I think 2018 needs to be my year for getting back to focusing on better managing my energy. I keep seeing people talk about time-management, which I have realized isn’t my problem at the moment. I have time. It’s energy I don’t have enough of. I feel drained all the time.
And it’s easy to see how I waste energy doing physical things (like going places, visiting people, working etc). Emotional energy is harder for me to manage. Such as what am I spending my energy investing my emotions in when it’s something I can’t do anything about, worrying about things I can’t fix, triggering my anxiety and ptsd over situations and they aren’t anything I can help with.
I tend to care a lot about people who don’t care a lot back. I might spend only a few minutes reading something they wrote but it will weigh on me and drain my energy for days. Meanwhile I could be putting that energy toward something positive I could be doing elsewhere.
Just a personal reflection and ramble. But I thought maybe others could relate.
I’m never too clear on where the lines are drawn between autistic burnout and depression. There seems to be a lot of overlap in my symptoms so honestly I don’t know if what I have is depression or not. What I do know is that from my birthday (which was yesterday) until around December 3 (the date my dad died), I have a worse time than normal pretty much every year.
The past year has already been very difficult for me for reasons I’ve already mentioned here and a few other personal ones.
I feel like my “good” days at this point are just being a tiny bit less burned out than usual. On those days I can manage to get some work done. (I work from home, so I don’t have to do all the things that would be required to showing up for a job like commuting etc. I’m not sure I could do those things right now.) Like if my “functioning level” was a scale from one through ten I feel like my supposedly good days would probably be a three. An occasionally awesome day would be maybe a five.
The fact that I’m 38 years old and am in the place I am right now makes me more sad and self-loathing. Birthdays are a perfect reminder to me that internalized ableism is a thing, because I find myself comparing myself to society’s standards of what I should be and also all the things I thought I would have accomplished by now. Many of the things I’ve wanted aren’t anything society would expect of me. So I feel like I’ve failed on multiple levels at this point.
I have days in general where I just don’t know why I bother anymore tbh and those days scare me. What scares me the most is how I can somehow go into auto-pilot mode to do the things that have to be done (like taking care of my mom and my pet rabbits and myself on a very basic level) even when the amount of spoons I have feels like negative a million. It doesn’t feel like living. Just existing. I look back on those days, which are becoming more frequent, like who is that person who showered me or did the laundry. Oh wait it was me. But how? lol
Despite my usual dreading of birthdays, most years I’m able to try to look at it as a fresh start and try to use it as a jumping off point to try to think about what I would like to do in the next year. This year it’s basically just like “Ok, survival. That’s a good goal.”
Birthdays suck. Burnout, depression, maybe both? Suck.
That’s basically all I have for today. :-\ Sorry for the rambling. Editing my thoughts into something halfway coherent isn’t going to happen at the present moment.
I don’t actually feel like doing anything, and forcing myself to try to function has felt like a huge chore for more than a year now.
What little energy I have at all comes in spurts so unpredictable that I have trouble figuring out which pressing chore to do first before my energy is drained again.
I feel like I’m devoting too much energy to social media. But that’s where my friends are, and it’s the only place I have anything close to a support system. But being on Facebook too much ultimately leaves me overstimulated and angry by halfway through the day.
Finding balance is kind of a problem for me.
I’m either super into a thing or I’m not. And when I’m not, I don’t seem to have any attention span anymore. I can’t seem to focus on things I used to enjoy.
I’ve been trying hard to cut as much stress as possible out of my life to focus on the things I have to do to survive. But I feel like my tolerance to stress gets lower and lower all the time.
I know a lot of other people feel this way too. I know most of our lives are way too hard. I know most of us don’t have the support we need. I just don’t know what to do about it.
Ok, so it’s probably no secret to anyone who knows me that I dread winter at this point in my life and that I have trouble adjusting to the change of seasons in general.
I don’t drive so winter is particularly isolating for me, since I’m living in an area where nobody bothers to put salt down. Even getting to the dumpster to get rid of my trash in winter is a challenge, honestly. I’ve injured myself in so many falls over the years it’s embarrassing even though it’s really not my fault. I also have asthma so walking anywhere in cold weather isn’t the best anyway, but the ice really makes it worse. Winter is not my friend, ok?
So while most of my friends are enjoying the autumn and looking forward to holidays and such, I’m busy obsessing over how I’m going to keep myself occupied and uninjured this winter. The uninjured part is particularly important now since I’m the sole caretaker for my mom and if anything happens to me, I’m not sure what we would do. Added stress is not my favorite. I’m basically a ball of anxiety at this point.
I’ve been trying to keep my anxious brain occupied with things to look forward to. For example, I’ve just recently learned to crochet and have been hoping to use this new hobby as a thing to get me through the winter months of feeling like crap. I’m also trying to find more work I can do from home or things I can do to earn extra money because that’s kind of important at this point. But crochet is more fun. Haha.
Anyway, I apologize for not posting here in a while. A few people have emailed to ask if I’m okay, and I’m never really sure how to answer that question. I guess the answer is, sort of? LOL I’ve been having some struggles (which is an understatement haha), but I’m hoping to be back to posting on some sort of regular basis at times when I have something to say.
I hope all my friends here are doing well. If anyone has suggestions for surviving the winter or would like to commiserate on feeling isolated, feel free to comment.
Humans confuse me.
People want to feel like they’re helping, but they don’t want to actually help.
They want to ask everyone but you what you should need, and then get defensive and abusive when their brand of help actually makes your life harder.
If you want to know what someone needs, ask them. If they can communicate what they need, do what they need you to do.
Respect that the answer may be “I need you to get out of my space.”
If all you can do is not make their life worse, then do that.
Being a decent human is not that complicated.
Helping other people is not about you. If you’re making it about you, maybe work on why that is.