I slept badly last night. I couldn’t sleep, perhaps because I took my medication very late. I had agitated thoughts going through my head. Not negative thoughts (they were just interpretations of Twin Peaks), but I couldn’t stop them looping around and restarting again. I did eventually fall asleep, but it was not restful sleep. I had a disturbing dream, although now I can’t remember anything about it except that it disturbed me.

I feel really burnt out again today. I guess I did a lot yesterday even before I slept badly. At least I am working on Tuesday rather than today (Monday) this week.

***

The autism hospital phoned Mum again. They cancelled my appointment in December, when I was supposed to get my final diagnosis, because they want me to have an “observational assessment” first. This is with a psychiatric nurse who is booked until January. I now have an appointment for the observational assessment on 5 January. I can’t book to see the psychiatrist until after that, so I’m worried that this will drag on until February, which would be well over two years since my initial screening. I was worried that they have suddenly changed their minds about me given that they suddenly want me to have this screening, but Mum’s response was, “It’s the NHS, the doctors and nurses don’t work together.” She thinks it’s poor coordination again, and that I should have had the assessment before now. I hope she is right. A friend of mine who is also being assessed had an observational assessment, so it’s probably routine.

***

I had an — I’m not sure what you’d call it — a depressive moment or an autistic moment. I went out for a short walk and to get some sandwiches for lunch at work this week (it’s a strictly kosher site, so I have to buy pre-made kosher sandwiches from a kosher baker or deli). They only had one lot of sandwiches that I liked. I was already feeling drained and a bit down, but suddenly I felt overwhelmed, thinking about getting more sandwiches later in the week, thinking about future weeks, thinking about all the chores I’m supposed to do this and that I don’t think I can get them all done with work and therapy too. Just overwhelmed by everything that is happening to me, particularly with my new job. It subsided by the time I came home and spoke to my parents, and began devising strategies to deal with the chores (etc.), but it is a reminder that autism is always there, and depression lurks in the background, and they can come out when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed and that autistic rigid thinking can make it hard for me to find solutions unaided.

The main thing I did today, other than that, was to cook dinner. Mum offered to do it, but she was ill this morning, so I wanted to do it. I did miss one of the ingredients, or at least put it in late, which I guess comes from doing things when depressed and burnt out. I guess it’s an autistic executive function issue again (short-term memory and organisation). I think that’s the type of thing autism observational assessment will test. (Dinner tasted OK.)

I didn’t go to Zoom depression group. I was already thinking of skipping it, as I have to go to bed early to get up early for work tomorrow, but then I felt too depressed. I know that sounds silly, but I knew my problems were mostly stress and exhaustion and I didn’t really feel like talking. I felt an evening of TV would be better for me than talking and listening on Zoom, which can be very draining. My main reservation is that I will miss the next session too, as it clashes with a virtual shiur (religious class) PIMOJ and I are both attending.

I didn’t do much Torah study either, just listened to a short five minute devar Torah (Torah thought) on WhatsApp and spent a few minutes thinking about my own devar Torah for the week. I’m not sure when I’m going to write that, or how good it will be (or how long it will be, actually). But I just couldn’t do any more today.

***

A present to myself as a reward for the new job and because I was having a bad day: a cheap second-hand DVD of Blade Runner 2049, and a somewhat more expensive new copy of Tunnel of Fear, an early episode of The Avengers (the British, John Steed Avengers) that was missing and was rediscovered and released on DVD a couple of years ago. Because it was missing when the complete Avengers box-set came out, it was the only surviving episode I haven’t seen.

Because of that I ended up watching a different early Avengers episode (Concerto, by Doctor Who writers Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke). It was diverting, but I find that not many of the pre-Diana Rigg episodes are that memorable. I plan to watch Doctor Who before going to bed to unwind a bit more.

16 thoughts on “Delays and Burn Out

  1. It’s true that sometimes you need to not talk about things and just rest or zone out. Apart from the obvious commandments that apply to everyone I don’t believe God has one standard for everyone. He expects us to make something of what He has given us and He gives to each as He chooses – some more and some less. We make ourselves sick when we have this one standard of success or compare ourselves to others. And then we just curl up and don’t even contribute the little we do have. I was just reading 2 Kings 4:42-44 where God causes the little bit that a man has (enough for 20) to feed 100 with leftovers. This is just my encouragement to you to do your little thing and let God turn it into something more. That’s all He asks. And in that reality there is time to take a break and watch Dr. Who. I’m going to go watch some now too, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He expects us to make something of what He has given us and He gives to each as He chooses

      This is what most Orthodox Jews seem to believe (those who think about it, anyway), but I haven’t seen a source for it. When my religious OCD was worse, I did struggle with wanting to see a source for it, although I’m less desperate now.

      Liked by 1 person

              1. I am going to answer this but I think I’ll do it in a post on my private blog. Not sure when I’ll get it up. I want to include a story but I’m having trouble putting it into words right now. I just wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten I just don’t want to fill your comment section with my ramblings.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you made the right decision about how to deal with your depression and stress. It was ironic that you felt too depressed for depression group. I very much enjoyed Blade Runner 2049 although I cried a lot at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Be assured that we are far more vulnerable to depression, stress and anxiety when we have not slept properly. At such times even the smallest thing can feel overwhelming and tip us over the edge. On the whole it looks like you are coping better — you have a girlfriend, a job (albeit temporary) which is doable, and you are about to complete your second book! Hopefully too, you will soon receive the correct diagnosis of your AS which should also help. I try to remind myself of Prof.Mark Williams’ “clouds in the sky” analogy when I have a set back — (and I had one yesterday triggered by a bad encounter with adult mental health with regard to my son). I often reflect on how very little things like this can snowball in our heads and trigger a perfect storm of depression, negativity, fear and self-recrimination. We need to remind ourselves that the clouds will disperse in time, and the sun will reappear even if it’s only the tiniest chink of light peeping through behind them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Things are better, although I’m not about to complete my book, just the next draft of it – it might take another draft or two after that before I’m ready to send it to agents or publishers!

      I had one yesterday triggered by a bad encounter with adult mental health with regard to my son

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      Yes, it’s true that things do get better.

      Like

  4. It seems like you’ve been trying for ages to get a proper diagnosis. How frustrating it must be that it’s taking this long. I like that you are so self-aware. You seem to listen to your body and rest when it needs it, which is good and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

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