Monday Again.

Today’s not a good day. I’m down and feel tired. I did sleep but don’t feel fresh at all.

I’ve tried to figure the concept of ‘spoons’ of energy and I want to say nil, but I’ve a day of work to get through and get through that I will.

Mentally, I’m broken, or think I am.

There’s purpose in work and a desire to see the kids.

Outside that, food and surviving into the next day.

Autism related? A slump in mental health and a slide in mood is more likely to be the thing.

I keep going with TV and reading and twitter. I’ve no desire to go back out once I’m in of an evening. No feeling that I need do something.

I have early nights where I struggle to settle and late ones where it’s as bad.

I feel fat, I’m not happy with my appearance. Trying to eat smarter/healthier but I can’t always. Trying to lay off coffee, but times again that it’s needed to function.

Finding ‘people’ hard at the moment, trying not to say things in my head and consider what I say and do. But I think I always let myself down somehow. That’s the autistic side too.

My attempts to get help failed, as I’ve written about before.

I need another round of medications and will sort that out.

I’ve had my washing machine break and I’ve had a few issues around that both financially and otherwise.

I needed time yesterday to do tidying as that was my ‘plan’ – I got home at twenty to nine, ate, slopped onto sofa and watched two programmes before bed.

Circumstances. Nothing of my making or doing. But so much for having a ‘nice’ Father’s Day.

So I’m low today and not feeling it, not knowing what to do.

I could use something. A break, something positive for once. I can take solace in the cards and love from the kids. I can find other distraction.

Written on hoof and can edit later.

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A shadow of the man you should be. (Autism)

I played some Big County on my phone and headphones the other day. It got around to ‘Just a Shadow’ and the lyric bit me.

It’s just a shadow of the man you should be.

Ouch.

That hurt.

I can duck and dive day in and day out, but I’m not really the man i was or the man I should be.

The lyric crystallised my thoughts.

I’ve deluded myself that things are better than what they are and I’ve hid from the really uncomfortable truths.

I’m over three years separated and over four from my autistic diagnosis. I’ve lost everyone and I’m pretty much alone.

My attempts to get help have failed and trying for PIP took so much out of me. My attempts to get other help last year proved fruitless and I’m just alone, scared and trying not to fail.

I’m in no fit state for anyone else and although I might think that I need company, I can’t see anything ever happening.

I don’t want to do things myself, where before I could. There’s no one to fall back upon and I’m not looking for pity, sympathy or anything else.

I need to figure out a great deal in order that I can be independent again and feel a bit more satisfied about life.

I see things that are on at the cinema and I dread the thought about going myself. I don’t think I can go out drinking myself either.

It’s a lot of negative things to attempt to process and make sense about.

Confidence and ability take a great deal of work to regain and I feel the loss of those. Functioning and managing day to day is one thing, these are another thing altogether.

For now, I have more humbleness and more accepting to do.

I think I must accept there’s little chance of any new relationship whether emotional or physical. I’m not going to be capable enough to do that.

I must accept that I need to make progress on my loneliness and work at things to make it easier and to try and pick up some threads.

I think I’ve had my chance on many things and that I can try to build a little bit more on my own and take some small steps forward.

I can’t fix all the things I’d like to and I don’t have the skills socially to repair some things in my life.

For now, I can work on things like my weight, anxiety and emotional and mental health. Those are my priorities to ensure that I continue to function and do what I need to do.

Anything else is too far to jump. There’s accepting how I look and how old I am and knowing there are limits to my abilities to deal with people or to even figure out everything else.

It’s a step back to a step forward.

Or it’s looking properly at issues and taking stock of where I was and where I am. Being honest and taking an issue at a time.

I will not wake tomorrow and change. I will not shake it off or find things to be easier one day.

Much to process and figure. Not easy either.

A year after PIP refusal.

Getting past April as autism awareness month is always good, but my mind has turned to it being a year since I was refused PIP.

I did the applications, asked for the Statutory Reconsideration and took it as far as the appeal panel.

I’m aware of Scotland’s new social security system coming in and I just couldn’t bring myself to re-apply. Even if all they say is true.

I tried and had a Doctor and Nurse lie to ensure I didn’t get anything. It stripped me of dignity and confidence and I couldn’t go through it all again.

My attempts to get help petered out after the Health and Social Care partnership referred me back to GP.

