Having a bad week…

So this week has been pretty rubbish to be quite honest with you all, Sunday things just seemed to fall apart and it has lasted the whole week, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss what happens and how I feel and cope when things go bad. Before I go any further I would like to say of course when bad things happen its going to affect us and can last for more than the initial moment, I am purely drawing on my own experience.

As I was saying, Sunday hit me hard. Sent my emotions spiralling and I know that much of what I felt and lead to the meltdown was due to the social anxiety and lack of understanding or ability to understand certain situations that I do have.  Following this my auntie, who is more like my mum, ended up at AandE (thankfully she is all fine). This has led to an empty almost numb feeling to come over me this week. My body is functioning and acting as it should be but inside I feel like everything has shut down. I’m spaced out during moments where I am normally engaged, such as conversations. Its not that I’m not listening its just my brain is too full, to busy trying not to break down that it cannot handle anything else. This has presented with me seeming distant from people I would normally pull close. The people I would turn to for support and to talk to are just there. I cannot fathom what to say, how to put anything into words to explain that no I am really not okay but I also have no idea what to do. Its like wearing a mask. I am functioning and in fact unless someone really knows me they probably wouldn’t have noticed much difference in me this week, in fact all week I have convinced myself I am fine and there is no difference, until Friday.

Friday morning started off fine, I woke up, I felt normal. I hadn’t slept great but really what else is new? I was opening up at work, got there really early like I normally do and went to get my work keys out of my bag. Now my work keys have a particular place which they live and they never leave unless I am opening or locking the door and then they go right back in. They weren’t there. Okay maybe I had accidentally put them in the main part of my bag, unlikely but of course possible. I emptied my bag out 6 times before I reached the conclusion that I didn’t have them. My skin started prickling and I wanted nothing more than to cover my ears and cry but I knew I had a responsibility and if there is one thing I can do it is fall into work mode and deal with the situation. Contacted one of the other key holders and drove to hers got the keys and opened up. Yes 30 minutes after I would have normally done but still way before we opened so no real problems. Except this started me out on a spiral. I hadn’t done things in the order I normally do in the morning, I wasn’t doing the cleaning I normally do or opening up in the order I would, but I thought everything was fine, I was on tack the nursery was ready, it was open. Then came the other little things throughout the day, I forgot to prepare the flapjack for breakfast, I missed someone of lunch shifts completely, I didn’t sign the opening checklist. Yes all small things and none that couldn’t be very easily rectified but so unlike me. I don’t forget things like this, things I have been doing for years. In fact, I pride myself on my ability to function at work. This got me thinking back over the week, there had been a time when I had totally miscounted how many team I had (again nothing major, even joked about it), but little things like this really bother me. They are the things that people normally praise me for being able to deal with without thought and here I was just forgetting little things. My manager even jokingly asked me if I was okay on Friday because of all these little things and I could feel the rush of tears prickle behind my eyes, she knows me, knows this was how I was feeling so continued to joke it off with me to help me through but honestly everything felt too much right then in that moment. Of course, I pushed it back, put my work persona on, took on the role I know I needed to do, the role I can do and got through the rest of the day, making jokes about it all to help me look okay with it all. When the end of my shift came for once I was relieved, now normally I am not a person that counts down to when I finish, I love my job and honestly it doesn’t bother me how many hours I spend there or if I leave on time but today, I was happy to be finished. I could feel all the emotion pushing to release as I collected my bag and my things to leave. I went to say goodbye to my managers as normal on my way out, they wished me a better weekend and my manager commented how its okay to not be perfect all the time. I know she was messing around and just trying to make me feel better about the week but its not okay to me. Work is sometimes the only thing I know I am good at, so I word my damn hardest all the time to make sure that I can be the very best I can be at it, and that includes all the silly little things. I know that we all make silly mistakes like the ones I have this week and I would be the first one to reassure anyone else who felt crappy after them, but I hold myself on a different level. I expect myself to be perfect at it, to give it everything, to not do these things and therefore see myself as a failure when I do. I ache with the knowledge that even if only in small, no big deal, not even massive parts of my role parts have been affected by things that happened. Work is my safe place. The one place where I battle to keep myself okay.

