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Creepy Crust

Neck ache is real bad of late. Going to the park in the next village to draw and I notice it escalating. Odd mix of feeling relaxed by drawing, being outside and having space. But then having to massage my neck and shoulders with my off hand to try and calm down the pains. They're severe today. Whenever I massage, or get massaged by Meg - the tenderness of the muscles all over my body has me whincing, and at times letting out very forlorn noises. My body is f**ed - chronic stress and worry haven't just caused aches and pains for a decade, but my body is just so tense and unwell.

I think this is why self care often struggles at times. Attempts for new routines, lifestyle choices etc. Been living feeling borked for such a long time, that anything new or seemingly worthwhile feels like it's got a heck of a climb to provide anything that seems worthwhile. Quite tired all the time. Burnout continues.

Meg spent a week after Sheffield with her family. Bad signal, we talked a couple of times a day. It's odd that we talk more than I have in any other relationship when around each other, yet when she's away - it's the most distant relationship I've had in terms of communication. I'm used to people not being great at replying. So instant messaging doesn't feel so instant, or like a conversation. Some friends take hours, days, weeks, some even take months. Hard to really consider that a friend. Yet it's easy to justify anyone not wanting to dedicate much time to instant messaging. It's just been the main means of communication for me. Plus the 'tism and other jazz - and I place a high regard in people who can reply quickly. People who keep me hanging on - it grates quickly.

So I don't really expect that to change. Perhaps I will improve in terms of not feeling so wayward, or increasingly tetchy when hours go by without reply. Not that that's all the time, but it just is what it is. Truth be told, you're either accepting of the reality of a situation or you aren't. So yes - to me it sucks, but that displeasure is on me. Their time is their own, as is my time. It is I who chooses to dedicate time to thoughts, worries etc.

I spiralled last week when I hadn't heard from Meg in around 9 hours. Messages hadn't been sending for the duration. I logically predicted poor signal or low phone battery. That kept me going up until the evening, and in the final few hours I spiralled. The next day she said it'd led to some overwhelm. That amongst other things going on at the time for her. That and my anxiety/depression are things which nobody is obviously going to enjoy. But seeing how it drags others down makes me feel shame and guilt when I feel that way. The lid has to remain on - otherwise you're going to upset others with your upset. So you push it down. Sits in the chest - tight, on edge, waiting. Sits in the stomach - churning, gurgling, painful. Lack of release with an every increasing build up. I feel like I need to live in a spa with a therapist and a pharmacist for 2 months. Maybe come out not aching like a bag of bones and feeling perpetually exhausted.

Mind you, some inconsequential lanugage made me sink into panic yesterday evening. She said:

Meg: Oh
Meg: I forgot to tell you
eg: A thing happened to me today
Meg: Of small significance

By line 2 I felt my fight or flight kick in. By line 3 it was spiralling and by line 4 and then her delayed typed reply to tell me what happened - I was in a state of panic.

In the end it was her telling me she'd slipped and got stung by stinging nettles. Yet my mind/body reacted to a perfectly innocent few sentences with absolute dread, panic and terror. It all feels rather messy to be honest. But again, reading about this burnout and seeing a supposed reduced tolerance to environment, stimulus etc.

Meg is working with Cosmo this week. He was the second of her friends that I met. The one who was cracking jokes all the time, and I felt very anxious and introvert round initially. My inner critic had a field day in his company. So there's some anxiety at the moment, but nowhere near as much as I'd anticipated. Although a snide inner thought just said "it's still early days yet". I suppose you have to maintain a degree of humour with this amount of internal chatter and general overwhelm.

The job interview today went ok. Both jobs seem like a bad fit - but it's money and a means to an end temporarily. Get the van done and save up to do art full time again. Should be by late spring I reckon that I could be back to doing my own thing. One role sounds admin heavy, chasing and analysing costs. The other is headed up by the more charismatic of the 2 interviewers. He had long hair and tattoos, got a good vibe off him. But the role sounded much like my last job - a middle man with way too many jobs and responsiblities to do. Yet it had a better wage.

Headache and severe dizziness throughout. The headache now I'm home is bordering on biblical. We're approaching migraine levels of discomfort, so I should probably take some painkillers now, as water alone isn't helping. Mind you, this is neck/shoulder related. So I'm getting on and off earache, jaw and tooth pain too. It's not fun. But massaging myself isn't really solving anything. Quite worn out.

Marcus "shushed" me last night as he tried talking over me whilst I was talking. Marcus talks at me a lot. It's one sided. Guy talks at me. He talks over me a lot too. He talked over me last night and actually apologised for it, which felt a little odd to me. The apology seemed heartfelt. Yet I've seen the pattern emerge of him talking over me. Actions speak louder than words, and I don't want people apologising to me for something they'll continue to do, as that sort of apology will quickly become worthless.

