Assaulting the senses. A brutal Autistic work day. 

Yesterday was a brutal day. 

Absolutely brutal. 

Work was merciless. From the moment I got in till the moment I left it was simply incessant with numerous demands on my time. Lunch vanished in a flurry of emails and calls. 

The trouble that brings is twofold. Firstly, it wears me out mentally. There’s no hiding from the sensory assault on my Autistic enhanced senses. My ears ring, my head throbs and quite quickly those defensive barriers in place begin to crumble. It’s a struggle for survival where all I can do is grit my teeth and hold on. I hate days like that. There’s no chance to breathe, no opportunity to catch my thoughts or my bearings. It feels like constant tidal waves smacking me heavily into the shoreline, bruising me, battering me. 

The knock on effect is the physical toll. Starting from a position of having fibromyalgia I’m tired, hurting and struggling before the day even begins. 

Add in the mental thumping and I’m not a pretty sight when I get home. (Point taken. I’m never a pretty sight!) 

When colleagues seem to be feeling the same way I take that as endorsement that it’s “not just me”. It’s not just an “Autism thing” that’s happening. When colleagues start shaking their heads, rubbing eyes, complaining of headaches and throw the phone down in disgust, I’m kinda getting that we’re all feeling the same. 

To different degrees. 

It’s all about tolerance. My limits are low. I grit my teeth early in proceedings. I can feel the physical pressure rising. I can feel a head of steam building up. I want to go bang!. I hit the barrier by mid-morning. If an NT colleague hits theirs around midday I can judge that it’s bad for most of them as well. 

Yesterday was brutal. Short of our usual numbers, trying to keep everything in balance because I know that, not working Fridays, my inbox on a Monday will be heavy already without yesterday’s residue and possibly today’s build up as well. 

It took all of my energy to get home. To slump. To eat. By mid-evening I didn’t even have the energy to watch television. I was anxious, irritable, fed up. Everything you can think of. I couldn’t concentrate. I was at melting point. I couldn’t cope with even the simplest interaction. I’d used up my spoons, elephants, snakes, didgeridoos or whatever it is you use to get through. I was running on empty. 

And actually the repercussions of days like that are not twofold, but threefold. 

I couldn’t sleep properly. I was too tired. My body was too painful. Brief snatches of sleep were interrupted by vivid nightmares. I tossed and turned, I wriggled, I stretched, writhed and moaned. I felt heavy, trapped, angry, frustrated, in turmoil, sick, nauseous and a hundred other things all brought together in one tumultuous package. 

So I was up at three forty five! 

Recovery takes time. It takes a long time because I don’t really recover. Each day like that takes a little part of me, gone forever. 

Yesterday was brutal. 

I’m sure it won’t be the last time…

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