Autistic Confessions – Secret Anxiety

Do you know what it’s like to secretly suffer with anxiety because everyone around you expects you to be strong? I do.

You ask me if I am alright, and I nod and smile.

I keep it to myself, because bringing your attention to my anxiety only makes things worse. I need calmness to overcome the bubbling spiral within me. People worrying over me amplifies everything, preventing me from calming my senses.

Yes, I know it is completely illogical – that does not mean I can just make it stop.

 

Anxiety doesn’t have an off switch. I can shut it down but the decent is gradual and calculated. Nobody can help me, and I am better off on my own – me and my secret anxiety.

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37 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – Secret Anxiety”

  1. I understand what it is like to suffer from anxiety…. and I hate it. For me when I need to overcome it – rather than avoiding what triggers my anxiety i go into the thing that triggers my anxiety head on and conquer it. Often i have to do it over and over… but gradually the anxiety diminishes……

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  2. I also have an anxiety disorder. The SPD and anxiety totally feed each other. I try to always have an “exit plan” if things get overwhelming. I also use sunglasses and ear plugs in public. It helps reduce some of the problems.

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  3. All I do to show my concern and care when people are anxious is remain calm and show them consistency and compassion. My son responds to this well.

    Checking anxieties gives you one more thing to worry about. Calmness gives you fewer things, and leads to you being calmer as well.

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  4. Anna, I’m not sure if you have one but I find that I couldn’t make it without my spiritual path. So although I enjoy solitude, for me that’s not enough to really overcome negatives. Everyone is different, however… One guy I was talking to simply said, “I pray at home.”

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      1. That’s great. I often wish that meditation/contemplation worked for me. It does to a point. But I also have to go to Mass periodically. I don’t really like it – didn’t grow up Catholic nor a churchgoer – but that’s just the way it is for me. Funny how we’re all different! 🙂

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          1. Yeah I remember reading that in your blog. So amazing that you’ve taken the initiative. As for me, I should clarify… I like the spiritual side of Catholicism but not always the political… 🙂 I went this morning early, on the spur of the moment. And was happy for the walk, the experience. Mid-week masses are not crowded. I usually prefer them to Sunday masses, which runs counter to the mainstream Catholic ethos…

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  5. This really resonates with me. I get so easily overwhelmed by sounds/movement/crowds etc that it can make it excruciatingly challenging to be in busy places.

    Thankfully a supportive SO and headphones with sunglasses help

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  6. I’m usually fine on the anxiety front as long as I’m at home where I have control over my environment; for me it’s primarily triggered by unfamiliar places or situations, too much noise or being around too many people.
    The more relaxed I am the bigger the crowd I can deal with, but if I’m really bad, even 2 people that I know well and like can be too much.
    The worst it gets (thankfully not often) is a feeling of claustrophobia and a tightness in my chest like I can’t breathe and I feel as though I’m going to pass out or something.
    Anxiety is what I’m officially signed off for by the doctor, I’m out of work but can’t look for work because my anxiety issues mean there’s a reasonable chance I’ll have panic attacks if I have to deal with that stuff.
    A nightmare that would be worse if I wasn’t a writer.

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    1. “I’m at home where I have control over my environment; for me it’s primarily triggered by unfamiliar places or situations, too much noise or being around too many people.” – me too but I want to GO places and see things. It sucks that other than going to work I have no energy for life. I can’t work full time and have energy to do other things. It frustrating. I love writing though.

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  7. I know what you mean, there’s things I’d like to do, not even major things, but if I don’t have someone I’m comfortable with to join me it’s really difficult for me to go out there and do it.
    The bravest thing I ever did was go to Egypt on my own, but that was years ago, and I’m not sure I could manage it again right now, even if I had the money.

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          1. I can picture the get in and run out impulse because that’s what I have when I’m shopping, some people want to wander up and down the aisles to see what’s there, I want to go there with a shopping list, get what’s on it and be back out in about five minutes and heading home.

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  8. I have anxiety and I have sensory processing issues. I have been able to better manage sound since learning the violin. I only started playing a few years ago and before that I couldn’t even listen to music. I found it annoying. Flashing lights I find quite difficult. There are things that can be done to relieve SPD but probably best started when young but I have improved.
    I do get anxious about things and feeling overwhelmed. Writing lists helps but I often forget to write the list. Sometimes, the anxiety gains a life of it’s own and I try to watch my breathing to contain it somewhat. I might not be able to stop the anxiety altogether but if I can reduce it and knock it done a few pegs, that can be enough.
    BUT…I also engaged in food and op shop therapy so I haven’t mastered the beast yet!
    All the best!
    xx Rowena

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      1. I think it’s important to pool our resources together and share what we know. There’s so much variation and yet also common ground. My son’s OT really gave me a great understanding and that made the world of difference.

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  9. I struggle with this almost daily. I seem to be in this terrible balancing act of wanting to reach out for help when I’m anxious, but then also becoming even more anxious when I do so. Plus it’s just hard to be vulnerable and let down the facade of being ok. Thanks for being so honest!

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