I’m still getting up at 11am, which is late, but earlier than previously, but getting going is proving much harder.  I have so little energy and motivation, even after breakfast.  I try to avoid going on my computer before getting dressed, but then I just check emails and blogs on my phone.  It’s especially hard at the moment, as I’m not listening to music because of the Jewish semi-mourning period of the Omer, when we don’t listen to music, even though music helps to motivate me.  To be honest, there is a heter (permission) for depressed people to listen to music in the Omer, and I do use that heter at times, but primarily when my mood is low, not when I’m lacking energy, which is silly because lack of energy is just as much a symptom of depression as low mood.

***

I spoke to my rabbi mentor today.  He was glad things are going well between me and E.  I opened up about some of my fears about the relationship, not specific fears so much of a sense that something will go wrong, that something always goes wrong for me and that God wants to continually test me rather than let me be happy.  We spoke about this in the context of my difficulties with bitachon (trust in God) and my tendency to worry in general and also about the way that in the last week or two I’ve been trying to re-frame my understanding of my life to see that it can be seen as a series of achievements and positive events and not only as failures and negative events.

Unfortunately, after speaking to my rabbi mentor, I lost focus.  I meant to continue my search for a therapist, but ended up drifting into researching and writing my devar Torah (Torah thought) for the week, which was not exactly intentional.  I have at least nearly finished it now, although it needs some polish and I need to look something up.

It’s interesting, I think that since my teens I’ve had problems shifting tasks.  Once I’ve done one thing, it can be hard to change and go into a different task.  It’s only relatively recently that I’ve learnt that this is a classic autistic trait.  Although I can be a fairly driven person, and at university before depression I was quite capable of working long days, including working late into the night even with no work due the next day, since my teens (at least – I can’t really remember earlier) I’ve had this problem with procrastination, getting down to work and changing tasks – things that involve “changing gears” from one mode to another.  Strangely, it never affected me at school.  I don’t know if that was willpower or if I used the routine and mini-break of “pack books and stationery; dismissed from class; leave classroom; walk to next class; wait for teacher (talk to friends); file into classroom; unpack books and stationery” to end one task and reboot.  I did struggle with attention for my homework at weekends (I know all teenagers do, but still), so maybe that routine and movement to a new location really did help.  I’m not sure how I could replicate it though.

I struggled with this in the work world, particularly manning the issue desk when I was working in a further education library, as I would be doing some work, then get interrupted by someone borrowing a book; go back to work, then get interrupted by someone needing help finding something or with the photocopier and so on and I really struggled with that.  When someone turned up to talk to me, I would often go completely blank for a second, as if my brain was literally rebooting.  I think my line manager noticed and that was why she was dissatisfied with my work.

And then I stopped to write this (to get it out of my head) instead of Getting On With Things…

***

I did eventually get on with the therapy hunt.  I still feel pretty overwhelmed by it and think the names I’ve picked out are almost totally random.  OK, not totally random, but still fairly random and arbitrary; likewise my decision not to look any more for now.  I picked four names from the nine or so I’d found to email about prices (specifically if they offer concessions to the unemployed, as otherwise I can’t afford it) and availability.

I also went for a longish walk with some shopping and listened to another Intimate Judaism installment and was feeling somewhat more focused in the evening.  I had planned to do more therapy hunting after dinner, but while eating I was watching Life on Mars and now the DVDs are jamming on the laptop DVD player as well as the TV one and they crashed the DVD drive.  I wonder if it’s some kind of fault from the factory, although there are what may be scratches on the discs.  I guess this is the downside of buying cheap second-hand DVDs online.  I’m going to have to return them and buy replacements.  Annoyingly, I managed to get these very cheaply, but the copies currently available on Amazon are more expensive..

***

I mentioned that I’ve been writing a short story lately.  I finished it and I’m thinking of putting it in a password-protected post so that some people here could read it.  If you’re interested in reading it, please comment on this post and I will post it on a locked post and email you the password.  I would give the to anyone who comments regularly and maybe also to some people who ‘like’ my posts a lot, but don’t comment, if I think they’re real people and not spammers.

10 thoughts on “Autism and Gear Shifting

  1. I think it make sense to pick somewhat random therapist options. Since there’s no way to know before connecting with a therapist whether or not they’ll be effective, identifying more options to start out probably wouldn’t be useful anyway.

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  2. I would like to read it, if you’re comfortable with that. I’m a real person, a retired schoolteacher from Washington State. I hope the therapist hunt is successful. It sounds like you’ve discovered a lot about yourself and how you function over the years; that’s very important. I’m 63 and still learning about who I am and how to improve and grow. 🙂

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    1. I tried to send the password for the short story post to the email address associated with your commenting identity here, but it bounced back. The only other email I have for you is the Barnet DA one. Is there another email address I can send the password to?

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