I’m only posting this now. I originally wrote this on Monday Night, but I didn’t have the energy to post it at the time.
Being Autistic isn’t always good vibes and sunshine. There’s days it’s really difficult.
Today was one of them.
I am currently on a 5 day training course, as part of my job. This takes place in the BT Tower in Belfast.
I arrived at the training facility, all prepared and ready for the week of training. I was actually looking forward to learning new things.
Then the nightmare started.
First there was computer issues, which meant the course didn’t start on time. Not a huge issue, but it caused a slight rise in anxiety. Then they said it would be fixed in 10 minutes.
An hour passed and still no fix. Anxiety goes up a little bit more. At this point, what I call “brain fuzz” starts to hit me, this is where my thoughts begin to start tumbling into each other and I can’t think as clearly as I usually can.
Then, at about 11:30 am, they tell us that the training is cancelled for today. Anxiety spikes up considerably. People who I am on the course with suggest heading to work instead.
I’m not prepared for work. I don’t have my work pass. I don’t have my headphones. I don’t have my backpack. I don’t have ANY of my work things. My routine was about training. Not work.
This is when the meltdown begins. When I feel a meltdown coming, I go into an autopilot type mode, where my natural reaction is to get somewhere I feel safe. This is usually my house. So I start to head for the train station. Belfast Central station is two minutes away. But my brain is also saying “but the others are going to work”.
My brain starts to malfunction in it’s thought process. The others are going to work. But I’m not prepared for work. Work wasn’t in the routine today. What do I do?
I begin to freeze up, paralysed with anxiety and brain fuzz. My overriding reflex action is now to just get home. But the anxiety of doing something different from the others is paralysing me from going to the train station.
I’m rapidly running out of brain processing, I’m starting to feel shaky and weak. I just want to rest.
Go home Ryan, my brain is telling me, as it begins to go into a meltdown.
It takes me 4 attempts to pick out my train pass from my wallet.
I have to check 4 times what platform I go to.
I almost miss my train because I’m unable to focus.
I then finally get on the train and have a little respite. The conductor comes to check the train tickets. I mistakenly hand him my Tesco Clubcard. I’m really in a spin now.
I almost miss my stop because I’m almost completely unaware of the passage of time.
I know the journey home by instinct. My memory goes a little fuzzy now. I don’t really remember walking home.
I remember arriving home, getting into my house, and just beelining into my room and lying straight down in bed, giving my brain some time to try and reboot.
Being Autistic can be exhausting.