I know most of this update its mainly just a rant at myself but honestly it’s all I can manage right now, Right now I just want immerse myself and try and bring my brain back to functionality. I would even welcome the buzzing back right now over this numbing sensation. Next week is a fresh week, new start and hopefully have a better ending… I just

A little something different…

I know in my last upload I said I would be discussing my coping mechanisms and how I respond in situations but I have decided to take a slightly different approach. I will still be touching on these but instead of listing them off I am going to write about the week I have had…

As many people reading this already know I work in a nursery with children. I absolutely adore my job. It is my focus, my biggest obsession, my escape from my brain at times. Of course every now and again things are going to flow over into this world, I can’t ‘hide’ all my autistic traits even though for a long time I strived to be normal and not let these show. I have accepted who I am now, and see the benefit and support these little traits can have (sometimes anyways lol).

Something very minor to most happened this week. One of the girls I work with received new work shirts to wear and she pointed out to us how the name of the company and the size of the logo has changed slightly on the shirt. Now this is nothing major right? Its still the same company I work for, nothing has really changed. But I wasn’t aware that this was going to happen. I could feel the unease seeping through me, beginning small and slowly spreading. My hands crept up to rub my neck, below my ears and I could feel myself babbling. Its not that the change is bad at all, the fact that I didn’t know it was coming was the issue, and now we aren’t all the same. Our uniform is universal throughout our nurseries and that’s how it supposed to be. That’s the rule, we have a very clear dress code. This throws that out. For a while this will trickle in and some of us will be one way and some of us will be the other. This is taking some times for my brain to process. The idea of it all, the fact that our badges will change, the signs will all have to change buzzes through my head. This isn’t even my issue…I do not have to do any of this none of it actively effects me. Anyways I joked it off, continued to babble about it all day but acted like I was all fine with it. It still runs around my head now, days later, not enough to make me twitchy but the buzzing in my brain is still there.

I am going to refer back to one sentence in particular from above “My hands crept up to rub my neck, below my ears…” This is one of my coping mechanisms. I cover my ears. Push so hard towards my head that I cannot hear anything except the blood rushing through my head. I block everything out and just try to breath. When things aren’t too bad or I’m trying to hide the feelings flowing over me I rub below my ears, my neck, anything within this area that doesn’t look as suspicious. My amazing partner bought me ear defenders to support me during these times which made me fall even more in Love with him. The way he supports rather than tries to change me is outstanding.

Because of this and my mind feeling the way it has I have felt the hyperfixation streaming through me, controlling me, helping to settle things in my brain but it isn’t easy to control it. At night I have been dreaming about Castle and Beckett, all day in the back of mind I have thoughts of Tony Stark and Pepper fighting to take centre stage. I am obsessed with finding things online to quench my hunger for it, reading fanfiction when ever I get the chance, looking up theories on what will happen in the next avengers movie. Yes this all sounds very obsessive and I know many will think this is unhealthy and part of that may be right. But this is how I cope. I have learnt and continue to fight and learn to control it so it doesn’t overcome me and become the only thing I focus on. But it helps me, and I am no longer afraid of the rabbit hole it may pull me down.

Something else from this week was a discussion I had with a team member. I always ensure to ask if a team member wants to swap or would like me to do a job if I feel they have done a lot of it recently, such as changing nappies, and this team member always says its fine. I always worry that this is something people say because its a very social norm to just say that everything is okay and it is also appropriate for the other person to offer to do the job anyways. I cannot read this. I never know what way a person is being, If they are genuinely okay doing a job or are just saying it to be polite. After a few days of this I decided to come out and just say this to the team member. Thankfully she laughed and understood and said she would say if she didn’t want to do something. I know that some people find this rude but this is genuinely what I need. I need the black and white. No grey area thankyou. It doesn’t mean I will let people walk all over me and not do a job if they need to do it but I know where I stand and what my response should be.

I know this only scratches the surface of how things can be and how I cope with things but I thought it would be a way of explaining part of a typical week for me. These is much more to come and I will continue to explore my past, my present and the idea of my future and explain how everyday life has evolved and works for me and my autism.

Finally it has also been suggested to me that I should consider vlogging on youtube with these extracts. I am not yet sue how I feel about this, I would love to reach a wider community and continue to see this grow but I’m not sure I can do it. I was just wondering what peoples thoughts are on this matter. I would also really appreciate it if you could like and/or follow the posts on this website so I can see what the interest is. Also feel free to leave any comments on what you think was good, anything I could improve or anything you would like included.