I woke up feeling drained and depressed again, after a weird dream about octopus-like alien creatures (I think even in the dream it was unclear if they were real or toys), probably triggered by a character eating octopus in the Jonathan Creek episode I watched yesterday. (Not that I would eat non-kosher octopus anyway, but I do wonder at how someone can look at octopus or squid and think, “That looks tasty.” Mind you, I’ve always felt uneasy eating dead animals and I’m virtually vegetarian these days).
I really need to stop reading Twitter. I’ve found very little content there to interest me and even after filtering my reader to try to make it apolitical, I get upset by the politics there. It isn’t one side either; everyone seems to take the view that their side is obviously right and the other side must be either stupid or malicious not to agree. Even people who I know to be fair-minded and moderate act like this online. No one seems to think that intelligent people acting in good faith could come to different views about complex questions. As someone whose usual response to politics is confusion or a sense that there’s probably some truth on both sides, I find this distressing. But I keep coming back, in the hope that I could somehow make friends on Twitter. I guess I’m very lonely. And yet I struggle to send texts and emails to real friends.
Liora posted on a previous post that “I hope you realize what an amazing job you’ve done at holding things together as well as you have while having autism. Advanced education, jobs, demanding interviews, social events through synagogue and more.” I responded that “It doesn’t really occur to me that it is hard [in order to give myself credit], I just beat myself up when I can’t do things. At the moment I should feel good that I’m at least trying to job hunt, given that there were whole years when I was too depressed to even look, but somehow it’s hard to give myself credit.”
It’s true, I don’t give myself credit for the things I do, I just criticise myself for the things I can’t do, whether from autism, depression or social anxiety. I don’t think I have that much more energy or that much more of a positive mood than I did in the years when I was unemployed and not even looking for work, but I just beat myself up for not having a job yet and worrying about how I would cope with working rather than saying I’m doing well just looking for a job. I don’t know how to support myself better emotionally (there probably is a topical vote somewhere about having a vote of no confidence in myself, but I’m not up to making it right now). I’m hoping CBT will help with that, when I get to the top of the waiting list.
That said, not having a job long-term is a worry. I don’t have immediate financial issues as my parents are supportive, but I feel bad for relying on them while I’m in my mid-thirties and I worry what will happen when they aren’t here.
I’m trying to rearrange my job interview next Tuesday so I can go to the autism workshop, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to work. Apparently the interviewer is on holiday from the next day onwards. I hate to say it, but I’m somewhat relieved as I really don’t feel well enough to work at the moment. Certainly I intend to prioritise the autism and mental health workshops I’ve booked myself onto in the coming months over jobs at the moment. I can’t see myself working long-term without learning better coping skills than I currently have.
The main thing I did this afternoon was go for a haircut. Having my hair cut is one of my least favourite things in the world. I think it’s primarily an autistic thing about having other people touch me, added to a bit of social anxiety that the barber will talk to me (although I find most barbers are listening to music on their headphones or watching TV while cutting hair, which I find disconcerting), plus these days I worry that I’m going to start shaking, which is often enough to actually start me shaking, as happened today, albeit not as badly as in the past. It doesn’t help that the barber I go (because it’s the cheapest one around here by far) to is a good twenty-five minute walk away, so nearly an hour round trip especially as I had to do some shopping on the way home (and browsed the book sections of a couple of charity shops to try to calm myself down, albeit without buying anything). I still ended up sitting watching Sherlock for a while after I got home to try to revive myself. It now feels too late to do anything worthwhile and I’m not sure what to do with the evening, especially as I need to be up early tomorrow for my autism workshop. It seems I can only read in short bursts at the moment, so I’m watching a lot of DVDs.
This probably sounds weird, but does anyone else see numbers as letters? Particularly with numbers on a digital display, where they are squared off. For example, 5537 is LESS. At my autism assessment I was asked if I see patterns in numbers and the only thing I could think of was that I associate numbers, particularly times, with dates. So quarter past six = 18.15 = the Battle of Waterloo. But I realised today that I do get fascinated with reading numbers on clocks as letters. I also mess around with words I see on boxes, adverts and so on, looking for anagrams and spoonerisms and reading things backwards. I don’t know if this means anything.