Hope, I have found, is a very difficult thing to hold on to. I am not certain how much this is an autistic trait, and how much it reflects my life experiences of being an undiagnosed autistic, along with all of the pain, criticism, and failure that came with that.
Yesterday I was encouraged. I had found ideas for work that was available to do online, was flexible in scheduling, and seemed to be work that I would be suited for. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to be able to rearrange my life in a way that I could live with. My anxiety was the lowest that it has been in many years, my mind was clearing so I was able to think better than I have in years, and having been off of work for nearly 2 weeks, my house was finally getting cleaned and organized to the point where I could look at it without becoming overwhelmed and shutting down.
Then the fear set in. The questions started flooding into my brain:
- Is this legitimate work, or is it another scam?
- Do you really have what it takes to do this work?
- Is there enough work available that you won’t have to compete for the job?
- Are you actually smart enough to be able to do the work?
- Is this work available in Canada, or is it only for US residents?
- Could you keep this up, or will it cause you to become anxious and shut down again?
With those fears come the attacking thoughts within my mind:
- These things never work out for you.
- You are such an idiot for thinking things might be different this time.
- You are such a failure. This will never work out.
- You can’t do this, what were you thinking.
- You are going to have to go back to your old job, and things will never change.
And so I woke up this morning feeling discouraged and without hope. Hope is so hard to hold on to when a lifetime of fears and failures are holding me back. How many times can I get up again before I am done with trying? How many times can I fail before my heart truly breaks?
Today has been a very hard day. But maybe… maybe tomorrow will be better.