There are days when life seems more of a struggle than others. I feel like I want to get angry, to shout but I also want to cry. It is the crying that feels more possible, something shifted when I wrote about that. There are no great shakes as to why this is, is it just a set of circumstances that combined together leave me wanting to escape to a safe place.

When I wake up I am disorientated. What time is it? Why is my wife on her mobile again? I turn over and try to ignore the world. What seemed to be a continuous wakefulness ends with my alarm telling me I have ten minutes to get up and get ready for the morning tidy. I turn over and my wife has disappeared or perhaps my perception of continuity is wrong. It is so easy to get confused. My daughter doesn’t have enough money for school dinners but the expected knock on the door doesn’t come. My body feels so tired. I want to carry on resting but I need to get up.

Instead I have a quick glance at the news and weather my mobile. Not much new there since I went to bed but my eye does get drawn to an article about the latest pollution map of the UK. It takes a while to get to a map. There is an overlayered image of traffic showing levels of nitrogen dioxide with the densest concentration shown in yellow. I think it is supposed to highlight the amount contributed by cars since an exhaust pipe is very clearly seen in yellow, but I also see a boiler flue highlighted and even an house window which seems a bit strange. Is it a true image? There is no map in fact, only a postcode lookup of results. Both my home and work postcodes show very good levels of air quality.

No time for hesitation now, I must get up and I do. In times past I would say my body aches a bit. I went skiing two days a go and with my autistic lenses on, I have to admit that I am in pain. There is an all over body soreness going on but more concentrated pain reveals itself within my calves, shoulders and neck when I move. In the past I would have shrugged it off which is what I did yesterday in fact, but today is a day too many. Yesterday I cycled to and from work because I thought the exercise might loosen things up and I would gain more strength from my pain. Today I feel like the fifty year old I am with a body that is taking longer to recover than in the past. Which would be fine if I could be by myself, but that wont happen until this afternoon.

The pain means my tolerance levels for normal life, that is neuro-typical life, is diminished. My prevarication for getting up means that I am still putting ointment on my skin when I my wife joins me to tidy. I could have skipped the skin care routine but I need it to control my psoriasis. I apply ointment out of respect for myself not to annoy my wife but I am aware she might not see it like that. I lose the sequence of events here. I am expecting to tidy the kitchen since that was mentioned yesterday but my wife has decided on the bedroom and mentions my clothes stacking up in the airing cupboard. I am fine with that because the lack of clothes in the bedroom was flitting in and out my consciousness too. However, the perceived change of plan is a chip off my tolerance levels.

I grab my ski jacket and trousers and return them to their storage space in the hallway and then proceed to the kitchen to gather my clean and dry clothes. The dog is very excited to see me, as usual. He has been whining outside the bedroom door this morning which is not usual. I tried to ignore him when I was in the room but the noise and pitch of his moaning also chip aware at my resources. In the hallway I give him a bit of attention and when I go into the kitchen he is almost overcome with excitement. He expects to be fed but apart from a quick stroke I ignore him. Clothes gathered I return to the bedroom, sort and fold them in my particular way into piles. My wife returns from somewhere and tells me she didn’t mean for me to put my clothes away. Another chink in the armour. She is asking me questions again. She did so when I was applying my ointment, she does so now I am tidying. Each question is another chip aware at the barrier. These questions are not intellectually difficult, often they have clear answers but sometimes discussion is needed. I don’t know why, but I hate getting asked questions first thing in the morning. It is as though there is a fog in my brain and it needs time to clear before interaction is possible. Until the fog clears, questions hurt. Processing the question, understanding the question and answering the question hurts. Each stage is another chink in my stability. Each bit fogs me up a bit more and I seem to lose myself. I explain to my wife that I need the questions to stop. She does stop because she understands on some level my morning requirements but only after asking two more questions.

I have finished putting my clothes away and I am left in the bedroom on my own again. The emotions are trying to take hold of me. Do I give in and vent or cry? No, I have nearly an hour before I have to go to work. I take the time to write it out instead.

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