The deeply ingrained idea of normality

I’ve had a day of complete rest today, not through choice exactly.  had planned to do a few things today but the body simply wasn’t up for it. 

I’ve noticed a pattern with what happens to my mind set on days like this. It goes through a cycle and always (after I have had enough rest) I come to the conclusion that I was simply tired and by resting, I was giving my body exactly what it needed and it is nothing to worry about. But I do get into thinking it’s a major set back and my whole life is crashing around me and I’m never going to achieve my goals. It all feels like a massive catastrophe. 

Today, as I was struggling with it, I thought to myself, what would my support worker say to me right now? 

I know exactly what she would say. She would say, my goodness, you’ve been having so many realisations, you’ve been working so hard to work things out and to be able to understand yourself better so you can work round your challenges and you have been doing things that take so much mental effort for you to do that she would say I’m absolutely not surprised that you’re tired. She sees my realisations as massive gains and just like my support worker before her, she would say and does say, it’s more than ok to take rest and in fact it’s vital. 

I’ve never lived a conventional life, not by any stretch of the imagination, not even as a kid and although I did my best to fit in with my peers, I never bought into the idea of having a good job, buying a house, car and having the holidays and all that sort of thing. But when I’m tired (more tired than I realise at the time) my mind plays tricks on me and tells me I shouldn’t be resting, what’s wrong with you, just do the things you said you were going to do. And when I’m by myself, my aspie ‘challenges’ all but disappear as I’m in silence and of course, I’m having no social contact or sensory issues etc. So I will even question my diagnosis and it’s like I hold myself up to an image I’ve never even aspired to. When I come out of it, I can see that mind hurricane was simply a symptom of my tiredness but at the time, I can really get caught up in it, although now I can see the pattern, I’m sure I will get caught up in it less and less. 

My point is, the idea of what’s ‘normal’ is so ingrained that even my mind will go there and judge myself against this idea of normality, that I don’t buy into and have never bought into when my mind is clear. And sometimes it’s like I think I’m normal and can start thinking I’m even faking my tiredness etc. It’s so weird. 

I’m also realising however, that I am still only 8 months post diagnosis so I need to cut me some slack. Sometimes as well, I will compare myself to how I used to be during the times when I was fitting in very well and doing things that I now seem to find almost impossible to do. 

Then I remember, all that fitting in caused me to burnout and that I’m not only dealing with coming to terms with the diagnosis but I’m also recovering from a total burnout. I think that I’ve been trying so hard to fit in for so long that policing myself at every step of the way has become like second nature and I don’t even realise I’m doing it sometimes. 

It’s certainly very interesting! It’s like I get a couple of plates spinning, then a couple more but before I realise it, the plates that I first started spinning have now stopped completely. It’s like the world really does move at a pace that’s way too fast for me and it expects so much to be done in such short amounts of time. 

I wonder how nt’s do it. They have such busy active lives and I’m amazed at their abilities. But I guess they can do it because they’re wired differently. I do wonder though if they’re completely happy with the pace of life and this set kind of standard of normality.