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Think i've broken it

Last night we went to Guy's and I panicked to the point of vomiting 3 times. Barely spoke, barely ate, I was the third wheel. Meg spent the evening playing with herhair whilst talking to Guy. It worried me, even though im sure its probably innocent. I just lept to catastrophic thinking. Kept noticing how he was looking at her - and they were both drinking. It left me unsettled. I was the spectator, as I always tend to be in group conversations. When we left (early) I kept saying sorry, he hugged me and i burst into tears. He said I had nothing to apologise for. It's the first time I'd ever hugged Guy.

This morning messaged me saying it was nice to meet Meg and good to catch up with me. Catch up with me? I don't feel like he did. In fact reading that incensed me. Probably needn't have. But I recall he asked me how much I'd spent on the van, and I got a couple of short sentences in, that was about it. The rest was him talking, or talking to Meg.

Got home after Guy's and threw up again. Spoke the most candidly I ever have done to Meg. She said it helped reduce overwhelm talking in person. Told her how deep my worries go, my inner critic and such. How much anxiety I'd had building up to her and Guy meeting and my belief he was better than I was and that she'd like him more etc.

After a while, I asked if she could use mouthwash as the strong cider on her breath was triggering. It used to be my go to cider drink as well, back when I abused alcohol. Even after she'd freshed up, I still felt it looming. Overwhelming, but I didn't say anything. Too much else going on.

Towards the end of the evening we cuddled and there was some intimacy and playfulness, but I fear the damage was already done.

This morning I woke up, had a shower, went and got the paper, had a smoke. When I got back Meg was quickly overwhelmed and burst into tears. I apologised for breaking things, I began blaming myself. I kept trying to pre-empt what she would say. Not helpful, but she was struggling to get words out at times. Still not helpful of me to do that. I begasn to profusely apologising and making certain moments worse as it was adding to her frustration and overwhelm. I told her that my mental health issues have pushed all my ex's away. Feels like it's not a question of if, but when. The overwhelm she's been feeling is because of my overwhelm.

I can't do a simple thing like a gig or a dinner date. I'm sat here right now in a small hall full of people at a craft fair and I feel so overwhelmed I'm tearing up and dare not meet anyone's gaze.

Can't seem to eat. As soon as it hits my mouth I feel sick. Meg went apple picking on her own. She didn't want to add to my overwhelm, but also didn't want her family to see me in this way. This is all perfectly understandable, but the inner critic saw it as a green light to call myself out as a mess and an embarassment. Why the hell would Meg want to show her family this?

I told her candidly when we first met that I've had decades of mental health problems. But I'm pushing her away. I said at one point "it's over" and that was met by an instant and shocked "what?" Her reaction seemed to indicate this was clearly not on her mind. Once again I'd messed up signals and supposed signs and just went with catastrophic thinking. One of those moments you instantly wish you could take the words back. But you can't - and I wonder if it tarnishes your reputation with people. It's beyond a faux pas.

She said we can't make a decision this morning. Not in the right headspace. Problem is, now I'll be alone with my thoughts for 10 hours or so. To think that my headspace will be better later.

Here's the rub - Meg said I'm lovely, and wants to make accommodations for how much I struggle. Problem is, I get set off by seemingly minor social occasions. She said she could do more stuff solo, so that I don't push myself beyond. But then it's more waiting. I wait for her to reply, I wait for her to be ready, I wait until the next time I see her. Even when I see friends, family, or I'm doing art, gaming or cycling. I'm still waiting for her. If she does her own thing more, that means I see her less. I told her about the waiting last night.

I don't know what to do. It would be a bad thing for this to end. It might be considered running away. But this trauma and inner critic has been this strong and overbearing since my first relationship. And my struggles with self-regulation and acceptance has been problematic for a lot longer. I've convinced myself broken this. Or at least cracked it. As I said before, I fear it's not a question of if, but when.

Can't get it out of my head that one day her and Guy will be an item. Why though? Because I assume Guy is better than me, therefore I'm not good enough for Meg, therefore they will end up together. It's utterly illogical - yet my mind kept going there, and it upset me. But these worries are fiction, they're in my head only. Mind you, my inner critic last night tore me down so much I'm not sure I want to see Guy. Not saying forever, but I'm just at the peak of this burnout and I think socialising has been adding to it. I tried distancing myself from him this week as he tried several times to get me to come over. But I kept repeating I need to recharge. I don't know if it gets better from here, or worse - I think it's just the aftermath of overwhelm and panic, then paired with Meg's overwhelm and panic this morning.

