Places to Eat in Worthing

I live in a seaside town called Worthing. I have lived here my entire life and have seen many businesses come and go through the years. When I was fifteen, I went vegan, and this meant that some of the places that I had considered my favourites became disappointing and lacking options. I live quite near Brighton so it can be annoying being that close to such a huge vegan community yet not have many options in my own town. Eventually, that changed and now there are a lot of places to eat in Worthing. This post is a shout-out to the places that really deserve it because they give great options for everyone.

I will first start off with a fully-vegan business. Cactus Kitchen Gals. They’re all about vegan junk food. Their notzarella sticks are so delicious that I am disappointed when I try supermarket’s attempts at it. Gooey and cheesey, even my non-vegan mum is impressed! They do delicious milkshakes and waffles and I’m honestly in love. They’re also largely gluten-free.

The next business is mostly vegan but has some non-vegan cheese, if I remember correctly. Wine & Reason. I don’t drink so, although many love them for their good wine, I’m all about the food. They have a small menu but it has such good options that you won’t feel like you’re missing out. When I was there, I had banana blossom fish and chips, and then they did a trio of desserts so me and my mum shared that! The Egremont also do banana blossom fish and chips which is delicious.

The third business is not just a cafe but also a great place to go if you’re on the run. The Artisan’s Pantry & Sandwich Bar. They have a lot of vegan options, as well as some non-vegan options. You can take out or sit in. I would suggest this place if you’re after a quiet cafe, also.

Next, we have The Orchard. A non-vegan business with vegan pancakes on offer. They’re quite busy and bustling so get there early! I love their pancakes.

I have to say, the next business is possibly my favourite. Street’s cafe. They have such a large vegan menu, I never know what I’m going to order! Do I want vegan fish and chips or perhaps a burger? It’s a great place to eat with family and is child-friendly. They also sell a few things.

The final business isn’t a cafe at all, but rather a shop. TEBA are always expanding their vegan range in the shop and the vegans of Worthing are very happy. I always want to go in and see what new goods they have to offer. From vegan cheese to fake meat, they will likely have what you want. And if they don’t – just ask them! They often take requests. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they might have made something delicious too, like baklava. I love their baklava. My favourite shop in Worthing; they are also very nice in there!

If you want places that cater to everyone, when you’re next in Worthing check out the above places! I think you’ll be very happy.

Lia

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Dear Eve: Meltdowns

Dear Eve,

Thank you for reading my first letter. It means a lot that someone, however fictitious you are, is reading these. So, my fictitious friend, here is my second letter.

I have meltdowns a lot. When I have a meltdown, it’s because everything gets too much for me. These show in various ways, depending on who I’m with. If I’m with my family, I generally have more active signs. I’ll start talking loads at first, basically saying why something’s not how it’s supposed to be, and eventually I’ll cry if it isn’t resolved immediately.

My meltdowns with other people aren’t so obvious, however. People won’t really notice that I’m having a meltdown. I go subdued and quiet, and I kind of try to think about nothing at all because if I think about something, I’m worried my meltdown will become visible. On occasion, I do have more visible signs, but I try to postpone them for as long as possible. I’ll go on my phone a lot if I’m feeling really worried and I will probably text my mum. My mum usually answers quickly and she always distracts me with updates on the pets. I find talking about my pets calms me down instantly.

I’m terrified that someone will notice I’m having a meltdown and think that I’m being ridiculous or that I’m a bad person. I heard a story of someone buying all the apple pies in McDonalds because they heard a kid ‘being bratty about wanting one and having a tantrum’. It made me think: this person judged this kid without even knowing the kid. Perhaps the kid, like me, was autistic or had another problem? How do you know? You don’t. So I always worry that people will think terribly of me because I look so ordinary. I don’t want to be thought of like that.

I wonder if you’ve ever had meltdowns, Eve. A lot of people have them; it’s just that they’re more common in autistic people. My mum has them herself quite often but she isn’t autistic. She is dyspraxic however, so isn’t exactly ‘neurotypical’.

