I had this idea yesterday that it’s finally time to learn to drive. How I came up with that was probably because the only pattern I can see in lifes of successful people, who have something exciting going on for them, is that they are drivers. And, as I didn’t see any other pattern, it made sense to me that I have to start driving.
I used to take lessons, when I was still living in Reading, and I didn’t feel confident driving on the road, with all those other drivers. I’d probably learn if I really wanted to, I’d just need to practice for a bit longer, but I also identified a serious problem: I hit accelerator two or three times when I had to break suddenly. If the instructor didn’t use his break, I’d have an accident.
My lessons were in automatic car and I couldn’t understand why I’m supposed to use one foot only for both accelerator and break – surely, that’s not a good design? But ither people don’t complain about it, so maybe that’s my problem only?
So yesterday I came up with an idea that I need an adapted car. One where I have right foot for the break only and the accelerator would need to be somewhere else. But I’d need to take lessons in this car so I’d need to buy it before I start the lessons! Still, it made sense for me to do that. That’s how strong my need to follow patterns can be. I went to my autistic female Facebook group to discuss that and no one there had the adaptations I was after, and that’s finally calmed me down. Thank god!
But you know, I’d love to be able to drive.
I managed to get some sensible sleep last night and I had a dream that I visited mum in the care home and she was walking normally and was perfectly aware. And I was wondering why she’s actually in a care home? So I had this idea that I need to get her out but I wasn’t sure what to do with her. I knew she wouldn’t be able to go back to the family home, due to my brother’s drinking problem but I didn’t want to take her back to mine as she was annoying me when she lived here. So I just thought, I’d pretend that she has dementia and this way I don’t have to do anything. It was not a nice dream and I felt guilty when I woke up.
Today in the morning I had my Personal Independence Payment assessment. I didn’t quite like the questions, I didn’t feel like I had the chance to describe how my autism and mental health problems affect me. In a way I feel like extra money is not necessarily what would solve my problems. Yes, I could work less, but I didn’t work a lot during the last couple of months and the problems are still with me. At the same time I’d like to feel like my condition is being noticed. I sometimes feel like the fact that I’m not anxious around people and I recovered after my psychosis makes my daily struggle less valid. It seems to me like the fact that I am coping is being twisted to say I don’t need support. So I need to make myself worse first to get people to help me. That how this system seems to work, or at least that’s how I see it.
I made a commitment to do Sleep School exercises at least five times a week. I remember how, at the beginning of me using the app, when I was still doing them every day, I was so much calmer, that it was unbelievable. Once I had an argument with my mum before leaving for work and I got really upset, but the moment I left the house, I felt like something in my brain is trying to calm me down. You know, like sometimes we feel that our brains work against us and upset us even if we try to control it? It was the exact opposite of that: my brain was working on calming me down without me doing any conscious effort towards this. It felt almost like if I was possessed by a friendly and caring demon. It was a really powerful experience. Before I got to work, I was perfectly calm.
I wonder, if I did those exercises every day, or at least most days, and stick to it long term, would it make me feel calm all the time? The confusing thing here is that the app is called Sleep School so it seems to me that I should only be using those techniques to improve sleep.
I did noticing senses meditation around an hour ago and I feel like it really worked, I am much calmer. It’s really strange that focusing on senses can calm us down so much. But remember, those meditations can’t be used with the intention to calm down, so it may be a bit tricky at first. But with a bit of practice you’ll get the right mindset every time.