Tag Archives: anxiety

Autism: Anxiety

A careless, piece of shit, unconcerned doctor once told me that there is no way I have any form of autism or any related disorders because I can speak and I don’t “flap my hands”. Instead, I was pressured to continue councilling for help with my social anxiety, which was pointed out had “nothing to do with autism”.

Now, I can throw out a number of quotes and findings by accredited doctors and researchers, putting this sorry excuse for a doctor to shame. But the main point of such “proof” would simply be that autism is a spectrum disorder, and anxiety is a largely recognized partner.

One of my biggest problems in dealing with autism is my anxiety. In certain situations, on bad days, anxiety makes my breath short, my pulse skyrocket, and when I break, total meltdown.

Anxiety can hit me at any moment, and last for a few hours, a day, a week. Usually my anxiety is triggered by something such as a group of people or an upcoming due date. Sometimes, there is absolutely no fucking reason for me to be anxious about anything.

When I do get my healthy dose of anxiety, the following happens:

》First instinct: seek solitude. Now. Now!
》Pray to remain alone. Usually, my prayers go ignored.
》Upon being confronted, anxiety is refreshed and at maximum power. Do/say anything to reach solitude again.
》Upon reaching solitude again, hate myself for being such a pussy.
》Convince myself to get over it and act normal.
》When I launch myself back into the general population, out from under my rock, I usually find that I can’t control my anxiety, and I usually can’t hide it. At this point, it will take one false move, a single hint of negative energy to launch me off the edge of a very steep cliff.
》Red alert! Bad interaction! Sometimes I’ll be able to find a dark corner to let loose in. Sometimes I just don’t give a fuck who’s watching. Whatever the case, I break down in a shit storm of hysterical tears, hyperventilating, shaking, and even hitting or scratching myself. After ten to twenty minutes of that bullshit, I find myself exhausted. Too tired to be so anxious anymore, but still on high alert for near future meltdowns. At this point, I want more than anything to just go away, hoping everyone I ever knew forgot my existence so I can just hate my pansy-ass in peace.

Anxiety keeps me from doing and handling a lot of things. I wonder how much I could have accomplished if I didn’t hyperventilate every time I was in a group of two or more people. I hate myself for being this way. And with only regression to show for progress, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is truly no chance for me to “get better”. I am this way and I better learn to fucking live with it.

The only thing I could hope for at this point is that the people around me would understand. Not necessarily treat me differently, and certainly not pity the flaws and complications I’ve been situated with. But for fuck’s sake, do you know how hard it is for me to go to the grocery store, the bank, or even a drive alone?

I used to think my anxiety could be filed down or “fixed”. I never expected it to be nothing, but maybe miniscule in comparison to what it is now. I used to think that if I forced myself into anxiety-induced situations, that I could desensitize myself into something almost like a neurological. I used to think it kind of worked like desensitizing a horse to a carrot stick, a tarp, or a plastic bag. Once he figures out that it’s not going to hurt him, he won’t give a shit about no damn grocery bag.

But after many everyday experiments, after so many failed attempts, I still have no successes of which to share. My only “success” in apprehensive situations is that I’m able to get away in time for a meltdown, or, on a good day, that I can talk myself out of a meltdown, keeping it at bay as long as I can avoid human contact for the next 24 hours.

My anxiety has been long lived and is quite depressing when I think about it, but I am learning to live with it. I don’t ever plan on being successful in social situations, largely because my anxiety makes it too scary to think about.

But I don’t give a fuck! A small part  of me still believes my desensitization theory is true, but as of today, I have abandoned all hope. Most of my hope.

I’m not really sure what to do about my anxiety. I think the right thing to do is to seek help. But I’m far too anxious to do that alone. Which is a hell of a bind.

All I can do now is advise:
》Have anxiety? Get help! Don’t know how? Me neither!
》Know someone with anxiety? For fuck’s sake, be gentle. Not pitying. Gentle.
》Anxiety is common in adults with autism. We are not freaks. We are not diseased. We are different. And quite selfishly, it is very difficult for us to learn how to behave as a neurotypical. I feel like NTs should understand us. Give us a fucking break, please. Patience.

In all seriousness, anxiety and autism are very serious. I’ve done my best to paint a general picture. I honestly don’t know how to handle it, whether having it or knowing someone with it. Please feel free to share your experiences and advise in the comments section.

