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.