The state of mental healthcare is leaving me angry and frustrated. Why does it seem like that nobody cares about me? Why does it feel like I am all alone in the fight? I woke up feeling mentally down and defeated. I promised I would use writing to help relieve some of these thoughts as the technique helps. Yesterday, I had my first meeting with the nurse practitioner that will be providing medication management for my mental illness. It was an hour long ordeal over Zoom that pretty much went over my mental health history for umpteenth time.
It felt like she was just going through the motions. I tell her that I am Autistic and struggle with self-care, organization, and executive functioning in general. At best, she she has no idea what Autism is, and at worst, her understanding is incorrect. Even in times when my mental issues were quite stable, I still struggled with self-care and organization. Simply keeping mentally more healthy is not likely to improve these areas as historically this has not happened. Fine, I am okay with that. I just need help managing these aspects of my life.
Even my therapist does not truly understand what Autism is. I feel like my explanations of where I am struggling are being reduced to, “Oh it’s just your negative thought process.” No, it’s not. Certainly I have a lot of negative thoughts but simply thinking positively and feeling better has not magically made me an organizational guru or self-care master. Self-care is overwhelmingly difficult. The things that I need to do as an adult are overwhelmingly difficult. I never made the transition to adulthood very smoothly. I never really made it at all.
I think of my 2nd cousin’s suicide and wonder if this is a harbinger of things to come for me. My 2nd cousin was most likely on the spectrum and had much of the same challenges that I currently have. Like him, I am academically quite gifted. Also like him, I struggle with the basic life skills. Unfortunately, he had no support systems in place but his suffering is over. I managed to at least learn how to pass as “normal” and this has been a double edged sword. I’ve perfected the art of bullshit and it’s come back to haunt me.
It’s tough being autistic and having sensory problems that are not going away, and in some cases, are getting worse. Or maybe that is not the case. Maybe I am just developing deeper insight and better abilities to communicate the visceral discomfort of certain activities that I was not previously able to. As an example, to this day I hate taking buses, especially school buses. Riding a bus feels like sensory overload. After I get off of the bus, it leaves me so exhausted I just collapse.