AUTISTIC NICK’S OVERWHELMING FRIDAY
I hate feeling overwhelmed and helpless with a situation that is unfolding around me.
I forget all of my strategies for dealing with being in that overwhelming moment as I allow the overwhelmingness to engulf me and swallow me up inside.
The intensity of it all crashes over me like angry waves from the sea (if that makes any sense?) and in that moment I’m alone and unsure of what to do.
It all started on Friday, I walked into work unprepared for what the day had in store for me.
My first hurdle was that the person who I am working on my current story with was sick and I didn’t know who would be available to help me.
I was eventually assigned someone and so I began to tell them the story of the person who is appearing in my latest article, I turned around to seek them out to ask them a question only to find that they’d left the office to do a piece to camera for that nights 7pm news bulletin.
A third player is now assigned to me and yet again I find myself repeating the whole story to them.
We did get further than I did with person one as they helped me to edit what I had written.
By this point was still waiting on some answers from other people who were contributing to my article.
Let’s deal with Anxiety which can happen for a range of reasons and Autistic people can vary in their ability to cope with it.
Understanding your emotions can be difficult which is what I was having difficulty with.
But by getting help from someone so that you can understand your anxiety, you can then be in a position to manage it better.
It should be noted that anxiety doesn’t just affect the mind, but it can also directly affect the body as well.
The psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety are closely linked, and this can lead to a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.
By contrast some of the physical symptoms can include but are not limited to, excessive thirst, stomach upsets, loose bowel movements, frequent urinating (going to the loo), periods of intensely pounding heart, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, pins and needles and tremors.
By lunchtime my brain is beginning to freeze, my mind’s gone blank. I simply cannot think and so I get up, grab my staff pass, I want to go outside for 5 minutes but for some reason and I don’t know what or why that was, but I STAY where I am.
Am I enjoying this?
Do I like the helpless feeling that I’m currently experiencing?
I have no answers.
Maybe I just told myself that I needed to be in control of a situation that I had no control over?
These situations happen, and no one is at fault here, but I am not aware of how else to express my emotions and feelings when it comes to being in this situation where I feel like this.
I needed to breath.
I could feel a panic attack coming on.
I could feel my inner voices saying this isn’t good.
I could feel the sweat coming.
I needed the fresh air to calm me down.
I played with my staff pass, by extending the lead from the plastic pass and stretching it out and allowing it to come back and hit the pass.
I walked, around the corner a few times.
I kept telling myself that everything was going to be ok.
That I was safe, I had a grip on this, I was in control here and that I knew what to do.
I knew where my support system was and that I could ring them if I needed to.
I briefly remembered my panic attack strategy, which is the following, I repeat five things over and over again inside my head, which distracts my brain from thinking about the oncoming panic attack and diverts it to thinking about these 5 things that I’m thinking about.
I knew what was triggering all of this and my end goal was to not think about it and not stress myself out.
I did manage to complete my tasks, work through my day and head home.
Once home, after a shower I put on my pj’s, and I took some headache pills and had a much needed nap wearing my noise cancelling headphones.
If you find that you may need to see a psychologist, you can search for one here https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist
Or you can see a physiatrist here https://www.yourhealthinmind.org/find-a-psychiatrist
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.