It’s a new GP after my old one excluded me and at an appointment I was told they prefer to phone than do appointments, so I’ve given up on that, barring getting my regular prescription.

I’m no better than I was. Not much I can do other than hope I don’t have a meltdown.

I think I’m self medicating between nicotine tablets and CBD oil. I’m not drinking alcohol at least.

I’m not sure on there being enjoyable days, maybe when with the kids, certainly not when alone or in the day to day of the work week.

For work, I’ve had to remove all my accommodations.

An email reminder on clear desk policy has sent me backwards on use of cutting pads to stop reflections and after a meltdown, I was told my earphones are antisocial to my colleagues, so I’ve stopped using them.

(Pointless saying I was triggered by the email system not working and a demand made for me to access email by someone not having issues with the email.)

Same guy that made comment on the headphones, later sent an email saying my employer is ‘disability confident’ – er..

I’m hating the trains and travel to and from work, as it usually means standing.

I had a dialogue with Scotrail’s inclusion team and it seems I can use the priority seats, but it’s not an issue as they’re usually occupied.

Everything’s pretty much still a mess and difficult.

Financially, I’m trying but it’s difficult every month.

I haven’t yet had that holiday I was deluding myself about.

I’m still alone and haven’t seen anyone new. I don’t think I can in the state that I’m in and I really am still hurt from past events. I don’t think I’m a prospect anyone would want.

It’s a boring and lonely existence watching TV and reading twitter but it’s about all I have.

So.. onward, ever onward.

The St Mirren Championship Arithmetic possibility post.

Jim Goodwin with the League Cup in 2013.

St Mirren’s next piece of silverware, the Scottish Championship trophy is around the corner. Seven points or three more wins ought to do it.

St Mirren and Livingston have 6 fixtures left. The calculation is that Livingston could get 18 points maximum and reach 73 points.

Saints have 67 points as of 31 March.

74 points wins it although reaching 73 and having superior goal difference might well be enough.

Any changes over the next three games will affect the target as a Saints loss or draw takes the matter on a few fixtures, any defeats or draws for Livingston speeds it up.

Morton are out the equation as currently 47 points and 15 more possible makes a maximum theoretical finish of 62 points. Saints have 67 already.

Dundee Utd have 46 points and seven games to play making a possible 21 points making a maximum theoretical finish of 67 points.

Dunfermline moved 4th on 31 March they can reach 61 points maximum in theory. 5 games to play and a current 46 points.

Tuesday April 3rd

Dunfermline vs Livingston

St Mirren sit out the fixture. But will be a must know result.

This could take Livi onto 58 points but will be their 31st game played. 5 games left, 15 points possible.

Saturday April 7th

Brechin vs St Mirren

Livingston vs Morton

70 and 61 points if both teams keep winning.

Tuesday April 10th

Dundee United vs St Mirren.

This could be the one where saints hit 73 points if they also win their previous two matches.

Livingston don’t have a game that night.

Saturday April 14th

St Mirren vs Livingston.

A coup de grรขce. An opportunity to nail it down if it wasn’t already done and dusted. Saints might draw or lose in a previous fixture. A win for St Mirren reduces the highest possible finish for Livingston too.

Tuesday April 17th

St Mirren vs Falkirk

Again a possible fallback game for Saints.

Hopefully that helps the Mirren massive, because it will be fluid if Livingston lose or draw.

updated to 31 March, twists and turns.

There is no help.

17th March 2018.

My attempts to get any sort of help or support have failed. The letter pictured says..

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Date 9th March

Dictated 23rd February

Dear Mr Gibson

Thank you for attending your assessment appointment at the Charleston Centre on 8th February 2018.

Following discussion with the multidisciplinary team we will be discharging you back to the care of your GP as there appears to be no role for CHMT at this point.

I have written to your GP informing them of this decision.

Yours

X

Community Psychiatric Nurse

Community Mental Health Team.

So, if I want help I’ll probably have to go and commit a crime. Seems to be the only way.

Alcoholics, drug users and all other forms of low life scum and vermin are treated to a higher standard than someone with a lifelong condition.

I’m beyond disgusted at this and I’m going to end up lower and more isolated as a result.

The Scottish NHS isn’t worth a fuck as far as I’m concerned. They’d rather see me dead.

Happy Trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow ?

