Written Sunday 17 December:
I feel very depressed today and I don’t know why. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep. It’s pretty much impossible to do anything, even to read. I managed a little bit of work on my Doctor Who book and three minutes (!) of Torah study and a few minutes sorting some stuff on online banking, but that was about it.
I took another Asperger’s test online. As with many of these things, I came out quite neurotypical in some ways, quite autistic in others. I might have come out more neurodivergent if some of the questions hadn’t been oddly worded, and there hadn’t been so many questions about relationships and sex that I couldn’t answer properly from lack of experience.
One of my non-biological sisters sent me a link to a page with “15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like ****“. The problem is I do or have done almost all of them. One or two help a little bit (e.g. exercise, which I haven’t done for too long), but most of them don’t help much, or at best make sure I’m ‘merely’ very depressed and not suicidally depressed. Another article on the same site (which I gave up on) stressed the importance of exercise and social interaction, but the former is hard when you have no time because of work, a long commute and religious obligations and it’s cold and dark out when you’re not at work (I can’t afford to join a gym) and the latter is almost impossible with social anxiety and Asperger’s (and when you’re a freak who doesn’t know how to talk to other people and that no one wants to talk to anyway).
Written Monday 18 December:
I’m still in the office. I have finished work for the day, but I need to type to try to get rid of some of my thoughts. I was more or less OK this morning, although it was hard to concentrate (end of term, I guess) and I had some OCD at lunch, but the afternoon has been hard. About 2.30pm one of my colleagues came to the office to talk to the second in command in the library (my boss being at the other campus). They went into the conference room and I could hear my colleague crying. I don’t know what she was so upset about, but I nearly burst into tears in sympathy just from hearing her. She went home shortly afterwards, so I ended up being on the issue desk for most of the afternoon to cover for her. I didn’t know what to say to her when she left, and felt bad for not handling the situation well.
My social interactions on the issue desk were difficult again and I made some mistakes. I am probably beating myself up for trivial things, but I feel that I am not coping here. I suddenly started feeling really anxious about three quarters of an hour ago and I don’t know why. I guess it’s partly guilt/self-criticism for the mistakes and partly from the books I was cataloguing. I was cataloguing a book about the use of psychological profiling to help the police solve serious crimes. I started worrying about my own dark side and whether that corresponded with those profiles. Worrying if I would ever commit a serious crime. This is probably OCD (pure O – obsessional worrying without compulsions) and indeed I did have some religious OCD today too. But that doesn’t make it easier to live with when you are beating yourself up for crimes you haven’t committed. It’s not too out of control, I can see they are just thoughts, but it’s still hard. For the last half-hour or so my muscles have been painfully tense and my brain is just not working. For the last five or ten minutes of the work day I couldn’t really do much more than just try to breathe because I felt so tense and anxious. I haven’t felt this bad for nearly a year, when I was often missing work in my old job. I hoped I wouldn’t be that bad in this job. I’m glad that we are almost at the end of term, because I feel I can’t cope.
For the first time, I have borrowed some books from the library where I work to read over the holiday: two books on Asperger’s Syndrome (to try to understand myself better and find some tips on coping with social interactions – one book has a whole section on romantic relationships) and one on Gothic fiction (as background research for my Doctor Who book).