Walking the tightrope

I haven’t written for a while. Life has become increasingly stressful, and I haven’t had the energy to do much beyond the tasks I absolutely have to do.

There is so much that is still uncertain. My father has started his cancer treatment, which promises to be both lengthy and brutal. I still don’t know where I am going to be living beyond the end of next month; if the flat purchase falls through there’s a very real possibility that I will be homeless. I’m trying not to think about that too much.

It’s all made harder by the fact that I am alone. I don’t feel as though there is anyone I can reach out to when things feel impossible.

This is where being an extrovert autistic is a bit like being the world’s worst tightrope walker.

As an extrovert, I need to be around people. That’s where I get my energy from, and being alone for prolonged periods is very difficult for me.

As a person with autism, I’m socially clueless and find being around large groups completely overwhelming from a sensory perspective.

In practice, the way that I need to balance these competing needs is to socialise quite a lot but on a one-to-one or small group basis. But in order to do that, there have to be people I can socialise with. And unfortunately, that’s not really the case at the moment.

(Structured activities also tend to work, but I don’t have the time or energy to look into those at the moment. Maybe when I get more certainty about my living situation.)

I think there have been a series of unfortunate events. I’ve never had a big social group, but it’s really only in the last three years that I’ve felt completely alone. Before then, there was always someone I could contact if things started to become unmanageable. But life and people move on. It’s no-one’s fault. But I haven’t been able to replace those connections, and now I am not sure I have the ability.

So I don’t know where that leaves me. Without people, I lose energy and I lose hope. Yet I don’t have the energy to try and forge new connections. I don’t have the confidence or self-esteem to pick myself up if I am rejected or unwanted.

But I’m not going to get through the next few months on my own. And the tightrope doesn’t have a safety net, and I am already losing my balance. Emotionally, I am back where I was in April and that scares me a bit.

I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

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