I haven’t had a meltdown for a long while. Yesterday’s was a shock in one sense – I thought I was together enough for them not to happen anymore. Then again, I don’t always know how I feel, so what do I know? I could sense something coming, to be honest, but I did not predict a full blown meltdown.
Unfortunately the meltdown began at work and ended with me begging to be allowed home. I did go home and continued crying for several hours. Today I am exhausted. My eyes are puffy, my sinuses are swollen and painful.
I am lazing around today. Luckily I have today and tomorrow off work, then only two days scheduled this week anyway. I should have known my equilibrium was off when normal weekends off did not relax me enough.
The meltdown was brought on by rising tension and stress levels, increasing over time. Life is always stressful for all of us, so I cannot easily blame “life in general”. Specific things have been happening that have caused this meltdown – a child playing up, money worries, debt in particular, having to play normal at work in order to fit in and keep my job, health worries, weight worries … these are all normal concerns for everybody but I guess I have a tipping point. That came towards the latter part of the week with the child-related stress maximising and trouble at work.
Meltdowns are humiliating. They are not fun. They are exhausting and frightening and physically painful. My eyes hurt, my headaches, my diaphragm aches with tiredness. They make me feel as if I am not even a human being: that I am nothing but this condition, that Asperger’s Syndrome is all I am, that it controls my life, that I have no control over my own existence. The lack of control scares me. The look in the eyes of others at the sight of a grown person crying as uncontrollably as a toddler is mortifying.
Since my diagnosis in March of 2008, I have had four, the third of which lasted a week, leaving me traumatised and still unable to talk about it. The other three meltdowns were day-long affairs, if you exclude recovery time (which can physically last several days). Prior to my diagnosis, I couldn’t tell you how many I suffered: I did not know enough about my condition to even begin managing myself. I did not even know I “had” a condition to start with. My hysterical crying jags were my normality. I knew nothing about routine, self-management, stimming, relaxation, confidence in my own diagnosis of my own needs regardless of the opinion of others.
It will pass.