I don't think I'll ever be able to work.

I don't think I'll ever be able to work.


You haven't failed, society failed you. It just isn't set up for our brain type. Your worth is not tied to your work. That is a concept I have struggled with for years. I actually talked about this with my Therapist last week. In Texas (and probably other states) you can contact the workforce commission about your special needs. They will even pay for you to be tested. Then they will help with a job search that accommodates your needs. This may be too overwhelming to try, but if you are up to it, the tools may be out there.


Also I want to add (I hate edits), that I am happy to pay into social security if it means that money goes towards supporting your needs to find work/support. That's why it was created and it's a beautiful necessary thing. (Jumps up on soap box) once upon a time this country believe in how important it was to support each other any way we can. The new deal was intentional, not an accident. The new deal WAS intentionally racist but that's a whole other conversation.



> You haven't failed, society failed you. It just isn't set up for our brain type. Absolutely this. Change may even happen in our lifetime, who knows. Keep yourself internally strong on the off chance we get there, OP. There are so many of us that feel as you do.


Hey, how do you go about doing this? Was it an online thing?


I didn't need it, she actually mentioned it after I told her how awful it was for the people in this sub to have to pay so much just for an assessment to tell them what they already know. Another patient of hers was going through the process with the state. But just in general from my experience interacting with state agencies, the information should be online, if not the application.


I feel you, hon. Capitalism sucks for all of us, some more than others.


I've been working part time since 2003, while raising kids. It's been so much better for my mental health, and I don't think I'll ever work full time for anyone else ever again. I don't feel like a drain on society, because I also volunteer my time in my community. But even if I didn't, there's no rule about humanity that we have to work 40+ hours a week to have value. Humans have intrinsic value, and 40 hours a week is a holdover from the Puritan work ethic, which has nothing to do with us and what we value.


Forty hour work week isn’t from the Puritans, actually. Activists fought and died trying to set it as the standard when people were working most of their waking hours, for something like 100 hours a week. Labor unions are the only reason employees have any sort of rights in the West, and it’s a tragedy that the right has vilified and neutered them so


Yes! 40 hours is supposed to be great, and maybe it is compared to 100, but ... My poli sci professor opined that raising wages created a Republican subclass among union leaders. That and globalization (migration of factory jobs elsewhere) helped rein in the power of the collective.


I was just thinking/posting about this today. I'm not sure what to do, but I'm with you! Hang in there.


Yep, I’ve said this exact thing. Quit my job last year and I have made $140 in the last year off of my art. Thankfully one of my favorite foods is Ramen but my boyfriend supports me and doesn’t want me to give up on art. My family gets mad at me for not being a “successful” artist because they think I am really good but once I finish anything I just start something else. They say I need to “market” myself better. Constantly feel guilty for not having a real job and not having income. It’s rough, but I keep going thinking one day I will find my place.


I completely relate, as a fellow ND artist. The business aspect of art is so difficult.


Ohh share your art


Hi OP! Yes I relate immensely. I recently had the same realization, but working part time, even if it’s for yourself, will allow you to have a better quality of life in the long run. I get drained by work and need days off to recover, working part time helps me have a bit of income while also allowing me to do whatever I please (I love solo traveling for 3-4 days at a time to see friends and family, for instance. I can’t do that as often as I want with a full time job). One has to keep in mind that the world + western society as we have come to know it are not meant for ND people. It’s a nightmare for us tbh. BUT this allows us to not participate in that hellscape and to focus on things that ARE meant for us, in your instance art and commission work. Also, taking the first step in the direction of your aspirations will help you to not get stuck in “analysis paralysis” (something I oft find myself doing). It’s hard work, existing in a world not meant for us. You’ll find your way. I wish you all the best!


Im not in the US but after years of trying and failing, I am finally in the process of getting the help/support that I need. Takes a long time and many way too complicated steps, but in the end I should be getting a job accommodated to my needs. I probably won't be able to work anything near full-time hours, but it'll probably more than in a "regular" job setting. Which will be immensely helpful, as I'm dependent on my partner atm. Anyway, it's tough. And I do agree with this other comment: society has failed you, not the.other way around. It's tough, but your mental health is always priority. I hope you'll find something that works for you!


