Difficulty with technical problem-solving – a social barrier

By Jay

Technology such as phones and computers are more-or-less vital to functioning comfortably for most of us and the complexity and multitude of options and updates are difficult to keep up with, especially, for some who have mental health or emotional difficulties.

My laptop has slowed down through the memory being filled up and I have also damaged it a few times, dropping it and spilling tea. In the past year, there have been issues with video calls and the screen freezing or crashing. Over the summer, I had a number of job interviews, some via video call, and despite this, I didn’t invest in a new computer or try to fix my existing one. At least a couple of times, my interviews were disrupted in some way, such as me not being able to see the interviewers or the video call or a file not opening on time. Also the laptop overheats and the fan is always whirring loudly. Unsurprisingly, I was unsuccessful in all these interviews, though, the laptop was not the only reason, because I was also unsuccessful in face-to-face interviews over this period.

Lack of hope for the future and constant worrying have been the causes of me not resolving my laptop issues – and, not addressing most things generally, including health issues and preparing for interviews properly. I also have difficulties with my phone memory being full up and not being able to transfer files elsewhere.

I increasingly feel relatively illiterate digitally, though I spend most of my days online and using a laptop and have worked in temporary roles remotely. I have a fear of searching the market for a new laptop and being confronted by the choice and unfamiliar terms. It is the same when it comes to changing my phone. Financial insecurity also makes this hard. I have often relied on family members to do the thinking and decision-making for me.

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ADHD, Autism and Working as a Support Worker – an interview

Bryan shared his experiences with getting an ADHD diagnosis and, also, finding a suitable job. He lives in the north-west of England and we communicated by text.

Seeking diagnosis

The diagnosis for adhd was such a pain in the arse. I was diagnosed when I was 4 but that isn’t good enough for being medicated when you’re an adult so I went through a 5 year process of waiting lists and being told I ‘should have grown out of if by now’ by one GP. Nightmare.

I’m comfortable with the way I am and it has indeed helped me gain insights – I am not very good at reading social situations when I’m in them if people aren’t being straight forward but I’m surprisingly good at reading them for other people.

The challenges I face for the most part are battling with my wish to avoid people and the outside world because when I do that I get massively depressed which could be fixed if I went outside but makes me incapable so it is a bizarre magic roundabout of contradiction haha!

That and when I’m at work and too many people talk at once. I cannot focus on them. Luckily I’ve been there a while now and they know and accept my quirks.

Have you considered getting a diagnosis? Even if you didn’t want meds, it’s nice to feel validated. One of the biggest parts of it for me is the imposter syndrome, feeling like I don’t have adhd and I’m just a rubbish person

I feel comfortable being me but I don’t always like it – I just know that I would hate having to try to be anybody else, haha!

The five years was mostly due to me not understanding the system, we could get that down to less than a year for you now I know the process!

It is very hard indeed to speak up, and sometimes, it feels like you’re talking to an argumentative brick wall. I’ve given up a lot of times.

So the going out thing, I feel best when I’m outdoors in nature but when I have, a burnout, I find it impossible to go outside unless I absolutely have to (work or something) so that exacerbates the situation cos I need outside to feel better but my brain won’t let me! It’s stupid and I hate that part.

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Poems

By Jay

September

The window shut, just like that
and Summer was gone
its scents and sleeping blackberries
awoke to the wind and falling leaves
combed, over and over,
tawny and crumpled.

Like Ophelia, I dream,
gentle crucifixion,
water for blood
and lilies for sleep.

Down the winding stream,
Autumn and hardest Winter,
I shall arrive,
smiling.

I’ll go on, when faces harden,
bodies stoop from rain and snow,
darkness follows like an endless wall,
hope is found in bright crevices
flowers that break out
loud keys of daffodils
daisies, dandelions and gurgling fountain
and, on the shoulder,
once again, the sun shall lay its hand.

I will not start
from that bold touch,
from the embrace
the unveiling and the awoken folk.
I won’t be dazzled by the high flags of the sky,
or be imprisoned by the fallen walls, unmarked days.

I’ll keep drifting, like Ophelia,
a smile on my face
and no fear in my heart
for what I cannot see.

7 September, 2017

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Almost There

By Cherry Northern

Recently, I did something that I thought was going to be helpful for me. I actually booked a therapy appointment with a licensed social worker and the interaction would have been wholly online. It would have been a live chat room session. I would have discussed . . . things. Topics that float around in my head on the daily. Issues that have been keeping me stuck in life.

And one day before this appointment, I canceled the chat. I canceled my membership. I left a brief message to my would-be therapist. I was honest and told her that I wasn’t ready. To me, therapy through this method felt like exploring a dark cave with very little light. There was no way to know what to expect. Questions like, “Where do I even start?” filled my mind with dread and anxiety. So, I did what I do most of the time. I gave up and let fear win.

I feel so ashamed of myself. It’s a whole mix of emotions. There’s anger and low self-esteem. There’s hopelessness to keep me company. There’s fear that I’ve pissed my would-be therapist off. Then there’s the scary question of “Would this have truly helped me anyway?” I mean, how willing would I be to change my life for the better? Because, certainly, I feel like I would have had to do some homework, some deep drilling into my head to figure out the nature of my predicaments. To me, therapy is a great mystery. And that frightens me.

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