I woke up at 9.30am, but didn’t feel well enough to get up until nearly 11.00am. I don’t know if autistic burnout is my least favourite part of autism, but it’s up there. The hardest thing is not really having a clear conception of it (I haven’t seen much written about it) and blaming myself for laziness even though I know, on some level, it goes deeper than that.

I planned a busy afternoon and early evening of Pesach preparation, but forgot and in some cases did not know, that other stuff would be happening and had to delay while people got out of my way or I got roped in to helping them. We had our burglar alarm serviced today, which was not a good idea (not mine).

I actually did quite a bit: kashered the hob (put pots on it and heated it up to purge it for Pesach, then covered the grates with aluminium foil), thoroughly cleaned the kitchen sink so I can kasher it tomorrow, put away the non-kosher for Pesach over-the-counter medicines (most medicine is kosher for Pesach, but soluble tablets or stuff with taste like throat sweets and cough mixture is problematic) and went for a half-hour walk. I spent some time writing my devar Torah (Torah thought) for the week too, which is good, as I didn’t think I would get it written this week. My other Torah study was listening to a recorded shiur (religious class) while I ate dinner. I was too tired to read any more of my new haggadah.

Writing this down, it doesn’t seem like I did so much, considering how close it is to Pesach, but I got roped into a few other chores too and some of these things had preparation time, so by the time it got to 6.30pm I was ready to drop, even if I hadn’t made the charoset (the thick dip eaten at the Pesach seder) which I had hoped to do today.

There were a few things I did for Pesach that were not necessarily done the ideal way. This makes me worry a bit, in terms of religious OCD worries about things being done perfectly, but I’ve been trying to just push through my OCD fears. It is draining, though, and probably does contribute to my exhaustion. It’s just another thing for me to be juggling. I also feel sorry for my rabbi mentor who still has to put up with nervous WhatsApp messages from me checking that I’ve done things correctly.

***

I haven’t seen PIMOJ for a while. I’m actually not sure how long, which is bad of me. We couldn’t see each other for ages because of lockdown and mutual Pesach stress, plus she’s having to do a lot of overtime at work lately. We were going to meet next Wednesday, but it turned out I was double-booked with my sister and brother-in-law. I thought we were seeing them on Tuesday, but it turns out to be Wednesday. PIMOJ was very good about changing the date. I’m seeing PIMOJ on Monday 5 April (bank holiday). At least we’ll be able to stay out all afternoon with Pesach stress over (I will be naughty and leave some of the post-Pesach tidying to my parents).

9 thoughts on “Busy Busy Busy

  1. This paper has its fair share of tedious bits, but it’s got some interesting bits as well.

    “Our study found that ‘‘autistic burnout’’ is a term used consistently by autistic adults to describe their experience of a long-lasting pervasive state of exhaustion, loss of function, and reduced tolerance to stimulus that is conceptualized as resulting from chronic life stress and a mismatch of expectations and abilities without adequate supports.”

    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/aut.2019.0079

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have wondered if having to follow strict religious rules about certain things can be helpful for autistic people by providing structure and predictably. But you mention your OCD very often, so perhaps that is an important intersection. I have a cousin (who I have not seen for more than forty years) who is autistic and he has OCD also. I am told that he has always found the OCD to be a much greater challenge to deal with than his autism. He also follows a strict religion (of the Christian persuasion).

    I am pretty sure I do not have OCD. But I do have very high levels of anxiety — so I wonder if I might have OCD tendencies if I were trying to live by strict religious rules on an ongoing basis — and worrying about the consequences if I failed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My understanding is that there isn’t evidence for strict religious rules causing OCD, but if a religious person is going to get OCD anyway, it can manifest as religious OCD rather than hygiene OCD, for example. In general, I think there is a big overlap between autism and anxiety, and OCD is considered an anxiety disorder.

      On a personal level, I perhaps mention my OCD too much as it’s pretty dormant these days. My parents have said they haven’t noticed it particularly in the last few days, when I thought it was more visible. But I worry a lot about it returning to how it was a few years ago, particularly around this time of year.

      Like

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