Suicidal ideation wasn't good this morning, and that was before Meg began crying and things hit the rocks. We overwhelm each other, and I'm not sure how things improve. This overwhelm, this burnout, my fears and worries. Hasn't felt good since, but I know suicidal ideation is fleeting. Much like when I get cravings for drinking alcohol. Things flare up during times of high stress, because I'm desparately looking for a way to destress. Normally I try and keep busy, but that just tires you out more, and when all this is because of burnout to begin with - doing more isn't the answer.

The inner critic seems to push people away, and once the dust has settled, it's a self fulfilling prophecy. And I start thinking "see I told you you'd be alone." How long does this continue for? The more I read on this forum and in autism and trauma and ADHD books. I see coping mechanisms and acceptance. But all you can do is moderate it. Never going to truly be rid of it.

Not sure how much fight I've got left, very tired. Not to say i'm fighting to keep this relationship going, I just mean there's fatigue in my mind and body and I need rest. I'm scared starting this new job will continue to sap energy from me.

Me and Meg cried and we hugged this morning. Unfortunately with the spiralling thinking, my depression really felt intense and I felt unease in my heart and chest. Classic stress symptoms. My eyes went distant and I kept saying the f word as I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere, and how my spiralling had led to her spiralling which had led to me spiralling.

Right now I'm at this fair. Meg needs space - understandable, and something I can't and won't deny. I don't know what I need - other than rest. Keep on pushing, keep on living I guess. That's all I can do. Right now it's hard to process much more. I'm in this village hall, but I don't feel present. Staring at the screen and typing helps.

"You're so lovely" she said, but with so much sorrow. This was my assumption in my head, her tone and emotion behind that sentence made me think it wasn't fixable. I think whilst the inner critic is fuelled by a younger self and time, so is my other side. Mind you - this youthful and playful nature is inherant in neurodiversity. So you do stand out, but for the right and wrong reasons. It's light and dark, and unfortuantely I seem to be pushing away those closest to me. This guilt that comes with my mental health upsetting others. And I'm supposed to love myself? I want to know how, because it seems so elusive.

Jesus, one more day then I'm in a new job. Back to masking and pretending to be productive or capable. This is sat in my stomach like a rock right now. I'm worn out, burnt out, teary eyed. Sat in a busy room not able to cope. Why the f did I come here in this state? What the hell do I do after this. Unchartered waters. I guess that's the same for every day. But this isn't a good place to be. I'm scared. Scared for me, and for Meg. Not sure where this goes.

I severely dropped my prices at the craft fair. Self worth is low. Maybe I'll gey a sale. There's an artist opposite me doing generic animal and nature pictures. My guess is their table remains the busiest, as it currently is. Don't take it personally. Yeah right.

Don't know. Can't handle this craft fair. I'm only a few minutes in and I want to run away. Where to? Home? It's not felt like home for a long time. Don't want to meet any of my friends. Guy - no. Jack and Marcus exhaust. So does Jared. That's it, friends exhausted. Can't confide in my mum anymore. She outright said I don't have ADHD or autism. How can I confide in someone who denies my struggles and who's spent a year focusing on spiritualism and is convinced she's all knowing and wise.

I need help and I don't know how to get it.


EDIT: Went on a bike ride and pushed as hard as I could. Sat in the middle of a farm track. Picked and ate blackberries. Had a smoke, cried, tried to process things. Sat cross legged, curled up small, staring at the floor. An hour or so passed, and I headed back. I wrote twice on my art page, one was intense - whilst at the fair, within an hour of all this Meg stuff. I posted again after I got home from cycling.

I do get the different perspective after the event, and see how the tunnel vision with panic and worry sets in. But the problem is, I keep on overreacting and being too sensitive - as I've been told I am throughout life. I get it, and I try so hard to calm myself down, but the mind is frantic.

