I don’t handle either change or long lists of things to do well, so today’s been quite a challenging day. I did manage to meet my single criterion for success (avoiding meltdown), though, so am trying not to be too hard on myself for not being able to do everything I’d planned to do.
It’s difficult. If I write down a list of what I’ve actually done today, most people wouldn’t find it hard. I still have the mindset that I should be able to do what everyone else can do – but some of the activities are so much harder for me that I just can’t. And I don’t really have anyone to help with the day-to-day minutiae of life. I just have to do what I can, and what I’m not able to do will just have to wait or not get done at all.
So my day of change started out by having a stranger in my flat (to measure up and give a quote for new bathroom flooring – not very exciting!). An invited stranger, but still… Someone I had to make small talk with. A function where I didn’t know the social rules.
It went OK, I think. Got through it. Got the information I needed.
Then I had to go and pick up something I’d ordered online. That wasn’t quite so straightforward. I originally went to the wrong place (not entirely my fault; I’d followed the signs for collecting by car but didn’t realise – and it wasn’t clear from the signs – that this service was only for groceries. So I had to go into a very busy and overstimulating shop and wait for ages for someone to actually turn up at the counter. Then the person serving became annoyed with me because I had to ask her to keep repeating herself – she spoke very quickly and quietly, and I couldn’t pick up what she was saying.
It was a real relief to get back to the car and spend a few minutes desensitising.
Then the more difficult part of the day. Handing back the keys to the place I’ve lived for the last 2.5 years. It’s good to have moved on, to now have a place of my own. But it’s still change. I had to go back to the old flat to do some meter readings and it was strange and a bit disturbing to walk through an empty place. I didn’t like it. And then the act of physically handing back the keys, explaining a couple of things to the letting agent.
I was already exhausted. But there were still things on my list. I had to visit a couple more places, to update my address and to pay for the flooring. Both of which were extremely difficult from a sensory perspective (I almost didn’t manage to get through the first transaction as I simply couldn’t focus on what the cashier was saying).
I’d intended to stay in town for a coffee and some people-watching. But I was so overwhelmed and overstimulated that I know I wouldn’t have been able to cope. So just went home and ended up sleeping for about five hours.
I’m sad that I always seem to be compromising on the things I find enjoyable. I manage (most of the time) to get through the things I have to do, but then don’t have anything left in me to do the things I want. I don’t quite know how to change that. I hope that soon there will be fewer things I have to do – moving always creates a lot of ‘must-dos’ – and I can do more of the stuff that makes up a life, not just an existence. Tonight, though, that’s looking a long way off.