Ending in NONE


Fading fast.

Happiness ?. Doesn’t last.

Rarely up.

But always down.

Is a smile, an upturned frown ?.



Nothing nice.

Nothings fun.

Feeling frantic, feeling stressed.

What to do ?

For the best ?

Not for me.

Light end of tunnel.

So insecure,

No pride to funnel,

Lost in shame,

Me I hate,

Always bad stuff, lies in wait.

Just so tired,

Too small to say,

Just like exhausted,

Not me today.

Can’t describe,

No word is true,

Feeling shattered,

Feeling blue,

When I turn,

All I see,

Are regrets,

Staring at me,

I feel so useless,

Hopeless case,

I am, in truth,

Just a disgrace.


Torn in two,

Yet more than two,

I’m riddled through,

Holes in me,

No idea,

What to be.

I want it all,

To end soon,

Won’t miss,

The stars, the sun, the moon.

I am a mess,

Still yet I try,

But life’s so hard,

Perhaps to die,

No ideas,

Out of luck,

I wonder why I give,

A F**K,

Here’s to tomorrow,

Same as today,

My problems,

They won’t go away,

I guess I’ll be here,

Perhaps I’m done,

Then I’ll be gone, And I’ll be NONE.

A strange way to care


Say they care.

But when you need them.

They just aren’t there.

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. The same.

Heard them, I’ve heard them, yes, they sound lame.

We’ll be here they say. They don’t mean it..


Other things to do.

Is the sentiment true ?

All alone, facing despair.

Searching for friends.

But you won’t find them there.

Not the all but the many. Not all but the few.

And those are the few that you’d like to come through.

They’re big on the promises. Big on you.

But when you need them.

What do they do ?

Nowhere to be seen. Opportunity squandered.

Do they really care?. I’ve often wondered.

They say that they do. They say they will be there.

But when they aren’t.

It’s a strange way to care.

Autistic minefield: Changing jobs scares me

It’s a different world these days.

Applying for jobs has become an exercise in understanding employer motivation and desires as well as the sometimes baffling job descriptions and qualities required, rather than a straightforward study of your qualifications and an interview.

Now it seems like an assault course with numerous obstacles you have to overcome to reach the interview stage. There seem to be a number of barriers of increasing complexity.

I used to be a Civil Servant.

One of the questions I was asked at my interview was how I felt about working with a man who had the power to launch a nuclear missile. My reply was “That’s his job” or something equally banal and the offer of a six-week casual role became a 23-year career.

But these days it’s all about competencies and setting what you’ve achieved against certain artificial standards. I must admit that I no longer recognise roles that are advertised and they are couched in such bizarre terminology that I wouldn’t know what to apply for or how. I have absolutely no idea how I measure up against the requirements.

I’m completely baffled.

Someone I know went for an interview. Of the seven questions asked they had to ask the interviewer, four times, what exactly they were asking. They admitted that the language used was totally alien to them and that the interviewer was deliberately obtuse and wordy in an effort to intimidate the interviewee. How terrifying.

Being Autistic I cope best with clarity. I cannot commit to something I do not understand. I cannot answer a question if I do not understand the motivation behind asking it; its purpose and what I am expected to demonstrate in my response.

So applying for jobs terrifies me. My CV terrifies me because there’s such a lack of achievement both academically and employment wise so I have zero confidence from the outset. I have been, at best, a solid, dependable worker whose civil service reports now sound fraudulent and false. I don’t recognise the person described in them. The praise seems forced and over emphasised and the errors amplified and highlighted.

I have no idea what I am good at. I have no idea what I am suited for. My dream jobs are just that, dreams which will never come true.

I find myself out of touch with the job market and suffer from such a chronic lack of self-esteem and self-belief that I don’t know why anyone would employ me in the first place.

I have to leave. If we move, then I leave anyway but being here is destroying me. It’s not the people per se, it’s the job, the mind numbing constant drone of the telephone, the noise of the open office, the lack of communication; that’s destroying me.

And I think, slowly, its killing me.

I’m Autistic. I am Autistic and terrified and I have nobody I can talk to so I can only express that terror through this blog.

It’s a different world out there.

And I am scared.

Another bad dream ….that’s real!

Do you ever get the feeling that you are stuck in the middle of a bad dream ?. Powerless to prevent the maelstrom surging around you.

I’ve felt that way recently.

My partner’s illness is just one of those things and its always worrying when something shows on a brain MRI that is unexpected. I go into panic mode and worry about her and that worry is only made worse when you realise you weren’t there to ask questions when she got the news and the medical report is couched in such obscure medical terminology that you can’t actually work out if its good news, bad news or something in between.

