I dragged myself out of bed to go to Zoom autism support group, which was probably not worth doing. I don’t know if I’m going to keep going, unless perhaps there’s a topic I find particularly interesting. I don’t really learn coping strategies, which is what I really want. My symptoms are often not the same as other people’s, so there isn’t necessarily the same empathy that exists in my depression group. I don’t know why there is such wide variation on the autism spectrum, but it’s true (hence the saying, common in high functioning autism circles, that “If you know one person on the autism spectrum, then you know one person on the autism spectrum”).

In addition, one of the moderators seems to have some prejudices against neurotypicals, which I find just as problematic as the reverse. I guess I also feel that although living in the neurotypical world is difficult, some neurotypical rules are worthwhile, even if I struggle with them. Maybe that’s autistic rule-keeping on my part, but some people in the group seem to think that neurodiverse people should be allowed to do what they want and neurotypicals should just deal with it; again, which, again I find as problematic as saying that neurodiverse people should just be forced to conform completely to neurotypical society. Adjustments should be reasonable. Society is about finding compromises, whether you’re on the spectrum or not.

It made me also think again about attention to detail and me. Attention to detail is generally recognised as something people on the autism spectrum usually have and can often put to good use in the labour market. I used to have good attention to detail, but I feel that in recent years I have lost this, particularly in the workplace. I hope that it’s just a consequence of being in environments that were not right for me (noisy, requiring multitasking or rapid task changes, or having a line manager I didn’t like) and when I was working in other environments without those challenges, I think I did have much better attention to detail. Still, I worry about it, particularly as I’m about to start a job that will probably require good attention to detail in an environment that might stress me out a bit because I’ll have a friend as my line manager.

All that said, the autism group session today was about executive function issues and then in the afternoon, I made a plan and then did something completely different to what I planned, which is a classic autistic executive function issue. Perhaps the fact that I fell into this behaviour again shows that the group really didn’t help.

***

I went for a 5K run, despite some slight pain in my foot and knee which mostly passed after a few minutes. It was good to get out again, as I hadn’t run for a while. I don’t know why I always seem to think about political stuff that annoys me when I’m running. I listen to music, but that doesn’t help. Maybe I should try something I have to concentrate on, like an audio drama or audio book. I came back feeling a bit ill, headachy and faint, as always seems to happen these days.

***

As well as thinking about politics when running, I procrastinate on Twitter too. 90% of Twitter consists of people being outraged about things they can’t change and the other 10% is videos of cute animals. I feel I should find out what people are outraged about, but a lot of the time it is stuff that is irrelevant out of their bubble, or stuff that simply isn’t true (everyone thinks it’s only the “other side” that does this; sorry, as someone who doesn’t easily fit on either side, I can tell you it’s both sides). Well, I do really know why I spend time on Twitter: it’s because I want to feel less lonely and confirmed in my views, but it’s pretty bad at doing that (particularly as I don’t post or comment, I just read). I’m not sure I should be trying to confirm my views, and I don’t think Twitter will stop me being lonely. Still, I get sucked in.

I did manage to spend about an hour on my novel after dinner, which was good. I felt a bit more positively towards it (I mean, positively about the quality of what I’m writing; I’ve always felt that the subject matter is worthwhile). I also cooked dinner (vegetarian kedgeree) and spent twenty-five minutes on Torah study and researching my devar Torah. I would have liked to have done more Torah study and more work on my novel. I always would like to do more of these things, but I always run out of time and energy. It’s frustrating that I never have enough time and energy (which may take us back to procrastination time and poor executive function). The Talmud says no one dies with even half their desires fulfilled; I think this refers to meaningful/spiritual desires as much as physical/hedonistic ones. At the same time, I know I procrastinate and get distracted (see above!). It is hard to change.

***

I felt a bit on edge for much of the day, although I think running got rid of this. I was vaguely irritable, although I think I kept from sniping at anyone. I do feel that I don’t know how I would like PIMOJ to react when I feel a mildly depressed. Do I want problem solving advice, empathetic support or just to be given space? The problem is, it could be any of those things at any time. With my first girlfriend, she largely ignored me when I was feeling depressed. My second girlfriend was long-distance, so there was a limit to what she could do as she was usually asleep or at work when I was feeling bad, although she would send supportive empathetic texts. But this feels like uncharted territory in that I think PIMOJ wants to support me and is in a position to do so. And I don’t really know what to ask her to do. I guess our relationship feels a bit like we’re making it up as we go along. Maybe everyone feels like that, or maybe we’re weird because I don’t think either of us has much relationship experience, despite our ages.

