Life in lockdown
Back in July James S wrote about his thoughts on the lockdown, isolation and autism. Its taken a while to get around to putting this post up, but we hope you find it it interesting.
I honestly cannot remember a time where I haven’t felt isolated, stuck in my own head or trapped inside the walls of my own creation. When I am stuck at home, it can be almost impossible to comprehend an environment that is not controlled by myself. To put it in simple terms, I have been in my own self imposed lock down.
Isolation is very real issue for me as I find it difficult to comprehend anyone else exists that is not myself or my cat. I tend to picture myself as the lone artist stranded inside a dilapidated research station with only a cat for company and an industrial amount of media.
I have been pretty much stuck indoors since I moved into my own place four years ago, give or take, so I have somewhat got used to it. I may not be good at staying by myself all the time but for the most part I make a good attempt at a functional human being.
Autism by its nature is an isolating issue, possibly due to a fact that I have no concept of self or the near impossible task of comprehending the existence of people that live outside of the four walls that I inhabit. Being stuck indoors is not a healthy thing at all.
When I do venture outside, it feels like an expedition, I have to bring my survival equipment (in this case headphones, mp3 player, phone, keys and wallet) and either plan my own route or follow explore with someone else. I am rather fortunate to have someone that I can explore with and we travel together with his dog for support.
The other occasion where I do make it outside into the great big wide world is to is to help people, often to get certain items for my mother. My now 26 year old sister has complex needs, she lives with my mother whom is her primary carer, she may not be able to have her own life and she is also suffering from other health issues.
My sister is currently only drinking Irn-Bru (made from girders) and organic skimmed milk so thanks to the unusual times we live in, it is my duty to support her. I am the one who puts on their big boy boots and explores the ruined non wasteland with my rucksack in tow.
Being outside on my own sometimes causes me anxiety but I cope by having my music playing through my headphones keeping my social interaction to the required amount needed. Seeing people outside can sometimes be a blessing, a simple “morning” or “thank you” or even a smile can make my own day if I am in self imposed exile.
At other times, the outside world can be overwhelming, I can be a victim of sensory overload and will be as timid as the proverbial church mouse. On those days I will just hide at home and wait for the mood to pass because I know that it will.
James S, July 2020