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As long as I "see a back door" I can cope with things that cause intense anxiety

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Suzanne, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I recognised this recently, that if I see I have no choice, I have go so far as to cancel and lie to get myself out of going or doing something that frightens me.

    As soon as I see that I have a choice, the knot of anxiety lessons and mostly, I have been able to cope.
     
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  2. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I also feel a lot less anxious if I have an 'escape route' - perhaps literally a back door - or a way out or a backup plan in case things go wrong, a plan B. It makes new or difficult situations easier to cope with if I have worked out all the details in advance. I don't like to cancel - I'm very stubborn and usually once I've made up my mind to do something, I usually stick with it, I make myself do it, but I have had situations where I was so anxious about something that I started to feel sick and had to cancel.
     
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  3. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I've found something similar. Sudden changes can really upset me, but if I consciously consider the change and accept it as if it was my decision, I deal much better with it.
     
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  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I can't stop imagining a back door and someone always making sure it's in sight! :eek: To the point where I'm not even sure what the thread is about! :confused:

    What is something that you'd have no choice, and how would you get out of something you can't get out of? :eek:

    *head explodes*
     
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  5. George Newman

    George Newman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Suzanne, would it be fair of me to think that when you say, “I have no choice”, you mean that the circumstances are such that any choice you might have available invokes a high level of anxiety? When faced with that anxiety your fight or flight is heavily leaning toward flight? If so, how do you feel post-flight?

    In addition, when you feel you have a choice what does that look like? Would you be comfortable relating an example?

    I experience anxiety quite often. I’m betting many with and probably without Autistic traits experience this. Your experience is speaking to most on this forum. Your clarification and examples may help your friends here to understand deeper your struggle and theirs as well.

    Thank you for your post.
     
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  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    So sorry to put you through that! o_O

    Anything, from going shopping, to going to see a therapist, to going out casually etc etc, if there is too much verbal pressure to go, I shut down. It has to be my choice where to go or not and that brings a bit of peace.
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow, so soft and endearing and gentle, the way you answered my post. Choice I guess meaning that I can stay home or go; it is my decision and one that I feel comfortable making, because I have found a way to not feel bad about staying home.

    As soon as the issue causing the intense anxiety is over, it is as though I was not anxious at all! Back to normality. This used to embarrass me, but now I just think: ahh, relief at last.
     
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  8. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Ohh, then I think maybe I'm the same way, if I understand it!

    Basically, for me, if I'm obligated to do something, it makes me anxious, especially if I have to do it at a certain time. Even if it's something I like and chose to do and continue choosing and want to do.

    If I can choose to do it or not do it at one time and do it at another or maybe not at all then I'm good.

    Is that similar to what you mean?
     
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  9. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    This is how I am about the freedom to choose what, when or where I want to do something.
    I might still be anxious even if it is something I want to do, but, at least it is my choice and if I
    need to escape the situation I don't have to try and hide how I feel or endure doing something like
    going somewhere just because I feel obligated and know I will need to mask anxiety no matter how
    miserable so they won't see it.
    I have had to go to the restroom and have a mini panic attack, cry or give self talk that I can get through
    this trip or whatever, then go back out to the person I am with and put on the happy face.

    If I make the choice to participate or do something then the anxiety is less because I don't feel
    pressured.
     
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  10. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I once body swerved a Christmas lunch invite to the in-laws many years ago now.

    Mr Gracey took the children anyway and it caused a bit of a ruckus.

    I saw no ‘escape plan’ trapped in the stix and on ceremony with many traditions and heaps of etiquette to remember, and watch the p’s & q’s of three children.

    Way back then I didn’t know why on that particular day I couldn’t cope with it.

    I chose not to go.
    The ‘fall out’ was spectacular.

    I had a lovely quiet day walking my dog and taking it easy though.
    (It was totally worth the myther)

    I believed that Christmas Day had no escape routes. I’d have been stuck. Trapped. (Should I have gone)

    For the past four or so years, I have focused on how to exit somewhere quickly (physically) shops, cafes, restaurants, GP practice, dentist bus, train and so on.

    More recently I’ve discovered lying :)
    Plausible excuses with an element of truth to them but not strictly black and white truth.
    I can show my face and then leave early.
    (Takes so much pressure off)
     
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  11. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    :)
     
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  12. George Newman

    George Newman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you. I understand completely and share this challenge with you. You were very nice to share more. I appreciate your willingness to do so.
     
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