The Self-Disabling Event
The second half of this week reminded me of an unfortunate aspect of needing to carefully manage your available resources in the face of the existing demands upon them: the spiral you can get into where you make it worse for yourself.
I’ve already mentioned the weird intrusive thoughts incident on Wednesday while trying to work on the blog redesign in a particular way. What I’d forgotten is that depleting one’s cognitive resources can deplete your physical ones, and vice versa.
Thursday with its spring weather motivated me to get in one of my months-abandoned walks, opting not for the usual loop through my immediate neighborhood but to walk across the Cut to The Belmont Goats. The next day, I did it again, despite feeling heavy from the day before.
Throughout all of this, cognitive and motor flubs kept cropping up, which is common when either or both of my physical and psychological resources are being challenged.
Last night I spent half an hour fighting with an errant CSS problem in the redesign after taking it live only to discover that I’d been editing the wrong file, not the one on the live site, the fault not in the code but in myself.
It’s anyone’s guess whether this would have gone better or worse had I not forced myself to make an actual dinner rather than just having cereal. On the one hand, dinner required using more resources. On the other hand, cereal would not have replenished as many resources.
Today, on a routine weekend visit to the goats during gate hours, I made the likely foolish decision to cart a few of the cedar rounds from the old site adjacent to the new one. Even with slow going and stopping to rest, it had me breathing harder than typically should be the case. We’re talking here about two different bits of effort, each maybe only ten minutes as most, with breaks within and rest between, and yet I’m sure to be wiped out at least for the next two days.
This is an arguably clear example of resource depletion leading to poor decision-making.
Even writing this post, it’s been a constant fine-motor fight just to hopefully hit the right keys without too much fuss.
It’s easy to fall into a hole, cognitive or emotional tripwires yielding poor choices that then bring physical tripwires (or the other way around) and then the two resource pools just keep drawing each other down.
These last three days are like an accentuated microcosm of the sort of resource management you need to do every day when you’re autistic and dyspraxic. That challenge then is made all the more difficult by the fact that low resources frequently mean an inability to be mindful in the moment.
All that’s left, then, is somehow to try to find the wherewithal to make prospective decisions about the near future, getting it into your head in advance that you need to spend the next few days on rest and recovery.
This, in part, is what makes it impossible for me any longer to even attempt employment. Yes, I can get in a walk every day (weather and resources willing), and maybe even randomly and impulsively help move a few cedar rounds, but then I’m effectively dead to the world for days.
The problem is that debility and impairment don’t dislodge the urge to be useful, even when it’d be better if you simply didn’t make the attempt.