The dog is sitting very pretty in front of me, the odd squeak of attention is produced but basically he is sitting to attention staring at me in expectation. I know what he wants but I try to ignore him. When I sat down, I absent-mindedly kicked one of his squeaky balls through his legs and under an armchair and there is sits in full view towards the back left of the red cloth covered chair. In my assessment, my dog can easily reach the ball by crawling under the front of the chair or by going down the left of the armchair and approaching the ball from the side. The latter option does require him going under another higher kitchen like chair but it only represents a barrier in his head not in actuality.
I give in and get down on my hands and knees. I guide and coax my dog under the kitchen chair so that the ball is only a lung away. He is unsure though so I try to highlight the ball to him, to get him to focus on his objective, and push his bum a little further under the chair. He looks a bit distressed then realises the ball is very near, he stretches his neck out and tentatively picks up the ball in his mouth before quickly reversing out. I stroke him and tell him what a clever dog he is, he looks tremendously pleased. All is right with the world again and no sooner is the ball retrieved than it is discarded and he is sitting in a sunny spot and licking himself. I am reminded of young children insistent on doing something tricky, but once mastered then move on to the next adventure.
I understand the impulse of wanting to move and try something new I have never really been a finishing kind of guy; somehow the challenge disappears when I have understood how to do something and worked through the difficulties of practically making something happen. I will get so far with a project but once it becomes a matter of rinsing and repeating, I lose focus and find other things far more interesting. It reminds me of a time when people deliberately make mistakes in the things they made because only “god could be perfect”; it seems to me that unconsciously I don’t finish things. I have often wondered what possible reason there could be for this? Is it a need to avoid being judged because if something isn’t finished then there is always the possibility for improvement? Is it because whatever I am doing is being applied to understanding myself and when I conquered it and my expectations have not been met then I need to move on and find something else? I am failing to finish because that reinforces my view that I never do anything worthwhile? Is the need for perfection such that that stress trying to achieve it is unbearable?
I remember a time when I did my school art exam when I was sixteen years old. I painted an A1 sized acrylic picture of a chinook helicopter flying over some bleak countryside comparable to the Three Peaks area in the Yorkshire Dales national park. I may have been inspired by the Falklands war I suppose though the chinook concept had always intrigued me as a child, why didn’t it have a tail rotor like other helicopters? The painting was for a national exam, and I got completely obsessed over how I painted the grass, and there was a lot of it. I was going over the green areas using a fine brush, my art teacher eventually noticed I was going nowhere and suggest that I give in what I had done. I remember feeling relief because I really didn’t know what else to do with the picture but still had plenty of time still to work on it so I kept going even as it was doing my head in. I received top marks for that work and occasionally come across the picture rolled up in a cupboard somewhere. Even when I finished something I didn’t recognise that the goal had been achieved.
I have now written over hundred posts on my blog which I think is an amazing achievement and the thought that I have done enough is calling me again from the distance. As I said to my GP, I feel pretty good at the moment and feel ready to move on to the next stage of getting some expert opinion of my autistic tendencies as well as reducing my anti-depressants. I feel my self-knowledge has come on in leaps and bounds over the last five months or so. In particular the monster I feel lurks inside me is coming out less randomly to me; I feel with the right framework I will be able to avoid him taking me over and hurting the people and things I most care about. So should I stop writing for now? No I don’t think so anyway, I don’t want to stop writing and I think there is still much need for it.
Monday morning saw me out riding with my friends, no correct that, it was Monday afternoon. One particular friend I don’t think I have seen in a month and I was keen to see her and catch up particularly as I know she reads my blog and is interested in my wellbeing in the sense that we do talk about my concerns and stresses. She wasn’t up to date with my blog so I told her about the being referred and asked her if she had heard about PDA. It felt that she immediately said that I didn’t have PDA and explained why (she is a professional in child psychiatry), I said I could see I wasn’t like the example but felt there were degrees of such behaviour. I wanted to say I felt dismissed and rejected without a fair hearing, which I felt like I was wasting my time and perhaps other people’s time too by following the referral line. I wanted to say these things but I didn’t, I knew my friend didn’t imply those things; it was just my interpretation of the conversation. I have a need for answers but perhaps there aren’t any. My friend said something else but I had half closed down then in order to deal with my inner turmoil.
It was a lovely sunny still autumn day yesterday and I felt so alive when I rode my bike, happy to push the pace going up hills and feel the bite of the slightly cool air when rushing down them. For a while I felt hurt and a bit sorry for myself, but eventually the exhilaration returned. Perhaps that is a metaphor for life, even when times feel great that is still a need for reflection and appreciation because I never know when I will hit a metaphorical pothole and have a need to lick my wounds. For the time being, I will celebrate and lick my wounds through writing.