I like to write about the good bits. I like to write about the joys that autism brings me. So much of the world wants me to focus on the bad bits. They want me to look at my deficits.
No one can live like that. No one can live happily with someone pointing out all their problems.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have my frustrations and my angers, it just means I like to think about my strengths.
There are times this is easier. There are times this is harder.
I’ve been struggling with sleep this week. Combine that with a new venture – putting my face on YouTube and letting the world poke it – and you’ve got a bit of a perfect storm brewing.
That little voice inside (that I’ve kept little by not listening to it) was banging about again. Looking for the negatives. Looking for the things that are wrong with me. Trying to point and laugh.
I didn’t let it out. I kept it back. I locked the door and leaned a chair against it.
Then this evening happened. Such a positive and pointless evening.
On the back of so much lovely feedback I decided to do something new. It doesn’t feel like something new because I’ve been waiting and wanting to do it for so very long.
It’s a small thing; go along to a local poetry group, read aloud, discuss things, find new ways.
Somewhere new to go, new faces to see.
This is where accessibility comes in, I couldn’t find anything I needed online. Nobody to contact. No email. A phone call gave me a location and a “just turn up”. Nothing more.
I nearly chickened out, but not this time. I wasn’t having the voice win this time.
It’s easy to focus on the good points when you live your life optimising them.
I had a hot bath an hour beforehand. It helps me settle. I dressed in clothes of softness and warmth. I got my book of poetry. I sorted through my files on my phone. I found the pen that hurts my hand the least. I found a pencil too (just in case). Darkglasses for the sunshine. A hat for covering my ears. Tissues to play with.
And I leapt.
No one came.
It was hard finding the place. It was loud. There was a music practice going on nearby. There was chatter. The noise of a cafe. I looked at ceilings, they soothe me.
I waited outside a locked door. Early, but not too early. The time came and went. No one came. It was too warm. Fight or flight kicked in. I went and asked. Yes, definitely the right room. Still no one. I used all my techniques, but they weren’t enough.
By the time ten minutes had passed I knew I would not be able to speak even if someone came. My brain was shutting down, my reactions were ramping up.
I had my first meltdown in a very long time. I nearly made it back to the car before it started. I escaped before anyone would see what was wrong.
I am frustrated. It hasn’t fully passed yet. I am locked in this horrible place when I should be sharing something I love. The world doesn’t see this bit. My secret shame. My inability to cope with change when in a new scenario.
I so want to join in. I do.
But where are you?