I had an anxiety dream last night were I was sitting an exam on Doctor Who and couldn’t remember who the costume designers were.  I couldn’t get the locker where I’d deposited my valuables to lock and I left my pens in my rucksack.  The academic Doctor Who theme was probably my unconscious registering my fears that I won’t get any Doctor Who writing, including my book, published because I have no background in academic cultural/media studies and don’t use their jargon, but the presence of anxiety in the first place was surely more due to concern about volunteering today.

I got up late which was not a good start, or a good sign.  I did get to volunteering on time, more or less, but I found the environment noisy and chaotic again and I struggled with my autism.  When I say it was noisy and chaotic, I don’t mean that as an insult or complaint.  It’s in a warehouse where lots of young adults with issues of different kinds are being prepared for the workforce in a way that is necessarily somewhat more lax than the average workplace.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with.  I did also feel uncomfortable with one of the jobs I was given today.  Again, the job was necessary and legitimate, but I just felt uncomfortable doing it because of my personality and background.  I worry that I overcompensated and carried it out too zealously.  In the end, I decided that I couldn’t cope with this any more and decided to quit (I did stay until the end of the day).  I did this by email after the day was over, so I will probably be scared to open my emails tomorrow.

I feel bad, because I don’t like quitting things.  In retrospect, it’s easy to think “I should give it another chance,” but when I was actually there, I felt very uncomfortable and at one point was worried that I was about to have a panic attack.  Perhaps I should have tried one more week, but to do that, I would have had to have gone to a long safeguarding training session tomorrow morning and it seemed a waste of time to do that for no reason.

I just feel bad that in the last year and a bit I have had four jobs, paid or voluntary, one which I really messed up, one (this one) which I couldn’t cope with, one which I left because I didn’t think I could cope with a changed job description (although I now sort of wish I had stayed and tried it) and only one that went really well.  I feel that my life went off the rails somewhere and I don’t know where.  I’m hoping a formal autism diagnosis might help, but it might not.

I am looking at another volunteering opportunity, at a museum.  This would involve a lot of talking to people, but would give me an opportunity to push against my social anxiety by talking about things I know about (history and Judaism) and would potentially be similar to an aspect of the job I had earlier in the year that went well, inasmuch as it would be talking about history and Judaism.  A lot of people have said over the years that when I talk about things I know and care about, I become a lot more animated.  However, I did shake a bit again when talking to people at the shiur (religious class) I went to this evening (see below), which makes me wonder how sensible it is.  My parents do want me to do some volunteering while I’m out of work and I’m not sure what my other options are at the moment.  I feel that I rushed into the volunteering opportunity I’ve just left and that was a mistake and now I’m rushing into something else, but I don’t know whether I have any other options.

***

I went to a shiur (religious class) at a Modern Orthodox educational establishment this evening.  I do try to go to shiurim at this place when I can, as the religious outlook is more similar to my own than at my shul (synagogue) and the shiurim are of a high standard, but when I go there I feel that (a) everyone is a lot older than me and (b) everyone seems to know everyone else.  I know that Jewish Geography means that basically all Jews know each other (not literally, but close enough), but I always feel that I’ve somehow I missed out and I’m the only person in the room who doesn’t know at least one other person there (actually I vaguely knew one person there, but not well enough to talk to him).

***

Possibly there could be some politics in the UK sometime soon.  Apparently.  I’m not really sure what I feel about this any more, except to note that I might have stop reading some blogs.  It’s not so much opinions I disagree with that are the problem and more opinions (even ones I actually agree with) that are forcefully argued with the implied or even overt implication that anyone who disagrees must be either stupid or evil.

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