Routines make me feel safe


This morning I was very nearly late for my PT session. I train with my PT on the same days each week at 6am, like clockwork.

I’m autistic and I like routines. Routines make me feel safe.

For a while I stopped my morning routine of getting up about 5/5:30am to train. The reason being was that my ex didn’t want his sleep to be disturbed and so I wasn’t allowed to set my alarm earlier than his.

So I changed my routine to train in the evenings after work – which is absolute carnage. If you are a neuro-typical gym goer then you will understand what it’s like to have to wait for equipment and suchlike. On top of all that hassle, there’s how it affects my Autism. I find it really disconcerting when there’s lots of people in the gym. The noise, the atmosphere – it’s really draining and by the end of it I want to go home and sit in a dark room. My head is thumping and my ears are ringing and my heart feels like it’s going to explode.

Training in the mornings is so lovely. It’s quiet, relaxing and actually, a kind of “escape” from the monotony of life.

Also, waking up and having to go straight to work is somewhat depressing. And I found that having a few hours in the morning for myself, for training and self care really works for me. I gave that up for him-for short time, but long enough for it to have an impact on me.

He has been out of my life for nearly a month and a half, but my body clock is still off. I know this because I really struggled this morning. I set about 10 alarms and I’m pretty sure I slept through most of them. My eyes opened at 5:40, I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on and jumped in the car – arrived at the gym ready to be beasted by exactly 6am.

I have to say that I was impressed by that myself but couldn’t help notice another thing that is “off” with me at the moment. I noticed how painfully guilty I felt about sleeping through my alarms, letting them ring out.

He is now completely irrelevant yet, I still felt a moment of dread this morning. It was as if he was right there, in my bed with me. I imagined him quietly seething about my lack of consideration and I would have to face the consequences of that.

So yeah theres clearly a fair amount of residual, unhealthy doctrine from the past that I need to let go of. But letting go is going to be hard for me.

After-all, I am autistic and I like routines. Routines make me feel safe.

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