We all get tired and stressed from work and we all definitely have our bad days and even bad jobs, but I am finding as time goes on I am coping less and less with work.
I have recently moved jobs due to numerous issues at my last place of work, but I am finding that I am constantly run down, fatigued, stressed and just generally feel unwell as a result of working. I am in my early thirties and I know we slow down and get tired with age, but I feel ill - not just tired.
My mental health is strained, I am suffering with anxiety and possibly depression, GI issues, skin complaints, respiratory problems, migraines, fatigue, muscles cramps/pain, joint pain, general illnesses etc etc.
Packing my job in is not an option as I have bills to pay, but I also want to work and like having purpose and responsibility - I just wish it didn't take so much out of me.
I have been looking at career changes, but at the moment I cannot financially afford the risks and even then I am not really sure what I could do that would alleviate these health issues.
Most people seem to breeze through life (ok slightly over dramatic) and get a weeks work done without a hitch and then make the most of the weekend. I spend my weekends and evenings a wreck, just trying to recover to start again. Are other people like this and just hide it better or is it me?
If I have to work until my late 60s until I retire, I am starting to think I won't make it anywhere near retirement at this rate.
I could have written that myself.
As you've pointed out, lots of people don't enjoy their jobs, or get stressed, but it seems for us aspies, the day to day stuff is what breaks us.
I used to work in an office, in an IT department and although I enjoyed the majority of the actual job - working out problems, writing repetitive code etc, the rest of it was awful. Constant interaction with other people, multi tasking, project management and the other general stresses of work.
I was undiagnosed at the time so it was all the harder. I tended to be the butt of many jokes because I said stuff that wasn't office like, or didn't get/appreciate banter and because I was totally overloaded all the time I made silly mistakes which just made things worse .
I developed every ailment under the sun. Had hospital admissions, colonoscopies, scans, so many things. It was just my bodies way of screaming for help .
Then the company went into administration. Brutal loss of income but my wife and I made lots of adjustments and I took some time off work to look after the kids.
During that time I was diagnosed and it all made sense.
I am now working 2 days a week, night shift, cleaning the spa for a fancy health retreat. It pays ok and I have to deal with at most, 2 other people for a few minutes, over a 9 hour shift. It is wonderful. Repetitive tasks that have a beginning and end, no stress and no people.
I'm lucky in that my wife has a good job so is the main bread winner. Maybe you don't have that, maybe you have the option to tighten your belt a bit and downsize your job, maybe you don't.
But it does sound like something has to change. Without knowing more, I'd say your current job isn't going to work out, no matter how many changes they make for you. There will still be people to work with, things to manage and stresses to deal with. I firmly believe that we all need to find jobs that work for us, rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and trying to modify a "normal" role .
I guess this is why so many aspies are out of work :-(
chuckalicious said:I firmly believe that we all need to find jobs that work for us, rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and trying to modify a "normal" role .
You may well be right. All this talk of reasonable adjustments may be nothing more than the logical extension of the lie, "you can be anything you want to be".
To me that is defeatist. I worked for a long time in a busy library on the front desk. I did that for 7 years but I remember seeing a conversation on an autism forum with autistic people agreeing that such a job would be impossible for a person with autism. Well, it isn't, but if you start of believing it is then you shut doors before you've even tried to open them. I was good at that job. It only ended because govt cuts shut the library.
My next job (the one I mentioned before) was working directly with students, some of whom had autism, some other disabilities, in their classes. Again, not something you would think a person with autism could do, but I was partly employed BECAUSE I had that empathy and I was really successful at that job. Unfortunately that was a temporary contract and it did get extended but then the funding ran out.
In both cases I had minor reasonable adjustments to timetables or whatever and I was good at my job. I don't believe in impossible. I'm now a full time student finishing a PhD. I was also told I would never go back to university but I have, twice.
In short, we should be able to do more things than people believe we can. Accepting outside views that we can't is just feeding into the prejudice. It *is* about finding the job that is right for you and that you can do - but my point is that it isn't right to limit what those jobs might or might not be able to be just because of prejudice and a lack of support in the employment world.
Ringorin said:To me that is defeatist.
It's not meant to be.
I'm a Chartered Engineer. I ran an engineering team in a pressured environment for nearly ten years. There was a business need to address customer line stop issues or RMAs within ~24 hours. Changes made by my engineers would be in consumer products rolling off that production line when it was restarted. We're talking shipments in millions of units. Many of the team were listed as contributors to internationally agreed standards.
Ringorin said:it isn't right to limit what those jobs might or might not be able to be just because of prejudice and a lack of support in the employment world.
No it isn’t. You just have to be able to jump the hurdles and keep your neck above the waterline and under the radar simultaneously.
Thats not being defeatist either, just realistic
There's no one size fits all. What I meant was that jobs that aren't a good fit for someone who is autistic and is struggling are rarely going to be made better by trying to make adjustments.
For example, when I was a software developer (which according to all the literature is supposed to be a great job for an aspie), the actual task of writing the code was great, but no job is just one task. To have taken me away from all the bits I struggled with would have made it impossible to do my job. So that job simply wasn't suitable.
You found a job which worked great for you and worked with your strengths even if those didn't match up with a standard aspie profile. Another aspie regardless of how positive their attitude was, may have been totally overwhelmed.
It's about finding what's right you, and being an aspie and knowing your strengths and limitations is what's important .
Well, fighter pilots are good at that sort of thing, but ASD is a disqualifying condition for joining the RAF.
No offence to aspies, but that's a good thing. Having someone who has a higher risk of getting overwhelmed in a stressful situation to name just one thing is not a good trait to have when in control of something as powerful and deadly as a fighter jet.
Ironically I wanted to be an RAF pilot when I was younger but when I went into the recruitment office to find out more, I was shown where I'd train and I just freaked out. In hindsight I'd have been eaten alive by the other recruits had I managed to get in.
Oh, I totally agree it is about finding the right fit. But having seen with some amount of horror people not only dismiss jobs for people on the spectrum but also people on the spectrum ruling jobs out in theory without even considering them, I wanted to put the general idea out there. Really think about whether it is something you can do (you personally, based on your skills) rather than because of their expectations or their lack of adjustment. Basically, don't let stereotypes and prejudice stop you. BUT absolutely don't do a job you absolutely aren't suited for just to prove a point. That wasn't my message at all.
Also, workplaces need to step up more with adjustments for staff who could do the job if those things were in place. It isn't any different from expecting a ramp if you are in a wheelchair. Just it takes more effort to get to that place with autism, and I really don't want to think that sometimes people walk away not because they can't do the job but because people at the place of work can't be bothered to make the legally required adjustments to make that possible.