Her issue only amplifies and brings into sharp focus my own brain/head issues. The incredible pressure building behind and above my right eye, the constant headache of varying intensity but always in the same place; the one that you’ve had for a year now and for which you still have another three month wait for your neurology appointment. The variation in vision and the way, post two strokes, that all the bad stuff hammers away at my right side, disorientating me and sending me out of kilter.

It’s absolutely exhausting.

Then you get an email from the Mental Health Team.

To summarise they’ve been worse than useless. Lots of broken promises and half-baked truths. Lots of things they “might” do to help me but which, after 3-4 years of being “under” their care, has only resulted in reports speaking of my understandable frustration and the fact it’s no real surprise that I self-harm!.

In short, I am Autistic and they have no idea how to support me.

I am discharged (again) but I can continue to work with another team member on employment issues.

Then he emails me.

He wasn’t aware I had been discharged. The fact I have means that he cannot work with me anymore or have me as part of his caseload. And somehow that sounds like it’s my fault.

Don’t they discuss the cases they have ?. Didn’t he know I had been discharged ?. Why was I told I could continue to work with him post discharge ?. Why am I still on a 3 month waiting list for CBT when the 3 month waiting started 11 months ago ?. Why was I told that it would be followed up in November yet I am still waiting to hear anything more about it ?.

Why, once more, do I feel royally screwed over by the system ?.

What happened to the “modified” CBT mentioned 4 years ago ?

What happened to the counselling ?

What happened to the drug review promised two years ago ?

All I get is a lot of shoulder shrugging and a “If things get bad then you can always ring the crisis line!”..

That would be the same crisis line who, when I was suicidal gave me 30 seconds of their time to ask if I had eaten an evening meal. I presume that, because I had, I wasn’t going to kill myself afterwards!.

Throw in the constant ache and energy sapping fibromyalgia, throw in diabetes, throw in stress, anxiety and, thanks to anhedonia, not a single hobby to distract you in the slightest.

I feel utterly powerless.

Totally unsupported.





A million other terms that mean bad things.

Life’s a bad dream. There’s just too much for me to cope with.

What now ?.

Isn’t free speech and thought allowed in Autism ?

Well thanks Autistic community!.

Thanks for making me feel like shit!.

Just because I don’t go along with your stance 100% of the time.

Just because I can see both sides and haven’t fallen into the trap of believing anyone who says something that might cause consternation amongst the Autistic community should be automatically “struck off” or damned.

It’s an opinion.

It might be misguided; totally wrong; laughable and yes, occasionally deeply damaging.

And it might be given airtime or column inches by a misguided organisation..

That believes in free speech.

But it’s an opinion.

We can argue against it rationally. We can point out the flaws. We can put forward counter arguments and we can, as a community, put on a show of thoughtful, insightful, Autism based research..

But when I point out that it’s an opinion..

I’m told what I NEED to understand..


As if I MUST understand the prevailing attitude of the community and to dissent, or offer up a contrary view is WRONG!.

So, no free speech for me!.

And then it sort of spirals…

And others tell me what I SHOULD feel..or SHOULD do…

I am sorry but I don’t take everything, every odd idea, strange notion or simply “wrong” belief as an attack on the community.

Autism IS trendy. I DO believe there is a risk of over diagnosis because it is trendy to be Autistic. I am sorry if nobody shares that belief.

So thanks Autistic “community”…thanks for being open-minded and seeing all sides.

Like Hell you are!.

So thanks for making me feel really, really, shitty!

Autism Cures ? Not for me thank you!

Please stop trying to change me.

I read about potential “cures” for Autism with a heavy heart. The very notion that you would want to cure something that is you seems completely alien to me. Why would you want to alter yourself in a way that denies yourself the truth of your very existence ?.

Of course we look at cures as a way of treating bad stuff.

So, is Autism bad ?. Is your Autism bad ?.

And what do we even mean by “bad” ?.

It’s too easy to associate other conditions with Autism; too easy to say that you have X because you are Autistic. But that’s too easy.

I will take myself as an example.

I am depressed. I have chronic depression or, as it’s known, Dysthymia. I get very anxious and stressed easily.

But those are not because I am Autistic.

There is no proof that if I didn’t have an Autism diagnosis I wouldn’t have those conditions. So why do we assume they are inextricably linked ?.

In honesty I was diagnosed with stress; was anxious, long before I had my diagnosis so they were very much viewed as separate conditions because there wasn’t any overreaching condition they were associated with.

And long before I had even heard of Autism I was anxious, stressed and depressed.

