I am unwell

When an independent and functional person you know asks for help, pay attention. When they say they are unwell, take it seriously. This is us waving a white flag of surrender. This is our 911 call.

Yes, I know I’m not meeting your expectations. It kills me.

The audio of this post is 3:46

Time to reflect on last week’s awareness of the unmasking journey and what I am learning about myself. This week was a tough one, let’s dive in.

I’ve mentioned before my full shutdown began in late November 2022 although I didn’t realize I had entered severe autistic burnout until this April. I recall during January letting my friends know I wasn’t doing well.  I said it out loud at least once but the chanting was mostly a loud internal frenzy. 

By admitting (even once) I wasn’t well, that was my 911 alert to the world. I said it. I admitted it. 

When asked how I was doing last week, I thought about how much I hate answering this question right now.  I mean on one hand, I’m doing good. I am not struggling with the depression state and wanting to fully check out of this plane of existence any longer. But, I also am very unwell. 

It is a conundrum – I need and want others to check on me but I also don’t want to answer this question daily.  It triggers so much trauma. 

Trauma from asking if I’m well? Yes. Which brought up the next connection point this past week. 


A word drilled into me during my childhood and well it hasn’t stopped. I’ve heard every possible phrase directed at me from how irresponsible I am being to the need to be responsible. As if this is the only moral compass one should have in order to be a worthwhile human being. 

I won’t dig into my PDA profile on that today and how that likely shaped many of those “irresponsible” conversations with my parents. (For the noobs, PDA is a profile type which stands for Pathological Demand Avoidance or Pervasive Drive for Autonomy). 

Daily asks of how I am doing tie to my constant state of “are you being responsible” trauma which inflames my PDA … and, you can see how spiraly this game is, yes? 

Anyway, I’m back to trying to point out I’m not well. My mental health has wildly improved in the last 6 weeks since my diagnosis. I am much much kinder to myself.  My emotional health is actually pretty decent as well. But who knows if that is really the truth or not because bonus … alexthymeia and emotional dysregulation! 

The main monster that reared its head last week was during the loss of my grandmother. I was upset I am unable to show up for my mom and be present to support her. Then my mom fell and broke both wrists which will lead to months of being fully dependent on my dad to care for her basic needs. And, I cannot show up and be the Jen who is the (previously) responsible rock for everyone.

I can barely show up for myself right now. 

This hurts me. I felt disappointed. I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. It caused a lot of flashbacks to situations when things were not okay with my parents. To times when the perception has been my “irresponsibility” and general f*ckedupness. 

So, while I’m improving and slowly walking through this dark tunnel towards a recovery point I can function better in, my check engine light is still on and flashing.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *