HOW AUTISTIC NICK DEALS WITH A PROBLEM
I don’t deal with problems very well.
If I am presented with one, I’ll attempt however badly to try and resolve it by myself before I go seeking help.
It’s always been that way.
Sometimes I’m successful other times I am not.
Clearly it depends on the problem/issue.
If it’s a small thing, then I can generally deal with it and move along with my day.
If it’s a medium issue, then maybe I’ll seek out some advice from someone.
But, if it’s a BIG issue then and I’ve tried steps one and two as above then I’ll go seek some help from someone in my household or a friend or my occupational therapist.
Here’s how it works for me.
A problem has presented itself to me and I may be at home working from home, I could be out with a support worker.
I have to make a split-second decision as to how I am going to respond.
I am also afraid that I’ll forgot all my tools that I can usually rely on to help me will fall to the wayside and I’ll have to go into it alone and then afterwards yell fuck why didn’t I use that tool or strategy?
It’s like being in the UN and all the translators are scrambling to convey that message in that country’s language.
In my head playing out in real time are a montage of the situation all having different outcomes.
I have to decide which of those responses and outcomes I think best suit this situation.
It’s almost like I am against time, and I only have 30 seconds to reply.
My UN translator is asking me continuous questions.
How angry are you?
Do you want to use swear words and yell back at them?
Is that appropriate here?
Are you going to cry?
Are you going to have a meltdown?
Or a shutdown?
Are you looking for an exit?
Where would you head to?
Are you just going to make a run for it and hope that the person you’re with/someone in the office realises and heads out to see how you are/follow you?
Will you remain calm and attempt to speak with them?
Is it serious enough for you to ring your mum/speak with your boss?
Can you go somewhere to calm down?
Are you going to need to go home?
Can you explain it calmy to that person that they’ve upset you?
Can you go home?
Who is there to help you?
And the list of questions goes around and around and on and on.
I can sometimes just step outside and take a deep breath and go for a walk and work through whatever it is that’s bothering me.
Sometimes I’ll need a sensory time out.
Other times I’ll just directly confront that person and deal with it there and then as I don’t like things like drama/problems to drag.
Other times I’ll let the questions and the replay of the situation play repeatedly in my head, in my dreams it continues, during the day it’s all I can think about.
Even after whatever’s happened sometimes it can take a week or so for me to fully process it all, analyse it and then allow it to leave my thoughts and my head completely.
My processing procedure is to over process everything. I can’t just allow things to end once the issue has been dealt with for some reason, I have to torture myself with it.
An unenjoyable process you’ll agree.
But one I put myself through.
Maybe my Autistic Brain just has to go through this procedure in order to come to terms with what’s happened?
I think I’ve always been that person who feels that I could just deal with things and not necessarily mention it to anyone as if I can just go through life thinking that I am capable of dealing with every situation that presents itself to me.
Whereas the reality is that it’s ok to reach out for help, ask someone a friend maybe for advice and not allow the stress and the pressure of dealing with things to worsen and get to me, because that’s a vicious circle.
Because stress, becomes anxiety, which becomes a panic attack and that is something that I am not a fan off.
I am working on being better at working through issues/problems with myself, my family or my occupational therapist.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
How do you cope when faced with a problem/issue how do you deal with it?
Let me know in the comments section below
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.