Work can be incredibly stressful. I've got massively burnt out in past jobs. I've found one now I love and people can't understand why I don't want to go for a promotion. I'm happy in this one! I truly don't think I could work anywhere else or for a different team though. I've found that the people you work with, especially your line manager, make all the difference.


Same. I’ve found that doing contract work (I work in the technology sector) keeps me out of the company politics which eases a lot of the stress. Also get to work remote and not have to worry about physical appearance or commutes.


That sounds really ideal!


I relate to some of this way too much. I applied for a job today on the encouragement of my friends but I'm pessimistic as I don't meet a lot of the requirements and I don't even know if I can do the job. I probably wont even make it through the interview. It makes me feel bad sometimes, living on disability money from the government instead of working like all my friends do. And it's not a lot of money at all so I then can't do all the other activities they do either. I did work in retail for 8 years and it was horrible. I ended up having a severe mental breakdown. I could never do that again. I have no skills, no qualifications, and no dreams or aspirations, so it's difficult to find my place in the working world. Capitalism sucks.


Ugh... I know just how you feel. I -got through it- for 7 years and it absolutely destroyed me. I feel like the constant struggle and burnout took years off my life. I personally think it’s great that you’re confronting this truth for yourself. I wish I’d admitted this truth to myself years ago. Like many others have said, and like you probably know deep down, your output or work isn’t what gives you worth. You’re an important person and member of society just by existing. On the art thing - we need you and your art! I follow an Instagram page called @inspiredtowrite that gives some beautiful insight on this. Highly recommend you check them out!


This really resonates with me I'm feeling super depressed that I can't handle a full time job. I used to and crashed and found out that I'm autistic. I feel I'm failing my husband and I. That we cant have a better place and security because I can't handle it. I have been trying to get my art business off the ground but I feel so bad I'm not able to do a 8 hour work day at my daily job. My husband wants to make it so I can persue my dreams but we aren't quite there yet. :( I feel like a burden.


Honestly I get the feeling! I have been able to hold down one job that isn't full time, for the past 6 years in two different companies. Yet every day I get home feeling mentally tired and just exhausted, I deliver mail which is only for a few hours a day every day and not making enough money to live on my own from. Some days I think about how great it would be to have a job that pays properly, but then I think about how I can barely even put up with this job, so how am I supposed to put up with 8 hours of anything every day that also involves lots of other people who could only make things worse?! and then I have not even called out the hundreds of other reasons that hold me back from even trying to get another job that are all together literally so scary and paralyzing that just trying to think about it makes me wanna cry and not do anything anymore.


I feel the exact same way. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like I failed society tho, I feel society fails us


I feel trapped and panicked. Beginning in a tiny degree in my first job, and ending with me disappearing to rehab at my last because I had to be black out drunk to go to work. I know that I can’t work. I think that’s one of our curses. A lot of us are very smart and people see someone who should have their shit together. Surprise!


I'm afraid to apply for a job because of this. I work hard, get overwhelmed, and crash. I can go for maybe 6 months, sometimes a few years. When I crash, I crash hard. It takes a year or more to get back up. I've found a job that is PERFECT for what I need, and I'm scared to apply. I'm struggling to even work on my resume.


I feel that, it took me a while just to work on my resume too. Not to mention cover letters...ugh, i took like 2 weeks writing one and i didn’t the internship, oh well. Sometimes all you need is someone else to help rewrite stuff or to look over stuff, so If you'd like I'm happy to help!


There is not one second I don't think about this. 😔 Got diagnosed late, let go for my own good cuz I was "unreliable" despite good work, and clearly had some unknown disability that had to be checked out. I've tried commissions during the years but working from home is horrible, and I learned creativity drains me. I can only do it an hour or two at a time before shutting down. Same for any hard thinking task... I even get that from videogames lol m, gets worse with years, even. What's worse is seeing artist friends making a good amount of money because they're tapping into that nsfw market... I can't do it, not even the ecchi stuff, it made me despise drawing and had to go to therapy. Never EVER do shit you can't like or understand... Ever ! 😞 It's poison ! A good way to traumatize yourself. Applied for job search help for autistic people and crossing my fingers now. The goal is simple : part-time, repetitive mechanical work, just to sustain myself and my hobbies. I notice I like doing stuff people "hate" (ie repetitive work, routines, "brainless" work, rules to follow...). I think that's the key. I want to share what works, if I ever find it... Good luck, everyone-


>I notice I like doing stuff people "hate" (ie repetitive work, routines, "brainless" work, rules to follow... Omg, I rate so much to this. People always say those jobs are boring but I don't really get bored. My inner world is so rich it can entertain me indefinitely. I'd love a job that let's my mind wander somewhat while I'm just focused enough to get some kind of repetitive task done. No interruptions, no adapting to surprises or new situations. Sounds like heaven to me.


