Today was my Restart Day where I tried to get myself sorted both in terms of my mood and my OCD/autism.
I feel a lot more positive about my life. I no longer feel ‘contaminated’ and no longer feel like anything is ruined by me. It’s not the same thing as giving into my OCD, more like appreciating that there are correlations between what I myself feel comfortable with due to my autism and a harmful coping mechanism. I will do a blog post in the future exploring this further.
For dinner my Mum made me gammon steak (which she cut up into strips) to allow me to eat easier. It was really nice and despite the chewing causing my jaw to still be tired – it was an improvement that allowed me to actually enjoy my meal! The frustration of being unable to gobble up my food, rather than spend hours at the meal table, was still there, but my overall happy attitude made all this seem inconsequential and I enjoyed my dinner.
Tomorrow my Mum is taking me and my sister to Morrisons cafe for breakfast and I’m very much looking forward to this.
It has been a success but of course I’m still feeling funny. My OCD is not brilliant but it is by no means the state it was yesterday and the day before that. I also still am finding my mobility a problem. I went out to the car today for a trip down the shops (although I didn’t go into the shop) and back which was good but I also struggled to get up off the toilet earlier this evening. It’s swings and roundabouts in terms of progress.
Perhaps my new anxiety is also due to my officially deferring from university for another year and all this floating anxiety is, at least in part, caused by the consequent sadness. It’s a bittersweet feeling that is also weighed down by my inevitable tiredness from lack of sleep over the last few days. If anyone has any experience with autism spectrum disorder/mental health problems/etc you’ll know that the chemical equation:
Lack of sleep + OCD/Insert condition —> Disaster
I am keeping myself collected and calm as much as I’m able and I hope that tomorrow after a good night sleep, I’ll find it even easier tomorrow.
Today is the 3rd of January and I’m back from meeting up with my friend from high school who is currently at university. It was great seeing her and finding out all about her experience at university aswell as catching up.
The best part was that I felt happy. I’d made an effort this morning to wash my face, make my hair look pretty, wear jewellery and accessories aswell as wearing my nice clothes – which felt so good! I feel less misery-guts and seeing someone outside of my family after being stuck indoors with my B12 deficiency for the past months. I still needed to use my walking stick and I fell over at one point onto the pavement after loosing my balance but it was really nice.
It has made me much more positive and I feel much more tolerant in dealing with sensory problems and less irritable when it comes to family members who have gotten on my nerves for simply existing, a phenomenom which has afflicted thousands during the first lockdowns.
For the past few months I’ve sat by the phone awaiting a call from my G.P and co. like a clingy highschool girlfriend awaiting a call from a crush that’s just not that into her; so it was nice chatting to a friend for a change.
Things are not 100% good with me just yet though. My fall today was bad but not as bad as falling into the staircase wall and cracking my head on Christmas Eve or not being able to get up from a beanbag yesterday. I’m going to have to chase up the medical practice again and listen to that God-awful jingle they play whilst you’re on hold.
Feeling like you are the only one feeling a certain way is awful; but the complex feelings that develop when you learn that some people close to you, outside of the people you know through your disorder, also may have similar issues, can be complicated to process.
Perhaps the most strange of feelings is the realisation that your wish of being accepted by the people you knew before your diagnosis is trumped by your misplaced-irritation at no longer being unique.
I spent so long subconciously treating my OCD, depression, anxiety and autism as my defining traits, which for all the time I’ve spent sad, anxious and doing compulsions – is understandable. Everything that was wrong with me has become the very thing that defines me. I am the one with issues. I am the one who has had to deal with mental health struggles and I am the one who has a messed-up brain.
The problem with thinking like this is the fact that in my misplaced jealousy about my so-called soul defining characteristic – the thing that only I have – is not exclusive to me.
You spend so long annoyed about being different and being a certain way that you begin to view it as the only thing about you that matters; that it’s the one thing that makes you different and special – even if it’s for what you percieve to be a bad reason.
When you meet like-minded people through your disorder/s it feels like it is something away seperate from your day-to-day life and those you know previous to the diagnosis are in a seperate ‘box’ so to speak. That is not real life though. People who are alike end up finding each other, or knowing each other anyway because that’s how life works. Things can never be kept completely seperate and that is the reason for so many good things. If sections of our life never interlapped no-one would ever have friends or have relationships in anyway.
The reality of the situation is that just because other people I may know have their own struggles and challenges to overcome, it doesn’t make my challenges and achievements any less important. The only thing that you can do is support the people in your life who have done the same to you and continue to make the most out of your life. One person’s struggle does not make another’s less important and feeling territorial over certain ‘problems’ doesn’t help.
It may feel weird to realise that your not quite as different to the people you have known for years as you thought you were; but just maybe it will ecourage you to be kinder to yourself. Afterall the people you care about are not defective or wrong – so many it’s about time you stop viewing yourself as such.
Today I got my first COVID-19 vaccine. A week or so ago I recieved a letter giving me an appointment for around lunchtime today, I was given the AstraZeneca vaccine and it didn’t hurt one bit. My problem however, was the way the woman who vaccinated me made me feel.
I had brought my identification and my letter and I showed up on-time and the person took one look at me and soon asked me what medications I was taking, unwilling to disclose my taking of anti-depressants I said none relevent. She then asked me some other questions getting sightly annyoyed with me despite the fact I’d done nothing, before straight-up asking me “Why are you getting the vaccine?”
It felt very petty and her whole attitude was very insulting. I was wearing joggers, a jumper and had greasy hair and combining that with my age she just asssuemed that the NHS had made a mistake or something.
Knowing that I had to answer her question for two reasons: 1.) She was going to stab me with a needle and 2.) I just wanted it over with.
So I say “I’m autistic” in the middle of the community centre to this woman who then replies that “She couldn’t see it. [Referring I hope, to the diagnosis on my electronic file on her iPad.”
My point is not that I had to say I was autistic, it’s that I was treated with reluctance becasue my disablility is invisable. I’d been properly signed in, I had been given a time-slot, a letter and yet I was still treated like it was me, who was doing something wrong.
So I’m not very happy about all that. Anyway stay safe.