Read part 1 (from 2019) here. The post below was written in January 2022
Well, I was going to try and work on recognising my emotions so I could avoid the sort of mental hell hole I described in part 1 but that didn't happen.
2021 was a thoroughly rubbish year. My Dad got ill in April and died in May, I was refused accommodations at work (and was challenged about another), and life got too much. I had tried to reach but as you'll have gathered from reading any of my other blogs, this didn't help and actually made the problems worse. I felt blamed and shamed for being autistic, like I just wasn't trying hard enough and if I stopped being autistic I wouldn't have the problems I was having. I was told I was wrong about how I felt and thought, and I was unable to express myself without having to also defend my thoughts and feelings, and this became too much to bear. Life was once again just too much for me to cope with. When you're made to feel difficult, and like the way you are is the problem, carrying on is pointless. It will never get better.
I ended up at A&E with my Mum, and was put under the care of the Crisis mental health team (as an alternative to voluntary or involuntary hospital admission). The support that was supposed to come as a result of referrals made by, or at the suggestion of the Crisis team never happened, and once again I was left alone to try and pull myself out of the pit, avoiding talking about it because I couldn't face the shame and the invalidation that comes with talking about my personal thoughts and feelings.
Later last year we found that once again we're facing a serious health problem in the family, which has contributed to my current low mood and my sudden extreme depressive and suicidal episodes. I think about the comfort of ending my own life every day, it's no longer a scary thing, but a comforting thing because I am in control of whether I continue to live or not. I don't feel I'm allowed to be in control of much in my life, so knowing I can choose to end it at any time is one of the things that's keeping me going.
At the moment, I'm needed, so that's also keeping me going. The general things in my life are looking up and there could be a future worth sticking around for, but this is tempered with the emotional impact of feeling worthless, burdensome and useless that comes with living in a world that doesn't want you, and where you'll never fit in.
I keep going. I need to, because me taking my own life will create sadness in my family and will remove the (little) support I am able to give (to clarify, I would like to give more but I'm not much use and often my presence creates more problems). One day, I will be able to just slip away without impacting anyone. That, or I may be able to create a kind of life that I can cope with. At the moment, it's a confusing maelstrom of conflicting feelings and not feeling wanted.
This is due to alexithymia - I often describe my experience of my own emotions as them being hidden behind frosted glass. They're there, but I don't really get to know what's happening until they get too big and smash through the glass in an explosive manner. I don't think I'll ever be able to experience my emotions in any other way.
The difference this time is that I am keeping myself going with things I enjoy and which make me feel balanced, or which provide an escape, albeit temporary, from my own mind. I am lucky that I have a great counsellor who understands the autistic experience, but there could be a lot more support out there for people like me.