Friday, 17 February 2017

Autism Fatigue vs lots of exciting plans!

I've talked about the concept of Autism Fatigue before but it's never been more obvious to me than when I have a period of time like I'm currently in. I'm 9 days into a crazily busy 18 day stretch and already I've had to cancel 3 different plans out of the 18 things I've got in the diary (and that's not including the standard going to work next week!) I should note that I am incredibly lucky to have be given the opportunities I have and I am very grateful for the support of my university tutor, my family and the staff involved in the various work I've been contracted to recently.

I had to cancel certain things this past week because I was having to make choices between standing by plans I'd committed to and the need to protect my own health - mental and physical. It doesn't help that I'm still recovering from a nasty virus last week or that I've managed to pick up a cold along the way to join the fun. My point is that just because I want to do something doesn't mean I should; those decisions have to be made on a day by day basis and that unfortunately means letting people down at the last minute sometimes.

Most people have been fairly understanding recently, having a virus that's leaves you with dizzy spells and nausea is understandable to most people. Certainly a lot more understandable than Autism Fatigue is.

Trying to get people to understand the concept of social overload or the need to conserve energy for a more important commitment the next day is difficult. A lot of people still don't understand how draining social activities can be - even if I'm enjoying them immensely!

It's true that the satisfaction I get from doing things can give a boost to my flagging energy levels it's rarely enough to compensate for the losses due to sensory environment and stress.

I hope as time moves forward and more of us are talking about these concepts that society as a whole becomes more aware and more forgiving of our needs. I've had to plan these few weeks so very carefully  to ensure that I make it to the end still in one piece and still able to enjoy my final event - England vs Italy in the 6Nations at Twickenham - a hell of a way to finish off my 30th birthday week!!

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