Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh MY (Obsessions, Anxiety and Fear)

Part of living (arguably a very large part) with both ACC and ASD is lifelong anxiety, fear and fixation/obsession.  I've recently had an enormous amount of change in my life, and I'm grateful to have had people that care, people that without who's help I would not have been able to move forward.  

But the moving forward for me is racked with anxiety, pain, fear, fixation on "what ifs" et al...

Those of us on the Spectrum have lifelong strained relationships with those we love and love us, and there really is no way around it.  From the outside people try hard to understand, but it really is not possible, as it's not possible for me to fully understand them either.

I recently moved out of where I was living for the past 6 years.  It was the first "home" that I'd lived in, in many, many years.  Not to mention, my best friend Troya, perhaps the only person I'd ever known who understood me completely lost her battle with ovarian cancer.  I doubt I'll ever find another person who will fully be able to "grock" me the way she did.

I am currently so torn up inside, I feel as though I have been passed through my paper shredder, then burned to ash, then trampled under foot.  While cognitive skills for the most part "work" for neuro-typical folks, there is no short circuiting these things with us, for the most part they have to play out.  The unfortunate thing is that those that love us get caught in the "crossfire" and can feel also hurt and tread upon, caught up in our anxieties, etc...  ACC and ASD folk, we are used to loosing loved ones and friends, perhaps not used to  it, but accepting of it, because it happens all our lives.  I'm just blessed to have a few folks in my life that try the damnedest to look beyond my weirdness and see my heart for who I am.

When someone with ACC begins to obsess on something, and we are told "don't obsess on "____", all
we hear is "obsess on ______."  If I had the ability to shut off the rat wheel in my head I would.  I'm even rather accomplished in meditation, I can "go where many have never gone before" etc...but when I get caught in these loops, they must play out, and my meditation must become allowing it and trying to control the damage it causes.  It rips me up inside, because I see it hurt those around me.

We also, in this state will tend to lash out and everyone and anyone, and it is not personal.  I can understand why people take it personal, believe me, I really can, but it is never personal.  In this state it feels like I've been put on the rack and I'm being pulled apart and I'm fighting for my life, but only I can see this.  

When I moved to my new place I had no phone nor music nor TV nor sound nor anything for a week, and that silence alone was literally amping my anxiety through the roof.  I'm still dealing with it, only now I have internet and telephone. 

As for the fear I go through, imagine the thought "I'm dying" (I mean yes, we all are, all the time, but,) and amplify this hundred fold.  Imagine, anxiety on a scale from 1-10, mine being a 25.  This is what I have to cope with at any given moment.  Someone telling me to just "bully up" and "take it like a man" only make this problem worse, because it drives it down my throat as guilt and shame of not being able to do so...

I'm sorry, I know this post is a bit more rambling than most of mine, but this is how I'm feeling today, just like this little rat in the picture above, and I have yet to get any rest.  I hope to produce some more productive material in the near future so please do check back soon. 

Thank you for listening...

Joseph

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