My mental health group was difficult again today. There was a lot of talking, including small talk (which I struggle with) before the session and a lot of loud participation during the session, which is good, but still difficult for me when it is so loud (because of autistic sensory overload issues), especially with a lot of interrupting and going off at a tangent away from the point. I did actually say at the end that I was feeling very overloaded from all the noise and someone else complained that we aren’t getting through the material.
I knew most of the material today anyway, as it was basic CBT stuff and material about the fight or flight response. But I feel I should go as it’s free and someone else could have had the place if I don’t go – except that’s not quite true, as I only got on the course at the last minute as someone else cancelled, and the course is over-subscribed anyway, that’s part of the reason it’s so noisy. Still, I don’t like to turn things down in case they help and because it seems arrogant to say that I know everything already and because people say you aren’t trying to get better if you don’t try anything, but I am worried that I’m not going to get anything out of the rest of this class. I got a little bit out of the previous one, not a huge amount, but what I did pick up was helpful, so I’m still hoping I’ll get something out of this, but who knows? I do know a lot about depression after seventeen years, from my experience and from my reading and therapy.
Since getting home from the group, I’ve been exhausted and trying to recuperate. It didn’t help that I was up late last night working on my writing and did not have a refreshing sleep, which was probably a mistake after a day at work. I started to listen to a very long (hour and a half) online shiur (religious class) on Jewish medical ethics regarding mental illness and mitzvot (religious commandments). To be honest, this was probably not recuperating, but I didn’t want to waste the afternoon. I am very bad at giving myself time off when I need it for mental health/autism reasons which is probably self-defeating in the long run. The shiur was interesting, but I could not concentrate for all of it in one go. Also, it has not left me much clearer about what I should be doing practically; a lot of it was about extreme cases, not chronic lower level issues, while high functioning autism is another issue again and was not covered (although some of the shiur was probably relevant to severe autism).
I do feel exhausted still, from this morning and from the shiur, not helped by a difficult conversation I just had that I can’t go into here, but it’s hard when one feels misunderstood and drained by those around you. I struggle with one particular interaction. I don’t know if it’s autism or depression or just me being a Bad Person, but long-term readers of this blog will know that I often jump to “I’m a Bad Person” which is not terribly helpful. Anyway, I’m going to turn my computer off, have dinner and try to get an early night.