How do people with AS cope with isolation?

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lonelyguy
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08 Nov 2012, 4:24 pm

How do people with AS cope with isolation?
This is the worst part of having AS for me, as i live alone and find the isolation just kills me!
I have no friends..i do have family i see on a daily basis but it's not the same as having at least one friend you can talk to
going back and closing your door and being on your own is a terrible feeling..staring at four walls all the time..and feeeling everyone else has a life..and i am still waiting for mine to start.
It's difficult for me to go into social situations so hard to overcome...does anyone else feel that living alone with As and having problems with interaction is a nightmare? :(



riot_gun
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08 Nov 2012, 4:28 pm

Isolation doesn't really bother me, but then I do interact with people over the internet. That's enough for me.



btbnnyr
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08 Nov 2012, 4:34 pm

I enjoy isolation. I like being alone in my own room, doing my own thing.



Johnor
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08 Nov 2012, 4:36 pm

Sorry to read.

Luckily isolation has never bothered me. I could literally live in a log cabin, miles from civilization and be fine....as long as I had internet.



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08 Nov 2012, 4:39 pm

I have always been alone too - and I don't have much in the way of family either.

Being alone never bothered me very much, as it has always been that way for me, being an only child without much family around. I tend to be engrossed in the things I love and don't think about anything else very much. I have had close friends online too. If you have very specific interests you are passionate about, as most people with AS do, it's quite easy to make friends online - go to forums about your special interest and talk to people who are just as passionate about it as you are! In that situation the people there will love your knowledge and enthusiasm instead of being repelled by it as NT people tend to be. I had a lovely little online "family" of friends for many years because we were all obsessed by an obscure strategy game and talked about it all the time.

I grew out of that interest and have been working on other things, and I do find that I get lonely from time to time. I am currently trying to figure out the best way of finding someone who shares my interests but actually bringing them into my face-to-face life this time. I've been able to gather the friends before which just leaves the location issue, so I figure it must be possible! It's a work in progress, but I hope that I will be able to do it.



thewhitrbbit
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08 Nov 2012, 4:45 pm

It seems that 50% of people with AS enjoy isolation.

and 50% want to kill themselves over it.



Joe90
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08 Nov 2012, 4:56 pm

Isolation has always bothered me, ever since I was first diagnosed with AS. I never knew another Aspie through childhood, or any other non-NTs who struggled intellectually or socially, so I kind of felt alone. When I was little, before I was diagnosed, I went through a stage of worrying that I was ''the only one in the world who done a certain thing''. Like for example I once read a whole book when I was 6 (well, it was only about 7 pages long, and was a small child's book, but to me it was a big book at the time), and then I sat up in the night panicking and thinking, ''oh my God, am I the only one in the world who read a whole book all at once?'' Or another time when I found it was really, really messy underneath my bed, I started to panic thinking I was the only one in the world who had mess under my bed, so when I went round to cousins and friends, I looked under their beds to see if their's was messy too, and some did had a lot of mess, others didn't. Then I felt relieved.

As I got older (past 9), I began to realise that I wasn't ''the only one in the world'' who did these little things. But I began to feel isolated in other ways, more socially. I looked at the other kids in my class, and just spent half my time observing their behaviour, and wishing I could be one of them. Occasionally I got accepted and included, but it wore off quickly and I was back to being alone again. It wasn't too bad because I did have a lot of cousins that were around my age, so I had other children to play with at week-ends, and my cousins just accepted me and seemed to ignore some of my ''stroppy'' behaviour I sometimes had (or awkward behaviour). But again, they were all NTs too, so part of me did wish I could just be more like them, especially as I got older.

When I was a teenager I felt extremely isolated, because even some of my cousins grew apart, and I only had the younger ones left. I didn't have any friends at school, and each day was a struggle with who to hang around with at lunchtimes because I didn't want to be seen hanging about on my own. So glad them days are over.

Now I do have some descent friends who like to see me and like me for who I am, but I still feel isolated in other ways what I never felt before. All my cousins around me seem luckier than me and more confident. Things get handed to them on a plate (not literally, but I mean things like they get jobs handed to them through people they know), and if things do go wrong for them they always seem to land on their two feet again, whereas I've been turned down from countless jobs in the last 4 years I've been unemployed, and I feel I've just got to pick myself up, and when things go wrong I don't seem to land on my feet. My problems are unique and ongoing. That makes me feel very isolated indeed.


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Beetzart
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08 Nov 2012, 5:07 pm

I quite like time on my own. I can walk around the house and talk to myself and make loads of You Tube videos or print music out and categorise it; which is my obsession. I put it all on excel and blu-tac it to my walls. But I can feel lonely even with two young sons and a wife. They think I am a bit odd but have got used to my way of doing things. I never know what to think most of the time.


