So what’s it like, being me ?.
Well, as I don’t know what it’s like to be you I have nothing to compare with so, be you Autistic or NT, here’s a regular day from my perspective.
I usually get up between 6.00 and 6.30. No alarms as I find them intrusive and unfriendly. Being blasted awake and flailing around trying to turn off some screaming clarion call is not my idea of fun. So it’s up, feed cat(s), open front door so they can go out and then a quiet hour of checking emails, reading the news and blogging.
I rarely oversleep as my internal arm does the business of waking me unless, after a particularly troubling night due to my Fibro or Diabetes or an over active Aspie mind, I simply am too tired and can’t wake. Never happens on work days though!. I don’t sleep very well unless tiredness gets the better of me. My autistic brain is a great believer in talking more when I want it to be quiet!
Breakfast in bed is served every work morning to my slumbering partner!. She loves her bed but, just to annoy her, I crash through the bedroom door at 7.45 and hurl a coffee in her direction together with her breakfast of choice, decided the previous evening!. Actually this usually fails to rouse her entirely so I retreat having left said breakfast within arms reach.
I then have my breakfast of coffee, an energy or health bar, occasional cereal, always accompanied by a selection of meds.
At 8.15 she gets woken up properly. Ablutions, much pacing up and down, get work stuff together and at 8.35 start the car. 8.45 leave for the office. These times are close but not exact. Nothing can be exact with a NT partner who doesn’t understand the concept of time!. So I usually pace anxiously waiting for her!
Work as close to 9.00 as possible allowing for tractors, idiots who drive in the middle of the road or who suddenly decide they’ve moved to the continent and drive on our side straight at us. And roadworks. Always a joy in country lanes.
I work as a Tax Advisor 9.00 to 4.30, Monday to Thursday. I work for a national charity in the operations centre (call centre by a fancy name) dealing with unpredictable members of the public and the occasional temperamental member of staff.
It’s not an Autism friendly job. The callers are often confused, unpredictable, don’t listen and are ungrateful. I need clarity and logic not people who confuse themselves, argue with me and rant and rave. We get a lot of calls and I answer a very high proportion of them. But the noise of the phones, the hum of computers, the chatter of staff, the clacking of keyboards and the closeness, almost heavy atmosphere in the building only makes me more tired. It’s an exhausting day which is only broken by occasional humorous outbursts provided by yours truly. I seriously dislike it intently and feel it does me more harm than good but we need the money to survive. I often leave the office totally drained and very depressed.
Evenings are a wash out. I am exhausted so, unless it’s pre arranged shopping night it’s home, shower and into my Pjs by 5.15. I simply can’t face going out and find my mental capacity greatly reduced after work. The assault on my autistic sensitivities has overwhelmed me and I find my Fibro symptoms highlighted and the residual effect of two strokes seems greatly amplified. I ache all over and lack energy.
I am a picky eater. I only like a limited range of foods so it’s usually fish or a pizza for dinner. I don’t have the patience to wait for a full meal to be cooked so it’s very much quick convenience food I prefer. More meds as dessert.
Then it’s a bit of video games, perhaps a television programme if there’s one of the few I record and enjoy or quiet time on Twitter with music. I rarely venture out in the evening unless it’s September to April when, on a Friday evening, I play darts in the local league. I call that my prescribed social interaction! I suck at darts and the social side, and pubs, are detestable. My nerves totally destroy me when I play but I know my team mates well and they don’t mind if I throw badly. I couldn’t say I enjoy it but it’s part of my routine now.
Bed is at 10.15. Half an hour of reading some improving book (believe that and you’ll believe anything!) and lights out.
And then it begins again….