This is a ‘Happy Train’ or a Class 365 Networker. They date from the mid 1990’s and have been suggested as a solution to Scotrail’s lack of trains available for The Edinburgh and Glasgow mainline (via Falkirk) route.

The ‘Happy Trains’ are coming off lease after replacement by new class 700 units for Thameslink/Great Northern.

They are 4 carriage 20 metre long units.

Scotrail’s lease arrangements for a number of diesel units is up and these are due to move south, some have already been received at Northern.

The Hitachi class 385 units that were to replace them have been held up due to an issue with vision in the drivers cabs through a curved Windscreen.

The Happy Trains are one of the few available electric multiple units that Scotrail might get their hands on.

Some online forums have speculated on a cascade of the existing Siemens Desiro Class 380’s from Inverclyde and Ayrshire to fill in.

These are already used in two sets of seven carriage formations for selected journeys on the E&G.

E&G passengers have already complained about the stub tables on the 380’s for their ‘essential laptop working’, and there’s mutterings on the lack of first class on the units and that’s there’s no particular time benefit from running in a mixed timetable with diesel units also preset on the line.

Conversely, there’s an issue for Inverclyde commuters. At times, a forty minute or longer journey is carried out by Class 314’s that don’t have toilets and the comfort or facilities of the 380’s.

Local press and politicians in Inverclyde have been noisy about the downgrade.

Rumours and speculation are abound and there’s been mention of a wholesale transfer of 380 units as well as more 320/4’s created from class 321’s.

Certainly there’s a plan for more conversions of 321’s but this may only be five units.

Perhaps, a more Simple answer for Scotrail is to procure a replacement fleet for the E&G as all infrastructure on Ayrshire and Inverclyde lines is set for the 380’s.

That’s where the Happy Train and a series of questions comes in.

Firstly, should the 380 fleet transfer over to E & G duties?

It must tempt Scotrail, but the fleet and it’s working diagrams are based out of Shields depot to the West of Glasgow.

The limited transfer of units for use on the E&G was supposed to be temporary.

A long term transfer east of the fleet would give issues and not least in terms of Ayrshire and Inverclyde passengers losing ‘their trains’.

Theres a further question of resourcing suitable units to replace the 380’s and work with the infrastructure and equipment on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes.

Secondly, the issue is on the E&G, isn’t it?

Proposed schedules for completion of the EGIP electrification slipped and these delays should have made sure that the introduction of the proposed rolling stock was on time.

At present, not all units are complete and not all units have been delivered.

Therefore, can Scotrail come up with rolling stock for the E&G and stop a knock-on effect on other routes and their usual unit allocations.?

Units intended for EGIP were also meant for the Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa services and for a fleet strengthening to ensure that the class 314’s could be retired in 2018.

So what should happen now?

There’s only so long that a temporary solution can be found and like any other business, Scotrail will have income to derive from its services and will want some certainty.

The question is how long it takes to resolve the issues with the 385’s, and how long to fix a solution to the window issue and have all units ready in service.

There’s a time and familiarity issue for train crew, drivers especially, and even a temporary fix in using another class of train would mean time and expense.

I’m unconvinced that it’s worthwhile for Scotrail to go to the lengths of bringing up a ‘new to Scotland’ class of electric multiple unit and train staff in using it, before converting all E & G route journeys.

The only way this might happen is if the frontages of the class 385’s need entirely replaced and with two windows on each cab end and 70 units total means 140 ‘fixes’ and quite possibly, that issue might take a bit of time and effort.

This image by Thomas Nugent clearly shows the difference in window size when compared to a class 380. Thomas Nugent Geograph

When seen together, it shows the difference in design used by Hitachi.

The original design was without a gangway between units.

The visual was later altered to Scotrail livery before the design with gangway was added.

In overall terms, it’s quite a change and there’s even a difference to the test units as captured above with the Siemens 380.

Hitachi have also had to endure some criticism of their Intercity Express Programme units introduced on the Great Western routes, however, the issue with these units isn’t at a great time and is at a point when rival manufacturers CAF and Siemens are building UK plants and where Bombadier have been introducing their Products to a number of franchises.

As to the ‘Happy Train’ Networker, it doesn’t seem likely that there will be the expense of time and effort to bring them to Scotland especially if a solution to the 385’s problems is months away.

Then again. I’ve been wrong before.

