Shutting Down For The Week

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while but I have good reason. Last week I went into shutdown mode. My mood dropped, I felt tired every second of the day, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and couldn’t connect with people. In these phases I distance myself from socialising online and in person. I let down a friend I was supposed to meet with because I had no energy what so ever to talk. Yet the week before I was at an incredible high.

The week before…

I felt better than I had felt in years. I took on board everything my therapist K had taught me. My anger was barely making an appearance and replacing it was a soothing calmness. Now, I’ve never been a relaxed person, ever. I always had a very short fuse and every little thing would irritate me, more so than others. So I obviously became aware of the change in myself. Other than mentally healing I was pushing myself to the limit. Starting new paintings, looking into piano lessons and thinking ahead for my future.

On the Monday I went to see my therapist. It was 7 weeks since I last session and I was so excited to tell her all about everything I had accomplished. She was very proud of my achievements but I had felt very exhausted all of a sudden like it was a build up of all things good that I had released and there was nothing left. At the end of our session K had set me more homework than usual consisting of socialising with friends, attending my piano lesson and looking up fitness classes to discuss in next session. I left feeling really run down and empty.

The week didn’t get off to a great start. I didn’t attend my piano lesson. The drive would’ve taken too long (well, that was my excuse anyway) and decided to look for a teacher closer to avoid this from happening again. I didn’t socialise with my friend. She text me a few times but I kept apologising and rearranging and I didn’t look up fitness classes. It was all too much. I knew K had put so much hope in me succeeding but I had no will for it. I stayed in bed late each day, only rising to make food and read. My drive had completely gone out of the window and my motivation was nowhere to be seen. The washing up was piling up and became more of a chore. I felt like a failure.

This week…

I arrived at therapy carrying my mood with me. I didn’t want to go. I was so ashamed that I had failed at my set tasks. I was led in bed that morning thinking of all the possible excuses to avoid seeing K but in the end I decided it was best to go. It was too late to cancel and I had to be honest.

I’m pretty sure K sensed that I wasn’t feeling so good. The friendly smile I forced was probably obvious. I explained that I had failed at everything and that I was losing it and going back to my old ways. I told her that I was doing so bloody well yet I still managed to mess everything up. I almost expected a telling off (always expecting the worst) but she remained calm and listened to me ramble on about my week. She noted that although I lacked motivation and went into shutdown mode I still maintained my new best behaviour.

At the end of my meeting with K she told me that everyone will have a bad day. When you’re depressed, you can’t just suddenly heal, it takes time. When changing our behaviour and thinking process it requires practice to stick in the mind and having aspergers syndrome can make it harder to adapt to. She told me to stop putting myself down over a bad week and focus on a new week. Start a fresh…

For my homework this week I have to write in a planner all of the things I aim to achieve for the week and to push myself into waking up at a reasonable hour. She recommended I tackle the chores and get back on top of my usual routine reassuring me it would get easier with time and all fit together again.

Present day…

It’s Wednesday and I’ve managed to stay on top of all of my chores. I started a new painting. I looked up a local teacher nearby that I will in touch with tomorrow to arrange my introduction session. I have looked into a new course subject that I have a fond interest for and have arranged to meet my friend tomorrow.

Looking back at last week I noticed that it was so easy for me to go into a shutdown. In fact, it took me five days to even register it was there. I can’t remember much from that week because whilst shutting down, it doesn’t even feel like I’m alive. I disconnect from everything around me and the inner me. It’s actually quite scary to lose yourself for a period of time. In the moment its safe and the mind is so fragile it can’t be disturbed. My senses are heightened so I can’t handle bright lights or certain sounds. It’s like wrapping up in a cocoon away from danger and completely shutting away from the world, which explains why the term shutdown is so fitting.

 

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2 thoughts on “Shutting Down For The Week

  1. This sounds so similar to what I go through.
    It feels so good when I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to do until when I flop just one little thing in my schedule & everything else just goes downhill from there. It is SO annoying.
    I’ve been known to be a very reliable person & now I’ve slowly gathered a flaky reputation because I can’t keep up with the deadlines when I’m drawing portraits of people.
    When family, friends & whoever else is concerned & starts laying into me about being flaky I can’t help but ignore them because it just stresses me out even more trying to explain. I sometimes have an outburst telling them to leave me alone because I can’t deal with all the pressure to be “normal”. I actually feel so relieved to have time alone & not think about anyone, their feelings & these expectations.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Being reliable is easy when it’s part of a solid routine like working a part/full time job but when it comes to finding the energy to exert into hobbies for a living or socialising it can become more of a burden on your life than something you find joy in. A perfect life for me would be doing nothing what so ever and just doing what I like when I feel like I’m ready to commit to it. I had to drop out of one of my A level subjects because I couldn’t handle the deadlines. It was always that way in school for me, I just wanted to complete it when I felt ready but it was always so tight. It may be worth letting your family and friends know that you’ll complete the drawings when you’re mentally able to do so. These things take up more energy for people with autism. Here if you need to talk 🙂

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