To get where i am today, in terms of my disorders, i have had to push myself.
With the sleep disorder, I’ve had to set myself limits on when i allow myself to sleep in till, what time i go to bed, what time i limit my caffeine intake, etc.
With autism, it’s been, testing my social boundaries. In the past, it’s been things like allowing people to hug me, going to pubs/bars/restaurants, or even just eating out somewhere.
All these things are good and positive. But sometimes i get frustrated with myself, or i get impatient and try to push myself a bit too far.
With the body clock disorder, I’ve tried making myself get up far, far too early. Taken jobs that start in the morning, over and over again. With autism, it’s been forcing myself to be okay with crowds – which was way beyond what i could handle at that time, seeing my friends every day – i love my friends so dearly, but i just can’t handle that, working in busy, noisy, high-pressured jobs (retail). All these things, fail. They result in me breaking in some way or form, either physically by becoming really sick, or mentally. It’s not pretty when it happens either, but it’s something i can’t hide.
Sometimes, when people don’t understand my limitations and try and dismiss them by saying ‘you’re holding yourself back’, ‘you’re limiting your own potential’, etc. It means that they then can be quite pressurising, and in all honesty i know, i don’t really know how to deal with that. It is something i am slowly figuring out how to handle, but it’s a process. Even with the best intentions, it’s extremely unhelpful. I think with some people they’ve seen it as ‘showing their support’, when in reality, they’ve just made things harder.
Sometimes i do need a bit of a push, and can be quite stubborn. But what i would say in that situation is, don’t rush to push. Give me time and patience. Take a step back, and see if you’re pushing me into doing something i really can’t or don’t want to do, or if you’re supporting me in something that i’m a little unsure or unconfident in doing.
Ultimately what happens when i have pushed myself, or been pushed too far, is that i feel like a failure, which then has a knock on effort on my self-confidence and self-esteem. I’m trying to combat this by being more gentle on myself, i still push myself, but i’m trying to temper it with acceptance.