It’s taken me longer than I planned to write this entry because of my lack of energy. Writing about this whilst in the throws of it has taken more effort than I had planned but it’s a way of creating a little structure to my Wednesday.
My routine is shot to all hell at the moment. My normal routine is get up, breakfast, social media stuff and personal admin, tutoring, lunch, chill for an hour to allow digestion and then training. At the moment, with the pin in my ankle limiting what I can do, I’m not training. This has thrown my routine completely out and therefore I am struggling to find any order.
I realise that not training is the logical thing, I also realise that the current pain levels are affecting my motivation and energy to say nothing of the effect on my mental state. I’ve had to cancel a couple of races I had planned to do in the next few months, which is incredibly frustrating; but I know that I will just not be race ready. To this end, after surgery, I need to reset goals and restart my training programme. I also need to give myself an event or day out on the bike to mentally look forward to. So that’s my physical health discussed and I apologise to the people close to me about moaning about being in pain and feeling general frustration and malaise.
With all of this in mind, I thought that it’s important to talk about the effect that these changes can have on a person’s mental health. For me, I’m a person who doesn’t sit still for long. I struggle to simply sit and I’m always moving; partially I use pacing as a stimming behaviour, especially when I’m on the telephone. At the moment, being forced to do less, is leading to a feeling of going from having boundless energy to having none. I literally fall asleep constantly, lack of routine means that I don’t have the energy to establish a new one and my patterns are completely out of synch.
Having done some research, it would appear that the cause of this is what simply referred to as ‘autistic burnout’. This might also seen as the neurological effect of putting the brain and body into ‘safe mode’ which the brain and body does in order to protect itself from the difficulties in life.
Symptoms include, but are not limited to: –
- lack of energy and a growing lethargy
- changes in appetite
- changes in sensory tolerances
- changes in use or modes of language
- struggling to regulate moods and emotional state
- slowing of thought process
- brain fog
- lack of ability to motivate oneself
All of these things may appear to manifest in a similar fashion to depression and obviously, this makes diagnosis all the harder for professionals. (Which, I am not.)
I’m a highly logical person and I question why do I have this feeling then? Research states that we, neurodiverse people require more time to decompress than others; we often do this by engaging in our obsessions. Back to mountain biking then; I can’t ride and therefore I am simply not able to enjoy my obsessions and this means that a little like a pressure cooker, the pressure increases until something must give.
Anyway, until next time.