AUTISTIC NICK WORKING FROM HOME IS TAKING IT’S TOLL

AUTISTIC NICK WORKING FROM HOME IS TAKING IT’S TOLL

Behind me is my unmade bed, I must see to that especially as I have a Zoom meeting in an hour.

I turn my head to look, well when you write something like I have above you don’t not turn your head do you?

It’s like when someone says don’t look at him/her but you do!

It’s human nature, isn’t it?

Anyway, observations aside I am now sitting at my desk, on my computer inside my bedroom.

A cool wind blows in through the open window.

The sun is bouncing off the fence.

I tided up my bed!

Yes, well I don’t need to be judged over a Zoom for my unmade bed!

I also check to see if my computer is charging, and I have my phone charger nearby too.

See I’m avoiding the real issue here.

Where’s my water bottle?

Ok, look I am loathing working from home.

I cannot take anymore Zooms; I have had enough.

I haven’t interacted with another human since February (I think!).

I am beginning to forget how to make small talk with people, how to hold a conversation with them.

I think of something funny to say and I go to turn around to say it whoever and it’s only me there to laugh at it.

Conversations are a struggle for me as an Autistic person, on a daily basis it’s a three-way conversation in my head whenever I interact with other work colleagues.

The only way I can describe this is, imagine you are sitting in a booth at a UN conference and being connected to a translator sitting in another booth close by wearing a set of headphones.

The conversation begins — I hear it and they also hear it and translate it for me.

I must interpret what that person says into what I class as “autism language”. It’s then processed into English, and I repeat my answer back.

It’s a tiring process.

Add to this that I have NO CURRENT STRUCTURE OR ROUTINE IN PLACE my nerves are on high alert and now so is my anxiety.

For an Autistic person this is a huge deal.

It’s not that I don’t understand the reasoning behind the move of having only the essential members of staff in the office – it’s a COVID safe thing.

But it’s not helping me, is it?

I dread having to do a twice weekly Zoom, and it’s not because of who I am Zooming with it’s more to do with the fact that I have to mentally prepare myself that I am not actually heading anywhere it’s just me sitting in my bedroom, staring at a computer screen for four hours.

Gone are the days of me preparing my lunch the night before, making sure that my backpack had everything in it that I needed, that I had my notebook where I would have written down say 4-6 article ideas.

Now, all those ideas are either on a scrap piece of paper or inside my head.

I have also been getting tension headaches too lately.

These combined with my nerves being on a continuous 24-hour alert loop, my anxiety sky rocketing, and now these tension headaches its not been a time to rejoice.

I am hoping that I can say by next month head back into the office, escape my bedroom and be around other people who aren’t my family.

I am craving sitting in my chair at my desk and putting to good use all my skills around communication that I have so far lost.

Would I be classed as a lapsed communicator?

Given all of the above I can feel myself withdrawing from the world.

And staying in bed more and eating less.

As a constant nagging loop of worry was encroaching on my every thought.

I didn’t have a plan on how to deal with this and at that point, I didn’t want one. I was to overcome with emotions and rage.

When the day does come that we can all go back into the office, I’m sure I’ll be singing a completely different tune to the one that I am currently singing!

It’s sods law!

But for now, I have to assess the positives (as much as they are deeply hidden)!

I am lucky that I can work from home, and that I am COVID free.

I do have support around me, and I can go to them at any time.

I guess from an Autistic perspective I feel that I can deal with it until that realisation hits me and I realise that I can’t.

My experience dealing with my Autism, stress and anxiety is kind of like having three full time jobs.

I keep it in check by keeping a diary of what my triggers are and what strategies I have in place to deal with them.

I have my Zoom meeting now,

So, take a deep breath Nick you can do this.

CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION

As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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