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ediself
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31 Dec 2011, 12:58 pm

Something strange happened to me this afternoon. I could feel a huge buildup and I knew where this was going: meltdown . Children were screaming, husband was getting on my nerves (by doing the dishes to avoid getting to the shops, he was adamant I should go to the shops myself BECAUSE I wasn't in any state to go, he said "you're never going to get better if you don't make an effort and push yourself".....yes, sure.)
Anyway, I curled up on the sofa and started withdrawing , voluntarily. I put myself in the same "zone" I had as a kid, the one where you just put your forehead on your arms and forget about the world. At one point my husband came to cuddle me a bit, asking what was wrong, and although I thought I was still verbal, I realised I wasn't completely. I could answer by "huh-huh" in a "yes" and "no" tone, nothing else.
Then I started tuning in again, I knew I could now move and speak but I just relaxed a bit more and tried to reenter the zone, husband asked me a question and I answered in a nonsensical way, something like "wait , I'm trying to see if I can recover" , he asked questions about THAT answer, but I didn't reply.
I am sure I wasn't in shutdown anymore, something in me was telling me "the shops are closing in 30 minutes, he's never gonna go, I have to get up"
I wasn't recovered. But I did get up and go shopping.
I'm not sure what happened there.
Did I voluntarily shutdown to avoid a meltdown at the shops? I took a conscious decision to go curl up on the couch before I had to leave the house. It might be a sort of damage control thing. Also, the "getting up without being fully better" is a weird feeling. A bit like having half the hours of sleep you intended to have and still being able to function. Plus, getting up in the middle of a shut down to do the thing that put you in this meltdown in the first place, I mean... Can I just "decide" my way in and out of shutdowns, or did I go into "accelerated shutdown mode" because of the short time I had?
First time ever. Super strange. Has anyoone ever experienced this? if so, do you know how it works? Like a micro-nap or something? I'm confused :?



jamieevren1210
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31 Dec 2011, 1:40 pm

Yes. Once at PE I simply had too much of socializing and felt myself starting to float away and get cold tingly hands, but there was a social studies test next period and I simply picked up a book and sat through the whole thing.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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31 Dec 2011, 5:42 pm

Quote:
Also, the "getting up without being fully better" is a weird feeling. A bit like having half the hours of sleep you intended to have and still being able to function.
Plus, getting up in the middle of a shut down to do the thing that put you in this meltdown in the first place, I mean... Can I just "decide" my way in and out of shutdowns, or did I go into "accelerated shutdown mode" because of the short time I had?

There were several years where I pushed myself out of shutdowns whenever I felt one coming on. It must've been hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. I found, though, that there was a cost that was building up from doing that too much. Eventually, I had a 'burnout' which manifested as cognitive problems and long-term exhaustion (and more susceptibility to overload, it seems).

So, I think you can sort of 'decide' your way out, sort of. I think it's like sleep deprivation -- you can force yourself to function on less, but if you do it too much and too often it'll start causing problems.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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31 Dec 2011, 5:42 pm

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Also, the "getting up without being fully better" is a weird feeling. A bit like having half the hours of sleep you intended to have and still being able to function.
Plus, getting up in the middle of a shut down to do the thing that put you in this meltdown in the first place, I mean... Can I just "decide" my way in and out of shutdowns, or did I go into "accelerated shutdown mode" because of the short time I had?

There were several years where I pushed myself out of shutdowns whenever I felt one coming on. It must've been hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. I found, though, that there was a cost that was building up from doing that too much. Eventually, I had a 'burnout' which manifested as cognitive problems and long-term exhaustion (and more susceptibility to overload, it seems).

So, I think you can sort of 'decide' your way out, sort of. I think it's like sleep deprivation -- you can force yourself to function on less, but if you do it too much and too often it'll start causing problems.



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31 Dec 2011, 5:52 pm

I am experiencing a long version of this. All the partying plans and social gatherings for new years have my nerves really bad right now. I am trying my best not to get annoyed. When people start coming near me I feel really on edge and am very snappy. And then when I go to be by myself people start thinking I have a problem or am depressed, which makes me worse.



