A photo of a golden retriever sitting on a field of green grass.

Making a strategy to battle burnout.

So I realised I was dealing with burnout, took a week off work, had a few frustrated cries and wrote out my feelings. I still feel incredibly tired and I’m really dreading climbing that mountain, and I’m scared because I don’t know how long it’s going to take or if I’m going to get back to my previous 100%, but I wanted to at least make a bit of a plan.

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A photo of a large snow-capped mountain.

Burnout.

For the past few months I’ve been dealing with burnout.

It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it’s the first time it’s happened where I know what’s happening. Previous instances have led to me losing my job, retreating from any social relationships I’ve had, and basically just ‘existing’ until months later when I finally have the energy to roll up my sleeves and fix the damage I’ve caused.

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Cover art from the 21st issue of Dragon+. Features a group of adventurers joyfully spending time together on a dock.

Slaying dragons on the spectrum.

I freaking love playing Dungeons & Dragons. The first game I played in was about four years ago at a friend’s house, and while that only lasted for a few sessions, it definitely ignited a fiery passion that continues to this day. Being able to roleplay a strong, powerful adventurer and explore fantasy worlds really harks back to my childhood where I’d spend hours getting lost in fantasy novels by authors like Tamora Pierce and Eva Ibbotson. Essentially you get to collaborate with your friends to create your own story – like a living Choose Your Own Adventure book!

I’ve played in a variety of groups and circumstances, and currently play regularly in two games. One campaign has been going fortnightly for a couple of years, while the other campaign runs when we can and I’ve been a part of for around a year.

While there are parts of Dungeons & Dragons I struggle with (for example, improv still gives me a serious case of the sweaty palms and I can freeze up from time to time), I’ve definitely reached a point where I feel way more confident. It’s also involved trial and error finding out what works for me as an autistic player as well.

So, in the interest of sharing the D&D love, I thought I’d put together a post outlining what’s worked to improve my experience of slaying dragons on the spectrum.

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