What Is This Called? Have Always Had This.

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Mountain Goat
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28 Jun 2021, 5:13 am

Sometimes I can be in the right frame of mind to do things and get things done and I make progress, but it is proceeded (Proceeded comes before?) by and followed by much longer periods where I can't really tackle things. It I try in one of these lull periods everything is really tough to do and I hardly make any progress.
This can be with anything. Tasks from tidying my bedroom (A mamoth task that has taken most of my life as I never do quite finish it... I did get there in my late teens once) to filling out forms.

I am rather surprized that places I have worked at that I finished jobs. I am a bit of a perfectionist when I have worked, and seem to do twice as much on whatever task it was then others did, but somehow I could push myself to finish as I was a people pleaser...(Lead to many burnouts where I had to quit my jobs... Or holidays spent recovering where I had no fun but I just recovered until working again)... But for myself? Who have I got to impress? I mean... Why do I get soo stuck on things that I need to do for myself?

Mind you, I have often had situations where I either get overwealmed with too many choices and so I can't fixate on a single task for long... I usually hyperfocus and do well but where I have lots of avenues so I end up doing nothing.

And sometimes I get mindblank "Stucks". I used to get them in school where I could do a task in a lesson but would become stuck with mindblank not knowing how to move forward (I knew how to do it, but it looked like I didn't because somehow I had lost the inbetween process wirhout a prompt? Once I had a prompt I could do it, which teachers sometimes thought was rather odd because they thought I did not know how to do it, but I did. I just lost something in the process where I hit a mindblank wall and could not get my brain to think beyond that wall without a prompt.

The odd thing is that if I get these mindblanks when I am moving, the movement itself quickly prompts me.
If I am staying still that is where I can end up staring in a fixed position until prompted. Not for long though... But I can end up with a short fixated stare. I know I am staring because I can see things going on. I can recall what I see etc. I just am stuck for that moment in my ability to think... It is the few times when I don't think... Haha! I sometimes get times of not thinking which I feel unusual and strange as I think to myself "I wasn't thinking of anything just then!" Other then that I am nearly always in constant thought. But isn't that normal?

What is normal? Is it normal to be in constant thought unless one is sleeping (And even then I dream! Haha!).

But going back to the origional point... When I am in the right mood I can do lots of things in a particular subject while I am zoned in on it, but then there comes a time when I just stop, and for ages and I can't look at the task without feeling like my brain is fighting itself in a cartoon like scrap (Fight) where one only sees a ball of messy tangled wool like lines (Anyone seen those cartoon things I mean? I rhink my brain does that. Haha!
But during the times where I have to rest as I just can't tackle the things.
But I can try new ideas out while I dream them up... But it is why I rarely get to finish things. Because I need to get in the next hyperfocussed stage to finish things... I have to be in the right mood or frame of mind? (What words best to use to describe?)
The result is that I end up in having lots of unfinished projects all on hold for when I am ready to do them. My Dad was a lot like this. Our greenhouse is now falling down. He did a wonderful job and got so far and then just stopped. He did die so he could not finish it, but he stopped years before that happened. He also had lots of similar unfinished projects on the go. He was very much a visual thinker just as I am and just like me, he got on best if he did not write things down, but just brought the visual plans in his head forward and just made what it was that he was making. Just like me! And we only used paper (Or in my Dads case, an odd bit of wood to write on) if we had to to calculate some angle to make it work. Other then that we would go ahead ad build.

When I make model railway waggons I rarely measure unless I need to. Most things I just make to fit. It is quicker and easier for me. It is how my brain works in pictures. No maths or rarely any maths involved. Just my mind directly transferring my mental thought straight to the project I am making. If I made plans I would spend so much time thinking about the plans ad drawing them again and again until I am happy, that I would not get the actual thing I was drawing made! But doing it my natural way is great as it just comes natural to how my brain works and it is soo much easier for me!

Uhmmm. Am I making sense? I have written too much again!! !



ThisTimelessMoment
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29 Jun 2021, 12:48 am

You expressed that better than I have been able to. Sound's exactly like me.


