I am writing creatively with more joy than ever. I am inspired by many things at the moment, including things that give me the squick. As I reflect on how much I’m enjoying it I realise I draw heavily from the experiences of those around me, more so even than myself. So – sorry, but if you’ve talked to me in the last six months or so you’ve probably ended up in something I’ve written.
Don’t be nervous! Unless you feel you ought to be nervous. I’ve only portrayed you as I experienced you.
1.I had to have a bit of a cry today. The reason was because I’m 30 years old and, because of something funny with my brain, I can’t understand tone and body language and words when they’re not all aligned. I panic when I see someone lying, because I can’t understand why they’d do it, because I can’t understand their internal worlds. So then I stress out all day.
And right now I hate it. I hate the stupid brain that doesn’t just help me understand people but seems to actively fight comprehension. I don’t want sympathy – I certainly don’t want the minimising language of “Hohoho, we’re all on the spectrum” because it’s like telling someone who can’t read “Ah well, I struggle with Proust. We’re all on a spectrum of illiteracy!”
Sure, that’s technically correct, but if you imagine that your experience of the world and theirs is comparable because “you’re on the same spectrum” you’re either ignorant or malicious. There are nicer ways to put it but I’m tired of hearing it so sorry, but here it is.
Being autistic gives me so much else, and my cluster of autistic symptoms means I get to live closer to the neurotypicals than plenty of autistic people. And there’s plenty of good in that. It’s where you all live, and you’re lovely. But days like today make me want to retreat into a space where people are more like me.
There’s nothing to be fixed here, and me training myself to better move through a world that I find hostile and ill-designed isn’t cause for celebration.
It sucks. It doesn’t suck every day, but right now it does, so if you want to help, if you’re on team me, throw an arm around my shoulders and agree that it fucking sucks.
2.Like I said, I’m very creative at the moment. I’m ghostwriting the life of a friend which will be the new Fleabag/Killing Eve (which reminds me, I need to rewatch both of those). I’m also writing a bunch of poetry. I wrote one that gleaned the following piece of praise
That was so good it made me want to throw my phone onto the tube tracks…I’m only angry I didn’t write itan anonymous friend and critic
and I’ve genuinely never been prouder of anything in my life. I’m so full of creative energy that I’m weighing up begging for a sabbatical from work and just spending three months in like…Moscow or Vienna and just smashing out a book of poems.
I did my dissertation in a fortnight. I could do this.
3.I’ve finally lugged myself back to the gym a couple of times this week. I need to keep the rhythm, but now that it’s quieter after the January rush and the February try hards I can go back to rowing and running and getting awful sweaty at 6.30 in the morning.
I am always really pleasantly surprised by how much I don’t hate being at the gym. I am also always surprised by the number of penises I see getting a blow-dry.
You’d think you’d stop being surprised after one, but no. Same sense of surprise every time.
4.Work’s been slightly calmer this week, but not without its difficulties. The whole organisation is doing sterling work to support the government, and as always I’m absurdly proud to work there.
[I admit that I’m looking outside the organisation, but only because I’d like to work 4 days a week for about the salary I’m on now (50k-ish). I fully accept that this is a big ask, but it’s the only reason I’d go. Public service is where I’d rather use my skills, and if the choice is five days working for citizens or five days making money for shareholders, I’m going to choose the former every time]
5.Completion on the flat is within touching distance, kissing distance. We need one piece of paper and three different parties are pointing fingers and claiming it’s not their responsibility. I have solved this conundrum by calling all of them and sitting on them until I found out who needed to do what, and then writing an email with several capital letters in it and words like ACTION and COP, which means different things to different people and therefore gives everyone the heebie-jeebies.
Of course once I move the whole “three month sabbatical” becomes impossible, because I’m not allowed to rent the flat until I pay back the equity the government lent me. But one day. One day soon.