At the moment, getting through the day is a bit like trying to walk along a balance beam while blindfolded. (And, even when not blindfolded, I have issues with my balance.)
Most of the time I can just about manage. Although my progress is quite wobbly. Sometimes to get to the end of the beam I have to be a bit creative; to break the normal rules; to sit and shuffle along rather than walk. But I’m better at balancing on the beam than I was and managing to stay upright for longer.
I fall off slightly less than I did. And I’m quicker to get back on the beam again after a fall. The falls hurt more, though, and do more damage. I can still end the day both figuratively and literally bruised. Luckily, the physical damage doesn’t often show, although I’ve got quite an obvious bruise on my arm from a serious meltdown last week and an emerging one on my cheek from today.
I’ve had a challenging week. In many ways, I’m dealing with my condition better than I was. I’m increasingly able, in many circumstances, to find the words to ask for what I need. I’m increasingly comfortable asking for help when I need it. And the falls are more predictable; every time I’ve fallen this week I’ve been able to identify why.
Which makes the difference between when I’m OK and when I’m not rather more noticeable than it perhaps used to be.
I still can’t shake my own conviction that I should be able to control myself better; that I should be able to stop myself from falling.
I also still can’t fully accept that this is now part of my life. I keep thinking that if only I could find the right technique, the right script, that I could be normal; could be acceptable.
That’s not the case.
I still have to script almost every interaction, unless I am completely comfortable with both the people and the situation. I still mask more than I should, but the mask is getting increasingly brittle.
And even if I could be word-perfect in every situation (I can’t), I know I’m reliant on other people to also stick to my script. Which they don’t, and they shouldn’t: they have their own ideas; their own scripts to follow. So I will continue to have to deal with situations where things change unexpectedly, or uncertain. Where people don’t react as I expect or anticipate. When my senses are unexpectedly overloaded. When my strategies fail.
I will continue to have days like today. I will continue to have the same instinctive reactions.
And at some point I might stop hating myself for being like this.
I think there’s still a long way to go.