Just diagnosed. Feeling worried about life.

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mashers
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22 Dec 2015, 1:18 pm

Hi everyone. I'm 32 and I have recently been diagnosed with autism. I don't really identify as autistic but more aspie, but that doesn't exist according to the DSM any more. Nonetheless, I consider myself aspie for what it's worth.

I thought being diagnosed would make things easier, and at first it did. I felt like I now had an answer for everything that didn't make sense or worried me before. But now I just feel full of worry. I worry about not having enough time to do the things I like, but then I worry that I'm being selfish and that people will hate me for not thinking about them enough or doing enough for them. The truth is that I try extremely hard to think of other people and their needs but this is exhausting and I need a lot of time on my own to rest otherwise I get short-tempered and impatient with people, and can't concentrate on talking to them.

I work with autistic children and their families which means a lot of my day is spent putting other people first, and I worry that I don't have the energy to dedicate to the people who are closest to me.

I'm worried about Christmas because I have to see a lot of people (family, friends, family and friends of my boyfriend). I'm worried that I won't have enough energy to show people that I am happy to see them and to make conversation even if I want to. I'm worried that these people will think I don't care about them or that I am unhappy (I'm not, but people often think I am. I think it's because of the way I express my emotions.) I want to enjoy Christmas but it feels like an unmanageable social burden.

I'm worried about my nephew, who is also autistic. Life is very hard for him already (he's only 9 years old). Christmas is especially hard. I want to do more to help him but he lives 100 miles away, and I'm bad at maintaining relationships over such a distance and don't know what I can realistically do to help him.

I am visiting family for three days over Christmas and am worried I will be homesick and want to come home and won't be able to enjoy visiting people I care about.

I am worried that I am causing stress for my boyfriend. We live together, and I feel like since being diagnosed the difficulties I face have intensified. I'm worried that I am making him unhappy and he will stop loving me, or that he will stay with me but be unhappy or unsatisfied in life.

I am doing a masters degree in autism at the moment but am worried that I won't be able to work with autistic children long-term as although I like feeling like I'm helping people, the social demands of this job feel unmanageable at the moment.


I don't really know what the point of this message is. I know nobody on this site can change any of the things I'm worried about. Maybe I'm just hoping for somebody to tell me they understand.



AnonymousAnonymous
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22 Dec 2015, 3:14 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)

There are many here on WP who are supportive and understanding.


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BTDT
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22 Dec 2015, 3:58 pm

It wasn't like that 20 years ago when I was your age--there wasn't as much pressure to do everything at once.



RoadRatt
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22 Dec 2015, 4:18 pm

Hey mashers welcome. :sunny:


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Nist498
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22 Dec 2015, 5:11 pm

Welcome to WP!


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bobaspie2015
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22 Dec 2015, 11:00 pm

Hi mashers,
Welcome to WP and hope you stay here is an adventure. Worry and anxiety is a big part of being Aspie, yet we need to train ourselves not to worry. It can be done if you are willing to discipline yourself.
:D


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mashers
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23 Dec 2015, 3:35 am

Thanks for the replies. It's good to know I'm not the only one who feels like this. I feel very alone now. Although I often like being alone, I don't like feeling alone. I made a list of all my worries last night, and then played some Mario which helped calm me down.

BTDT wrote:
It wasn't like that 20 years ago when I was your age--there wasn't as much pressure to do everything at once.

That's how I feel. I feel like everything has to be done right now and there are too many things to think about.

bobaspie2015 wrote:
Hi mashers,
Welcome to WP and hope you stay here is an adventure. Worry and anxiety is a big part of being Aspie, yet we need to train ourselves not to worry. It can be done if you are willing to discipline yourself.
:D

How do you train yourself not to worry? I'm not very disciplined in my thoughts and feelings and I don't know how to control them.

Edit - to be more specific, I didn't even know it was possible to control them.



SavageMessiah
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23 Dec 2015, 10:07 am

I think one of the best things you can do is try to put your life into perspective. You've honestly made it this far in life, so what's so bad about that? :D It's perfectly natural to carry a chip on your shoulder over things you can't do right or should've done better. That's what all humans do - you are just on your own scale.

A Dx isn't going to end your life or begin something entirely new, unless you choose to view it that way. YOU still have (and have always had) the power to control the outcomes in your life (within reason, of course). And although there will always be doubts and struggles, you've got this.

But it's of utmost importance to have a significant other who *understands* and *embraces* your characteristics (this goes for any relationship, not just ones with people with ASDs). As tolerant and non-discriminating my ex was of everything else in the world, she couldn't embrace my flaws and quirks and thought they could be engineered out. Wrong. Learn as much as you can about where people close to you stand, and you will be more at ease with the task at hand.


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supercrayon
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01 Jan 2016, 12:16 am

Welcome!! !! !