Re-reading what I wrote here and it's heavy, and in places I see I'm writing from a side that isn't based in reality - but in fear and all this internal crud. I described the jumble in my head earlier as a bramble. How overgrown and tangled they become, and the thorns which dig in and don't let go. She mentioned how they grow blackberries and I voiced my first thought which was "brain tumours".

I eased off pushing myself on the way back, because since last night the worry has been thick. Feel so down it hurts, in my chest and my heart. When I pushed myself too hard it always trigger my heart health worries and panics, and I was getting palpitations. So I eased off on cycling as I didn't want to worry more.

So, if things feel a bit calmer, where do things go from here? When we first met we were worried that a relationship beyond friendship had the potential to ruin said friendship.

Meg said how honest I'd been with my mental health struggles when we talked this morning. Unfortunately we were against the clock because she had to drive to Nottingham and I had to go to the craft fair. So things ended up being rushed at the worst possible moment. Before we left I just hid my head under the duvet and she joined me.

The similarities and bond we have is something unlike anything I've ever experienced before. She's told me she's erected boundaries with me, and she did tell me she didn't have the time, patience or energy to try and help me. I know she likes to help people, and is a people pleaser like me. So it's healthy that she doesn't extend that to a relationship, and yet at the same time - I'm not adament I don't want help, but also it hurts to know she's holding back. I get it though, I've repeatedly said I'm broken. It's not a good label or narrative to have - but the more I've lived, and experienced and seen how there's constants and emotional spirals. So, self-love, trust and belief in myself are lacking.

Things will continue, and Meg wanting to help might adjust how much time we see each other, and those times are spent doing things that don't cause overwhelm. She's told me the times we spend just the two of us are very nice. When I'm in social and crowded situations there's no telling which way the table will tilt - but there's no denying I am unstable in such situations. It wasn't always this intense though, and I do think this burnout has a lot to answer for when it comes to how I've been feeling in recent years. All these aches and pains from anxiety and stress are a clear indicator I need actual rest. Forever doing because I'm scared of seeming lazy isn't the answer. Even on my days off I can't seem to shut down and actually rest.

I understand how willing and accomodating she wishes to be with regards to my struggles, it's a beautiful thing - and yet I feel guilty for it. The fact she even has to offer because of where my head is at. I know it'd mean I might mean I see her less. Mind you, all I see ahead is how this works whilst she is on archaeology jobs. It'd suck. But when she's not doing such work, then it would probably improve.

I'm just scared you know? But I'm always scared. It used to be a fleeting, yet very intense feeling in childhood. But as I got older and could comprehend my household environment and conversations more - feeling scared began to grow in intensity and duration. Now it's a near permanent fixture, and has been since I was a pre-teen.

Mum asked me if I was ok when I was about to go out on my bike. I blurted out that I wasn't. She immediately asked if me and Meg had broken up. I told her that my mental health was overwhelming her and pushing her away, just like everyone else I dated. Mum immediately became overwhelmed. I apologised that I didn't want to borrow the car anymore. When I was at the fair I was adament I'd borrow the 2 seater Merc and rag it. I used to be quite bad for that back when I had fast cars. Driving fast means you focus more on the driving, plus there's the thrill and euphoria to it. So it helps shut down the racing thoughts. But it's not safe or sensible. Which is why I've owned a slow and sensible car for 3+ years.

Not looking forward to dinner with them tonight. Having to lift the lid slightly. Not sure why I'm so put off by their sympathy, or them noticing when I'm struggling. I've spent the lions share of my 13 months living here in my room, away from them. You could probably tally up all the conversations we've had since I've been here, and I don't think it'd even be much more than 24 hours.

Meg said she'd be back tonight and we should meet. From the moment she hugged me and walked off, the wait began. My reckoning is another 6 hours or so (4pm now). Might not happen though, plans change a lot. I agree to whatever the new plans are though. Meg has reminded me time and again not to push myself beyond my comfort zone for the sake of other people. But I'm always in a state of discomfort, and if I didn't ever push myself I would just be stuck sat here in this bedroom, swaying as I am now. Once again - I get the desire to help, but the padded room analogy comes back into play.

Yet last night shows I keep pushing and pushing, and with changing plans and burnout and the fallout is pretty shocking to witness.

