Trying to be brief as I took writing time to go to shiur (religious class) and work on my book, plus I need to go to bed as I have a new mental health course starting in the morning…
I was thinking while getting dressed this morning that my life would be so much better if I was not autistic (admittedly this assumes that I am autistic, which is still not certain. “If I didn’t have autistic symptoms” might be more accurate). I would be able to interact normally with people, probably wouldn’t be depressed and socially anxious, would have a better chance of a good job and a stable income and of a lasting relationship. But by the time I had got to the station, I thought that there are just too many counter-factuals in something like that. Once you start changing things, where do you stop? If I wasn’t autistic, what would I be? I think this is progress, of a kind.
Work was mostly fine today, except that when I left I was pleased with myself for not OCD checking I’d locked up the rare books store, except that by the time I was halfway down the road I was so anxious about it that I went back. I need to work harder on exposure therapy. There was also a nagging feeling throughout the day that I had forgotten something and wasn’t doing my job properly. I don’t trust myself any more at work.
I also intended to walk home from the station, but by the time I arrived, I was so exhausted I had to phone my Mum for a lift. Not good in multiple ways (exercise, environment, independence).
So far as I can tell, there are only a couple of books on mental health from a Jewish perspective and none at all on autism (high functioning or severe) and Judaism, let alone autism, mental health and Judaism together, so maybe there is room for my misery memoir in a crowded market after all. I need to find the right tone, though; I’m hoping to use my blog as a basis for the text, but what is right here may not be right there. I do wonder if there would be any backlash from some of the things I say, but I doubt many (any?) people in my community would read it. That said, I don’t really want my parents or people from my community, let alone my rabbi, reading my thoughts about being a thirty-five year old virgin in a community that both fears and celebrates sexuality, but only permits it within marriage, which it therefore encourages at a young age… but maybe that fear in itself is reason for writing it.
I often wonder what other people really think of me. I usually assume it’s something bad, or nothing at all. It’s hard to believe it might be something good, but maybe I’m wrong. I honestly don’t know what most people, including my friends, think of me. I don’t know if that’s autism or something else. (This is inspired by some interactions at work today and trying to work out how successful they were.)