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twobagsplease
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29 Jun 2021, 2:08 am

Sounds like trouble with executive functioning. I totally relate to getting "stuck", and also agree that physical movement tends to help, if I can muster the energy for it.



Mountain Goat
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29 Jun 2021, 7:26 am

twobagsplease wrote:
Sounds like trouble with executive functioning. I totally relate to getting "stuck", and also agree that physical movement tends to help, if I can muster the energy for it.

It might be. I will guess when I am assessed that the assessment may cover it? I don't know.



Mountain Goat
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29 Jun 2021, 7:27 am

ThisTimelessMoment wrote:
You expressed that better than I have been able to. Sound's exactly like me.

If I could describe it in just a few words I would but I don't know how.



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30 Jun 2021, 2:50 pm

I can relate to it. I'm especially reminded of my younger days at the secondary school.

My mind used to go blank a lot. I might have just been too stressed out to concentrate properly. But whatever the cause, it's a nasty feeling, with the brain frozen like a deer in the headlights. It was like I barely knew anything about anything any more. I used to wish somebody would just take all the academic demands away and tell me to take a spade and move a pile of earth from one place to another.

I don't know how it got better. I suppose getting away from school and having to do courses for work was pretty helpful. Being free to study what I'm interested in, in my own way and in my own time helped a lot. I have a lot of trouble relating to other people's ways of thinking, and teachers often seem to try and instill their way of organising information into the students' heads.

I used to get that thing where I could perform tasks at work but not in my own home. I guess there was just more light and space at work, and things were to some extent arranged so the tasks could be done fairly efficiently, and they had cleaners to take away the rubbish. Though it doesn't make complete sense because I've just said I did a lot better when I had more autonomy, and what better place for autonomy than my own home?

Tidying up used to faze me, and I can still fail at that, but at least these days I get some idea about why I fail. I remember having a cupboard under the stairs for my stuff when I was a teenager. I decided I was going to completely sort it out one day. I found I just couldn't do it, but I couldn't understand why, and I kept wondering "what's wrong with me?" Looking back, it was a dark cupboard, without enough room to swing a cat, and being under the stairs it had an awkward sloping ceiling to it, and there was just too much stuff in there, and I didn't want to throw anything away. I was also being too perfectionist about it, somehow expecting to be able to get it so that everything was perfectly organised. So I was probably trying to do the impossible.

I think I tried to make a list of everything that was in there, that would tell me exactly where my stuff was so that I'd be able to retrieve anything I wanted very quickly, but it was taking hours to compile the list, and I never finished it. It was probably a lame idea to try to write such a list, just too long, and if I was going to get it into alphabetical order, in those days there were no computers so I'd have had to do it by hand. So I'd jumped into an impossible job without thinking about feasibility first, and I was just muddling about with no clear idea of what I was trying to do - I knew I was trying to tidy up my stuff, but that's actually a pretty vague notion. It seems to me that tidying up is a big, complicated subject that's much easier said than done. I understand the concept much better than I used to, but I don't know it all.

Somewhere along the line I got better. These days I don't worry about such matters much. My mind doesn't freeze up any more. I became much more able to identify and describe the sticking points that happen when I try to perform tasks. When I get stuck, these days I'm able to take a step back and figure out why I got stuck. But I've no idea how I got better. I suppose the mind just intuitively betters itself over time, abandoning the kind of mental processes that don't do any good and hanging onto the ones that prove helpful. Maybe part of it was taking more control over my own life, and ceasing to worry about my progress so much. Surviving isn't really all that hard if you've got enough money for the essentials and a bit of common sense, and most of the things I was worried about weren't really that important.



Edna3362
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30 Jun 2021, 3:55 pm

My mind only starts blanking out at age 23.

Namely during my 3rd year of my first (currently only) full time job. By full time job, I mean 10+ hours a day, sometimes more than that.

Couldn't seem to improve right after, for the last 3 years now.
And getting worse for some reason. Becoming more inattentive, clumsier, forgetful...

