I have a very deliberate sequence for doing things and get quite upset when I can’t follow it through… e.g. running out of a particular product for the shower (I always pack my own toiletries whenever we go anywhere because you can never be sure of what a hotel will offer; one will have shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel, while another only gives a measly bar of soap, which I don’t like using anyway). I worried that I was actually OCD or something, but then would move away from that thought because I’m not super-rigid in that I’d cease to function, but I do like to have a certain level of control over things… does that even make sense?? When I’m able to have control over my surroundings and what products I use and what sequence I use them in, I feel secure and at peace. When things are out of place or I run out of products I like to use and don’t have more, then I feel a bit cross and off-kilter, but then the more rational part of my mind says I’m being absurd, but it still doesn’t shake the feeling of being off-balance and annoyed. There is so much in life that we have little to no control or influence over, so being able to have some level of control over certain aspects of my life makes me feel a little less helpless.
The several changes of jobs over the last few years was nearly enough to throw me into a tailspin, but because I knew that we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goal of buying our house if I wasn’t in work, so despite my significant difficulties, I built myself up and persevered, though it was extremely challenging. I found it interesting to read that there’s a significant number of people with diagnosed autism who are not in work (n.b. I don’t know how much of that applies to those with high-functioning Asperger’s)… I can certainly see how it would be explained by being unable to conform to workplace cultures, finding the demands of social interaction within the workplace absolutely exhausting, and just being unable to find something which matches our unique set of skills and needs. I consider myself lucky and fortunate to be in work, but it certainly doesn’t mean that there are times that I wish that I could take a break when I’m feeling overloaded without any negative consequences of needing that break.