So if I was cured would those conditions magically disappear, overnight ?. Would I wake up happy and content, able to cope ?.

Of course the answer is no because those aspects are triggered by a variety of things that are not directly linked to being Autistic. My job, my home life, outside influences.

Now I admit that being Autistic means that I can take a view of things, negatively, that others might not. I admit that small things are more likely to upset me if they interfere with my routine and that such things exacerbate and amplify my stress and anxiety but that is an amplification and not a simple “because I am Autistic I am depressed”.

Would I like to be less stressed and less anxious ?. Yes. Would I like my life to be easier ?. Yes.

But not by losing my identity.

And it is my identity.

I am an Autistic man.

I identify as such.

I don’t want to drink bleach. I don’t want electric currents passed through my brain. I don’t want a “cure” to be beaten into me. I don’t want to be “trained” to be something false; something I am not.

And Autism is different in all of us. There’s that old, and by now very cliché saying that once you’ve met one Autistic you’ve met…one Autistic person, so how would a “cure” work for all of us ?.

I may not be happy.

I may suffer from chronic depression, anxiety, stress and a host of physical things…but..

I don’t suffer from being Autistic.

It’s not an illness. It’s not a disease. You can’t catch it.

Please don’t try to change me.

Another short random Q&A – Are you bored with me yet ?

Did you have a nickname at school ? Yes, I was called Spider. I know spiders have eight legs and I only have two but they were rather long and spindly. I was also known as Lanky.

Have you ever walked out of a cinema during a film ? Yes but I can’t recall the name of the film quite possibly because it was so bad and I choose not to recall it.

Over-rated films or books ? Sorry about this but the whole Harry Potter phenomenon just leaves me cold. I found the books badly written and has it never occurred to anyone that Harry is just an ungrateful brat a lot of the time. The films were okay to start with but then got increasingly bad. The Lord of the Rings is another book I just can’t cope with as I find it exceptionally dull and hard to wade through. And don’t get me started on Twilight or any of those abominations.

Comedy ? I’m supposed to be quite witty with my puns but I find most stand up comedians with their reliance on sex or swearing to get a laugh, not for me. I also find a lot of comedy just goes over my head. Perhaps I’m not smart enough to “get” it. Tim Vine and Milton Jones, people who do puns and snappy one liners are more to my taste.

Dress up or dress down ? I’m very much a casual dresser and thankfully, at the moment, I can wear what I want to work so it’s jeans in winter and shorts in summer. Usually a t-shirt on top. I have to be comfortable because if I’m not I get very stressed. I have quite a lot of t-shirts, around 30, so I like to have plenty of choice. I did wear a suit for many years but finding a good fitting one that’s lightweight and comfortable for my sensitivities is hard going.

Pack light or pack heavy ? I pack light. I’m usually about 2/3 of my weight allowance. It’s mostly t-shirts, shorts and underwear. I still manage to overpack and come home without 50% unworn. I don’t have a large suitcase either. I guess it’s medium size. I can’t understand people who bring such colossal cases with them.

Glasses or contact lenses ? Glasses. I used to wear contact lenses but contracted keratitis so I’m not allowed to wear them any more due to risk infection. I don’t like wearing glasses but have worn them since I was 7.

Describe the town you live in ? It’s really pretty. It’s very expensive to live here as it’s rural and there are quite a lot of posh houses. It’s in a dip so we are surrounded by hills which protect the town from the wind. It’s got a neat little town square with a range of posh shops and an award winning restaurant. I like the town and will miss it.

Why so much hate ?

There’s too much hatred in the world.

I see too much blind hatred on Twitter and other social media. Too much hatred that ignores basic facts and repeats stories that are deliberately twisted to show one party or one side, in a bad light.

And it happens from all sides TO all sides.

One thing I have always liked to do is make my own mind up. I am not easily swayed by press stories or those on social media that are hidden beneath snappy headlines or choosing one line, out of context and manipulating it to an eye catching and often scaremongering headline. I like to know the facts.

If I disagree with something then that’s as far as it goes, I disagree. I can believe something to be fundamentally wrong in concept or execution but I would not spout hatred towards its inventors or planners. I might argue; I might campaign but there has to be a point beyond which I will not go.

It’s the dividing line.

It divides me from the crude and sadistic who want to give themselves the moral high ground and then resort to name calling and the issuing of threats and vile epithets which immediately lose themselves the ground they once had claimed.

I will try and couch it in political terms.

I am no fan of the current government. I believe it to be bitterly divided, incompetent and out of touch with the electorate.

However, I do believe that Mrs May is in an unenviable position and making the best she can of a very bad situation in which there will be no winners.