Thank you for supporting autism. Also, horses are great. If you don’t have one, you should get one. Fuck that, get one even if you have one. Horses need friends too. Don’t buy from breeders, though, they’re bastards. Adopt from your local horse rescue. Those horses are saved from everything, from slaughter to abandonment. Adopt, don’t shop! =)

Procrastination & Autism

Sometimes, I feel about as reliable as a rubber band. That makes no sense. The point is, I can be severely unreliable at times and I hate myself for it. Procrastination is considered by some to be a symptom of Autism. I totally agree with this. Autism is certainly not to blame. Hell, I’m to blame for not getting my shit done. But sometimes I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve found that the more I have to do, the less gets done. I have a full workload, some of which I wonder about. Will it ever get done, or should I just forget about it? If I would just apply myself and catch up, I would have a shit ton of free time. I wish it were this easy.

I love helping with the horse rescue. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, right next to Eminem and pickles. I love cleaning shit out of stalls and paddocks because I can plug my headphones in my ears and know nothing outside of Eminem and my ponies. I love feeding the horses, cleaning the barn, whatever. But I can’t bring myself to ride my main man Nike. I tell people because I’m waiting for his toe to grow out because he pawed it off when he was sick, but who the fuck believes that? There’s nothing wrong with him. Of course he can ride. I don’t ride Nike like I should because I want to get to know him all over again. I want to learn him and feel him, but I haven’t found a time where we have the privacy of an empty riding arena to ourselves. I want to get to know Nike, not fall victim to the lame criticisms and know-it-all judgement of possible onlookers. I’m afraid of the conflict these situations erupt in my brain, when all I want to do is enjoy Nike.

I do other work for the horse rescue besides clean shit. I help with online and computer work. I write, plan, format. This work I rather enjoy. I’m great with the computer, I can listen to all the Eminem I want without the fear of being interrupted, and I can do it all pants-less if I wanted. So why in the fuck do I continue to put it off? I get angry with myself, just get it done, I try to convince myself. But it’s not that simple.

It took me a while to figure it out, but as it turns out, it’s similar to why I won’t ride Nike. I won’t do the computer work because I’m afraid. Not afraid of interruptions and on-the-spot criticism, but I’m afraid that if I do the computer work that has been expected of me, I might just be noticed by others. This is the stupidest fucking shit I’ve ever heard of. When I figured this out, I asked myself, Really? Fucking really? Is that some sort of lame excuse? No. Sadly. It’s not.

I’m afraid that if I redesign a web page, send out the newsletter, write an email, that it might be seen by people. Yeah? That’s the whole point! I’m still afraid. I did the same shit at a show the other day. I somehow landed the gig of replacement DJ. I have no idea how to be a DJ. So I let Pandora Internet Radio play background music. When it was time to play specific songs for the acts, I would wait, hiding behind the speaker, hoping no one would notice me. Upon reflection, no one would’ve noticed me if I had just started the music when the next act entered the arena. Instead, I waited until they started shouting to turn it on. That got this shitty DJ a few thrown glances. The very thing I was trying to avoid, I totally slipped and fell in.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I still don’t quite understand the procrastination, but it is apparently considered a symptom of Autism, and that kind of makes me feel better about myself. I don’t take it as an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, I hate putting shit off to holy hell and back. I hate being that asshole that promises shit will get done and nothing gets done. I want so much to change it. I’ve tried threatening myself, planning detailed schedules, bribing myself, etc. But I’ve found that I even procrastinate making schedules and rewarding myself with these bribes. For instance, I’ll promise myself a reward of Dennys if I finish my work for the day. But I won’t go because I’m too afraid to go alone.

And get this shit: anxiety. Anxiety is the real crook here. If I wasn’t such a pussy about people:

  • Oh, there’s people at Walmart. Fuck that, I’ll go at 2 or 3am. 
  • Gotta get my oil changed. Eh, fuck that, there’s probably people there.
  • I HAVE TO PISS BUT THESE PEOPLE WON’T LEAVE. 

then I would probably have more accomplishments in my life. Today, my greatest accomplishment has been following most of my schedule rather than blowing it off like I usually do. My greatest failure today was blowing off part of my schedule like I usually do. I’m glad I’m doing the computer work that I need to be doing, but I’m pissed that I blew off riding Nike. AGAIN.

But, I guess like always, I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe I should try blowing off my anxiety rather than my schedule. After all, my anxiety has been nothing but a cruel bastard. Only good things can come out of getting my shit done. Right?