The best way to describe how my life feels at the moment is overwhelming.
My health and ability to cope with things has been deteriorating slowly over time and this is nothing unusual; I go through these phases and have done throughout my life.
What is different now is that everything seems so much more intense and the standard I have to work to are much higher. I can't get away with having a bad day or even bad month as nothing slows or stops to accommodate it. I am now a mature woman and as such, people expect me to tolerate and cope with the toils of life, but in fact I still struggle as I did back in my teens, just I hide it better.
As described in other posts, I have been back to my GP as a result of sensory issues and having shutdowns at work and I was told I would be referred to a specialist and would hear within 7 days etc. That was over a month ago...
My referral has been rejected twice already due to the facilities it has been referred to not being capable of dealing with 'my type of case'. Meanwhile it has now been referred to somewhere else and I am told to give it more time and be patient. That's all well and great when you are in a fit state to deal with everything. Why is it medical experts don't seem to realise time is not on your side in these situations as you are sliding faster down a slippery slope that becomes much harder to climb back up again. Also, instead of being referred for sensory issues, I have been referred for a mental health assessment. I am confused and flabbergasted by the whole thing.
As a result I am left feeling like I am trying to drastically hold onto sand that is slowly slipping through my fingers.
There are other personal factors that have probably contributed to how I am feeling and reacting as well, but the main issue is that I am now just functioning as in getting up and going to work and that has been hit and miss on occasions. My routines that I so strongly rely on to make sure I eat and eat healthy as well as keep my house clean and tidy, I can no longer achieve or even comprehend, which is only heightening my stress levels - I must follow these routines in order to feel calm and in control. My self-care has also lapsed and everything seems a massive chore. Even my special interests just seem too much to even think about or get actively involved in. To make matters worse, my partner is also going through a bad time, so he has his own battles to fight without having to deal with mine.
I am aware I am having an intense period of emotions and that they are bad, but I cannot differentiate what they are or even as to why I am feeling them or what lead me to this point. Not seeing the wood for the trees could be a possible issue.
Either way, I now don't know what to do.
I have no one to turn to and even if I did, I don't know what I would say or do as I cannot express myself verbally in these situations.
To summarise, I am tired and I know it is only a matter of time before I roll over and give in because I can't battle on any more. This is why I get so frustrated that everything surrounding mental health is based on time and the infinite amount of it apparently.
I am normally a good problem solver, but I can't see a way out of this one and that is what troubles me the most.
OMG I thought I was reading a post that I had written, until you said you go to work. I am no longer able to do that and slowly, but surely, I am also, no longer willing to do work that doesn’t serve me.
I too was unable to ask for help, I didn’t know how to ask or what to say, I didn’t know what help I needed or who to turn to, and nobody has been able to help me in the past, so I didn’t really have any confidence in asking for help.
However, my back is against the wall, and as such, I am now asking for help (in a weird way), and I’m getting it.
I need financial support, over the next year, to enable me to get myself out of this burnout/shut down and to enable me to begin to understand myself better and get the help I need to move to where I want to be. Which is working for myself. I refuse to allow my perceived intelligence to get in the way of me getting the support I need anymore, because not only do I think I can’t handle another burnout, I also don’t want to put myself through it. I’m not saying that I think that I’ll never have melt downs or that I won’t always have to take life at a slower pace, but I believe I can find a way to meet all my needs, without me having to wear a mask and force myself into a box that wasn’t built for me.
I’m suprised by how much support I’m getting and how many others are out there in this situation. I trust this week off work will bring some measure of clarity for you as to what to do. Remember you have to look after yourself, because nobody else will, but when we start reaching out, holding our hands up and saying enough’s enough, magic starts to happen. It’s lile I surrendered to it and now, I’m slowly making progress towards getting the support I need to be able to get by in this world. I need a leg up, and I admit it and I’m open and receptive to the support.
You’re defnitelty not alone. There are many of us out there, in this situation. They still say autism is ‘mysterious’ and it’s almost like we’re the first wave of adults who are showing up, needing support, and no one quite knows what to do. I figure, they’re not going to know unless we tell them. However, I have experienced a lot of financial hardship due to my inability to work, and a lot of other hardships, but it has all been worth it because I am no longer willing to wear the mask, for anyone. Very few people understand this, but people in the autism community do and even if our experiences are different, we still understand each other. I feel like I’m experiencing short term pain for long term gain. I’ve got a goal and I’m not going to let anyone or anything prevent me from achieving it.
Hang in there. You’re stronger than you think and you’ve done the hard part, by taking that first step to reach out. Be true to you and this will all work out.
You are both brave women. Too tired to contribute further today