I am sitting in my chair, listening to the trucks across the street moving soil in the neighbour’s yard, and hammering down the road where the trusses are being put on a new house being built. I know that outside it is sunny and warm, and I feel envious of people who have the energy to get things done.
As for me, I can barely keep my eyes open to write this post. How is it that some people have so much energy? Often I wish that I did. But then I wonder… would having more energy allow me to get more things done, or would that energy feed my anxiety, and cause me to be paralyzed by fear?
Somehow I think it would be more of the latter. The anxiety brings me to a place of utter exhaustion on a frequent basis – but then, that very exhaustion leaves me to tired to be afraid… for a while at least.
The sun is shining, and I think I should be doing something. But after over a week of paralyzing fear, I just can’t bring myself to move. I want to move. I think there are so many things that I could be getting done, if I could only just “wake up.” But then, all of last week I couldn’t move either – and I had some energy then. I was just too afraid to move.
My counselor has recommended that I not return to, or think about work for the next six to twelve months – thereby setting me free from the obligation of accepting what work the people at community living might find for me. I feel relief in that. A lot of relief, to be honest. But now I am tired. So very tired. It is hard to live with such levels of fear.
As a Christian, I think… I know that I am supposed to trust God in all of these things. And I want to. I really do. And for small slivers of time, I can. For a moment, I am able to remember my belief that God is in control – even of this. And it does calm me. It does help. The thing is, however, that though I think I believe that God is in control, in these moments of panic, I just can’t remember that. Or if I do remember, the panic still swells up and doesn’t allow that knowledge to reach my heart or my head.
I want to write about how I am healing. How things in my life are improving… and maybe they are – just… not in the ways that others would see as an improvement.
You see, I have always had many episodes of this level of panic. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression. I have always fixated on things, and obsessed on things, and found activities that I am compulsive about repeating as part of my routine. All of these issues are a part of me, and while they may not have decreased significantly since my diagnosis, at least they haven’t been made worse.
So what has improved? I was taken off of work, and given disability. In the normal sense, this is not an improvement – but for those like me who have lived every day forced out into the world, where every moment is a source of fear and failure, this is an improvement. Like the end of a shift, I suppose, for many people. But since time appears to move so fast for me, the end of a shift, or even a weekend, didn’t allow me the opportunity to relax. I can only find “calm” when things end. When I have finished what had to be done, and feel free.
That I can be home, working within my own routine, and spending my time on things that are important to me, is an improvement for me. Though it is not often understood as such by others.
And the other improvement? I have an explanation in my Autism diagnosis for the person that I am. Though I still feel the pressure from others to conform to their views of what people should be – I now know there is a reason why that doesn’t work for me… and perhaps that makes all the difference.