One of the perks of high-functioning autism is that I’m generally decent at hiding my issues. I often get people who are surprised when I tell them about my autism. It’s not something I keep a secret by any means, but if it’s not relevant I won’t always bring it up either. This does result in some unfortunate situations though. As you can read on my homepage, I am an English teacher. I was asked the other day by a family member if I could teach Dutch to some English people that he knew. It would be one hour a week. I had to politely decline as I’ve been very busy with uni, internship and some other things in my private life. I didn’t quite like the idea of having extra work added to the pile.
On top of that, I’m finally getting some extra guidance with stress management starting early November, and I want to see where that goes before I take on any more responsibilities. And then I get a message back that is on one hand understanding, but on the other hand also says “it’s only one hour a week.”
Now I know for a fact that this person meant nothing by it, I get along fine with them so that is not the issue. It’s just something that people tend to say. They look at me, and how I perform in daily life, and they assume that I’m doing okay. What they do not see is the part where I have a mental breakdown every other week and spend an hour crying in the shower. They also do not see the part where I do my job properly, and teach all day, only to come home and collapse onto my bed for the rest of the day.
I realize right around now that this post sounds a lot like me complaining, and that is definitely a part of it. I want to do the best I can, but as a result of that it often seems that I can do more than my best. And it’s really hard for me to say no, because I want to be able to do more than my best, but it just isn’t possible. I wonder if people relate to this, one way or another.
If there is anything I want people to take away from this post, it is that it is important to understand that people have a different limit. People can try their very best and still be a long way from what your limit would be. That doesn’t mean they aren’t putting in the same effort, it just means that their effort gets them to a different point.
I plan to do more of these personal blog type posts in the future, just to keep the flow of content going and to rant about problems in my daily life. I didn’t really have something like this to read when I was younger. I hope this post reaches someone who needs to read this. Either because they feel the same, or they’re struggling to understand someone else’s problems. Remember that trying your best should never feel bad. (I might need to tell myself that more often too).