For any newbies: I am on the autism spectrum. Sometimes, being on the autism spectrum, some of us need assistance. Those of us who need assistance have usually tried to live / work independently, but we have found it to be an impossibility – despite our greatest efforts.
I have recently re-applied for social security / disability benefits.
I still have my job. I love my job. But recently, I worked too much and had an autistic meltdown.
My boss hired me on as a “floater.” Someone that they’re training to be able to take care of each aspect of the job and to be on-call.
Well, recently – two people haven’t been available. And I’m their only back-up / floater.
I worked 4 hours one afternoon and then 3 hours later I was called in and asked to work another 8 hours. And then the next night, I was called in again – to do another 8 hours.
I was having trouble coping in the beginning, but I thought I could push through and get it done. Then, the meltdown began rearing its ugly head. It took about 2-3 hours of me trying-to-work, eating pizza that a friend bought for me, some texts and two phone calls …. and then I had my meltdown.
Thankfully, the building was empty, except for my co-worker / supervisor.
My meltdowns have lessened in intensity as I’ve gotten older, but they’re still pretty extreme-looking, if you have no experience with autism.
After my meltdown, I thought I was okay. But I wasn’t. I was mentally and physically exhausted. Which is usual, post-meltdown. My best friend is on the autism spectrum too and she said that it’s pretty usual for her to need at least two days to recover – after a meltdown.
So, this is my first day of recovery. I applied for disability benefits and then came home. I’m getting my shit done – as best as I can.
Please, boss… don’t sink your floater. Please give me a day or two to come back from that meltdown. My brain and body are worn out. It sucks that I had to leave my co-worker to finish the rest of the work, but I had no choice.
Until last night, most of my co-workers and my boss loved me. I came to work, unless I was really sick, every single time I was called in. I think I had to say no twice, since I began the job on Thanksgiving. And that’s with being asked to come in sometimes-with-very, very-little notice.
I’m doing well and I’m proud of myself. But I know my work history. I know that I can’t work full time hours, ever. I want to. You have no idea how badly I want to. But I can’t.