Autistic Burnout again

After a relaxing few days on a quiet beach, I returned home to become angry, tired, anxious and extremely on edge. Why?

Autistic Burnout again

Autistic burnout

After a relaxing, when not faced with men staring at me, few days at a beach in Wales I returned home to crack on with daily life only to find myself intensely agitated. Everything was wrong and I had no time for anything being wrong. When I asked the smart speaker to turn itself up a little, it went to 100% and couldn’t hear me shouting at it to turn back down. My reaction was to rip it from the power cord and I nearly threw it at the window to get rid of it. Similarly, when my car audio kept failing due to some Skoda / Apple issue, I wanted to punch the screen till one of us bled. My messy office was too much. My autistic side requires a certain order to the workspace which my ADHD forgets, resulting in chaos. I couldn’t take being in that space, and with nowhere else to work in the house I was broken and teary. This was after a restful few days on holiday.

Feeling exhausted, angry at everything and with no patience I knew there was something wrong. What though? Post viral fatigue? It certainly had its moments while I was away. A 10-minute walk along the beach promenade was very tiring. While I was unable to go on the big hikes, runs or swims I did feel content resting with a nice view. I never felt angry because I couldn’t do something the others could, never angry because of my limited energy. Whatever anger I was feeling when I returned home had more to do with being on edge. It was as if my fight or flight system had been triggered by something, turned on and would not turn off.

Was it a result of being away from the safety and routine of home mixed with having to deal with unending social interaction? Could it have been one too many ice-creams? Maybe I was too stressed over swimming in jellyfish-filled waters? It may have been a result of weeks of stressing about jellyfish season. There’s a chance I was unconsciously stressed because work has been slow for about 6 weeks and has given me too much time to overthink. Could it have been because I started the week back home with a man taking a photo of me in my rainbow towel robe on my doorstep while loudly saying “He’s even got his fucking nails done!” That could have done more harm than I realised to my mental health and pushed me into full-on burnout. Any of these things could. I’m easily stressed and prone to overthinking.

After a quick Google of the symptoms I bumped into “autistic burnout” and it felt like that fit. I’ve written about it before, and this felt similar to that time a few years ago. Maybe I should have followed my advice. It’s a good example of how we can only do so much in the moment, despite having read up on how to better deal with being who you are. Should I have seen this coming?

As someone who has spent their life dealing with migraines without knowing what the trigger is, I’m left wondering if there is any point in trying to unpack the past week. Should I accept that it was a thing that happened, and will happen again? When migraines occur I take meds, rest and recover, and move on. Should I do that here? Something happened. Rest, recover and move on. That seems like the healthiest option, however, I’m getting tired of being unable to simply live.

What would it be like to wake up, go swim without issue, do a decent day’s work, never have people film you because of how you look, not be thrown off by decision-making, be able to hear people clearly, and function every day? While I should accept that I’m autistic, that I’m disabled, it’s often hard when there are times like this when I feel somehow more autistic than normal. Am I at my limit? Is that what my body is telling me? I can swim a little, do a few commissions, and travel a bit but not be busy like a “normal” person.

This might be depression creeping in, but it does ask the question; Am I more disabled than I think?

Weekly email features Captains Log, fascinating links and more photos