Protecting my mental health

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The last 7 weeks or so have been really hard. We’re now coming towards the end of April, and my first interaction with healthcare was the evening of the 27th of February. We had absolutely no idea what was coming.

Before this all started, i was already pretty low on bandwidth and spoons due to the pandemic, lockdowns, the recent break in and gaps in routine etc. We had no idea i was unwell, but now we look back there where warning signs, we just didn’t know how to spot them.

I have, for the most part, been okay with my mental health. I’ve had some of the most frightening experiences of my life, but i have had lots of support from friends.

However, 7 weeks in and with all the main trauma and medical stuff behind me i am looking at a very different future to the one i was expecting. I am accepting of it. I know we can engineer our way around most things.

At this point, my mental health feels pretty okay, but the signs of deeper issues are starting to get hard to ignore. The sadness everyday starts sooner, lasts longer and is deeper than ever before. I am grieving for the things i loved (like cycling). I don’t have much control over my life right now, we’re doing what we can, but i am essentially trapped in a home which isn’t suitable and i can’t go outside without help. The beautiful weather isn’t helping!

Yesterday i rode a recumbent for the first time; discovering a new form of cycling. One that works with the body i have now. It was joyful, but the sadness this morning was deeper than ever. Today i did get to ride my mountain bike, just rolling down a hill. It was wonderful, but i feel a pang for the mountain biking i have lost.

My ability to eat has been effected. Waking up with a massive sadness which takes a long time too clear has a big impact on food. I am finding it ever more difficult to eat. I regularly get into conflict with my body to try and eat without being sick.

The main thing is we’re addressing stuff as much as possible. Establishing control and predictability into life where we can. By being aware of the signs i can take more steps. A great example of this approach is delaying some high trauma low impact medical procedures until after i have got bike out on a bike or trike.

We need life to be as joyful as possible right now. We address the sadness by making sure we focus on building joy and ensuring life remain fun, autonomous and productive.


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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