Autistic Confessions – Email Anxiety

To my beloved readers, I feel I must confess something that a few of you may have noticed – I have email anxiety and I haven’t checked my email in weeks.

With work emails it is almost easier because I have to answer them or there will be a consequence but sometimes I open my personal in-box, see more than 2 or 3 emails and immediately close the browser because “I just can’t.”

It seems like a huge task, one that requires focus.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed just trying to figure out where to start that I cant. Then I have guilt. Guilt for not responding to my readers and friends in a timely fashion. In addition to the guilt there is the nagging that something in one of those emails might be important.

After a few hours, or a day or two, the shock wears off and I log back in to read an email or two (no guarantee if I will respond unless something is urgent). Most of the time I will shoot back a quick response if I open a short email but sometimes a long email will send me back to the little gray “X” on the top right of my screen.

At that time the entire cycle starts over. Some days I may only respond to one email – or none at all. It’s like I’m waiting for the perfect circumstances to arise so I can read and respond to email – but very rarely does my mind cooperate.

The worst part is I realize it would be better if I just forced myself to get them out of the way – so I can stop obsessing over my unread emails. Maybe I should go check my email.


#ActuallyAutistic #SheCantBeAutistic #InvisibleAutism #OCD



24 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – Email Anxiety”

  1. That is so totally me with email, too! I get overwhelmed just looking at it that I just move to something less threatening. As a semi-confirmed almost 55-year-old with Asperger’s, your blog is a breath of fresh air for all I have not understood, even repressed, in myself over the years before I understood why I was different and fully embraced it. Thank you for blogging and encouraging many other silent autistics…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, a hug for you! 🙂 Some email recipients need or deserve labourius answers. Answers, that fill up the brain and eat your energy.

    I immediately thought of my 2 anxieties. Gardening and cleaning. Seeing a weed. Seeing the dust build-up. What to focus on, how and when.
    Like you say. “I just can’t”. So I turn on the PC and mumble, “that the world is propbably not ending”. The PC might choke in dust one day though.

    But sudddenly and miraculously I can break through and are on a roll, and I get the cleaning done?! But how I get on that “roll” is, frustratingly, a secret to me.

    I have handed over the garden to professionels this year, feeling very fortunate that I can afford that!

    Hugs from Claus

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really need help with house chores and the yard, however most of us Aspies don’t make the money for that. The house being dirty gives me SO much anxiety. At the end of a work day I can barely do anything sometimes so the daily cleaning that probably should happen does not. THEN the next day things are worse and I am more anxious. Sometimes it makes me depressed. All of the sudden BOOOM I can not take it any longer and I binge clean until I am physically and mentally spent. Every single time. Sigh.


  3. I’ve always been a fan of Scarlet O’Hara’s line “I can’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow” 😏 it’s not very productive and things do pile up but I get around to it…Eventually😃
    Do what you can and forgive yourself the rest. Those who care will understand!!🌺🌴🌻

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m not popular so I don’t have to worry about email. I rub people the wrong way when I speak, plus, I’m a guy. Here is a trick that helped me with emails from friends; the two or three I have/had….have. ? ?
    Ok, when reading, understand that you are reading a story. They don’t know they wrote you one, but they did. Read it line-for-line. When something strikes your fancy, write down what that fancy is and move on until another line strikes your fancy and repeat. Enjoy the story laced interrogatively, or declarative yet positive. At the end of the story, you may have replied more than you believed you would.
    Just write how you feel. Be honest. “I read everything but can’t find any words to say about it. I enjoyed reading it, but don’t know what to comment on. I thank you for your time and energy and it’s not wasted.”
    Something to that effect, I guess. I hope you enjoyed my story as well as other stories in your comment section. They are all simply emails sent to you on wordpress. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Understandable. I don’t get a lot of personal e-mails, but, I have my areas that quickly overwhelm me-filing business receipts ( they are numerous here) , housework and, like Claus up there, gardening. I have given myself permission the last couple of years to not try to go full scale with growing things. The others I am slowly adopting systems and routines to help me take it a little bit at a time, but, in doing so, allowing for those days when I just can’t even handle the little bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m almost sorry to comment; you shouldn’t have to stress out about responding to anything I have to say here! 🙂

    I just think it’s kind of funny that for me, either I respond to texts and emails either right away, or else never. It’s a source of frustration to my wife that my family now contacts her when they want to get through to me! It’s almost enough to make you nostalgic for when we didn’t have all these avenues of communication to keep up with.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Anne,

    Thanks for sharing your story today. Yes, I agree that things can pile up and get overwhelming. I have been there, too. I think it is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. I start with my promotional stuff, then social, then prime email on Google. I like how they organize things and it is easy to do things in layers. The good thing is getting a chunk done at a time, one victory at a time.

    Keep chucking away,


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Anne,

    Sometimes it is the daily things that become a monster. On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 1:43 AM Anonymously Autistic wrote:

    > anonymouslyautistic posted: “To my beloved readers, I feel I must confess > something that a few of you may have noticed – I have email anxiety and I > haven’t checked my email in weeks. With work emails it is almost easier > because I have to answer them or there will be a consequence bu” >

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I get this. I go through periods where I can’t check my email or mail because I’m too afraid of what might be in it (not necessarily a specific thing, just that sense of being invaded by outside information, demands, etc). The longer I don’t check, the worse the anxiety becomes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Me too! If I look on my phone I feel like it would be easier to deal with on the large screen and keyboard of my laptop… then I procrastinate about turning on the laptop! Love your blog, you’re writing hits home. Keep it up xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing and I agree. As of late, I have only read emails that I need to read, work, Toastmasters, and a select few from here.

    My anxiety levels have risen since moving away from my husband and the grounding tools I use don’t always work when I’m stressed. This is why most have not heard from me.

    Liked by 1 person

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