When I was cycling back home I recalled my therapist telling me that I was the most terrified person she has ever worked with. When I told her I was quitting she seemed nervous, and quite pushy in trying to get me to stay. As in it felt like there was still much work to be done. Which I don't deny. The medication question remains open. The desire to reach out to someone, anyone when things are really bad. The fact it's felt overwhelming for so long means I'm not recharging and getting what I need, so I really have to focus more on myself, my health and my boundaries. I can't allow this job for instance to end up being like my last one - doing too much work, and overtime and feeling undervalued and overworked. I have to find a balance.

Meg sympathises that I've been honest, that I've got a lot on my plate, that I've been trying very hard and moving in the right direction. But this inner critic, worries and internal BS is the same it has been since my teens. That doesn't really feel like growth.

Then again - all of the above boils down to self image. If I feel enough in myself, then I'm enough for others. I already am enough for other people. If I loved myself then last night wouldn't have caused anxiety or panic, and I would've felt safe being a quiet person at a dinner party, and wouldn't fret and ponder catastrophic scenarios between Guy and Meg. If I was comfortable and safe in myself I might be less introvert, or at the very least - not biting my tongue so much, and actually saying what I feel when I feel it. But being a people pleaser means it can be very challenging to speak your truth.

I said to Meg last night that I don't know how you change beliefs and values. How do you even begin to recalibrate something that's lived in your head for decades? How do you even approach that? Feels like someone doing their first karate lesson and going up against someone who's done it for 20 years. What outcome is that going to be? Trying to introduce new beliefs against some grandmaster who's going to slap 50 shades of s*** out of you?

Hmm, let's stop there. Things feel a bit lighter inside. I don't know. There's an odd calm, but I look outside at the imposing grey clouds and it feels apt. Got gut rot, neck tension, headache, intermittent dizziness. I think I'm dehydrated. Certainly haven't eaten enough. Playing the waiting game. Been reading my book intermittently. Need to try and focus on something. I really wish I could work out a way to recharge. I really do want to feel like I'm good enough. Other people see values and traits in me that feel so awkward when I hear them outloud, I squirm and I struggle to assimilate or accept it as a truth. I really wish I wasn't scared all the time. I'm 36 years old - but there's so many emotional thorns I find that I want to cry, and I don't feel seen or heard. Meg has been willing to listen and see's me in ways that don't feel natural to how I see myself. But I feel my self-worth is now being projected through her. I can't seem to express things healthily.

Therapist reminded me to listen to that inner child. Scared, fretful - a crybaby. Just like my school days.

EDIT 2 - Nearing 17:20. Head is beginning to spiral a bit. Seems to occur more in the evening. Or maybe when nearing a more pivotal moment when I expect to hear something soon. Someone from the craft fair who took my business card sent me an email. I emailed her back. She wished me the best. She had read my post earlier on FB about me struggling. Mind you, I'm nowhere near as candid or personal on FB as I am on this blog. This place is unique in that I just bare all on this blog.

Tired of worrying. I guess that goes without saying. Tired of waiting. I guess this is the perfect time with this quote which, when I first read it - hit home so hard I cried.

"Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world's weight he had never chosen to bear.

Ah balls, that's set off the tears again.

EDIT 3 - Meg messaged me to say she's nearly back and if I wanted to go to the river with her. I said yes. I find it interesting I didn't feel the normal surge of relief or elation when I heard from Meg. Especially with wonderful news such as her nearly being home, and us getting to spend a lengthy evening together. That should be cause for happiness and getting hyper and doing odd noises etc. I'm sure it will be a nice evening though. So it's good that I believe that last sentence to be a statement of fact. I guess I got there today in the end.

I best get ready to go.



i don't know if anyone has mentioned this to you before, but have you ever considered having these journals published in a book, as some kind of elizabeth wurtzel warts-n-all document of mental health struggles and what it's like to be on the spectrum and have to deal with the everyday world? i think it's entirely possible a publisher would be interested.
i don't know if anyone has mentioned this to you before, but have you ever considered having these journals published in a book, as some kind of elizabeth wurtzel warts-n-all document of mental health struggles and what it's like to be on the spectrum and have to deal with the everyday world? i think it's entirely possible a publisher would be interested.
Thank you. A fair few people have said I should write a book or some such. I'm sure I will one day.

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