I am still not in a good place. So this is likely to be another fairly depressing and personal post. Please don’t read if that’s an issue. I need to talk, but there’s no-one who I can call on in real life, so writing is the closest thing I have to a friend at the moment.
I’ve been trying to redirect my thoughts to something constructive but it’s not working particularly well this time.
I have come to some conclusions, though. Starting with the ones that are vaguely positive:
1) I have finally fully accepted that I’m on the autistic spectrum (although I still don’t quite know how I feel comfortable describing my condition).
2) The strategies I have been using to navigate me through difficult situations still seem to be working. Even in situations where I’d previously have coped by leaving (a case in point: the theatre today when the auditorium was full of overexcited and loud children. One of whom was kicking my seat throughout.).
3) Before March, my default ‘coping’ position when I was upset or unhappy was to cut myself. I’d been doing that off and on for years. And this time last year, I was cutting almost every day, often more than once. But even though the last couple of days have been probably the most challenging emotionally that I’ve ever had, I haven’t wanted or needed to resort to that. I hadn’t actually even thought of it before I was trying to think about how I was at the start of 2015. (And even now I’ve remembered, I don’t have any desire to hurt myself.)
4) I understand myself and my reactions better than I did. Even the ones that may look quite extreme to others. And I’m happy to share the reasons behind the reactions – if people are prepared to listen.
But there are some less positive conclusions as well:
1) I have realised that I actually need people in my life. But I’m not good socially and can’t really make friends. I just hurt people when I try. So there seems to be no way of getting what I need. And I’m not sure I can go back to trying to be completely self-reliant – I thought I was before all of this happened, but it’s become clear that I was actually just messed up. Now I’m probably less messed up… but more unhappy.
2) I still haven’t learnt how to ‘drive’ the emotions that I now allow myself to feel. I can’t even identify what they are most of the time. And I don’t have the words to explain. From what I’ve been reading, this isn’t uncommon for people (women especially) with my condition but it’s still quite unpleasant. It would help if I could just stop crying at inopportune times (on the train, walking round the supermarket…)
3) I am scared about the future. I feel as though I have no certainty; nowhere to plant my feet. And I don’t know how to find some security. It can’t be through people. I don’t really have a secure place to live, as I could be asked to leave with 2 months’ notice. And I’m aware I’d be pretty much unemployable at the moment if I lost my job.
So I’m left wondering where I actually go from here. I’ve been trying to focus on the positives. But the negative side keeps creeping in. And I can try to balance the scales all I like but there’s one thing that I can’t get away from. And that’s that there is nobody I can reach out to on evenings like this. When all I can do is cry. When I don’t know how or where to find the strength that I need to get through another day, another week. When I just need someone to care. But there isn’t anyone. And that scares me most of all.