real this time, moving to Oregon in exactly a month, give or take a few days. The plan so far is for my dad and I to drive out there about a week or so before my cousin's wedding, and then I will be able to go to the wedding, and I'll pretty much be an out of town wedding guest who never leaves! I'll stay with my Auntie Em and Uncle J for a while until I can find my own place, which I hope won't take very long... I love staying with them, but the whole idea is for me to get on my own, so staying with them forever would sort of defeat the purpose of that!

I have lived on my own before, but I never did a really great job of it. Hence, why I eventually failed every time. 

Last week my parents went to Arizona for the White Sox spring training, which they do every year. My mom has this chart she made, and she prints it out on her computer every time they are going to be out of town. It shows all of the days that they are going to be gone, and it shows a list of all the things I have to do each day, some of which is different from what I usually do. 

The things that she puts on there are walking the dogs in the morning (which I don't usually do, because I usually just take Lily in the backyard, but my parents for some reason trained Trixie not to poop in the backyard so now she needs to take an actual walk in order to poop!), give the dogs food and water, bring in the newspaper, open the blinds, and turn off the porch light, in the morning, and then bring in the mail, walk the dogs again, turn on the porch light, shut the blinds, make sure the dogs have food and water (which they didn't usually finish from the morning), walk the dogs again, and lock the back door. I think that is pretty much it. All week long I check the boxes as I do them, and that way I know I did everything, plus it shows me how much longer until they get back. I used to get really panicky when they left, because I felt like I would never see them again. But that was about five years ago, and now I am much better. 

The things that she does not put on there are wake up, eat breakfast, take vitamins and medicine,  make a lunch for work, take a shower, get dressed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, get in pajamas, and go to bed... because those are things I already do every day anyways. 

I was thinking, when I get my own apartment, maybe I will make a list like this for every day, at least until I really get used to it. I think I would probably also put on there about eating meals and taking showers, because even though I already do those things no matter where I am, checking them off makes me feel better and would help me stay in a routine. Sometimes when I get out of a routine (like right now while the school district I work in is on spring break) I start neglecting even normal things, like taking a shower and eating, and I just sleep all day instead. 

I was also thinking of making a list of things I can make for dinner, so that I wouldn't have to try and think of something every day and end up eating cold cereal because my mind goes blank. I am great at making macaroni and cheese, and I am also great at making stir-fried veggies and rice, or rice and black beans, or pasta with veggies and cheese. (I like to try to make new casserole recipes I find online, but basically they can all be summed up as pasta with veggies and cheese!) I don't eat meat, so my choices are pretty limited. When I took care of my roommate's kids full time I would make them things like chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, but for myself I do not eat chicken! And I don't like really spicy things. So this puts a lot of limitation on my diet, because a lot of vegetarian recipes depend on spices for flavor. I will not eat curry. You cannot make me. 

So for all of you wise people out there, what would you put on these lists if you were me? And do you know any easy, tasty and not-spicy vegetarian dinner recipes? 

Also, I am working hard at finding creative ways to fund my move, and also to fund the opening of Over The Rainbow. So I started selling things on eBay! My dad just gave me a whole bunch of interesting rings he's found at flea markets (he is trying to thin out his collection a little) and they are all there. I also have an Otter Box for iPhone 4 or 4s there. If you want to check out what I have, click here! 

See ya later, alligators! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Would You Welcome A Wolf?

"I'm thinking of moving to Chicago!"
The title of this blog post sounds like a children's story, doesn't it? But I'm actually asking you. 

The other day the local newspaper had a story about how a dead wolf was found in Illinois. I can't find the story online, or I'd link to it, but it was mostly about people's opinions of a wolf being in Illinois. There used to be wolves in Illinois (and I don't mean the hockey team, haha I'm so funny!) until 1860, when they died off from hunting and habitat destruction, because that is how we roll in Illinois. We pour cement on stuff. 

These days, the closest wolves are usually in Wisconsin (which is weird because I swear when I was a little kid and we used to take vacations in Wisconsin, my parents told me there were no wolves in the state, which could have been to keep me from being scared, except they did tell me there were bears, and even took us to see some at the local garbage dump, because you could do that back then, but I digress...) So the article was about people's attitudes about wolves coming to Illinois. Here's mine. 

First... I love animals, and I have learned some stuff about wolves over the years. I even went to a wolf sanctuary last summer! I know that most of the myths about wolves are not true. Wolves are not mean and bloodthirsty. They do not go around killing for fun. Wild animals generally don't do that. They kill to eat, so they can survive... and maybe they might fight other wolves in order to protect themselves and their pack. For survival.  Wolves like to stick with their pack and keep away from humans. If they do see a human, they don't really want to attack, because they don't want to eat us. They don't recognize us as food. I guess you could compare it to what you might think if you saw, say, a rat. You could potentially eat it and get nutrition. But would you want to? Your instincts tell you that it is not food! 

You might want to take note of the fact that, even in areas of North America where there are wolves, wolf attacks on humans are very, very rare. Between 1820 and now, there have been less than 10 known wolf attacks on humans. Of the ones that did happen, one was by a wolf in captivity, who attacked his caretaker, and the other was a "pet" wolf who attacked his "owner." (The moral of this story is, don't have a pet wolf!) 

