As someone with Aspergers I find change really hard. I have worked from home for a year. No holidays, pub or restaurant visits.
It’s been a struggle having to leave the house for things like shopping and being around other people is a trigger for me. But beyond this, working from home has 100% worked.
Now we can possibly see and end in June, I’m starting to get anxiety and mental symptoms I haven’t had in a while.
There is absolutely no way I’ll be able to make such a sudden move so we have already made the decision to stay as we are and move really slowly into the ‘new normal’
One of the first things to start playing in my head is that on June the 21st we go back to what most people see as normality. This means on that day, everything will kick off to the extreme. People will be everywhere. Getting drunk in pubs. Going to large events, going on holiday.
I’m convinced that the explosion in activity will have us locked down again next winter and this whole Yo Yo of in out / in out is really trying for my nerves.
I’m fully aware that when I watch everyone having a good time, going to gigs and shows and I’m still a shut in. I’ll probably get quite low, it even may trigger the depression again.
Another reminder that I’m not the same as everyone else and different logic apples to me. I would love to go on holiday so much, but it has to wait until everything is fully normal for me. Other wise I would be too anxious and that’s pointless.
I mean, I’ve had to spend shopping trips in the car when I’ve not been able to get into a group of people who may not be taking things as seriously as us. I have no hope at a theatre or even a cinema at the moment.
The next worry is that I will have to go back into the office to work. Every single part of my brain has been engaged with work this last year. I’ve not had to spend any brain cells on social worries. How to get to places. Where to eat at lunchtime. The possibility of having to travel which I’m awful at. I would say it’s usually a 60/40 split of work and worry so I’m much more effective at home.
Working from home no one can tell I have Aspergers. I am just a hardworking team member who has lots of specialist knowledge so I’m really useful and therefore happy.
Working in the office means masking. And masking means that occasionally it slips and people think I’m a little odd. I remember someone asking me where I go at lunchtimes. ‘For a walk. I need my own space’. ‘Your funny aren’t you?’
Not to mention the fact that I’m absolutely terrified of getting coronavirus, I’m always getting colds anyway. So that fear is still heightened.
The realisation that this will again be a worry for me is creating an anxious spiral. But then, the idea that I can maybe go to a restaurant soon. Or even to see a show or have a mini break is exciting.
It’s just creating very complex emotions that are all at war with each other.
For me it’s about taking it slowly. And trying to not let how other people are living their lives affect me.
And also enjoying the moment. It’s helped me understand even more how I work. If I can adjust things slightly going forward with work. I’m going to be, dare I say it. Quite happy.