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.
Nice talking to you since you're having similar experiences.
About the job centre work coach. What benefits are you on? I am on Universal Credit. I can contact my work coach through email or the online universal job match portal. But unfortunately the formal method to rearrange an appointment is by phone to a national number . Otherwise I risk being sanctioned.
I've just realised the similarities between the two words , sanctioned where you lose your benefits and end up penniless. And sectioned where you lose your liberty and end up locked up.
There is plenty of help and advice available but I'm reluctant to look for it and hate talking to strangers about my problems face to face. I am more used to helping other people with their problems. Unfortunately people take advantage of me.
There are plenty of jobs I'm applying for, but I lack relevant experience for most,. I'm overqualified for others, I have several long unexplained gaps in my employment history. I can explain them. But the truthful explanation can make the situation even worse. Even my specialist mental health employment advisor gave up.
Yeah, likewise. I’m also on universal credit now. I was on employment support allowance but they took me off that, and put me onto Universal Credit. I can contact the work coach through the universal credit portal, and so far, whenever I have contacted her through this method, she has got back to me on the same day. I actually have a sick note, so all job searchers are switched off, yet I’m still supposed to be looking for jobs? It doesn’t make sense.
I know what you mean about feeling reluctant to ask for help. I’m in the same situation, I’m usually the one offering the support, not visa versa, and it’s incredibly difficult for me to even admit I need help. It’s like, when ever I come into contact with an NT, no matter who they are, I assume this position of ‘I’m ok’. However, my refusal to apply for just any old job, has forced me to be brutally honest with my work coach. I felt like it was a risk, at the time, but it paid off and she can now see why I’m currently out of work. It’s not because I don’t have skills but rather, I just don’t fit in to the nt world and coming into contact with people, unless it’s on my terms, is exhausting for me, and currently, any contact is beyond my capacity.
I also have big gaps in my employment record now, so even going back to social work would be difficult and for me, it would be like a step backwards.
Now I have a better understanding of autism, and how it effects me, I can plan a life that suits me. So I know where I want to be, I just need help getting there.
Have you thought about alternative forms of creating an income? For example, I did a course on selling on eBay and realised that it’s possible to make a good level of income, without ever touching a product. It takes roughly 3 to 4 years to build up such a business. By that time, it is almost all automatic, with no face to face customer contact. The contact is all done on line and products are sold via the drop shipping method.
Have you got a special interest? If you tell me what that is, I can tell you how that can be part of creating an online income. I’ve studied several courses and spent thousands of pounds in the process, but it was all worth it, as I now know what I want to do. However, the most important thing for me right now, is to establish a good routine of going to bed at the same time, getting up at the same time, following a daily exercise regime, healthy eating, fresh air, walking in nature and also a hobby that I can do which will balance out my working hours, when I get started. I have realised, this is important, to offset my obsessive nature, otherwise life can be all work and no play, and I have learned the hard way, that that is not sustainable for me.
I’m in debt with all my utility bills and rent, I’m on a suspended eviction order, so sorting all that out, has been like a full time job, but people have been incredibly helpful and supportive. I have been forced, through utter exhaustion, to be honest, and admit I need help. I don’t like needing the help, but I do, and what I need more than anything, is as much financial support as I can get, so I can pay my rent, debts and food, so I can concentrate on getting a routine together and working on my website, in preparation for working with clients. A friend has said she’ll come and help me clean my house, so I’m working up to that. She’s autistic so she understands me, but I still have to work up to her coming round.
It’s like I know I’m capable of getting back on my feet, people just have to be patient with me, and I have to reduce my contact with people down to only what’s necessary. For example, it’s ok to go to the gym and art class etc, when I feel able to. I have to build my strength back up through healthy eating and fresh air, meditation etc, and this, I’m realising, can’t be rushed.
Is there any particular type of work that you would love to do?
Apart from autism I have many other problems and phobias. At the moment my letter opening phobia has returned. I have not opened letters for over a month.
