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Mountain Goat
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10 Sep 2019, 3:08 pm

I thought all was healing and going well. It has been over a week since work ended and I have slowly become less fragile. Yet today my brother asked me to help him with only small mechanical things (He claimed that "As I am doing nothing...." (He is young and a self employed workaholic... Nice to be young and strong))... And I felt a sudden injection of anxiety type stress come on and I suddenly found myself fighting a partial shutdown. I had to leave him and go back in the house. Since then I have been relaxing, but I can't shake off the fringes of a shutdown. I know tomorrow will be a refreshed new day. But I am so fragile lately... It only takes a word or two in the wrong place and I am physically struggling to avoid being stuck on the floor unable to get up (How partial shutdowns and shutdowns effect me).
How do I break out of this cycle?


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Edna3362
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10 Sep 2019, 4:17 pm

Breaking that cycle is tricky...
It involves not only the external implements, but also the inner changes. It is so simple yet the mind makes it hard and complicated.

Many here got a lot of resources of coping these cycles... Instead of breaking it.
Most of which involves taking the social masks off, several external changes including to be in a more safe environment/'sanctuaries', ruling out medical conditions or treating comorbids more effectively, figuring out certain life-changing or age related changes and accommodate it (change of stims and sensory intake needs), have a less stressful job and environment overall, taking certain substances sometimes, more time-offs, self-help reminders...
Or just avoid burning out altogether, even if it just takes you minutes to reach that point. Yet that may require more drastic changes.


Last time I got myself in it, I did broke down and did threw the handle a little too often. Once at high school, then more recently.
It's another of my personal contradictions; my system's fragility and sensitivity from my ego's desiring pride to be strong and more enduring than many in more ways than one... I just keep taking more than I might've able to take otherwise.
All I had is rest time, a long uninterrupted rest times. Years or months of it before I've got another few years down the lane. It works so far. Of course if it happens again, it might need a more different turn than having to idle and rest.


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Mountain Goat
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10 Sep 2019, 4:43 pm

Thanks Edna. I have gradually been on a decline in jobs to the point that now I am not able to work at all, so I'm guessing it is burnout.
I try and try for a stress free enviroment, but the more I unload, the more others think that I need visitors and to be encouraged to work to help them etc. I have reduced my own stress to an absolute minimum a few years ago, but so manh people then put their stresses and needs on my Mum which mean I am also involved... I can't destress any further in my life.


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Antrax
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10 Sep 2019, 11:44 pm

If you were on the verge of a burnout breakdown, a week is not enough time to heal. Be patient with yourself.


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Mountain Goat
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11 Sep 2019, 5:18 am

Antrax wrote:
If you were on the verge of a burnout breakdown, a week is not enough time to heal. Be patient with yourself.


Ok. Thanks. :) As long as I can improve and not exprove I will be fine. (I assume the word exprove is the opposite of improve? If not I can't think of the word I needed to use.)


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Mountain Goat
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11 Sep 2019, 10:31 am

I am in an odd situation of not knowing what to do.


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Mountain Goat
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12 Sep 2019, 1:42 pm

Question.

I have never been able to open up to any of my doctors.

But I went to an open day where I was able to see two people who are autism people. I mean as in a psycologist and someone else.
When I realized that when I started speaking they knew what I meant, suddenly I felt myself being able to open up. I have never been able to do that in front of any health professional before. To be honest, until recently I never had the words to be able to open up anyway as it is only through this site and the help you lot have given me that I was able to put feelings into words.

Now the autism people were saying I need to tell my doctor, but I said I have never been able to open up (And I realized before that the doctor I last spoke to won't understand. It is not her fault. Is just she is no expert in this specific field so her experience is more in a general knowledge about the subject then a specific area which is me!). They said they needed to send someone with me who knew what they were talking about to see my doctor. They also mentioned about some sort of cover note to take to the jobcentre who deal with sickness benefit as they were worried I had no income and can't work. (They said I should not need to sell my trains to survive).

Anyway. I have been waiting for this cover note. The days go by and nothing yet.

Now here is an issue. I never have felt so fragile as I do today in my life. I am having great difficulty just to go into the more carefree and open shops. I am not able to do much. As I am typing, we have visitors again so I am shut in my bedroom. I never used to need to do this.

They said to wait until I was contacted. But feeling like this, do I contact my doctor direct, or do I walt? And I am very reluctant to contact the autistic people because I feel that I have already messed things up. Somehow their manager phoned me and I said I was waiting for someone to come with me to see my doctor, and she said "We don't do that" so has she stopped them from helping me, and how do I find out without making things more awkward? It all happens as when I feel like this, I struggle to retain information of what has been said, so I will contact a second time to try to confirm in my mind what is going on.

