I'm the girl who needs to plan, but hates to plan. Making plans is a mesh of wires that make no sense and I can't untangle them and they become so messed up in my head the colours all blur into one and become a mass of grey. An intangible elastic band ball of stray threads that refuse to be forced onto the ends of the pieces they belong to.
Every day I need a plan. I need a world in which my day is thought out from the moment I wake up. I open my eyes and lie there in the darkness until I am inspired by a thought that pushes me out of bed and onto the plush grey carpet. Inspired by the first plan of the day, usually an idea for a blog post such as this one. And then I work and drink decaf and read and do all the things I planned to do that day. If a friend wants to meet up there is no way that is happening because that hasn't been factored into my day of work at home.
But if you asked me to make a plan? Suddenly my brain, that intricate, fantastic organ in my head turns to mush. Like my head is filled with mashed potato and connecting A to B feels as though you're asking me to defuse a bomb. My brain falls open and the little people in there who control my day panic. They panic so loudly I can hear them screaming inside my mind. And the screaming drowns out any thoughts I could possibly have until there is nothing.
I don't know how to make a plan. So I'll often talk incessantly about it because I cannot for the life of me formulate a beginning point or an end point, never mind the impossible complicated bits in the middle. I need help from outside sources. I don't know how to ask for help. So I'm just annoying.
Please don't change plans last minute. Even if the plan actually suits my day better, I cannot cope with things being different to the way they were planned in my head. I'll have spent the entire morning and day before and day before that planning exactly how I'm going to execute my life to fit around that plan. To maximise my time. I'll have eaten a specific breakfast to optimise my day. If I'm meeting you before lunch I'll eat porridge with peanut butter so I don't get hungry. If I'm meeting you for lunch, I'll eat toast with marmite and a banana earlier in the day so I am hungry for our lunch. Every detail of my life is meticulously planned around the plans I have, so if those plans change, it throws me. It makes my tummy knot into too many knots and my heart beats really fast. Usually I cry and feel intolerable anger.
I used to work as a social activities coordinator, long before I had this helpful diagnosis. Imagine me working under the title of anything with the word coordinator in it? Yeah, it was a car crash. I loved the job content, the end product. The setting was a brain injury unit, so the part where the plan (somehow) came together and the patients grinned and sang along or found themselves with glue all over their hands or enjoyed a piece of cake during a trip, were absolutely fabulous. But getting to that point was inherent stress. I could not figure out how to get the band to come to the unit. Or how to go about planning an entire Christmas Fair - which I did, with many a meltdown. I somehow did it all. But I also ended up with severe mental health issues while there, on antidepressants, and with considerable blocks of time off sick, ordered by the doctor. It's absolutely insane that I did that job for two years. It's unimaginable that I ended up in the most challenging job I could have found myself.
Ah, if only I'd have known. I could have saved myself a whole plethora of heartache. Although, the wealth of experiences I have because of not knowing gives me endless things to write about. So I guess it's all swings and roundabouts.