Weighing Reality and Hope (Aspergers)

At times, it gets too much. It’s lonely and boring and dull. It’s me and the TV after work. I can vary what I eat and what I watch, but mainly it’s me on the sofa and the TV. I have early bedtimes. I wind down and I sleep. I get up, follow my routine and then go to work.

Maybe that’s all I can handle. I don’t particularly want to go out, I don’t particularly want to see anyone. My weekends have the kids. I like that and I’m focused on them. Then it’s back to the week and me, myself and I.

Maybe I don’t need excitement or change or different. Just float along, get older, have the routine. Stick with it.

I’m trying to avoid accepting a decision. Accepting that ‘it is what it is’

Me and the TV. Push away the other thoughts. Accept it.

I’m 45. Not young, Not old. But, what does that mean? What should I expect? Another 25 Years? Longer? – is there something to strive for or to believe in or to think that my life can change significantly. I could push it and look for more and think ‘I want to be happy!’ – but what if maybe I am already?

The blog, the twitter, reading articles online. Building a Lego kit now and again. The odd Instagram photo. What’s coming soon on Netflix. The tips from others on what’s good. Day to day at work. A message from my daughter. A text message here and there.

Maybe, I read some more philosophy. Maybe, I look at the graphic novels publishing list. Maybe, I see the rail forum or the train and bus magazines. Think about the paintwork, think about the bathroom. Read the bills again, look at the online banking.

I’ve had a life. I’ve tried in the – what I know now is a – neurotypical world, I’ve pushed myself at 100%, their 120%. I’ve had ‘friends’, I’ve tried and I’ve been there and done that. I like my once a month meal somewhere different, I like eating out with my daughter and going to the bookshop. I like my random chats with my youngest and the mad friendly welcome from the dog.

Maybe, I accept that I’m fortunate, that I’ve got where I am and it’s good to get there and yeah, this can be better or that could improve, but I basically stop myself from pushing and railing at it all. Be content. Try to be wise and good and kind. I don’t need someone else to do that and there’s validation enough and it’s okay to be separated and alone.

I think I’ve always had the ‘romantic dream’ of miss right ‘rescuing me’, probably delusional, based on tv and film and that thought that ‘one day it’ll be me’. Maybe I met her and never knew it, maybe she walked past me, maybe she never existed. It’s a pleasant day dream or illusion as much as being a god fearing good man or to always be a gentleman.

I’ve read about involuntary celibacy and I’ve sort of questioned it. Firstly, I choose to do what I do. I might meet a woman by going drinking on my own, I might not. Social skills set deficit after all.

Obviously, if you go out on a Friday or a Saturday night drinking in places the opposite sex are, then it’s more likely. I suppose I choose not to.

That’s my voluntary choice and it reduces the likelihood of any chance encounter.

I don’t do evening classes or other activities, I don’t sit in a coffee shop for hours on end, I don’t go hillwalking or running or any of that sort of thing, again my choice and my circumstances.

Obviously the more human contact, the greater the possibility or chance. It’s odds, I suppose, you gamble a bit, you may be lucky, you may not. If you don’t play the game at all, then you’re unlikely to win.

So, therefore, I can’t bemoan being ‘involuntary celibate’. I can say I don’t go out much and I can say that I lack the practice in interaction with anyone new and that yes, I’d find it awkward and strange and a bit scary too.

Now, the question, is balance. Accept what you are and what you have or stretch out life seeking something or someone that maybe isn’t there.

There might be an equivalent woman around my age and with my interests, that’s got her own commitments, life and work and maybe feels about the tv and sofa thing as I do. She might not even be on this island. A needle in a haystack, a pin in a box of other pins. What might be out there is out there.

It’s a ‘might’ or a ‘maybe’ or a ‘what if’.

I’ve a tendency to say ‘travel in hope’ to others when they’re disheartened. I suppose I can throw in ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’ and the other tidbits that one picks up along the way. I know a lot about not giving up and keeping going.

But, the question I have for myself is ‘Can you accept being alone and make the best of it?’

Accepting the life, the day to day routine and focus on the kids and be content. I’ve a way to go yet in resolving my inner conflicts, but I could make a simpler life for myself by being easier on myself by accepting what I am and letting go of fantasy and delusion and leaving dreams alone. Reality can be enough at times and getting through a day or a week is tiring enough.

I can read and ponder and keep going, but making a decision or classing myself as something? Perhaps that can wait.