YES. I swear, I'm the house's tech girl, everybody be complaining about the little "annoying" tasks, but whenever I do those, like cleaning, folding clothes, building/repairing furniture, troubleshooting devices, and even chill stuff like arranging perler beads, I feel genuinely happy ! Just as you said, inner world is so vast, I have like double vision/focus where I'm living an adventure in a fantasy world and thinking about the universe while doing those. No interruptions. All the time in the world... It's relaxing in a way. One of my roomies tried to startle me to say hi, bruh I was so focused I practically shat a brick 😂😂




The only job I was able to keep more than a few months was teaching. It took me 14 years to get my BA (different story), but once I did, I became an English teacher. I spent 20 years in the profession. I was very good with the kids, less so with adults. Grading was def bad, but I managed. I am now retired because of vision problems. (Fun fact: my master's only took 3 years. Hyper focus is a beautiful thing.)


I think most people *Could* find a job, but it involves being in the right place at the right time, and maybe Mercury being in retrograde or something I wish school could better prepare us for technical jobs and such. Maybe require students to work in different types of settings to see what fits them. Like I like cashiering. I’m friendly and loquacious. It’s an easy script most of the time. I like sidework. Cleaning is good. But I can’t do too much cleaning. I don’t like that. I liked being a transcriptionist. This was like 20 years ago, so what they did was every week I would get a CD with about 20 hours worth of work on it. I’d take it home, type it out, go back next Wednesday and get another CD. I also really liked being a phlebotomist. But that job hurt my back and I had to quit. But it sounds like Op is an artist. Lots of people like to commission work. Especially if you can draw pets. You might be able to make a living if you could draw/paint pets. Or at least contribute substantially to a partnership. There are just so many jobs out there. Factory jobs, mechanical jobs, welding, cashiering, science…. Although when I worked at Pizza Hut there was a guy there from the local um… special needs? I’m bad at knowing the right phrase. From that program. His job was to fold pizza boxes for 2 hours a day. We also had a dishwasher with intellectual disabilities there. If you live in the Midwest I know Hy-Vee works with a lot of agencies with autistic individuals. I know grocery stores can be overwhelming. They’re bright and loud. But they also have those aisles online people, who just take groceries and put them into your car. I always thought a lot of autistic people would make good lab techs. Poor the bodily fluids into reagents. Quantify results. Report. I started school for that once but ultimately did not finish. And for the record I hated warehouse-type work.


I can't keep a job IF I get one. All jobs I had were fine at first cuz its new and exciting, then the anxiety would build and build and I'd be asked to go to hr a lot and I'd be fired or "let go" for one reason or another but usually it was other employees complaints about me not listening when I was busy doing something or they'd tell me to do something but I did it wrong or asked too many questions about it or I just made people feel uncomfortable in the break room cuz I just sat in the corner ignoring everyone and wouldn't talk much. Uhg I could go over each and every single one but that would take too long but you get the idea. I don't look anymore cuz just the thought of the interview process fills me with anxiety.


i get that LMAO. they let me go because i didnt "match the energy of the team" like huuuuuh??? it feels like theres a load of unspoken rules you have to follow. but nobody ...says the rules. so how are we supposed to know!? haha


Right! Super frustrating!


Same, for both my partner and I. We're both on SSI. I think I only won my case based on my comorbid physical disability, but I know you absolutely can get on it for Autism alone. If you live in the US and you genuinely think you'll never have any other way to make an income, ime it's worth going through the process despite how obnoxiously long and tedious it can be (you WILL be denied at least once and probably several times. But the longer it takes the more backpay you get at least lol.) I have no idea how it works in other countries but a lot of countries do have some sort of disability income service that might be worth looking into. I would have literally no money at all without SSI so even though it's a pittance and not enough to live on my own without housing assistance, it's so much better than nothing.