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31 Dec 2011, 5:56 pm

I don't think you can make yourself go into a shutdown but you know it's about to happen so you can delay it until you are somewhere safe.

Sometimes it's negative thoughts alone that can trigger a shutdown.


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alexi
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31 Dec 2011, 9:41 pm

Perhaps you didn't put yourself into shutdown, but provided yourself with some preemptive cognitive relief. One of the biggest benefits of learning about AS for me has been that I can (try to) identify when I am heading into shutdown or meltdown and do what I can to minimise it before it absolutely takes me over.

Sometimes I go sit in a dark, quiet room. If I'm out I stop talking and put on my favourite repetitive show on my Ipod. If I'm at work I take a break alone and try to fall asleep for 10 minutes. Speech is usually one of the first things to go for me when I start to struggle, even well before I hit shutdown status. I think it is my brain trying to preserve other necessary skills.

Usually when I'm doing these things I am already falling in a massive hole, but sometimes taking a cognitive break can let me get back up and do what I need to do (like stay at work for the rest of the day). Like you said though, you really don't feel anywhere near "recovered".



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31 Dec 2011, 9:45 pm

when a shutdown is setting in it may be hard to tell the difference between "I am choosing to let the shutdown happen" and "the shutdown is happening no matter what."

Can't really explain better right now because, well, shutdown.



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31 Dec 2011, 9:48 pm

Sounds a bit like when I go and meditate when my mind is too bonkers.


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ediself
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01 Jan 2012, 6:31 am

Verdandi wrote:
when a shutdown is setting in it may be hard to tell the difference between "I am choosing to let the shutdown happen" and "the shutdown is happening no matter what."

Can't really explain better right now because, well, shutdown.


You're probably right about that. I can now say, after a good night's sleep, that one doesn't just "decide to curl up on a sofa" , I would not do it right now, I was probably even too far into it to "decide to go in the bedroom" instead of curling up right there in front of the kids...........what the hell. I'm now only ashamed of myself, at the time I wrote the OP I wasn't even out of shutdown enough to be ashamed of curling up in front of my whole family :?
So I got up, still half functionning, and did what I had to do. I actually felt better after walking alone in the street for a bit, without kids or any sort of real speaking to do.
When I got back, I could function properly , could cook, clean up, play with the kids a bit and even sing to them at bedtime, I could smile and be cheerful up until they fell asleep, so all good. But I only feel recovered now.
I was indeed in shutdown, I know it now, because my son came and gave me a kiss on the sofa and I wanted to tell him I was alright, just tired, but I could only touch his cheeck and smile vaguely to reassure him , which is ridiculous.

alexi wrote:
Perhaps you didn't put yourself into shutdown, but provided yourself with some preemptive cognitive relief. One of the biggest benefits of learning about AS for me has been that I can (try to) identify when I am heading into shutdown or meltdown and do what I can to minimise it before it absolutely takes me over.



It did indeed feel that way at the time, but as I said above, judging from the way I acted in front of the children, it might be a false feeling of control. I think I could have pushed through it, but as I didn't , I don't know for sure that I could have. I now think that if I could have, I would have , judging from the way I acted in front of the children, which is something I'd avoid if I could.....so I probably couldn't.
Makes me woder what part of the brain shuts down. The cognitive skills were all there, but my body was exhausted, and it included the "talking" part. As if speaking was some sort of physical exercise.
Anyway, thanks for your replies, it feels nice to be able to tell someone who relates, even if we're all strangers on here. And happy new year :)



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01 Jan 2012, 3:16 pm

I feel I have purposefully triggered a shutdown that was near beginning before it would have otherwise began (and from those experiences have learned how to sometimes be able to purposefully make myself non-verbal, which is convenient when I have lost my voice or it hurts to talk).

The triggered shutdowns need to be very close to happening and need to not be something I could avoid. The triggered one tends to be short and then a longer one comes later, but it manages to push it off such that I can remain safe when I need to.

The times I do this is when I know that if I hear a siren I'll freeze (I live on a street that has a lot of ambulances go by), so I'll do this before crossing a street if it'll make me safer to walk.