Between that, intermittent correspondance with Meg, and finding my parents making default noises when they're not listening to me talking - and it happens a lot. I guess I feel frustrated. Being proactive on Messenger and still people taking days or longer to reply. Reaching out. Met Guy 3 times last week, Jared once (caved in and bought weed again). I don't know. I try and try, but socialising is exhausting. And with this growing feeling of repeated incidences of not being heard. I want to shout at times.

Still feeling very lonely out in Haddenham. Met Jack again last week. I regret it as he just did his usual politically motivated, one sided, talking at me monologue. I'm fed up of having such a small and s*** circle of friends.

This place I interviewed for has quite large teams. 10 ish per. So there's a decent chance I'd possibly make a new friend or 2. It's desparately needed.

Meg said to me before that she does her socialising in chunks. I'm not sure if that was to make me feel better about my social burnout, because looking back and she's basically around people almost daily in terms of free time, events and such like. Always seem to be doing stuff both when we're together and when she's alone. I dated someone who was similarly busy and social before and I did burn out rapidly. I guess there's the worry of being a let down, but Meg has repeatedly reminded me to do what makes me comfortable etc.

I think this is why I span out when we were roped into attending this family brunch after the wedding party clear up was finished. I was in the mode to chill out, as we were going to go to the Peak District. There'd been talk several times of a duvet day and to chill out etc. So I just wanted to get all their stuff from my car back to the flats and get into recharge mode ASAP. Then "sorry, I said we'd go." Ahh I sank, overwhelm etc. She told me it's ok if I don't go. But I was still in "go mode". We had to go, we had to get the party stuff back. Things needed doing and all of a sudden here's brunch. Dizzy, queazy, headache - not hungry. Who are these people? Where am I going? Can't sit in a hot car in an empty car park for hours. Have to go. Head spinning.

So this might be my last week of freedom before I return to the rat race. Looking back, I'd like to say that several months off work has helped me feel rested and recuperate...has it f***

Hmm, shame this all seems to be on a bit of a downer vibe/tone.

I've been keeping busy with drawing. Done more art last week than I have in my whole time attempting this full time. Got my art onto another art website. They gave me a years free premium due to an IT issue they were having on site. Got an IG ad done, but it got me 1k followers and the accounts seem dodgy. As in not active, something spurious.

Marcus said he wants to buy my latest drawing. Whether thats a print or original remains to be seen. I told him the absolute lowest I'd go for the original A2 was £600. Tbh with comission from galleries, if it sold at certain places I'd get even less than that. For 100+ hours work, for less than £6 an hour? Some tell me that I shouldn't think like that. Yes, I bloody should. Minimum wage is over £9 an hour.

Art doesn't feel like a labour of love right now. In fact, I'm not enjoying it. Doubley so as it's triggering bad neck, head and shoulder pains. Contacted a bunch of massage therapists. None replied and I went into a couple whilst in March last Friday. One was booked up for weeks, the other wasn't even open even though it should've been.

Tired. Aching a lot. Feeling isolated.

Hmm.

Ahhh then that song timing "suicide seems so nice when you're away"


Creepy crust. Tbh suicidal ideation hasn't been so bad the past few days. And I wouldn't end it for the sake of someone else. I've been threatened with that by exs and its a terrifying and disgusting experience. How dare anyone threaten suicide and blame it on another.

Just the usual fatigue, aches, pains, feeling folorn, burnt out, growing unease and discontent. Perhaps a full time job will provide a routine that helps. My guess is the additional stress will actually make things worse. But maybe that shouldn't be assumed. I just know that trying to focus and work whilst you ache all the time and have intense symptoms. It makes masking and trying to pretend you're ok very difficult, draining and tiring. Which then adds more fatigue to the mix.

Hmm, still no replies from people. Should go do something I guess. I end up feeling weird for being the guy who tends to reply to IM's immediately, because very rarely does anyone else seem to.

Ach need to stop banging on about it. It won't change - just have to try further adjustments and acceptance of people. It's as big or little deal as I make it out to be. But when it's been a repeated pattern across numerous friendships for over a decade - along with other social drains, struggles etc. Feeling isolated and like you're not being truly heard? As I said earlier, there's times I want to scream. Lack of replies fuels the inner critic which uses it as daily examples to pick at my self worth. I guess it just feels like a lack of common courtesty - repeatedly across numerous friendships. Along with an upbringing and pattern in choosing friends who just talk at me. I'm just quite exhausted by it all. It's just all adding to the overwhelm and I want to scream, swear and cry.

Right now though, I don't feel that overwhelmed. The pain is that strong that it's taking up most of my focus. It's like I've had something hit the back of my head very hard. I'd like it to go so I could feel less ropey.

Not like I'm expecting people to suddenly reply faster, or dedicate more time to instant messaging me. It's just a pattern that's eating away at me.

Then again, I've got abandonment issues. Here's me talking about home life and growing up with my last therapist. Thinking I had a normal, middle class upbringing. Only to get told how dysfunctional and harrowing childhood supposedly was, and that's why my inner child and critic are so dominant in stressful situations nowadays.

Bit like a 100% ADHD assessment score, sometimes it feels a bit odd to be such a textbook example of a disorder.

Ed

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