I have Asperger’s syndrome, which means I overload easily. Unfortunately I was diagnosed when I was forty, which means I’ve cemented the bad habit of taking on as much as a neurotypical (ie. “normal”) do - and a few things extra. This didn’t work well when I was twenty, and now at forty five - when I can feel age snapping at my toes - it’s falling apart. The doctors don’t know what’s wrong with me yet. My health problems started with a visit to ER for possible heart attack. Since that day in May my heart’s been under scrutiny in every possible way, and I’m scheduled for sleep investigation (ie. To see if I have sleep apnea).
Whatever the doctors’ investigations turn up I suspect I beginning to get occupational burnout. Not only were big changes during the spring stressful, I’ve also spent years under economical stress, and before divorcing my ex-husband I spent two years looking for ways to finance leaving the relationship - economically I was dependent on him. Living with someone you don’t want to live with is a stress in itself, even though our relationship is friendly and we got along well. The end result is that I’ve burned out the “spark” that you use to meet deadlines and occasional spikes in the messiness of life. If I’d describe the feeling it’s like driving a race car that suddenly can’t drive faster than 20mph, no matter what you do you’re just chugging along the road like a pedal car.
In practice this means that I have to slowly work through my tasks one by one over a period of several days, allowing for generous slack - there are days I just can work for one hour before falling asleep. To finance fall semester I had to apply for student loans, find information if I could renew the scholarships I got at the end of spring semester, and how I do so if that’s the case. There were a lot of extra paper work going in my loan application since I messed up my spring studies, but even so it’s paper work that normally takes me a week to complete. This time the loan application took me several weeks, and instead of sending it in when I was approved for fall studies I got it in the same day the semester started. Now I have to chug through the start up of my thesis writing before I can check up on the scholarships.
To not fall in the hole of a complete occupational burnout and to start heal I’ve changed a lot in my life. I won’t work an extra job this semester. This may seem like a strange choice, but I live in a student flat under the condition that I stay active as a student, and the job I had wasn’t enough to pay rent for an ordinary flat (in Uppsala the rent for a flat on the common market is often close to twice as high as mine). Since my circadian clock is slightly off due to my AS I’ve adjusted my sleeping pattern to suit me instead of the society around me - sleep is extremely important for the brain to repair itself. I’ve put most of my work as a comic creator on ice, and I’ve reaching out for all help I can get. Most important is that I’ve gotten for help from the university, and have been approved to study with a mentor. At the suggestion of my doctor I’ve taken steps to lighten the loneliness that’s part of having AS - I bought a cat. (My son lives with his father every other week.)
You may wonder why I’m not getting help from social security. It’s on the list, but I’d rather not for three reasons; I know from experience that they are extremely hard pressed to help students and wiggle out of the responsibility if they can, they don’t pay money to cover loans, and their rules state that before I can get help I have to empty my son’s bank account. While the first is a pain for just me, the two latter feels like a sh***y way to punish my son for being born to a mother with AS. I’ve pawned my jewelry and his christening presents to get by this last month, if I can’t repay that loan the few valuables he has in his life will be gone. The money he has on his account don’t even cover the rent, and it’s illegal for me to take them.
The money will cover rent, bills and eventual late payment fees for one month. This will give me the time to figure out my scholarships, and set up a plan B in the case my application for a student loan falls through. I will also have a chance to start my academical work, and work out a way to save my failed spring semester. Needless to say I need the money as soon as possible. Every donation means the world to me, thanks!
(Examples of photos and art below, eye contact in two of them.)
Example 1 kitten photo
Example 2 kitten photo
Example 1 indian ink
Above: motif on thank you card, below: example 2 indian ink
Example 3 indian ink.
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