The plan was:
Go to Zürich, hop in a plane bound to Moscow, spend most of your day there, touring bus and all, pack yourself back up in a plane, land in Tokyo, done deal.
Only, that was without counting on “me”.
I missed my plane and got stuck in Moscow because working so hard in the previous weeks rendered me unable to judge of required time to reach the airport. By a whole hour. I had to pay for a brand new ticket for the next day, cross the whole city in public transports, and that’s when I realised my visa had expired at midnight.
Severely sleep deprived – I’m not very good at sleeping on benches and window sills while keeping my luggage safe – I was crazy angry at myself, scared I’d be stuck any longer in that country I didn’t understand neither language or culture of, grounded by my embassy, and crying very easily.
[Little reminder: “unexpected” is the absolute nemesis of any autist. And since we are so poorly adapted to society, a lot is unexpected. The bigger it is – understand the more problem-solving relies on social skills+the less the autistic person has encountered that type of event before – the more we’re gonna freak out, melt down, and have paralysing panic attacks.]
I tried to be strong. I kept my tears to myself, and my fears, and tried to solve it all alone.
When I realised I had left home without the code to my credit card dedicated to that trip. I had only my usual one to use, and I’d been using it far too much, I knew it was bound to get refused soon.
And it did. Right when I was trying to pay for the 2d brand new plane ticket, having missed the first one because of renewing my visa.
And I needed that ticket to get the invoice for the visa that would allow me to get the visa itself that would allow me to get on the plane and out of the country.
Deep, looong breath in. Loooong breath out.
I hate asking for help. I got better at it in the past few years, but I still hate it. Who doesn’t.
I called my mom – who had been checking on me at my request just in case I freaked out, did I tell you she’s great? She is.
I asked her to pay for my phone credit (that had also ran out) and plane ticket, and if course she did. Straight away. And now I owe her quite a bit of money.
I called a friend in my hometown and asked him to take a few hours of his time to go through my papers and find my code. The first time he got the wrong one, and went back to my flat. The second time he got it right.
That’s how good it is to have friends you can count on and trust with your own bank papers. Booyah.
The first 5 days in Tokyo, my brain would blackout as soon as my head hit the pillow. I couldn’t sleep less than 12h a day. Morpheus would embrace my chest and crush it until I let go of consciousness. I could feel it physically.
Even last night I nearly did 10. So much for my resolution to keep a hold on my sleep to avoid falling sick.
So what did I learn during this adventure?
- I’m still the one who has a hard time not doing everything at once, better than anyone else.
- That I still and always want “the exceptional”, as if “the usual” was pathetic and unworthy of me.
- That it costs me in more ways than one. (Those are the reason why I missed my flight. Traits I usually muffle, but with exhaustion I couldn’t)
- That I prefer spending too much to seeming a niggard (related to something I didn’t mention here).
- That I made the right choice letting go of my 1 geographically close friend in autumn, because it made space for a number of good people to come into my life.
- I am strong. I am resourceful. I am not alone, my community, tiny and self-built as it is, supports me anytime, in any way necessary.
Yo, I didn’t break down, guys, and that to me is pretty big.
Yet another proof that life is never as hard as our seems, that people are willing to help, and that surrounded by the right people, anyone can achieve more then they’d think possible.