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.
Reading your post reminds me of myself. Being currently undiagnosed, yet seeking one, I'm wavering and at a stage of questioning if I really am on the spectrum or just being sensitive... My parents, who are both introverts (suspect dad is autistic), have not really come up with much in answer to the early development questionnaire. It's in part due to their age, perhaps not understanding autism and being unable to remember. I also suspect that our family 'normal' is on the invisible end of the spectrum so any familial oddness may probably be going unseen.
BlueRay said: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.
These past few months I have been quite reclusive and social outings have been limited. I avoid (social) situations and environments (apart from work) that are uncomfortable. I'm mostly untroubled by negative thoughts though recognise that when the slightest thing goes 'wrong' then I can quickly revert to all or nothing thinking and catastrophising and go on a bit of a downward spiral.
I'm aware that I could attend more social events and 'make an effort' (read: act), but I would burn out quite rapidly and feel outside of my own experience (does this ring bells for anyone ?).
When I'm by myself I'm content and less troubled. When I'm off work I notice how much more energy I have for my own interests.
Yeah, I totally relate to everything you said Possibly Autistic. My mum didn't even come to my assessment with me, as requested, she told me I was simply 'normal' as a child, yet after I got my diagnosis she was telling me stuff that she'd never told me before and thinking about it now, what she told me about me, confirms to me, 'her' diagnosis because if my childhood behaviours were normal, to her, she is most definitely NOT normal! Lol!
I rarely listen to negative self talk etc but like you, I'm noticing that when I'm tired my thought patterns really do, do a number on me and I start thinking all sorts of weird stuff which go completely, without trace, once I'm fully rested. It was my support worker who pointed out my catastrophic thinking and in particular my frequent use of the word 'never', such as, I'll 'never' do that again or I'll never talk to him again, and things like that.
I got to a stage where I was so burnt out that I really did become incapable of doing even the simplest of things, I couldn't attend any social event, I could barely leave my bed let alone my house. But in retrospect, I can now see this as the best thing that's ever happened to me as it has given me a totally clean platform from which to build my new life on, from the ground up, and this time round, I'm building my working life around my leisure life and not the other way around, to make sure I always have the energy to do the things I love. I love my work which is all the more reason why I'm building my life, this way round - because I love my work so much (it's my passion/special interest) there's a risk of my life being all about work and since my diagnosis, in fact, since just very recently, I'm learning about balance and the importance of having all these different elements in my life, such as friendships ~ totally weird, I've never needed them and still don't, but I do like what they bring into my life ~ I'm talking about my new friendships with my new autistic friends, who are nothing like me yet exactly like me and I am growing to really love and appreciate what gifts and qualities they bring into my life.