I believe the NHS to be sorely underfunded. However, that comes with the caveat that vast sums are spent on bank staff and agency staff which could be better spent on properly employed and supported nursing staff. There are other examples of the mismanagement of funds that leads me to believe the NHS does not always help itself.

I believe Jeremy Hunt to be an incompetent minister who is blind to his own failings and who, regrettably, is arrogant and believes himself beyond reproach.

But I am not going to call him a c**t because, apparently, that’s “clever” rhyming slang.

I find Labours attitude towards economics deeply worrying. The fact that they simply want to spend money without any sound idea of how this will be raised is very concerning. Making promises they cannot keep is damaging to their integrity. Keeping those promises could have a catastrophic effect on the economy and people are deluding themselves if they think a Labour Government would suddenly make everything better.

For certain sections of society there might, stress might, be improvements but there will not be a blank cheque for PiP payments and benefit increases. It’s simply not practical.

But I find Jeremy Corbyn a likeable, honourable man who seems to have some good ideas involving a more inclusive society and who has grown in stature over recent years.

I hope those are balanced opinions.

I do find the blind hatred of the right wing Tory press to be utterly at odds with this acceptance that the left wing press is always right. There’s a very murky grey middle ground where the truth, or whatever that is, probably lies.

As an Autistic person I like to know facts. I like to consider the challenges and what the parties will do to meet those challenges. I like to take a balanced view without resorting to this blind hatred that seems to emerge every time a decision is made you don’t accept. People need to step back and look rationally at every decision made and make their own minds up.

And I am just using politics there, as an example.

This “nasty” attitude permeates all aspects of society. We rarely seem to be capable of moderate discussion without resorting to baser language and instincts. If we blindly lash out and scream and yell why should we expect to be taken seriously if our arguments are incoherent ?.

Yes, it is good to be passionate. Yes, it is good to have a cause you believe in. Yes, it is right to protest.

But do so rationally. Do so thoughtfully. And do so for the right reasons.

Don’t just jump on a bandwagon because a celebrity tells you to. Don’t just jump on a bandwagon because it’s cool or trendy. Do jump on a bandwagon you believe in without being influenced by others.

Have the courage of YOUR convictions.

Ask questions, think for yourself, look behind the headlines, check the arguments.

And please stop the hatred.

The worlds in a mess because there’s too much of it already.

Don’t add to it.

The Great Hobby Q&A – or more stuff you didn’t want to know

Anhedonia, eh ? Yes. Almost three years now. I don’t really get pleasure from things. I go through the motions and sometimes it seems that the harder I try, the worse it gets.

Spare time activities ? Yes, don’t call them hobbies as they don’t qualify. Well, not in my opinion. I read but what I read rarely sinks in and I find that I flick through sections because I lose interest so quickly. I can’t face heavy non-fiction tomes to try and educate myself anymore so its fiction, which I don’t enjoy.

I do play video games. People think it’s a waste of time but when you’ve had a stressful day and need to let off stream then blasting aliens is a stress reliever. I’m not very good at them though, it’s always the easy setting.

I spend too much time on Twitter as well. I do find it rather a depressing place as there’s a lot of nastiness and bullying even within the Autistic community. Of course there are good people and you do glean some interesting news and ideas.

Previous hobbies ? I used to read. I studied Egyptology; did Counselling courses; listened to a lot more music. I seemed to dabble in more things even if they were ultimately unsuccessful. I used to collect things like miniature models and Smurfs. Can’t have too many Smurfs!

Is Travel a Hobby ? Well I suppose it is if you do it enough. I think about it almost constantly in a dreamy “Wish I was there” kind of way but I don’t even have a passport now and buying a house has, unfortunately, scuppered holiday plans for the foreseeable future. And that’s exceedingly depressing.

Television or Films ? I spend too much time watching things I don’t enjoy. I want to enjoy them but often get bored and irritated with them. I don’t want constant action but unnecessary sex scenes or “romantic interludes” are too often out of place and simply thrown in for titillation. They rarely advance the story. Well I suppose sex advances “Fifty Shades of Grey” but in general it’s just awkward.

And the hype!. Anything that’s widely hyped or built up is just bound to disappoint me. I find it very off-putting as I almost feel pressurised to agree.

Any series that you follow ? I do. Things like “The Blacklist” which is good but I watch that for James Spaders performance as he is such a nuanced actor. I start watching a lot of stuff I give up. More factual stuff like “The Undateables” or “The Real Exotic Marigold Hotel” I watch although the former is starting to look very contrived. The latter I watch mainly because they go to India quite a lot and it’s always nice to see places where I have been.

