AUTISTIC NICK’S 2ND WEEK OF HIS MENTAL HEALTH BREAK
This is the second week of me three-week mental health break.
After last week’s Zoom meeting with a friend I began to feel a clarity and it was as if
had been lifted and I suddenly felt like for the first time since April like I was feeling fresh air for the first time and I could relax and all of my stress had floated away.
No, longer was I feeling the stress of being tied to a deadline.
No, longer was I stressing about the homework that I was being set.
No, longer was I making myself sick with worry about whether or not I had gotten the homework right and I would score a grade A or obtain a gold star.
I wasn’t feeling the constraints and the stress of what this development project was doing to me.
But here’s the thing I was the one placing all of this unnecessary stress that I was putting onto myself and trying to fob it off as
but it wasn’t nothing.
It was something, my mental health was at a critical peak and was about to explode and like most people I just brushed it off as if it was a paper cut i.e. nothing serious, nothing to see here, type thing.
I thought it would pass, the stress levels would dip and then they’d shoot back up, then dip and that whole process would replay itself over and over again until I just had to step back and say wait, somethings not right here.
I had to admit (as painful as it was) that I needed a break.
I was crying myself to sleep at night, I was angry with myself as I hadn’t recognised any of the triggers, that were so looking back on it now, blatantly obvious.
You could have held a sign in front of me with the words
“YOU NEED TO TAKE A BREAK”
So, I took a deep breath and just confessed how it was making me feel, how I needed this step back to happen.
And since I spoke up and decided for my mental health that I’d made the right decision, it’s improving gradually.
I’m getting out more, no longer am I concerned about getting a gold star or a certificate where I would get it handed to me in a glittering ceremony attended by the upper echelons of Perth society.
I was able to take my time; I could sit back and think more about ideas and I could jot them down and not be working myself up into a panic about getting the email out before the zoom meeting on the Thursday.
I didn’t need to worry, the small things and the stressed that was attached to it disappeared.
I’ve found that I’ve been able to have a clearer vision when writing down my ideas and workshopping them into something more than just a few lines, also now being in the second week of this I’m not worried about the third week coming and when we get back to our weekly meeting.
I was also able to write my blog posts and stay on top of my Autistic Nick’s Facebook Page and not let that slide by.
But this has given me the confidence to be able to say let’s take a 2-week break and then come back and exchange ideas and have a conversation.
I highly doubt that at the beginning of this I would have said anything.
And as shocking as that is it’s true. I think we’ve all been in a similar situation where we are afraid to be honest with ourselves and think that we can just squash our mental health issues when in reality we can’t.
What I’ve learnt from this break is that, I have a voice and I need to speak up and be honest with myself and that I have the confidence to say something in order to be in the place where I am now.
I’ve also been sleeping and eating better too and I’m not having panic attacks about the looming day of Thursday and sending the email over to them.
I was worried about nothing in what the other person’s response would be.
I also know that I have to place my mental health at the top of my list of priorities rather than pushing it down to something unimportant.
I have also been taking more time for myself, which I had neglected before because my focus was on getting that bloody gold star (I still want it if I’m honest) but for now I am content to not attend the glittering night of nights at an award ceremony.
I have to accept that I can step away from things, that I have to place my self-care at the top of my list rather than placing where it was and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
And I’m not.
I also know that I have my supports in place and that I can count on them whenever I need them.
Carry On The Conversation
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.