I’m not sure what to think about today. Work was OK. I was doing a lot of repetitive form-filling. It wasn’t terribly interesting, but it’s the type of thing where I can just focus on it and get into some kind of rhythm, I guess the type of day where I can make the autism work for me a bit. I just hope I didn’t make any mistakes.

I had a late lunch and went into an empty office to have a video call with my psychiatrist. We’re going to try to adjust my medication a little to see if we can reduce my oversleeping and lack of energy. I’m wary of altering medication in case I get worse, but I think it’s got to the stage where I have to take the chance. However, it was not a good connection and I didn’t want to get the psychiatrist to keep repeating things, so I’m going to have to wait for the psychiatrist’s letter to know exactly what to do.

I briefly joined a Skype call with my parents, aunt and uncle and had a longer call with PIMOJ. The latter was… interesting. She had been asking me for a while if she could read my novel. I wasn’t terribly happy with this idea, but eventually I gave in and I wonder if I made a huge mistake. PIMOJ is incredibly upbeat and also deeply spiritual, pure and connected to God, whereas my novel… well, it deals with issues like depression, questions of faith, unrequited and slightly obsessive love, self-harm, suicidality, late diagnosed autism and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It isn’t terribly happy, although I gave it an ending that is at least open to hope. PIMOJ works in mental health, so she’s not naive, but I think she was a bit shocked by it, by the thought that someone would want to write this down and that other people would want to read it. She thought the ending was hopeful, but too open-ended for her liking.

Even though PIMOJ knows a bit about me and my issues, I think she possibly didn’t realise until she read it just how low I’ve been in the past, and maybe isn’t convinced that I’m not still there. She didn’t say it was a bad book. She kept saying it was “interesting” and that she experienced a lot of compassion for the main characters, which I guess means the writing was emotional. I’m not sure I really made it clear that my writing came from a place of deep religious engagement.

I’m a bit worried she’s going to break up with me now, but I guess it was better that it came out sooner rather than later. She was texting me attentively today, and I know she didn’t read the entire novel this evening, so I guess that means she still feels a connection.

Perhaps it was just as well that today I had a reminder that things are pretty good for me at the moment. My life is not perfect, but I have supportive family, no immediate financial worries despite only working two days a week and outlets for at least some of my emotional needs. I’m not in an unhappy relationship or struggling to support my family financially or emotionally or dealing with abuse. I guess I need to be reminded to count my blessings sometimes.

16 thoughts on “The Day Where I Counted My Blessings

  1. What sort of literature does your girl friend normally read? And is she a reader? And if English isn’t her first language, is she able to appreciate the subtleties of the language, the use of literary devices etc? I’d encourage you to share your work with a carefully selected range of people — people who will feel free to give honest feedback as well. You girlfriend may not be the best person to do this. Having said that, it is probably good she has read it – it will help her to understand you better and open up avenues of discussion. By the way, have you showed her your Dr Who book?

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    1. She is a reader, but I think mostly non-fiction, mostly religious texts. And you’re right about English not being her first language, although I’m not sure my writing is all that subtle.

      Yes, I didn’t really want to share it with her at this point, but she did really want to read it, since I first mentioned it passing early on in our relationship.

      I haven’t shown her my Doctor Who book. Thinking about it, I’m not sure if I’ve even mentioned it to her.

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  2. Maybe showing her your published Dr Who book will not only impress her, but also reassure her that you also write about more lighthearted things. It is also a big part of your life and character — and might come across as more positive and less disturbing than the autobiographical novel. And as for the subtleties of writing, even your blog can be quite abstract with allusions to things that many people would not know off hand, certainly not someone whose mother tongue is not English, and who may be less familiar with British history, culture, sense of humour, irony etc.

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    1. The issue is not heaviness per se, but that she thinks the book is non-religious or possibly anti-religious. She just sent me a long email about it, and I don’t understand it at all. I think she has completely misinterpreted the book.

      You may be right about the writing, but that doesn’t seem like her main issue.

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  3. I had an experience recently in some ways similar to PIMOJ’s experience of reading your novel, in which I was reading a novella dealing with difficult subjects, incl. trauma, PTSD, and suicidality, and based on real life events in the author’s life written by a virtual acquaintance I was getting to know better. Not the quite same situation since this wasn’t in the context of a budding romantic relationship. I hate to keep using the word interesting, but it was an interesting experience as a reader, since I was both a reader of a novella and a acquaintance/friend listening to a painful story. I don’t think it was a mistake to share the novel; it’s just a (pardon the pun) novel experience to navigate through. It’s actually a credit to your relationship that PIMOJ feels comfortable voicing her disagreement. And a credit to you as an author that you aren’t taking it personally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right that it was good that she felt comfortable voicing her disagreement. I didn’t really take into account how it would be for her knowing that some, but not all, of the novel was rooted in my own experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

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