I'm 28 and just diagnosed in the past month. Things make sense for me now, but the issue is explaining it to others. Like, I see Christmas as too much all at once so I don't do Christmas, but I will randomly send a gift to someone at some other point in the year or visit when traveling isn't so busy. Now that my family knows I'm ASD, that makes sense to them. I'm lucky, from what I've read on here about family, that they understand it. I hope yours does too!

Just remember that the people who choose to interact with you regularly have probably chosen to do so because you're different from others. Putting a name to the thing that makes you different doesn't change who you are to them. Some might be frightened because they don't understand what ASD means but that's not your problem, it's theirs. I hope that given your line of work, a lot of people around you understand what it is :).

With regards to worrying, I found a gem of advice when I was going to a therapist for PTSD. It may work for you too. I just have to keep telling myself "I'm not there YET" or "I haven't accomplished this YET". You begin to compare yourself against yourself instead of others. And progress, were it on a graph, would have a general trend upwards but if you zoom in, the data points are all over the place with highs and lows. I literally write things down and then reflect on it years later.



Bald-Accountant
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01 Jan 2016, 9:17 am

Wow - Wow -Wow
Thank you very very much for sharing. I have been struggling a lot with worrying and things similar to what you are talking about - you helped me a lot today - thank you thank you thank you! :)

I am going to talk on and on about myself, but before I do [b][u]THANK YOU[b][u]

I am very sorry that you are suffering, but it helps me to know I am not alone.

I just cant seem to stop worrying and it is frustrating and scary.
I am almost 49 (birthday tomorrow) and I am taking a big paycut to try to lessen my stress so that I can climb out of a pit of depression and suicidal thoughts that I have been in the last 2 years. I am also trying to exercise more and trying meds again - I had a bad experience with Lexipro. I also recently got a sleep machine (APAP) to help me sleep better as sleep seems to be an issue. But I am worried about...
-It wont work and I will be anxious and depressed forever
-I will drive my wife crazy or make her not love me and she will leave me
-I worry because my daughter 16 who is an Aspie is dating a 17 year old aspie and I worry that she will marry him and forgo college and have aspie kids and not have an NT in the house to help them cope with life
-I worry that my son will not be able to cope with life - he missed like 17 days of school last year, but is doing better

You mentioned feeling selfish, I feel bad if I share my struggles wit my wife too often because it seems like she is overwhelmed. At the same time I am a little jealous sometimes because sometimes it seems like I have issues and my kids have issues and it seems like she puts their problems first ( I feel horrilble even saying that)
I feel guilty taking time for myself to do things I like because I see her working so hard, but most nights I get home and help her do hosework, I put my son to bed, and then maybe we have a half hour or 45 minutes to watch tv and play video games
I feel bad because I was a terrible manager and saw tons of turnover
I feel bad because I try to support my daughter and her boyfriend, but he is so selfish some times ( I know he is just a kid)
I dont know if I have a lot of advice for you, but I am posting this so that maybe you will be encouraged the way I am.



Magi
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01 Jan 2016, 3:56 pm

You need to stop worrying and start embracing it.



cathylynn
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01 Jan 2016, 4:21 pm

welcome, masher. how did christmas go?



lisa_simpson
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01 Jan 2016, 6:24 pm

mashers wrote:
I'm worried that these people will think I don't care about them or that I am unhappy (I'm not, but people often think I am. I think it's because of the way I express my emotions.)

I feel really identified with this! For example, yesterday I went to the club with my friends to celebrate the New Year. While I'm dancing, it seems like I need to be thinking about something, so I start daydreaming, or rather, 'nightdreaming', so one of my friends was asking me 'Do you feel alright?' all the time, probably because I was staring off into space, and maybe that made me look unhappy, which I wasn't. So yeah! I know how you feel about that!!
Welcome to WP!!


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em_tsuj
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02 Jan 2016, 4:36 pm

I understand.

I have the same worries. You seem to be functioning well: job, family, friends, in graduate school.

To stop worrying simply focus on the present moment. Deep breathing helps. Take deep breathes and focus on your breathing when you get overwhelmed. This will short circuit those negative trains of thought.

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to complete, make a to do list and prioritize what needs to be done. Some things need to be done immediately others can wait. It makes things seem more manageable when you put them on paper and can check them off the list as you complete them.

I hope your Christmas went well. Your family loves YOU. Who you are does not change with the diagnosis. I've noticed that people like me and forgive my shortcomings as long as they see that I'm trying. Perfection is unobtainable for anybody but putting forth a good faith effort goes a long way. This applies to work, business, friendship, romance, and family relationships.

Welcome!



Chelsie
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10 Jan 2016, 8:30 pm

Hi, I understand what you feel but you are not the only one struggling with Autism or rather a disease. We all have worries but we should always think positive about life. Pray and spend it with your loved as if you were not diagnosed with it. I'm sure your boyfriend will soon understand your situation and support you. If he really loves you and he'll be willing to be strong and accept you for what you are. I do hope everything will get better for you soon.




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