IF YOU SLIDE OFF THE EDGE DON'T CRASH DOWN
Ever since I graduated from school I’ve had (more) freedom to work in areas of which I desire. Initially I would do the same amount of work as I did in high school, by giving myself lessons of my own in areas where I was previously weaker. I continued working to that same level for over five years.
Gradually I became involved in more projects which included HSAM research studies, 200+ media stories, autism studies and networks, writing blogs, doing presentations and courses in relation to my speaking career (which are Toastmasters and foreign language classes).
By the year 2017 I developed an obsession with my work ethic. It appeared to me that more work created more of an un-wasted life. A decade had passed since I left school and I was then able to do so much more work in my day. This is when I became addicted to the procedure, and my primary goal was to develop enough of a work ethic to be able to take on absolutely anything that came along to me. For the next couple of years I genuinely believed that it was both achievable, and that it would end up bringing me happiness.
Skipping forward to 2019 now, I by then felt (at a glance) that I was ready to cope with a full time job. Yet going beneath the surface I saw that my feelings weren’t saying the same as my thoughts were. Whenever we dream we are given a very accurate picture of what’s going on within our subconscious, and our deepest emotions that we often don’t see during our waking hours.
Over and over again I was dreaming about two different yet related situations. The first example is of me building my ideal house, and of my bedroom being on the upper level. Though whenever I try to lay down on my bed the floor supporting me is still unstable and unsafe. Thus I always feel very nervous when I try to sleep in there. Those dreams are a metaphorical description of how I feel inside whenever I’m awake at this moment of my life.
I’ve (in a rather slap-dash way) built my nice looking house which appears to be perfect on the surface. However the place is still not structured well and safely. This means that I’m not at this moment immune to an unexpected nervous breakdown.
Similarly, over the past few years I’ve also had dreams of being in a twenty story building, and I’ve worked my way up floor by floor. This represents all the levels of functioning in life (which are not related to those of autism) that I’ve set myself to achieve as goals. A few weeks ago I finally had the confidence to reach floor 20. Yet it was tilted and I had no sense of balance up there. There was also no ceiling, walls or railing around the edges. As I was walking towards the main room on the floor I panicked, tripped over and slid right over the edge!
But instead of allowing myself to crash down onto the ground, I gripped the nearest windowsill that I could and crawled inside. Initially I had no idea which floor I had fallen to, but at least I hadn’t gone all the way back to rock bottom. Later I discovered that it was floor 12 and despite it feeling at the time much easier than 20, it was still a level that seemed very ambitious to me a couple of years before.
With the Covid situation of 2020 aside, I knew and was informed by my therapist last year that this would be a somewhat challenging time for me. The reason being that it’s a time when I’m starting a business, and gathering extensive research for grant proposals. I’m also doing Toastmasters and foreign language classes weekly.
However I know that all of this work now will give me such positive opportunities in up to a decade’s time. So I’m determined to never crash back down to the bottom, and as I work my way back up (as well as down a level or two from time to time) towards floor 20 life will seem so much easier for me a few years down the track.