Why don’t you go the extra mile?

Despite my usual pictorial theme I am afraid this blog is just text and rather wordy. Sometimes words are all that can be said.

I always taken pride in going the extra mile for people. I struggle with communication and social activities, but I always try and show my support to people in practical ways. I regularly volunteer in my community, not to gain any credit (I shy away from this) but because I like to be helpful. I often nearly crucify myself with anxiety inducing things I’ve volunteered to support as the need to help others overrides self preservation. I am always sharing information I have come across which I think I might be helpful to others, I try and think of ways I can make my colleagues lives easier and I am part of a well being group to hopefully make work/life balance better for staff. I am not very good at communicating face to face, or sometimes in writing, but I regularly concentrate on learning from others and creating brain ‘templates’ so I can mimic what they do. I often find myself doing volunteer work until 11pm at night after a day at work. I am not sure what I am trying to prove by writing this down, I suppose it sets out the difficulty I have in black and and white thinking – I think because I function in this way, everyone else should do so to.

In my previous employment I was on a front line Customer Service team dealing with people in difficulty everyday. I would go to the ends of the earth to resolve problems and would actively give people more chances that others probably would. I vividly remember getting upset during a visit from one of the executive teams where we were expected to spend a day away from our roles during a period of huge change where something had gone wrong and we were needed to be doing the work, not taking time away from it. I stood up for the members of the public we were supporting and the team I was on. It didn’t do me any favors in terms of popularity with the managers but I will always stand up for people more vulnerable than myself. When someone called us to make a complaint my first response was always how can I help us fix your issue? – I ended up having to pass on very few complaints.

This week I was given some information about my health which confused and upset me. The following day I rang to discuss those concerns. I was told I would be called by the end of the week by someone to talk these through, the person who spoke to me was kind and did take down the details of what worried me. No call back was made to. I am not sure if the issue I have with sticking to agreements is down to being on the autistic spectrum, but I find it very difficult when people don’t stick to what they say they will do. I know people are very busy, but a quick call to say ‘sorry we can’t fully help you now, but we will call you by ‘x’ date next week’ would take away some of the obsessive thoughts. I finally had that telephone call today, my notes hadn’t been fully read, incorrect information was said during the call and although part of the issue was resolved I came away feeling that I hadn’t been fully listened to and what I originally raised a concern about was brushed under the carpet. I feel too ill to argue. This blog began I suppose by me trying to justify that I am a ‘good’ person, a ‘respectable’ human being, I am not someone that takes asking for help lightly, I’ve found things hard since I was a child and it took 33 years for me ask anyone for help. At the moment I frequently feel like a floundering nuisance. I am not sure how I am continuing to function when every night my sleep is disturbed or sleepless, every day I run to work as I struggle to leave the house, but can’t allow myself to be late, I am frequently so anxious in work I hear audible voices. I want the person helping me, to care, to fight my corner, to stick to what has been agreed, more importantly I want to understand what builds those barriers which makes sticking to agreements hard, is it too much work or is it lack of care?

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