The did say I urgently needed to be assessed, but unfortunately there is a one and a half to two year wait. Understandable that they do not know how urgent some of the waiting cases may be.

I may just shut myself off and wait and try not to do anything, which is what I naturally feel I need to do. But two years of doing this, when my Mum needs me is just not on. I would make my Mums life unbearable.
I just don't know what to do. I don't know what to do... Maybe I will try to ask my doctor what to do? But I am worried as I doubt I will be able to open up. It took me two years of trying to be able to ask if I could be on the spectrum or not.

I don't know what to do.

I don't want to contact the autism people because they have a lot on and did not reply to my last email. They have too many needy people. I am not important. If I die, only family and a few friends would miss me. Only my Mum needs me. No one else actually needs me. So I can shut myself off and try to avoid everyone, and the worse case scinario is that my brain will explode.


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jimmy m
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12 Sep 2019, 4:02 pm

Mountain Goat, I wish I could teach you a skill I learned a long time ago. It would end your problem of melt downs and panic attacks forever. But I don't think I can teach it. But I will try and describe it.

Now I will talk about one of the special skills that I picked up along the way of life. It is almost a quintessential skill for an Aspie. I do not know if it has a name so I will give it one. I will call it the Spock Anomaly, because this state reminds me of Mr. Spock in the series Star Trek. Essentially I have learned to harness stress energy, even fear itself, in real time and this has set me free.

When I was young I daydreamed a lot. Most of this occurred during a very stressful time in Junior High School. It is quite natural for a child to look out the window and daydream, or talk to themselves, or develop imaginary friends and evolve imaginary worlds when they are getting the crap beat out of them each and every day; when their bodies are physically changing because of puberty; and when their peer group was abandoning them in a street gutter along the side of the road. Daydreaming is a coping mechanism. Luckily for me, they had not developed the term ADD or ADHD when I was growing up and the variety of prescription drugs to treat this so- called condition. In Junior High School as a male, I was experiencing strange new sensations that I didn’t even know existed before. Daydreaming in the classroom is not the problem – child abuse by the student’s peer group is the problem.

Daydreaming is a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake. Amongst psychologists daydreaming meets the criteria for mild dissociation. Research with fMRI shows that brain areas associated with complex problem solving becomes activated during daydreaming episodes.

Now listen up! This is really an important lesson for an Aspie. Daydreaming is a coping mechanism. It is a form of disassociation. And it is a very useful tool for an Aspie. As I became an adult I learned to harness and control disassociation and turn it into a skill. It has become my friend. By harnessing disassociation one can learn the key to ending meltdowns, panic attacks and total shutdowns forever. The human brain is a composite of several brains working together. The inner core brain is like the brain of an infant. The middle brain controls the limbs and produces the the fight or flight response. The outer brain is called the social brain. The social brain is really a composite of the emotional brain and the analytical brain. When we are stressed, control of the brain devolves downward towards the core brain.

One of the attributes of an Aspie is they are calm under crisis. I have found that one of my skills was that under extreme stress, I can disassociate my thinking brain from my emotional brain. I completely turn off my emotional brain and direct all the chemical energy derived from stress to power the analytical side of my mind and set my mind in overdrive.
I capture stress chemicals and divert it towards my mind. It is like adding coals to a fire and stoking the coals. It ramps up my analytical brain supercharging it and then I direct it at the problem at hand.

Paul Ekman relates one of his experiences:

Sometimes there is nothing we can do when faced with great harm. However, something very interesting happens when we are able to cope with an immediate, severe threat. The unpleasant sensations and thoughts that characterize fear may not be experienced, but instead consciousness may focus us on the task at hand, coping with the threat.

For example, when I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1967, I had to charter a single-engine airplane to take me on the last leg of my journey to a missionary landing strip, from which I would walk to the village where I would be living. Although by then I had taken many flights to many different parts of the world, I remained a bit afraid of flying, enough not to be able to relax, let alone sleep, even on a long journey. I worried about having to take a single-engine plane, but there was no choice; there were no roads to where I was going. Once we were up in the air, the eighteen-year-old bush pilot, next to whom I was sitting in the two- seater plane, informed me that the ground people had radioed him that the wheels had fallen off the airplane on takeoff. We had to return, he said, and slide into the dirt on the side of the runway. Because the plane might catch fire on impact, he told me I should be prepared to jump. He instructed me to open the door slightly to prevent it from jamming on impact when we crash-landed, which might prevent me from getting out. He told me to be careful not to let the door swing completely open, for then I might be thrown out. Needless to say, there were no seat belts.