Last film you watched ? “13 Hours”. It’s a Michael Bay directed film, he of “Transformers” notoriety. It’s the true(ish) story of an uprising in Libya in 2012 which resulted in the death of the US ambassador after an assault on his compound and the heroic attempt to defend the remaining staff and CIA officials by a group of private soldiers. I found it quite good and the ending was quite moving given they all came so close to surviving.

Does your partner have hobbies ? Do fish swim in the sea ?. Yes she’s a very talented lady who knits, sews, crochets, embroiders, quilts and generally makes stuff. She’s the proud owner of two sewing machines, a super duper expensive all in one sewing, embroidery and quilting machine and a surger/overlocker. And there are two die cutting machines. Our place is full of fabric, wool and assorted paraphernalia. She is never short of things to do. I do envy her, not only for her ability but also the fact she has things she enjoys.

Do you have phases when you collect stuff or really get into something ? Absolutely. I collected Lord of the Rings characters, started collecting and painting Warhammer Miniatures (now the cost of those is beyond my wallet) and avidly used to collect the Panini World Cup stickers. I also collected Pokemon cards, not because I had the slightest interest in the game but because the pictures were so cool. But I don’t collect anything like that now and I find the novelty wears off so quickly with me.

What about reading ? Covered earlier but I do have a lot of books. Lots of travel writing and about 30 or so books on Ancient Egypt. Many of those are big coffee table books so not so easy to pick up and read but they are incredible and I would never part with them. They remind me of good times.

I used to read fantasy quite avidly. David Gemmell, David Eddings were big favourites of mine but I can’t recall the last time I started a new series. I find the sheer range of titles a bit intimidating and don’t know what I will enjoy or, at the least, get through. I used to collect Dean Koontz novels but that’s another phase I came through. I read some novels set in Ancient Egypt but the use of modern day language I find very distracting. The word “Dad” seems very out of place when you are referring to Pharaoh like that!.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for this part.

Hope you found it interesting.

Thanks for reading.

Forgive me if I stumble

I’m stumbling along.

I’ve lost the strength to do much and good intentions have already faded to long term hopes without real conviction.

I started the year planning and hoping but seem to have back tracked which is both annoying and frustrating.

Physically I feel spent. I’m in so much pain these days from my fibromyalgia that it’s not funny anymore. It’s constant and it’s not so much where is the pain, but where it isn’t!. My sleeping is a mess of either sheer exhaustion or pain preventing me from getting any meaningful rest. I can’t recall restful, refreshing sleep.

I expend too much energy at work. I put myself out for people with very little back in return (not in all cases and all people) and when I hear people refusing to do this or that I know it’s just going to create more work for me. That’s just pressure I can live without but, unfortunately, saying no gets me in trouble as I’m not one of those whose face fits and can get away with stuff.

But work is, slowly but surely, killing me. And I don’t know if a change of job will make the slightest difference.

I’m ill. I can’t avoid admitting that and it’s becoming a constant worry. I’ve had this nasty, invasive headache in the right side of my temple for, what ?, over a year now. It’s so painful and my right eye just feels like it’s going to burst with the pressure building above and behind it. It weeps constantly and is just so draining. Add in the weakness on that side already post two strokes and I feel so lopsided.

My memory is terrible. I keep wondering if I have dementia which is a terrifying prospect and just makes me worry all the more. I can’t recall stuff from yesterday and the harder I try to recall stuff the more my brain protests and refuses to play ball. It’s as though there’s a physical barrier in my brain that’s preventing me from obtaining clarity. Still, my emergency appointment is now just 4 months away.

My balance is bad. I seem to stumble, quite literally, several times a day. My feet don’t seem to know what they are doing and I feel a sense of disassociation.

I just feel under so much pressure.

Trying to find a new job 400 miles away with no skills and no talents that will allow me to easily find one, especially an Autistic friendly one that suits me, is a nightmare of overwhelming proportions. Something so simple as my CV has become another mess as I can’t sell myself as I don’t have any self worth or self esteem to sell myself with.

And then theres house hunting at distance. Do we move and look or look and move ?. This is the biggest decision we will make and I have no idea what I am doing because I feel so terrible and I have no strength to do it.

I’m terrified.

Terrified of my job, terrified of finding a new one, terrified of finding the right house, terrified of moving, terrified of having something seriously wrong with me.


And under so much pressure.

If I had hobbies I would, perhaps, be distracted or would have something to take me away from the daily nightmare, even for a few hours..

But Anhedonia has totally screwed that for me.

I’m stumbling along both physically and mentally.

And I hope I don’t fall over.