Autistic Confessions – In Hiding

I’ve been in hiding. Desperately trying to conserve the energy that I have left at the end of the work day. Being in an offices is extremely hard, despite having kind coworkers. At the end of the day my head is pounding and my energy is drained, leaving little left for more pleasant things.

Hidden away from the world, I turn down almost every invitation. Navigating the social aspects of my workplace leaves my social mussels overworked. I’ve push almost everyone away because I literally can not handle anyone or anything extra at the moment.

I’ve stopped checking my personal email. There are so many emails and so much information being shared at work. I get to the point where I just need all input to stop. My brain has become bogged down and slow, as I try to process my days when I get home.

My brain is like a sponge, it sucks up everything until it is drowning and oozing. Covered and dripping with too much information this most important organ can no longer function, so I shut it off, preventing meltdowns.

This is burnout, this is me in self preservation mode. I am holding on but some days I am barely here. I try very hard to always stay positive because I know sinking into a depressing would be the worst thing for me at this point.

In the meantime it’s many solitary walks in the woods, counting my breaths, less commitments, and as much creative down time as possible.

That is why I have gone into hiding, reclusive, in quiet stillness. I’ve got to take care of myself, there is nobody to do it for me.



28 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – In Hiding”

  1. I had to do six weeks in the offices where I worked because of maternity issues. It made me ill. The other women looked so happy and relaxed while I was taking numerous trips to the loo just so I could get out of that environment. At the end of the day, I couldn’t speak so I totally get this. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been there… I was a teacher for 15 years. I did not socialize at all. I was always too tired. Now I pay close attention to my energy level, and I always have a backup plan in case I need to hide, or crash.
    This too will pass. take care of your brain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your wonderful words, as the mother of an autistic boy you help me understand why he does certain things. A few times a year he becomes very ‘anti-social’ drops out of clubs he loves and stops going to visit friends. Now I understand why, he needs the alone time. Thank you for helping better other people’s lives and being a wonderful person x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “I try very hard to always stay positive…”
    Hi AA, I’ve read your post a few times, and without any attempt to patronise, I’ve thought of just giving my perspective on the “positive” statement, as it’s something I’m slowly getting rid of…
    I realised a few good months ago (I know a bit late…), that I have a “distinct” (cold) personality. Towering stature, grey hair and beard, and grey-blue, cold eyes. I hate photographs, because I can’t really “smile”, as the “smiling” concept becomes real only on rare occasions, e.g. watching Big Bang Theory or Baby Groot.
    People are as uncomfortable looking into my eyes, as I am looking into theirs. The parents of my son’s friends told my son that they need time to recover after meeting me, even though I never had any conflicts with them.
    Now, the problem is that with HFA/Asperger’s, the functionality of one’s mind is logic/rational resulting in a acute, factual realism. I am aware of the differences between female and male symptomatology, but reading your posts I could perfectly remember ALL instances when following life experiences such as yours for a prolongued time, caused the same reactions. Unfortunately, forced by circumstances, I couldn’t do better but carry on with an arsenal of tranquilisers…
    I understood that most of my extreme anxiety and the subsequent walk always on the edge of a next meltdown was caused by what I realised to be a maladaptive coping with my environment’s expectations to be “positive”, which conflicted with the logic of what I saw and experienced daily, i.e. stupidity, idiocy, gross incompetence, just to name the obvious ones.
    So I stopped, being “positive”…
    I got rid of that creepy “smile”, and responded to the usual “are you all right?” exactly how I felt at the moment: “yes, no, you better don’t want to know, fair enough, s***, c***, etc” until my colleagues either showed some genuine interest in my replies, or stopped asking. Most stopped asking, resorting a non-inquisitive “hello”… Some of them asked what happened to me, why have I changed from the “smiling” me into this “other” me, to which I’ve learned to reply: “I am Autistic, which means the other me was just a coping mask, of which I became tired and frustrated. So this is “the” me, less smiling, but the same, respectful and reliable”. Most understood (with the usual ‘oh, I’m sorry’, ‘don’t be’ exchange) and I couldn’t care less about the ones who didn’t.
    Now I understand your justified concern, that at the other end of the pendulum is depression, and no one wants that.
    But what about instead of the opposite of positive, you’d give “cold shoulder realism” a chance? Wear the face you find most “attractive” when looking in the mirror, the one YOU are comfortable with. The rest? Not your problem at all.
    It seems to work better for me, and besides being called more often “insensitive”, my need for tranquilisers and head-banging reduced substantially.
    Take care,

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You are wise and fortunate to recognize these issues. Withdrawing from sensory overload is an intelligent way to temporarily allow the internal “batteries” to recharge. Find your own sources of pleasure and balance to restore emotional and physical function.

    Your willingness to share your experiences (and solutions) will help many readers suffering a similar conflict.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Withdrawing from sensory overload is also useful to introverts like non-autistic me. I can’t understand how anyone can work with loud music blasting and a roomful of people chattering away AKA trying to work creatively in a Starbucks!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for sharing this. It will help me in the process of showing my daughters that going into hiding when needed is ok and necessary for their self-care. I’ll share this one with them. So glad I found your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good news and bad news (on my part, bad news comes first)

    Bad news: My uncle had a suspected heart attack a few weeks back and is still in hospital recuperating. Also I was wrecked yesterday after driving to Carrickfergus and back to see old friends after having attended a wake for a 48 year-old woman who died of cancer.

    Good news: My brother is offering me his job as a cleaner with Marks and Spencer in Cookstown as I have been at the end of my tether finding work; so many application forms and not even a response from the employers. This is a golden opportunity for me, but I have to develop much better sleep preparation. Need more me time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you for knowing what you need and then actually doing it. So many people either can’t figure out what they need or just decide that they “can’t” do that for whatever reason. I hope your time alone is restful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Over 35 years ago, someone said one simple thing to me, that literally, (and I am using it correctly), forever changed my view of the world.
    The Earth is slow, but the oxen is patient.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow, that’s not pleasant. I hate that feeling too. Having too much stuff sitting in your brain at any one time can really hurt, even if it’s not particularly upsetting stuff. Keep taking care of yourself, keep taking it slow, and just stay in self-preservation mode until you no longer need to. With love, a DID system who empathises strongly x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was diagnosed just a month ago. This burnout explains why I can talk to almost all of my clients with no problem, but then in the office, I’m completely confused as to what to do with my coworker’s and frankly just want to do my work alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh but you be so wrong there. You have us to take care of you. We don’t know you. We simply read the words of someone who is going through something. We offer kind words, suggestions, relative situations to express understanding and this is no different. Hiding is the best thing. The duration is what tilts it into negative or positive. Moderation is the key, and moderation is never judged in time, but capability. You find yours and come on out when ready. Always take care and be sure to find your very own thing you want to do, that you’ve always told yourself you can’t do. Trust me: it will be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

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