It’s nice discussing these things with you because I know you’ll never reply with advice on how to fix my problems. The truth is, Eve, I can’t fix my problems. I will live with them for my entire life. I can figure out ways of dealing with them, but that isn’t fixing them. I don’t like it when people, especially people without autism, tell me ways I can improve myself. They don’t know how tough it is for me and how terrible that advice makes me feel, Eve. I feel constantly like everyone is trying to see me as a person with potential, someone who can become something. That pressure to be what they want me to be sits inside me always. My IQ means nothing. It’s not about how clever you are, it’s about how suited you are to the world, and I’m a cat in a dog food factory. Basically, the world is wrong for me. I try to fit in but I never will.

I’ve accepted that I won’t fit in, but some people still try to see me as someone who needs to fit in with society. I need to work hard to get somewhere (where am I going? I don’t know), I need to not have meltdowns, and I need to respond when people talk to me. I like how you don’t expect these things of me, Eve.

People think these things are simple, but there are a million reasons why, for me, they’re not simple. I could go over the list but I don’t think you would finish this letter, Eve. So I’m just going to say one thing: this isn’t me. I’m not steady, I’m not calm, I’m not social. None of that is me. I sometimes feel like no one really knows me but I guess you’ll know me, Eve. These letters will help you know me. Thank you, again, for reading.

Love,

Lia

Moving

I’ve lived in the same house for my entire life — 18 years.

Today my parents accepted an offer on our house. It means that it’s real, that I’m actually going to be moving somewhere. A chalet bungalow. I don’t want to leave this house. I really don’t. It’s terrifying, the thought of never being in it again… the house I spend most of my days in, all of my nights in.

Why do I have to leave it?

My heart is crumbling, piece by piece, because this is the house I have lived in for so long. Every second I think about the new house, a part of my heart vanishes, because it’s only going to get closer to the day I have to leave.

I don’t know if I can do it. I’ve dealt with changes before, but never such a massive one. This is the biggest change I will ever face and how can I live with it? I don’t know.

All I know is that it’s scaring me so much. I’ve never felt this scared before, because I always had the security of returning to this house. Now that’s going to be gone too.

What Not to Do to an Autistic Person

I’ve mentioned this before in posts, but I thought I should put a disclaimer before this one, just so you know. Autism is a spectrum, and the things that I don’t like or that make me stressed might not necessarily be the same for other people on the spectrum. They might have other worries.

This is a list of tips for people who might know someone with this condition. However, it is definitely not accurate for everyone, as mentioned above. It is accurate for me, though.

  1. Do not make arrangements with me that have less than a week’s notice, or that don’t have all the details sorted out until very close to the scheduled day of meeting. This stresses me out so much and I get so worked up over it that I am 84% going to cancel. If I don’t cancel, I’m probably going to be sad and tired for a while after meeting, because I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for it.
  2. Don’t speak to me in a demanding way, or with a stern voice. This just causes me to panic and I actually take longer to do the task than if you had just asked nicely.
  3. Please don’t ignore any text questions I have! I cannot stand the ‘read’ feature on social media. I use Facebook and Instagram most often (both of which have this feature) and it causes me an unsettling amount of anxiety when someone ignores my text. I’m talking about people who read it and then decide to never respond. This applies largely to questions and stuff that would normally incite a response. Just.. please…
  4. Don’t look at me too intensely. I am alright with you glancing at me occasionally but it kinda makes me feel uncomfortable if you look at me too long. I’m sorry, it’s just hard to deal with eyes looking at me… I sometimes want to permanently hide under a sheet so no one ever has to look at me.
  5. Try to avoid touching me. I am extremely sensitive to touch, and sometimes I feel so obliged to hug people and it really feels awkward and uncomfortable. Also, please do not touch my arm or something if you’re trying to get my attention or for whatever reason — I know you only lightly touched me, but it hurts! Most people wouldn’t be affected but sometimes my mum will tap me and I’ll go “ouch!” and she’ll think I’m being over-dramatic, but it actually hurts.
  6. Compliments… gifts… help. I am alright with compliments and gifts, as long as you don’t expect a response. I have been called rude for this but it is just so awkward! I am really grateful that you like my hair or for the potato you gave me but it makes me really embarrassed, especially around people who aren’t my close family. My mum calls me beautiful every day, that’s enough compliments for my entire life! I also struggle with confidence and don’t know whether you’re being nice or truthful. It’s hard to decide!
  7. Don’t speak too loud. You can speak at normal volume, but do not yell at me or raise your voice. I’m sensitive to noise, too, and tend to retreat from loud noise and often won’t respond, or might even try to cover my ears.
  8. Don’t expect me to never say inappropriate things. If I’m feeling awkward, or the conversation has stopped flowing, I probably will say something inappropriate. For instance, I might say something about potatoes because I love them and they’re the first thing I can think of. What gets me is when people question why I said that, or look at me strange. I’m not like you.
  9. Don’t forget me. I know I’m not the best person at maintaining friendships, because I eventually drive them away with my inappropriateness or my anxiety, but I always try to do the right thing. I try. It’s hard when people don’t accept me for the way I am, and how difficult I can be. I might be complex, but I can be solved. Just try it.