As we circled the airfield preparing to land, I felt no unpleasant sensations and had no frightening thoughts about my possible doom. Instead, I thought about how amazing it was to have come so far, to have traveled for more than two days, and now less than an hour from my destination not make it. It seemed ludicrous, not frightening, in the minutes before we crash-landed. I watched as the fire brigade pulled onto the landing strip to greet our return; as we tore into the dirt, I gripped the door handle tightly, keeping the door ajar but not fully open. Then it was over. No fire; death and injury were avoided. Within fifteen minutes we had unloaded my gear from the badly damaged plane, put it into another plane, and taken off. Suddenly, I felt worried that this scene would be replayed, literally, and this time I wouldn't make it.

Since my crash-landing experience, I have interviewed others who, though in extreme danger, did not experience unpleasant sensations and thoughts. What distinguishes their experiences and mine from dangerous situations in which fear was felt is whether or not anything could be done to cope with the danger. If so, then fear may not have been felt. If not, if there is nothing to do but wait to see if one survives, then people are likely to feel terror. If I had not had to concentrate on holding that airplane door slightly ajar, tensed, ready to jump, I think I would have been terrified during the crash landing. It is when we can't do anything that we are most likely to experience the most overwhelming fear, not when we are focused on dealing with an immediate threat.


When I encounter a threat, a stressor, I can sense the build up of emotions internally such as fear, anger and rage, I allow myself to become disassociated. I control the process. I turn off my emotional side of my brain. Under great stress I become an analytical thinking machine devoid of all emotion. I insert a pause. I ramp up my brain speed until the world becomes a very slow crawl. Then I look at the situation from a thousand different angles, different perspectives and then arrive at a course of action to direct the expenditure of this emotional energy. Then I implement this best choice among thousands of choices converting the stored stress energy into concrete action. So I rarely come upon a situation where I am trapped and shutdown in panic and terror, where I am immobilized and unable to move. A choice always seems to exist.



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12 Sep 2019, 5:00 pm

Wow Jimmy M. There's a lot to think about there. You have described my inner brain to a T. I daydream lots and lots. My inner brain is very visual. I think in pictures. I never associated my middle brain with body control. My outer brain is where my quick day to day thinking takes place. Yes. I do this. Where my short term memory is. (My short term memory isn't as good as my long term memory).
I don't know how to switch parts of my brain off yet. It may take some practice to do. I have done it I believe, but when I do I get tunnel vision? What happens is I can be outside needing to walk through crowds of people. The crowds of people suddenly start to become a wall and curve round into a tunnel I can walk through. It has only happened once where it was like everything had slowed down. It was like a Matrix moment. It was wierd. It was surreal. I was walking through a tunnel surrounded by walls of two dimentional people who all blended together with no gaps, and the central tunnel bit was free for me to walk through, as if it was almost like a Red Sea moment where God opened up a path through the sea. It was very much like that, where panic turned into adrenaline which enabled me to walk through the crowds with tunnel vision so I could reach my destination.


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jimmy m
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12 Sep 2019, 6:22 pm

The important thing is to make a decision, a plan and then execute the plan. You will never be trapped and collapse down to a state of tonic immobility, if you execute the plan.



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12 Sep 2019, 6:35 pm

Many circumstances I can do that. Some I can't because I could be following other peoples plans.


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8 minutes ago

Just been out in the car just for a special treat. A local takeaway. We went in the car to a nice place near the sea to eat them, and we talked about a few things.
Then I noticed my car lights seemed not quite right. I walked out to the front of the car. Bulb not working. Ok. At least it has a nice bright parking light so the front of the car is visible, and here it is legal now to drive with parking lights in a street lit area, (I wouldn't recommend it) and in the rural area on the way home it is all full beam anyway. So tomorrow I need to get a new bulb.
But I got back in the car to drive home...
Sniff, sniff! Uhmmm. What's that smell? Uhmm. Maybe I could shut the windows as... Pooo. Nope. It's inside the car. Aww nooo!
When I had gone out to look at the car lights I stepped in something!
So using my feet carefully... About almost halfway up the hill I pulled in at a layby. Saw what it was. It was on my right shoe. It was all in the centre. The good thing is, I can't see any in the car... So I was wiping my foot in the grass. Just when a car came the other way who may have puzzled what these strange characters like me do in laybys at night! Hahaha! This funny dance in front of my car ligjts lifting a leg and rubbing it in the grass etc! Hahaha! Ah well. Most is off my shoe.
But I put the car in the barn and closed and locked the doors, and came in the house taking my shoes off to put in the porch. And then it hit me.
Suddenly, though it was hardly anything which is to stress about, I suddenly felt the start of a partial shutdown. Why? Why does it take such a small event to set off such an event?
I seem to be soo fragile lately and I don't know why.

Some say time is needed to recover. But how much time? I have been on a slow decline for years. How do I turn things around?


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