I’m also on social security. I work about 18 hours a week to supplement it. And when im in a bind I can always door dash.


Yeah! I want to do some freelance art selling as a side hustle at some point, just haven't had the energy lately lol.


How do you start this process?


Here's a link to a page on the official SSA website, since there's a couple of options, and this tells you all of them: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-apply-ussi.htm For me personally I had extra help because I was also applying for food stamps and temporary cash assistance. The temporary cash assistance I applied for had a requirement for the applicant to also apply for SSI, so they helped me through the process. You could check out your local DSHS and see if this is a possibility for you as well! I'm not exactly sure what the name of the program was, or how it varies from state to state, or I would be more specific. I hope that helps!


I have been back at work two weeks and it's a lot dude. I can literally work or have a social life but not both. I have to work to eat. So. You know what I have realized most about working again, being around people makes me hate myself. I say stupid shit. I react weird to things. Then I go home exhausted and I worry about every single thing I did or said and how that might have appeared to others. It sucks. Like I said, I have to eat. I love my coworkers and it's a tiny crew but maybe that's worse? I want to connect with people and I try too fucking hard. I wish I never had to ever leave my apartment but that was lonely so there is literally no winning. I am so over being me. Bleh.


I relate so hard, yet I've been working for 14 years. I'm hitting a critical burnout and don't know what to do. I think it's okay. We weren't made for this kind of life as neurotypical peeps, let alone us divergent folk. I think it's admirable that you are taking care of your well being. ♡


You haven't failed. At no point in history before the industrial revolution did peope work this much. There were times they worked more, but people usually worked 20-30 hours a week. You're not broken, the way society is set up is. And yes I relate. While I can work a full time job, it leaves me so drained that it's hard to do anything else besides maintain myself for the job.


i have the same issue. i used to have an obsession with working. all i could do was work. then something just happened and i can barley do 25 hours a week… i can’t stand work it makes me want to throw up


I couldn't hold onto a job, but I was able to do temp agency work for a bit. I do recommend trying short assignments to see if they put you in anything you want to do, but ultimately I got too burned out to work. It's okay to feel like you can't because a lot of it is societal and not something you can shoulder the full blame for.


For sure. I think our culture is one that raises us to believe that our purpose is work, and if at some point it turns out we can't do that, we feel lost and useless. Honestly, though, I think that's an unhealthy way of seeing life even for people who can work, especially since many people hate their jobs.


I worry about this. I only managed because I had a partner and that was barely. Now I don't and I am soon finishing my studies. In agile project management. But what if it doesn't work? How do you live?? Is your countries helping out? No idea which countries you are all from.


I relate. I’ve burned out my last two jobs, and I have a PhD in psychology. PhD’s are intense! I would love to go back into research, particularly if it’s autism in women, but I don’t know if I could actually hack it


Me too, dropped out of school, couldn't do it no matter how hard I tried. Now I'm failing completely at jobs. My parents spent a few years yelling at me about failing but eventually gave up. But I'll never stop feeling guilty and inadequate for it.


Im in the exact same position, unfortunately the art world is pretty saturated and even though im pretty good i cant get any comissions. But yeah, the idea of having no ultinate goal in a job and just being expected to devote your time to it forever?? Literally made me suicidal (plus masking and having less spoons to operate in a day) and im not sure ill ever be able to work again. I cant imagine how people just get up and do it ever day.


I feel you. I'm a SAHM homeschooling mom right now, which I'm aware is a privilege, but when I was working it drained me so much. I've thought a lot about jobs I'd do if I needed to go back to work and I feel like I'd do a lot better with work that wasn't customer service/retail or standard office jobs. WFH is becoming a bigger option but even some of that seems overwhelming long term. Have you thought about exploring work options-- if you do need to work-- that aren't "traditional" to most people? Truck driving-- lots of time alone, setting your own schedule. Hotel cleaning-- not exactly customer service. sometimes gross but a lot of repetition to think and minimal interaction compared to retail. night shift security work-- in college one of my friends worked for a place where he wasn't required to carry a weapon. it was just sitting at a desk monitoring screens and he was supposed to call the police if anything showed up. other cleaning services-- restaurants sometimes have contracts with industrial cleaners to come in once a week or so and deep clean carpets. it's a lot of after hours work. court transcription-- this is a work from home gig but it's a transcribing audio files on your own schedule. hospital meal services-- there's a specific branch of dining services that just does the meal delivery to rooms. lots of people AROUND but not a lot of dealing with them as directly. im sure there are others i haven't thought of! but also there are lots of other replies here about disability income if you really can't work, and that's okay!