Thank you so much for reading this post,

Lia

What Am I Doing With My Life?

So, two people in one day asked me the same question: what am I doing with my life? One conversation went something like this:

Them: Are you going to university?

Me: No.

Them: Are you working?

Me: No.

Them: Are you breathing…?

The other conversation was just a catch-up with an old friend, whom seems to have a really cool job as a teaching assistant with tiny children. I love children, so that seems fun. We talked a lot about our pets, and then about what we’re doing at the moment.

Anyway, it made me realise that people don’t understand me that well at all. These people that I’m friends with aren’t very similar to me. There is one friend I have who is very similar to me but we don’t meet up much, and it’s pretty much just her emailing me jokes that make me laugh. She thinks they’re not funny but they’re really my types of jokes!

So, I don’t have any prospects. I’m just an eighteen-year-old living with her parents. A lot of eighteen-year-olds live with their parents still, so I’m not too abnormal yet. My brother lives with my parents too — he’s nineteen! FYI: My mum moved out of her parent’s house at nineteen. I wish my brother took after her, because I really like the quiet. Just thinking is nice. And I can’t just think because he is constantly loud. I think I’ve complained about it a few times in blog posts… I have hyper-senses due to my autism, so every little sound really disturbs me! And he doesn’t even try to be quiet sometimes. The noise can be so loud…

Sorry for getting off topic! Basically, I think I should tell everyone a little thing about me: I don’t find it easy doing most jobs, or going to university. Both things involve interaction, and I have constant anxiety over every little thing, so something like that really wouldn’t work for me. I don’t know if I’ll get a job somewhen in the future, but right now, I don’t want one. I know that it would send my anxiety levels skyrocketing and my parents are fully supportive of me in everything I do. They want me to try working on my writing, but honestly, I’ve been stuck for ideas lately. Somewhen, I might go to university, or the open university, but it isn’t this year, or next. People need to live life at their own pace.

Not everyone should feel pressured to do what everyone else their age is doing. Sure, other people my age are at university or at a job: that isn’t me. Not right now, anyway. I have autism and it limits many of my social skills. Lots of people with autism do go to work or university, but I don’t find it works for me at the moment. I’m also pretty tired a lot of the time. I don’t know why, it’s kinda undiagnosed, but it stops me from being able to just go out and do things.

Remember that you shouldn’t feel like you have to do what the world is doing. You should do your own thing, be your own person. You can go to university if you want, that’s cool, but you should do it because you want to do it, not because everyone else is doing it. You can wait a year or two to try and figure out what you want to do in life. I want to be a cat, but unfortunately I haven’t figured out how yet. Maybe, one day…

Thanks for reading,

Lia

To The Girls Who Wear Glass Slippers

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
does the shoe fit?
Does it slide on gracefully, or did you have to sand your foot again and again – until the skin rubbed off – just to get it to slide in uncomfortably?
Is that glue I see, crushed into the slipper, so that your foot won’t hang out?
What’s that – rope? Tying your foot to it, are you?
It might be convenient to dig your foot into the first glass slipper you see, dear, but is your foot okay with it? Does it dangle or quench for air? Does it walk smoothly, without blisters?

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
don’t shape your foot. It isn’t clay.
There might be a prince around someday, a boy who passes you a glass slipper, and asks you to try it on. He might have the medals dangling around his neck, gold rings tightened to his fingers, money waddling around in his pocket – he might have all that, but if the shoe does not fit, then he is not a prince. He is merely an impostor; a concoction of stolen awards, gold paint, and forged money.

To the girls who wear glass slippers:
if the shoe fits, wear it.