And, I know that all of North America originally belonged to the animals. By destroying their habitat and hunting them, we have driven many animals to extinction or endangerment. So I don't like to say something like, "Wolves don't belong in Illinois," because really, it is us humans who don't belong!

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut...

I also know that when wolves do attack, it is often because they are hungry. And when wild animals do wander into areas with lots of humans, it is because they are running out of space for themselves, and because they've gotten used to seeing humans. That is why coyotes have started hanging around the suburbs, and even the city. And when they don't have enough food to eat, or enough space to call their own, things like this start to happen. (This article caused me to just about poop in my pants. This is one of my worst fears. I am scared to let my dogs out in the backyard alone, and I hate walking them both by myself, because of this.)

So lets say wolves start coming here. And lets say they try to survive in our little forest preserves. If they start having the same problem as the coyotes here have, they're going to wander off in search of more food and places to live. But if you wander very far in the forest preserve, you eventually get to an area with people and pets. And if a wolf is hungry and looking for food... well... 

I love all animals. But I love my dogs personally, and I do not want them to be eaten alive by wolves. So...

Do I want wolves to come to Illinois? Not particularly. I don't like the idea of coyotes starving and having to eat garbage. I don't want that for wolves, either. And I also don't want my dogs to die. So if there are any wolves reading this blog, please don't come to Illinois... at least, not to Chicago! It is just not a good idea for any of us! 

If anyone disagrees with me, I'd love to hear your thoughts... especially if you can reassure me that the wolves will not eat my dogs! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dangerous Cookies

Hi everyone! I know you haven't heard from me in a while. Sometimes I disappear for long amounts of time. This time, the reason was more boredom than depression or anything else. My life is sort of at a flat-line right now. It is hard to motivate yourself to write in your blog, when all you have to say is, "Today I watched four episodes of 'Breaking Bad' with my parents on Netflix."

Speaking of "Breaking Bad"... if you've never heard of it, it is a show about a very intelligent and talented chemist who, for some reason, has also been sort of flat-lining in life. While he was once involved in some sort of complicated and important chemistry business, he ended up teaching high school chemistry to a bunch of listless kids who are barely paying attention. He finds out he has lung cancer and that he is probably going to die. With a wife who is pregnant and a son who has cerebral palsy, the guy realizes that when he dies he is not going to be leaving them much to live on. So he decides to partner up with a former student of his, whose talent in life happens to be making crystal meth. As a chemist, Walt (the chemistry teacher) believes he can create the most  perfect meth imaginable, and make enough money to allow his wife and children to live comfortably after he is dead. And they actually do it. I have no idea how one judges the quality of crystal meth. To me, the whole idea seems similar to chugging down a glass full of bleach each day. But apparently, this meth they make is exquisite. If you've ever known anyone with a drug addiction, you know that the drug becomes their life, and they will do anything to get it, paying every dollar they have or can get, which makes the selling of drugs a lucrative business.

The ironic thing about watching this show is that the show, itself, is very addicting! The way each episode ends makes you desperate to see more! When it was on live TV, people had to wait a whole week to see more. But now that we have Netflix, we can devour episode after episode, in one sitting!

I wouldn't make a good drug addict. But you know what I am addicted to? These cookies I invented! They are about as addicting as crystal meth. They are the meth of the non-meth-using world. They are moist, and chewy, and friggin' awesome! And I am about to share my secret recipe with you. Because, really, I have nothing entertaining to share with you right now, so the least I can do is give you a great cookie recipe.

Are you ready?

First, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

You will need two bowls. One of them should be a large mixing bowl. The other can be smaller, like a cereal bowl.

In the first bowl, you will put the dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour (but I actually put in just a little bit less flour than that)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups dry oatmeal (it can be the "quick" kind or the "old fashioned" kind)
1 tsp baking soda
A few shakes of table salt
A few shakes of cinnamon
1 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips (I use the dark chocolate kind, but the regular kind would work well too)
Half of a 14-ounce bag of coconut flakes.

Stir all of this up well. I like to use a wooden spoon.

In the smaller bowl, microwave 2 sticks of butter until it is completely melted. Add the following:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
3 tsp vanilla (or extract)

Stir that up well, and then pour it into the larger bowl of dry ingredients and stir it all up until it is all combined into a nice batter. If it seems too liquidy, you can put it in the refrigerator for a little while to stiffen it up.

Now the obvious part. Take large spoonfuls of dough, and plop them onto the cookie sheet. I like to use my hands to form balls with them, but you don't have to do that.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, take them out of the oven. They will still look wet and mushy, but their color should be golden brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a while. If you don't, when you try to remove them they will turn into mushy blobs. When they've cooled a little, you should be able to remove them very easily by sliding a spatula under each cookie and moving it to a cookie rack or plate or wherever you are going to put them to finish cooling off.

Now eat one. And then eat another. And another. And another. And another. And another...

I hope you like this recipe! Over and out.