The Long Road to Recovery

So last Friday marked one month since I left my old job and DFW(TF) in my rear-view mirror and this Friday I will have officially completed one full month at my new job. My how time flies, right?

I will say, I feel so much better. My workload isn’t any lighter – if anything I have a substantially heavier workload. However, that’s OK because I don’t have an overbearing boss over me at all times so I can really work. It’s also a lot more of the engineering side of things and a lot less administrative office stuff so it’s more of what I prefer to do in the crane world.

I feel better outside of the office too. I’m sleeping much better at night (though part of that is probably also my new bed!) and I’m not putting as much alcohol away as I was. I won’t ever give it up completely because I love the taste too much but I’m not inclined to just get plastered day in and day out either. I’ve picked bagpipe and guitar back up again and am enjoying that release again. I hope to eventually get my courage back up again to play open mic nights (a few new venues have opened in Abilene that might be a fit for my softer, mellower, folky style) and I’ve already got two gigs on the books for St. Pat’s day on the pipes.

That said, I’ve still got a long way to go. When you’re subject to use and abuse day in and day out it can take a long time to fully heal. I still cringe anytime I see an email from one of the “big bosses” come across. I can’t help but wonder if I’m in for a major ass chewing. I also had a glitch in my lift planning program this morning where the company logo wasn’t displaying correctly on my lift plans. My first worry was is that a not-so-subtle way of telling me to fuck off? These are real fears I had that, although they might sound silly to you, it’s almost a conditioned response.

Even though I’ve engineered several complicated lifts even in this short time I’ve been at my new job, I can’t help but wonder if they think it’s good enough. You have to remember that before I got into the crane business I spent almost four years out of work – nobody wanted to hire an autistic weirdo. This world isn’t kind to those of us who don’t fit the mold and when you combine it with that it did some serious damage that I’m still working to undo.

I hope that in due time (say, after I’ve completed a year) I’ll be back to where I want to be, but in the meantime it’s still a struggle. Consciously I realize many of my fears are irrational, but when you’ve been through what I’ve been through these conditioned responses are hard to get past. I just want that cloud to vanish from over me.

Just know I’m working on it and please be kind and gentle with me while I try to sort this all out. I thank you in advance for your continued love and support during this transitional phase of my life. It’s been noticed and very much appreciated.


2 thoughts on “The Long Road to Recovery

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Fears are valid whether they’re rational or not. It’s good that you’re not letting the fear take over but don’t beat yourself up for feeling it. There’s no set time period for healing.
    I’m glad to hear that you’re doing more of the things you enjoy and less alcohol escapism. All things in moderation. Except joy. Get as much joy as you can!!


  2. I’ve disclosed my autism to my employer and he allows me to work from home 1-2 days per week (it took me a few months to convince him). Even then, everytime I send him an email to say I’ll be working from home, I get really anxious that he would reply with a negative and that he is fed up with my absence from the office. I’ve been conditioned to think that my employer is doing me a big favour by allowing me the flexibility to work from home (in a way, he is) but I have to remind myself that it is my right to ask for reasonable accommodation so that I don’t feel bad about it. What I’m trying to say is I understand and agree that these conditioned responses are hard to get rid of. Take care!


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