I know the feeling, I am 31 and have never had a job. Only diagnosed as autistic a month or two ago but due to a myriad of health issues I am on benefits. If yoy saw me or even spoke to me you would think there was nothing wrong with me except for being a little weird. All the rhetoric about "benefit scroungers" and the like really gets to me. I start thinking that really I am just lazy and my issues are stuff I am just pretending about. It sucks, I wish that I could help.


A job that you have actually studied for and that matches your interests will feel very different from that part time job. I did part time jobs when I was your age and I hated it and found the boredom almost unbearable. I went to Uni and now work in a field that actually interests me, and while I do feel quite burned out right now, I have been working full-time for 10 years so far and very few days have been as hard to get through as that awful no-education-required summer job I had as a kid.


Formal education can be completely impossible for some people to manage as well, though. Not to mention the financial aspect of it


Sure, but based on OPs posts it doesn’t seem like she is one of those people. :)


Never understood why people would work over 40, that leaves little or no time to learn anything, or even do a hobby. Work is a means to an end, that end is money to survive in this lovely capitalist society. The day I stepped back and realized I am not a disposable tool to be thrown away if I misbehaved, was a very freeing day. Learn to find the worth in what you can do and take joy that you literally spent the time and energy to make the art and if it makes you smile then the arts function is done.


I feel like this a lot. What helped a little was finding jobs that I actually like. Even if I get so down and I'm in a spiral right now, that it's all too much for me. It's still better than the jobs I've had before. I am a teacher in adult education and I have been spending a lot of time learning about instructional design. Trying to transition to instructional design.


I feel the same way.. right now I work 2 days a week but it's like 8-10 hour days.


The people on here are right. There is nothing wrong with not being able to work or only working part time. That being said, who knows what the future will hold. I couldn't work almost at all for a decade and then worked part time for a few years. Now I'm working full time again. At this point it's tough but doable. That beings said it would depend on the job. There are absolutely still jobs I couldn't even handle part time.


I am going through this exact thing. I have several artistic outlets but I'm not making any money from them, despite trying. It's so disheartening.


I’m honestly feeling the exact same way. I’ve recently gotten a part time job, just to see if I could actually work a “real” job and it’s absolutely draining me. I’m sure it doesn’t help that it’s a retail job, but omg I can barely handle it. The people I work with are super nice, but I’ve been thinking about quitting and I’m not sure how to do that. I think I’ll have to stick to pet sitting if I ever figure out how to leave this job.


yeah same i feel like i’ll never be able to do anything and that sucks


I relate to this, you're not alone. I'm currently in university finishing my degree but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to use it. I wish I had a solution.. but here's a flower for you 🌻


Don't feel bad. It would be worse if you got stuck in a fulltime job and gated life


I feel this. I’m leaving my part time job that I’ve been at for a year to focus on art. I want to move out of my parents house but I’m scared that I won’t be able to function full time at a job. I’m actually really great at every job I’ve been at, I could easily work my way up through positions tbh. But I function off my social anxiety. I can mask well for a couple months and then it becomes a downward spiral leading to burnout. I have other aspirations and jobs get in the way because I can’t seem to balance work and mental health and personal goals. It really does suck to feel so drained even at just a part time job. I just blame it on capitalism and try to carry on lol


Having a part time job. Manager was an asshole. Having a mental breakdown and lose sleep. Quite it. Now I reflect and realize it was bullshit. The reason the manager hate me because I cannot do my job properly, he supposed to guide me but he doesn't know shit. This is how I learned that managers can be incompetent. The reason why I failed at my tasks, because I cannot grasp what is going on.


I can work pretty successfully, but I can’t go to school. I can’t organize myself or focus properly enough to pass anything. People say I “seem” smart but im dumb as fuck and I can’t stand it. It eats me up inside too


As as we fvwff D daffodils. C V