My first actual story will be about yesterday, since it’s a good example of too much input in one day.
Yesterday I already got out of bed way too late, because I slept through my alarm clock a bit. (how did I do that?!) Within half an hour I got ready to go and got on the bus. Because of this, I was a bit shaken up, so I had a hard time looking at people and noises came in way too loud.
All the way to work I just felt a little off. Every time someone spoke to me, even just a ‘good morning’ from the bus driver or something like that, I wanted to answer normally, but only squeeked an answer that was hardly audible. I kept encouraging myself to speak up, or even to look straight ahead, I kept squeeking and looking at the ground.
Luckily, when I started work, I found courage and security in the fact that I knew that place and knew what to expect… Or at least, so I thought.
The working day started alright, since I was SO wrapped in my work, I was on fire. My jobcoach dropped by and helped me a bit with my work for about an hour, while talking to me to ask how I was. I told her I had an off morning, but was okay now. We discussed some more things and then she had to go.
After my break, I started to get tired and I started to lose focus again. I started making little mistakes (nearly dropping an item, stuttering towards clients, etc) and I felt unsure about everything. It was at this point, that my supervisor decided to unexpectedly test me by suddenly leaving me alone to the job. This is normally fine, but it was just bad timing. Since I’m new to the job I forced myself to push my feelings aside for a moment and just push through. Of course, right at this moment, it got very busy. I was on the verge of tears, but I didn’t want anyone to notice. There were some things I had to figure out, but furthermore I made it on my own.
Later my supervisor and the rest of the colleagues came back and congratulated me on how I handled things. I honestly told them I was broken, tired and felt a bit unsure. They understood, but were still proud I made it through.
At the end of the day I was exhausted and my feet were hurting. Since I can’t get myself in the changing room yet and my supervisor was busy, he told me I could change in the office. This is fine, since I have my clothes under my working clothes. I did that and when I just finished and only had to put on my jacket, a woman pushed me out of the office because she needed it! So rude.
Very on edge, feet hurting and exhausted, I went home and treated myself to a Turkish pizza.
The rest of the day I couldn’t shake this feeling off. There was too much going on in my head, I was dizzy, I was exhausted and my body hurt. Even after taking a 4 hour nap (Chronicly Fatigued remember, I need longer naps), I still felt terrible. The rest of the evening I just felt worse and worse with thoughts bouncing around in my head.
Nearing bed time it got to a point that I overloaded, as if I just stood in a loud disco for an hour or something. (Disco’s cause me to overload big time) Suddenly every bit of input, even light, was just too much and I started hyperventilating. My sister got me her sunglasses and got me a plastic bag to breath in. It took me about an hour to get passed this. Once it passed I simply got myself to bed and fell asleep from pure exhaustion.
It was just one of these days that a lot of small things went wrong, causing it to stack up and being one big thing. Only to me (and probably more autistic people) it’s not just big, it’s huge and I just can’t process it. Don’t worry, this is something I come across regularly.