Academically my strength is maths ( first class honours in Maths from the Open University). my weakness is English ( never passed English O level, tried five times at school). My computing skills are so so.
I grew up in an insane family background. Both my parents had severe issues which were never diagnosed. These included possible autism, paranoia, delusions, schizophrenia etc.
As a family unit we managed to function with everyone having a role and most things got done. But to outsider's we appeared insane.
I've had many short term jobs. Just counted 10 jobs. The most recent being full time carer for my parents as their health became worse and worse.
My communication skills are erratic. I can write on the internet. But cannot socialise in pubs and clubs or people's homes etc. I can probably do jobs but cannot pass the interviews and silly group tests.
My family life is still affecting me and giving me nightmares. It was full of contradictions and different from most families.
I've decided not to bore you with the details for now. Because this post will get too long.
Hi Robert, I too don’t do well socialising in pubs or other people’s homes. I actually find it weird that people spend so much time in each other’s homes! Lol! I know they probably think I’m weird, and that’s ok. But I have found I’m ok in groups where there is a common interest, such as my art group and if I’m careful not to talk too much and be a better listener, it goes ok and I’m actually learning a thing or two about socialising, although I don’t intend to do it outside a shared interest.
I spent many years coming to terms with my upbringing. Lots of disfuntion and probably undiagnosed issues that I’m only just starting to see. But I have come to terms with all that now, although it was important for me to work through it all.
I’ve only just started opening mail again although I am working towards a mail free life because mail, along with phone calls, are not something I deal with naturally. A spiritual speaker, Stuart Wilde, who’s dead now, has what he calls a very spiritual approach to dealing with mail. He says make a cardboard shoot (don’t think that’s the right spelling), from the letter box to a shoe box, and when the shoe box is full, empty it in the bin and start again. That’s my idea of dealing with mail! Lol!
Are you getting any help with dealing with family issues? Is there anything that you love to do? I think I mostly like to be by myself, but I like to be in nature, so I’m building my strength back up so I can more easily spend more time outdoors. I like riding my bike and now my granddaughter has a bike, I said I would take her on bike rides. I’m no longer ignoring or minimising my challenges and I can see they’re not going to go away, so I’m creating a lifestyle that will meet all of my needs and slowly but surely, I’m getting there. Don’t worry about how long your comments will be, if it helps you to share your struggles, go ahead.
Anyway, I’m not happy you’re in the situation you’re in but it helps me to know I’m not alone and if I can be of help in anyway, I’m happy to help.
Not sure if I should share my insane childhood on an internet forum.
Even my NT sister calls our childhood years total madness. That no one will believe.
That’s a good point but if you ever want to let off steam, you can private message me.
Thanks Nellie-Mod; I have made an appointment with my GP today.
I used to struggle opening my mail when I was younger, but I found ignoring it just made my problems at the time worse. I never felt prepared when said people trying to contact me, would call me or demand things of me as I didn't know what they were talking about.
I now have a system that post is opened every day on the day it is delivered and then it is organised into piles of:
- Read and acknowledged (no follow-up required)
- Requires follow-up (this will normally require looking into further information before getting back to the person/organisation)
- Requires urgent follow-up (this is normally something that needs dealing with now and cannot wait)
The urgent pile gets addressed first, followed by the follow-up pile which I also organise by deadline date order if necessary to help me tackle things in a logical order. I have found by doing this, the stress of dealing with post is reduced significantly and I feel more on top of things.
Looks like you have some decent skills there! I wish I was good at Maths.
I know a lot of people on the forums work as teachers and the education system is desperate for Maths teachers. Is this something you could do, maybe even if it was an evening class or even online with people who wanted to brush up on their skills? ND people tend to go into lots of details when explaining things so it could be just what some people need to get their heads round the subject.
Not teaching. I went to some awful schools. I saw my maths teacher having her arm crushed in a door as she tried to get into class.
I could never cope with teaching a class .