***

More thoughts about Twin Peaks: The Return; feel free to skip.

There’s basically no incidental music. Given that successive scenes can take place in totally different parts of the US (Twin Peaks; New York City; Las Vegas) with characters that don’t seem to relate to each other or interact, and that after the first couple of episodes, it seems to be largely played for comedy, the whole thing comes across as a bizarre experimental comedy sketch show with no laughter track, the type of thing the BBC seems so fond of, where a bunch of twenty-something comedians try to be Monty Python. Or maybe I just have a weird sense of humour.

8 thoughts on “Poor Executive Function

  1. Neurotypical is an interesting term because I don’t know that any of us is typical, whatever that means. I know that some of us have an easier time fitting into societal norms; is that adaption part of being typical? A topic to explore. PIMOJ and you are fashioning a relationship that’s new and constricted by the pandemic. It seems like you’re both doing the best you can, one small step at a time. In my opinion, it’s important to be (mostly) open and ask what the other person needs (if anything) or how to best handle situations in each other’s lives. When we first started dating and I would rant about issues, my late husband would always want to fix things. He finally figured out to ask, “Is this something that you want me to help deal with or are you just venting?” He was very quiet and sometimes uncommunicative, which worried me. Was something wrong? He used the code phrase, “I’m in my cave.” That let me know that nothing was wrong; he just needed space and quiet.

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    1. Neurotypical just means someone who doesn’t have a developmental disorder. Fitting into social norms would be a part of that, but some neurotypical people will find it easier than others. Conversely, some neurodiverse people will find it easier than others.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not very communicative there. I sometimes send text messages via the chat function, but rarely speak. Some people talk quite a lot, but most don’t.

      We speak about various things: sensory issues, social/romantic relationships, the workplace etc.

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  2. View this post on Instagram

    Drop three ❤️❤️❤️ if you agree! Autism isn’t a mental illness (it’s a neurodevelopmental disorder) but as you probably know, I do not only talk about mental health and mental illness but neurodiversity, too (and many other topics) ! I think all conditions can influence mental health in some way and raising awareness about those conditions are important. Today I Want To Share Positive Traits That Some People With Autism Have 💛🧡❤️ When you read or search about autism online, one thing you'll likely notice is that a lot of the information uses negative language. Words like "inflexible," "rigid," "lack of," "impairments in," "delayed," or "significant difficulties" are commonly found alongside definitions of autism. It's no wonder so many people view autism negatively when the bulk of the information paints this picture to the world. And it's not surprising that many people still believe these common autism myths. But neurodiversity like autism is a good thing. And being autistic certainly has its positive sides, too. So I want to share some of the positive characteristics that autistic people have. Now, obviously I am aware that autism is a spectrum and not every autistic person will have the following attributes or skills, but these attributes are pretty common in autism. But like I mentioned, every autistic person is unique so please keep that in mind. To all my autistic followers out there : You’re truly awesome and I hope you know it. I’m sending love you way 🥰 Heart to heart : My family has been thinking all my life that I am autistic. I do have all the criteria’s + traits since I’m BORN and it would explain why I’ve always felt different… I’m highly thinking about getting a diagnosis. I telling you this because if you’re like me, I just want to tell you that even if you do not have a diagnosis, you and your feelings are VALID. ❤️ #selfawareness Follow @what.is.mental.illness for more mental health tools & resources 🤍 _________________

    A post shared by Jade | Special Educator (@what.is.mental.illness) on

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  3. Not sure if I have enough relationship experience* to speak on this, but I feel like every couple kind of makes it up as they go along, in a way. Especially in the early stages. Anyway, you and PIMOJ are in the uncharted territory of starting a new relationship during COVID, so 95% of relationship advice out there from Experienced Relationship Professionals* could be totally non-applicable. So you + PIMOJ can do whatever feels right for you and no one can say you’re doing it wrong!

    *Relationship experience could mean many happy years in a long-term monogamous relationship. But it could just as easily mean many years of unhappy/dysfunctional relationship(s) or long strings of failed relationships, and all the emotional baggage that comes with. You and PIMOJ are not necessarily missing much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not so much a fear of being told I’m dating “wrongly” as fear of getting into some kind of unhealthy dynamic, but you are right that this is new territory generally and not just for me and PIMOJ.

      Like

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