Week 55 - Where to develop next?

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The last few months have been really positive for me. We have mostly resolved the housing issues which where causing so much of the anxiety. Everyday still feels a bit like an exam, but it’s an exam i am well prepared for and can leave at anytime.

The reduced anxiety gives me a chance to look at how i am approaching my life and to re-evaluate my goals and ambitions.

Balancing demands.

In general there are four major demands in my life:

  1. Day to day living - managing daily life, things like food, laundry and the energy used during support visits etc.

  2. Work - my day job with the BBC and related activities like developing my skills and keeping informed with industry news.

  3. Projects / Entertainment - time to rest, play and explore.

  4. Enhacing my independence - learning skills like cooking etc so i required less support.

As i am able to take on more demands, i have to decide where to focus the new energy. The goal out the end is happyness and sustainability but how to get there is a little unclear. Here’s a few of the things i am considering.

Work first.

One approach is to focus on making progress with my work and my carer. After all, without maintaining an income i cannot afford to live independently or have support.

The issue with this is that if i put all my energy into work, i am going to be paying most of my income in support. While it works out mathmatically, it’s a bit of a trap. If i am not progressing with my independence then i am not building something sustainable.

Independence first.

Another approach would be to focus on my independence. In this case, i would been giving work enough energy to stay stable but not taking on anything new. I would also minimise energy spent on recreation and instead focus most of my daily energy onto doing as much myself as possible.

The most extreme version of this has me taking time away from my carer in order to focus exclusively on developing my independent living skills.

The problem with this approach is that i may find myself being able to live alone, but not being able to progress in my carer. Plus, once the support is withdrawn anything which reduces my ability results in a crisis. Finally, this is not effeciant, i end up wasting energy which could be better employed elsewhere in activities which i find extremely difficult but are easy to oursource.

Balencing all four.

Focusing exclusively on my projects outside of work or exclusively on day to day living isn’t possible so i won’t analyse those approachs.

I have to find a way to balence all of the demands and that is extremely hard. At this early stage its harder to balence as i have lots of demands and very little energy. However, as the recovery continues i should have more energy avaliable and hopefully more flexibility in how i use it.


This ultimately all comes down to pacing. Everything is very fragile, one bad nights sleep can take a week or longer to recover. Perhaps the actual solution is not to have a grand plan, but to react in real time and balence demands on the fly. For that to work i need to have flexibility in what i do and how i do it, which in practice is very difficult. For example, i need to book formal support weeks or months in advance to ensure i get people i know.


I dont really have a conclusion yet. I just wanted to share some of the various things which are competing for my energy and explain my thoughts on the topic.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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