I had another job interview today that didn’t go too well. I got off to a bad start when I had another weird dream last night where I was in some kind of tiny Jewish community (I think there were literally just ten men, although I couldn’t see most of them, and one or two women) and I was expected to take some kind of rabbinic leadership role, but didn’t want to do so. It was probably an anxiety dream about feeling that my job interview today would not be at the right place for me (not that it had anything to do with rabbis or Judaism), that librarianship as a whole may not be right for me, but that I’m not sure if I will be any more successful at writing. It’s not surprising that I was having thoughts along these lines this morning while I got ready for my interview, although things were a bit better in the past in terms of not blaming myself for things. I think I was less feeling worried and more grounded, even though I wasn’t conscious of using CBT techniques.
I got soaked walking to the station in heavy rain. I couldn’t find my umbrella, and when I took my old umbrella, it turned out to be broken. I think it was still usable if I pushed the broken spokes into place, but I was running late and decided it was easiest just to leave it behind. So I was rather wet through my interview.
The interview itself was pretty bad. I struggled to remember and process questions, sometimes needing to be reminded what the question was during the middle of an answer. There were also a number of difficult questions that I hadn’t expected and planned for when I probably should have done so. I’m not terribly good at interview preparation. I’m not sure how much of it is finding it hard to predict what the interviewer wants to know and how much is anxious avoidance.
The good thing was that I didn’t blame myself or beat myself up too much afterwards. It probably helped that I didn’t think the job was really right for me anyway.
I’m currently reading A Guide to Your Aspie by Amanda J. Harrington. She describes getting “normal” jobs and being OK at them for a while, but eventually the stress of being autistic in a neurotypical environment builds up and she just can’t function any more. That is familiar to me. I have the added stresses of depression and social anxiety too.
I came home and watched an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus to cheer myself up. This was not a great choice, as it turned out to be rather dated and unfunny, although Terry Gilliam’s animations are still disturbing. I can see why I used to love things like this when I was younger, but it’s hard to appreciate it now. The autism specialist Tony Attwood says people with high functioning autism often like surreal humour like Python, and it probably does fit a worldview that is intelligent, but struggles to make sense of the world. But it seems to rely a lot on jokes that seem clever when you’re sixteen, but less so twenty years on when surreal juxtapositions don’t necessarily seem hilarious.
I’ve just done some miniature painting (five Daleks with two different colour schemes some of the TARDIS exterior), which kept me busy for an hour and a half or so, and I’ve read some interesting long-form essays on Tablet Magazine (one political, one historical with political ramifications), but I realised it’s not yet 6.00pm and I have no idea what to do. I don’t usually get bored; usually I’m overwhelmed by Stuff To Do, or Stuff I Want To Read or Watch, but I feel depressed and aimless. It would be torture to go back to job hunting today. Ditto for jogging (certainly not in this weather). I plan to do a bit of Torah study, but I don’t have the energy to do much. I would like to work on the novel I want to start (have sort of started), but I’m not sure that I am really capable of doing much. I don’t feel like reading and there isn’t anything I particularly want to watch on TV or from my DVD collection; the final episode of I Claudius seems too heavy, kol vachomer (even more so) catching up with the repeat of The Vietnam War on BBC iplayer. I might watch the first Tim Burton Batman film, but even that would be just to fill in time really.
I feel vaguely annoyed with myself, but am not having self-critical thoughts as such, but I worry, given how low my mood is, that my conscious mind is just suppressing the thoughts so that I can’t use the CBT techniques. CBT doesn’t really deal with the unconscious. Or, it’s possible that the thoughts are coming at a speed or in a way that I can’t consciously recognise them and try to use the CBT techniques on them.
I’m probably in the kind of mood where I just turn everything against myself. I just read an (entirely reasonable) blog post criticising people who self-diagnose with autism and now I’m feeling like I’m a bad person for doing that, even though I am pursuing diagnosis and this has been a very long journey (including psychiatrists and therapists who have said I’m on the spectrum without giving a formal diagnosis) and I feel I’m entitled to say something about how my life has been. But, again, I’m not sure I have specific thoughts to write down and challenge with CBT.
Ugh, OK, I’m going to go and force myself to watch a DVD or something before I go crazy.