Overwhelmed

(This blog was drafted on Monday morning)

I seem to have been bogged down in application forms and interviews for the last two weeks. I was offered a job working as a support worker for students with autism, but despite me having applied for a role in Manchester, I was offered one almost a 100 miles away on a zero-hour contract. Needless to say, I have declined the offer.

If this blog seems a little erratic, that’s probably down to the fact that I couldn’t sleep last night so I’ve been online all night completing more applications and now I have the cat sleeping deeply on my lap and I’m not wanting to move her. So, espresso and lack of sleep can be my justification.

Interviews are always a challenge for most people. Now, I am aware that some people on the spectrum struggle with meeting new people; this is something that I trained myself out of many years ago. I worked in environments which require interaction with a constant influx of new people and we can learn to deal with an awful lot. I’m reasonably OK with new people, but my personal struggle comes in communicating on a deeper level; I can’t read people easily and when I do, I frequently reach the wrong conclusion. I have taken the attitude that, in interviews, I tend to tell people that I am on the spectrum and explain that I may just be more specific in conversation and that whilst it might appear that I’m making eye contact I won’t be and if my eyes wonder slightly it’s not me being rude. (I try to look at a person’s nose or eyebrows, which gives the impression of making eye contact.)

So in all, it has been a stressful few weeks and I’m still waiting on surgery to remove the pins from my ankle, which will allow me to get back on the bike and running again, both of which help me to feel ‘normal and healthy’. My surgical appointment is booked for the 23rd of September and hopefully recovery won’t take more than a few days.

Watching the mountain bike racing on Redbull TV reminds me how much I’m missing it and that I was supposed to be racing in Switzerland this coming weekend. As I’m not able to ride, let alone race, we have decided to simply take a couple of days to get away, enjoy being in the mountains and relax; I’ve not had a holiday since 2016 and then I ran a marathon up the Jungfrau (great fun but not particularly relaxing). So, cat sitting services have been found and myself and my girlfriend are very much looking forward to a few days away. **

** Wednesday morning edit prior to publishing. 

I was expecting and promised the return of money from family which was going to pay for spending money to go on holiday. Said money has not been returned and I’m simply not able to get a reply from my brother (who is lousy with answering the damn phone anyway). I’m in two minds as to whether I cancel the trip, we really can’t go to Switzerland without money, I remember how expensive a bag of groceries or a sandwich is and I haven’t lived or visited in three years. 

As I cope with interaction with others and daily functioning by use of creating plans, routines and structure, I find myself currently wanting to tear my skin off, whilst trying to type whilst stimming with my head and feet.

Boredom

Well, over a week of not being able to train and I’m already climbing the walls.

My GP has got the results back from my X-Rays and I’ve been offered an appointment, next Thursday. Seeing as I’m in not inconsiderable pain, this is ridiculous; I’ve had to take three days off from tutoring now and this obviously affects the lousy amount that I earn. It may also impact upon future plans and that’s incredibly frustrating and may end up costing me a lot of money.

All through no fault of my own. Lawyers are dragging their heels already; so far busy doing nothing.

My anxiety levels are consequently through the roof and I’m tempted to spend several hours sat in A & E to expedite this now. I anticipate that all of these factors are likely to begin affecting my depression in time.

I accept risk as a part of my sport, mountain biking comes with an element of risk, riding a technical trail at race pace with an elevated heart rate in competition with others increases this risk manifold. However, this injury was caused through no fault of my own, simply walking along and a poor maintained surface and me having a moment of simple misfortune.

 

ankle

Obstructions

Like most people on the spectrum, I spend time building a routine. I use various tools to help me with this, including iPhone apps with reminders and a dry wipe magnetic weekly planner on my fridge door.

My normal week involves a mix of tutoring and training as well as spending time with my girlfriend, attempting to socialise on occasion and the more mundane tasks such as cleaning and housework. Some of this, I classify under the heading of ‘adulating’.

Amongst last weeks ‘adulating’ was an interview for a teacher training provider: this process is a lengthy one, understandably so as it is teaching and influencing children and the training providers want to be sure of the right fit. So, a forty minute trip became a two hour journey because of a burst water mains and involved cancelled public transport and me running later than intended. Cue, stress and anxiety levels increasing. This followed by a three hour interview and testing. On the return home, I decided to relax and go for a G&T in my favourite bar in the town. In walking to the site, I discovered that the site was closed because of an overpriced concert the following day. I also then managed to sprain both ankles on damaged paving and broke one of the screws in my ankle.

Having inspected the site of the injury, there is a potential negligence claim and as such, I have instructed a lawyer to act on my behalf. I hate dealing with lawyers as it almost always involves me chasing them constantly and reminding them how to do their job. Stress I don’t really need.

This is now forcing changes to my routine, which compounds my discomfort and stops me training, means loss of out of pocket expenses and hassle as well as making life more difficult. Needless to say, this is causing me further stress. I will, as always, endure but it’s all additional energy required and just gets in the way of a normal routine.

I would be interested in learning what methods of organisation others use.

Meltdown

I’m often stressed or anxious. I sometimes have shutdowns, however, a full blown meltdown is rare for me these days. Let me clarify something, there is a huge difference between a tantrum or sulking and a meltdown. Whilst all of the above may result in challenging behaviour; a tantrum is something conscious, which the person exhibiting the behaviour has a control over. Compare this to a meltdown in a person with autism; this happens when there is too much stimulus or stress and the person literally cannot process.

This happened to me on Thursday night, quite late when the cat decided to trash my wardrobe (one of those canvas affairs). Wardrobe crashed down and clothing everywhere, just as I was about to retire to bed. I then couldn’t find one of the supporting plastic lugs which holds part of the thing together. Cue, overloading and the first major meltdown in a while.

Aside from the mental exhaustion, the physical feeling of incompetence and frustration as well as feeling emotionally and physically wiped out, pretty much meant the anything I did on Friday was impaired by fatigue. In order to combat this, I decided to follow my obsessions and went for a ride but refused to attempt anything technically challenging. Anyone interested can find a link to my Strava account in the links pagep_101237901