Stupid alexithymia! I feel…er…you know, not good. Kind of tight in the eyes. Angry? no. Sad? I don’t know. I know emotions can be unpleasant but it would be really nice to actually be able to describe which one I’m having. (And for this who haven’t come across this before, alexithymia is an inability or difficulty in accessing emotions. It is relatively common amongst autistic folks but others have it too. It makes sessions with therapists kinda challenging and can impact on correct diagnosis of mental illness conditions). Even after 41 years of life, I still struggle to identify what feelings I am feeling.
And further to yesterday’s post, I discovered an emotion for the first tine ever and I am really, really stressed! This is bad because I feel really stressed, but good because usually by the time I access stressed I am completely unglued. So I have earned a reprieve from serious mental health unpleasantness (hopefully) and have some time to address the stress. So, less unpaid work, much less social media, more kitty time, more reading books and less writing them, more time with friends and less time fixing all the world’s problems. All of this requires a degree of assertiveness. So I need to learn some assertiveness given that I don’t have a lot. I will reclaim my spoons! I love a good battle so Jeanette’s anxiety, consider this a call to arms!
OK, so the no social media thing is hard. I am quite accustomed to looking at Facebook every time I get a spare minute and then spending hours responding to things. But no more! Although I sort of undid my good intentions by posting the link to my radio show where I interview Tony Attwood and practically everyone in social media land responded. I have decided to try not to go online until the show actually airs at 8 pm tonight and then respond to people and send my weekly email. I have my lovely friend coming over this afternoon and we’re going to watch DVDs and eat ice cream and drink wine. I really like the sound of that! And now I’m going to save this and watch TV.
I had something I haven’t had in living memory…a weekend. I did a little work – particularly around promoting my radio interview with Professor Tony Attwood and practising a couple of talks. But apart from that, it was mostly friends, TV and DVDs. I was lying on the couch at about 8:30 pm thinking ‘I don’t have to do anything. wow!’ It made me realise just how much I have been overworking of late and I have resolved to address this. I said no to somebody’s offer of a catch up while at the APAC conference – I will need my solitary time after all that social time and people wanting business cards and selfies (this seems to be the done thing at conferences now to take selfies with the presenters. Seems a bit odd to me and I tend to only do it if the presenter is actually a friend of mine). I postponed a conversation with a psychologist friend about risk assessments for suicide and self harm -I figured that I probably have lots of interesting points to make on this topic but it may result in me feeling crappy. Yup, Jeanette is taking her life back from the overwork monster. It feels good.
A difficult day at work today. I was stressed and I kept projecting my stress ono my feelings about colleagues. It took me a long time to work out that this was happening, so I spent most of the day avoiding people that I thought were horrible ableists who must surely hate me. I was glad to get home. This is a particularly honest post because I usually talk about all the positives of begin employed – and there are many. But sometimes it’s just bloody hard to get through the days without crying or yelling at someone. Thankfully I did none of these things and got home to an evening of cuddles with my little kitty man. I hope tomorrow will be easier.
Today was better at work and I got to catch up with some Autism world friends and colleagues for dinner. It was an interesting dinner. As always, I am so happy to be in a peer group of people like me. Had I known when I was 15 about all the friends I would make from amongst the ranks of fellow Auties, I think my world may have been a happier one. It’s funny how humans relate to other humans with similar experiences a lot of the time – but not always. One topic of discussion at dinner was when other advocates or people we see as role models get into public arguments with one another or behave in an aggressive and competitive way. We all agreed that it was rather disappointing when this happens. I think our community is very positive most of the time but we are human too and sometimes we do regrettable things. And I love the corner of the Autism world I currently inhabit. I feel like I am making a difference, which is all a Purkis can ask for. Oh, and dinner was delicious too.
I had the first day of not being extremely anxious and unhappy in a while. It feels good. One thing I hate about my mental health that it can be so unpredictable but I am learning new strategies to deal with it every day. I am actually looking for to the two large conferences I will be speaking at in the next two weeks instead of being terrified. I realised that I’m an extrovert, I like being on stage, I know my stuff and people have paid to listen to what I – and others – have to say. So roll on TheMHS conference on Friday and Asia Pacific Autism Conference on 9-11 September. I have put links to both if you are interested.
My speaker bio for APAC (I am an invited speaker – yay!!)
TheMHS (Mental Health Services) Conference
Happy Wednesday all 🙂
Me patting a beagle. Not sure why