1. My anxiety is real: I may be high functioning and may look like I’m okay but I’m like a duck in water the exterior may look alright but underneath/inside I’m frantic. I get anxious over the smallest things like finding out that there is another person coming on a night out. It confuses me. I prepare in my head and then just like that it sends my mind into overdrive. I get a sick feeling, my head feels compressed, my breathing becomes shallower and my heart starts to beat faster. If people just say there’s nothing to worry about it doesn’t help, it just makes me feel stupid. Solution: allow the person to feel that and validate that the way they’re feeling is okay. Then move on and change the conversation or give them some time to themselves.
2. Sometimes I don’t want to talk: talking requires a lot of effort. Your brain has to formulate what your going to say and then your mouth has to get the message of what to say. We are the only species that communicates this complex. We have tons of words, a lot with different meanings and yet there are still times where people say ‘I cannot put it into words’. So sometimes my brain cannot cope with speaking it takes too much processing energy. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong or that I’m thick I just don’t always need to say something. Doesn’t mean that I don’t want to speak. I just can’t. Solution: don’t force it. Just allow for that time and don’t keep asking if I’m alright.
3. Saying I would never have guessed = not helpful: if I tell people I’m autistic and they say but I would never have guessed or really? I don’t always see it as a positive. I mean I get it it’s like they’re saying you do so well. However, it’s almost like I have to prove myself because when things do bother me they’re like but you cope so well. It can be frustrating. It’s almost like I’m not autistic enough to be autistic, after spending years not understanding myself and then getting some closure it’s like putting me back a step. Solution: just accept it and no need to make it a big deal it’s one aspect about me.
4. I can be social I just find it hard: I don’t go out a lot because I like my space and after work and being constantly around people I like my evenings and weekends. This does not mean I don’t like hanging out, just not all the time. With people I like I do enjoy being with people and socialising, though I do struggle. It’s not an easy thing to do. Constantly reading those faces, processing the words said, responding to what’s been said, managing the noise around me. Solution: Sometimes I need a timeout and will just stare into space and let my mind relax. I’ll re- engage when I’m ready.
5. I’m not stupid but I may need clarification: I think I’m quite bright. I don’t have a lot of general knowledge, like what’s the capital of Switzerland. Though I’m smart in problem solving and using common sense. Sometimes however I won’t remember what you’ve said you might need to say things again or write them down. It’s harder for me to process information and also assume things that other might. Doesn’t mean I’m stupid it’s just my brain does not work as fast. Solution take it slow and don’t make me feel bad for needing clarification what may seem simple to you and easy I may not get. Explain clearly what needs to be done and I’ll do my best.
After an argument yesterday I said I wish you understood so that’s how this list came about. Sometimes you feel like you’re not understood and need to get it off your chest.
Thanks for reading. Hope you like it. Peace out.