Struggling

Hello everyone

This is just to get things out. I do not thing I specifically want/need anything. I am sorry that it is a post of frustration,

I have just started to calm down after a very difficult evening trying to sort out a problem with Natwest bank on the telephone after getting a letter from them. I didn't understand what they were speaking about or why there was a problem as it felt like I had done everything properly and I couldn't express my confusion and frustration and anxiety properly so I just shouted and cried and I have been feeling embarrassed and overwhelmed about it ever since.I know now I should have waited to show the letter I got to my support worker tomorrow but I am so desperate to convince myself and others that I can handle and do things on my own that I keep putting myself in these situations and then reacting badly. I wish my brain would learn/remember when situations like today happen. Everytime I try to contact somebody I don't know to sort something out on my own it ends badly. It makes me afraid to take part in the world or do anything because I never fully understand it and something bad usually happens. Phone calls are too immediate for me to cope with and emails/texts I take ages to respond because of the fear of opening, reading and then knowig what to say. Sometimes it is like I just freeze I end up doing nothing and I forget that the other person is a real person who contacted me for a reason and is expecting a response.

It does not help that I am also moving because of eviciton and I am struggling to process that and also I am having problems at work. I am feeling too scared to communicate with official company people, like banks and in shops, and I am scared of work/council/banks emailing me and caling me and sending difficult letters and putting pressure on me. I just wish there was an option to temporarily accept defeat and not have to worry about being expected to take part in the world. I really need a break. It has been one problem after another since last Summer. My meltdowns are more intense and longer and more in public places than before.

I feel traped at work but I can't quit my job becauseof money. I have used up all my sick pay and need to go back soon. I only work part time so I have universal credit but that itsn't predictable or reliable so it is scary for my work pay to change. At the moment the job centre only request to see me every two or three months. I do not want to put myself in a position where I get sanctions or extra pressure from the job centre. I am being redeployed by work and have so far struggled to take part in the process and feel like I am letting them all down and then getting more frustrated with myself. My manager has been excellent with me but I do not want to keep messing him around with sick leave and causing problems because I can't cope. I wish I could go to work, do a good job, go home, the same as everybody else.I applied for a job with an easy application form to make me feel productive but now I have a job interview next week and I am really anxious about it and I am in a bit of a mess because I have been scratching/picking on my skin including my face because of the anxiety which isn't the best thing for an interview. I do not feel in a good place to think about work or keep a job but after applying for lots of jobs in the past and always (apart from one time) being rejected without an interview I feel like I should go because otherwise I will be annoyed with myself that  had the chance to change my job and decided not to go and it could be a long time before I get an interview once I finally feel settled and ready. And then I also have the normal interview worries and what I should say and how to prepare. There is just no energy left. I wish I could accept there is no energy but when I do that I worry that I am being lazy or not trying hard enough so I end up putting more pressure on myself to try to do something to improve life. All the people who support me are very happy to help and want to do things, they are great, but I always feel like I should be able to cope the same as everybody else and do not need or deserve any help. Then when try to fix things on my own and it just makes me feel worse. I need to let people help me but it is so hard to let them in especially because at the moment I feel ashamed to exist and I want to be not noticed and alone and not bother any body. Too many people are expecting regular communication from me and to take part in different systems and can't keep up. I am overwhelmed. That is the best phrase I could use. I am currently completely overwhelmed by my existence on this planet, and the way I am expected to take part.

I really hope I am overthinking things right now. I possibly am. My GP referred me for psychotherapy to help with anxiety to see if it helps me sleep so that is positive. I am sorry to blurt it out so much but I feel better for doing it.

  • I know that feeling. I hope the psychotherapy helps. All the best, Graham.

  • Please don’t be sorry you blurted all this out ~ it needs to be out and getting it out on paper (or computer!) really helps to do that and it helps others to read it ~ it has helped me.  

    I can fully empathise with you ~ what you describe is my experience and it only started to get better once I began to accept that this is where I am just now and since then, with lots of help, it’s getting better. 

    Something that helped me, was listening to autictic youtubers talk about the repetitive thinking that we do, which you described, and picking up tips from them, such as deep breathing etc when the anxiety grabs me.  

    It’s a process to get to grips with all this but you’ll do it, it just takes time. Please keep blurting it all out on here ~ at least you’ll be understood on here. 

    As for wanting to be able to cope like everybody else ~ I used to think this but now I realise most people don’t cope with life, they suffer and think that it’s normal. But it’s not and I’m glad you’re going to be getting some help, but check YouTube out as well and of course, read posts on here ~ I often spend hours just reading old posts as they somehow comfort me and show me that even though my best is sometimes not very good at all,  it’s the best I can do, and that’s always good enough.

    Sending you a big hug. I’ve been two years in burn out and I am only just stepping out of it, slowly, but I can see that I will never go back to the life I had before and the amount of interaction I do with the world, will always be less than most people’s, and that’s ok, because if it works for me, that’s good enough. You’ll get there, you just need some time out. Give it time X 

  • even though I am not on the spectrum (my son is) and I cannot imagine what you are going through, I do work with children on the spectrum so have a little insight. The only tips I can offer is maybe get a notebook and write down every task that overwhelms you on a separate sheet and then you will remember what you need to do and it’s broken down into small chunks, then when you’ve completed Or achieved that task put a big tick over the page so you can look back and see how much you’ve achieved. This will help take one thing at a time. Also don’t worry that you’re ‘not like everyone else’ even us not on the spectrum are just muddling through each day and learning from our mistakes. One day at a time. You will get there

  • Hey, 

    If you ever want more help or information, remember the NAS helpline is always available to answer any questions. You can contact the team via telephone on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Or alternatively, should you prefer to send a message, you can do so via their webform:
    www.autism.org.uk/.../questions.aspx

    SteveMod