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.
Note: These are fears to do with my physical health. Most likely I have nothing too serious. I don’t want to seem overdramatic or like I’m making light of serious conditions.
I’m realy scared.
I probably shouldn’t be; there is no true cause for panic yet. Doctors are confused but not extremely concerned – so it’s clearly nothing too dramatic; And yet I’m still scared.
A few months ago I noticed that my legs (mostly my right leg) was getting tired far quicker than usual. Throughout my life I’ve always taken longer and gotten tireder faster than everyone in my family- be it walking around a city centre or climbing up Ben Nevis. This was different though; My Dad grew concerned when upon a visit to Edinburgh I could barely manage to walk across Princes Street. I was stopping frequently because my legs were too weak. It had never been this noticeable before. I could convince myself that I was just lazy or unfit (even when I was struggling to do the everyday walk to the shops that takes ten minutes and that I’ve been able to do no matter how exhausted ) but when my Dad noticed then I admitted that I’d see a doctor.
The doctor looked into my eyes, checked my reflexes and told me to move my arms up and down and side to side – all good. The doctor told me that he’d get a nurse to do some blood tests and then we’d go from there. When I asked him what it is he thinks I could have, he said he wasn’t sure.
I got my blood test taken just under a week ago and I’ve been counting the seconds to call them back (they said wait a week but I’m going to check on day 6). I feel like I’m frozen just waiting to hear what to do next.
Tonight my work were going to a work dinner ( I haven’t been to work in weeks and can barely walk up the stairs half the time ) and I obviously didn’t attend. It’s the end of the season and tonight would have been my first ever proper grown-up work dinner. I was excited for it when it was mentioned four months ago before I went on sick leave.
I don’t know what I’m most scared of. Am I terrified of having some horrible rare fatal condition? Am I afraid that it’s nothing and that I’ve either been delusional or it’s something so insignificant that I’m embarassed for being in so much destress over it? I don’t know.
All I know is that until I get some answers I have no interest in keeping my room tidy, looking pretty or doing nice things. All I want to do is wait for my results, wait and be given information on how the hell to get better.
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.
I’ve chosen a course that in part surprised me. I know that I can excel at it and I am genuinely excited to get started!
Of course there are the wriggling doubts, the fears, the nagging voice in the back of my head whispering that I’ve made a huge mistake – which sucks but is also normal. I got into a fantastic course that may not have been my ‘dream course’ but is something that I love and can’t wait to begin.
So yes with the celebration comes slight mourning – mourning for a S1 girl’s dream and mourning for the countless other opportunities that every choice we make in life limits you to.
But despite some sadness and anxiety; I feel relieved. I have a clear view of what I’ve got to do and how I’m going to do it and that feels really good.
I am very happy and I think that this course will not only be badass, exciting and that guarantees a career; but will also make me happy in life.
Only time will tell but today is a good day and it requires a celebration – one preferably when I’m neither sunburnt or exhausted from adrenaline. One thing is for sure; I can’t wait to get started!