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08 Nov 2012, 5:23 pm

In order for it to stop being a nightmare, I had to re-frame my life, i.e. start looking at it in a different way, without humans as a possibility.

Nowadays my special interests / passions, interaction with neighbors and colleagues, the family I created with my rescue cats, occasional trips (my hobby), my life is rich and full, I hardly have a moment to breathe, let alone look at the 4 walls.

However, having no contact with family and no friends is hard in the sense that I'm alone for everything that life throws at me, and life throws a lot to us aspies. So for years I've had to take an anti-depressant to cope with the hardships.


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Trencher93
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08 Nov 2012, 5:30 pm

Interesting responses. I'm on the side of enjoying isolation. I don't cope with it at all.



redrobin62
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08 Nov 2012, 5:40 pm

I've been writing fiction so that keeps me pretty busy. At night I drink beer. It helps me to sleep, too.



madnak
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08 Nov 2012, 5:46 pm

Try writing, meditating, try a hobby, learn a musical instrument or foreign language, find an artistic outlet, keep a journal, get regular exercise, have a good diet, have a structure to your day-to-day life, and find ways to socialize wherever possible (clubs, meetups, classes, support groups, etc).

That seems to help most people. Personally I still struggle and deal with it in "unhealthy" ways. I'm sorry you're in pain and I hope it gets better.



itallmakessense
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08 Nov 2012, 5:52 pm

It's a double-edged sword isn't it?

I have found great comfort in going to church since I can better control the amount of social interaction I feel up to on any given Sunday. Usually a few hello's and how are you's before going in, and not much talking to others once inside.

I belong to a few support groups that have helped me tremendously. It's much easier for me to communicate with people who suffer from the same problems, and it's also very healing for me as well.

Having a hobby that I can talk with others about is also good, because we can all talk to great lengths about topics without any one feeling uneasy or bored.

The biggest help for me was having a dog in my life. That was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend having a dog, cat or pet to look after. Having a dog that loved me "As Is" was very healing, cut out much of the isolation, allowed me to interact with others on a limited basis when I felt like, and taught me to look for non-verbal cues when she wanted something.

I have also found friends through these avenues as well, and we may not be best friends and spend lots of time together, but for an Aspie, it allows me to dip my toes a little at a time into the social pool and learn some NT behavior. It's also helped my self esteem to be able to interact with people without feeling so weird, saying something odd, or giving long winded answers when someone asks how I am doing. It has taken me many years to learn this behavior and by no means have I turned into a social butterfly, I am just much less awkward interacting with people, and I can get small controlled doses of human interaction when I feel up to it.

The hardest step is the first one, but since you are craving some interaction, sett small goals that are attainable and build from there. Good Luck



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08 Nov 2012, 6:20 pm

Yes, I forgot to mention writing and internet forums too.


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echinopsis
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08 Nov 2012, 6:37 pm

my isolation is more or less self chosen. id say its a necessary result of the way i am. i like being alone, i can truly relax and be creative when im alone and im not distracted from the things i want to do. i like reading, im addicted to information, i love and work in science and i value a lot of things that i can only find within myself, like increasing my knowledge, meditation and different states of mind, listening to music, reading, writing, painting, thinking about stuff, improving myself. those are things that i enjoy and that are very important to me and that take up a lot of my time / that i have to be alone for. or at least i wouldnt know how or why to share them yet.

i dont see or talk to my parents and the few friends (one or or two people i know for a very long time and who im sometimes contacted by or contacting apart from pure necessity) i have very often, im mostly silent and unavailable for months. i get along well with my coworkers and people in general, but i never really feel a connection to them. liking people is my default option and i try to make them feel liked and be friendly in my behavior towards them, but there is always a certain distance between me and them and if someone tries to go that particular step further towards me they just hit a brick wall i guess. i simply dont have an interest in most people.

there are some, and they are very rare, that im truly fascinated by and who i would like to know better, but i would have no idea how to establish a relationship with them. basically the only thing that i am sometimes beginning to (i guess that is something age related, i never had such regrets when i was younger) struggle with about being isolated is the fact that i would very much like to have an actual connection to another person who is special and a true friend to me and who im able to love. i just dont know if it is unlikelier that such a person even exists or that i would manage to get there since it takes me years of getting to know someone to actually trust or be comfortable around them and to think of it as a relationship, let alone to know that i understand and love them.

also many people seem quite superficial to me in a way, not that im judging them, but im just not the kind of person who could form or cut a bond with someone so easily as many people seem to be able to. once i truly care for someone im very serious about that and willing to put whatever effort it takes in that relationship, but id rather be on my own for my entire life than spending my time with someone who doesnt really mean that much to me.



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08 Nov 2012, 7:25 pm

I'd much rather be alone than with other people, which drives my parents crazy. They're always after me to get out and socialize. :/