Years of effort, practice and experience gone. Irrelevant.

Even the hours were cut short. Even in slow days.


Might be burnout. Might be something else. Might be something in between and complicated.
Whatever it was, I never had it in my younger years.

But it wasn't simply age. It's too quick, too soon, and too severe even if it were seem gradual.

And the gap between now and then are wide enough for me to notice, and I'm frustrated about it.


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Redd_Kross
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30 Jun 2021, 4:06 pm

Yeah I'm like this.

If there's something I'm really into I can focus on it for days, sometimes weeks or even months.

But without a focal point I bounce around between different tasks / interests without ever really concentrating on any of them.

And things I never wanted to do in the first place are particularly hard to focus on.

Not sure if that's entirely an ASD thing or maybe a sign of ADHD too?



armandreyes
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Mountain Goat
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30 Jun 2021, 7:24 pm

Redd_Kross wrote:
Yeah I'm like this.

If there's something I'm really into I can focus on it for days, sometimes weeks or even months.

But without a focal point I bounce around between different tasks / interests without ever really concentrating on any of them.

And things I never wanted to do in the first place are particularly hard to focus on.

Not sure if that's entirely an ASD thing or maybe a sign of ADHD too?


Things I can latch onto I hyperfocus on and it is easy, but if I can't latch onto a subject, learning it is tough going, and memorizing a tough going subject just does not work. When I was in school, I could have forgotton the previous days lesson and have to start over again as if I was not there which really confused teachers, some of whom assumed I had not been listening, but one maths teacher picked up on it as he spent extra effort making sure I understood something, only the next lesson in a day or twos time I had not retained it. Actually, sometimes I could not retain the information when doing homework at home for the same subject. It was on subjects I just was not able to latch onto.
If I did latch onto a subject which did not really happen in school, I could probably take it into levels that teachers could not grasp... I never forget a Physics teacher who decided to talk to me about my hobby of railways. He decided to chat about steam locomotives and he asked me a question about their designs... I answered about the different types of valve gear and thought nothing of it.
One day the teacher called in to see my parents due to a different matter as he lived in the same village area. It was to do with a book my Mum was writing at the time. He mentioned the conversation to my Dad and said I had completely lost him in technical detail about design. (I have to admit that I only knew a little bit, but the bit I knew made an impression on him).
Special interests are ones I can latch onto and I love to explore.



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30 Jun 2021, 7:25 pm

Thank you everyone who have replied. I have read what you have put and I have appreciated it even if I have not replied to it directly, and I am glad that I am not alone in this... That many of you understand.



ToughDiamond
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30 Jun 2021, 7:51 pm

armandreyes wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn0OoFb7OAQ

Interesting, but I don't think it was like that for me. I didn't panic exactly. It scared me that I wasn't making any headway and that my mind would fog over when I tried to perform certain mental tasks, but it wasn't an acute feeling. I've felt panic a few times in my life and it didn't feel like I felt when trying to get my schoolwork done. The anxiety was more the effect of the brain locking up (or knowing it was locking up and fearing the consequences), not the cause. That's not to say the guy isn't right about other Aspies, but in my case I think the processes were rather different.

I think one thing that helped was a bit later on when, if I attempted a mental task and got bogged down, instead of just trying to soldier on, I would withdraw, wait for my head to clear, and then try again, but with the idea that instead of seeing the successful performance of the task as my remit, to simply observe my attempt and note the point in the proceedings where I was stopped. Then I had a handle on why I couldn't achieve the result, and it was easier to think about that than it was to just keep pushing against a brick wall. Once I'd isolated the sticking point, I stood a chance of finding a way to clear the block. It probably took a bit of getting used to, but I think it was helpful.



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03 Jul 2021, 9:27 am

Edna3362 wrote:
My mind only starts blanking out at age 23.

Namely during my 3rd year of my first (currently only) full time job. By full time job, I mean 10+ hours a day, sometimes more than that.

Couldn't seem to improve right after, for the last 3 years now.
And getting worse for some reason. Becoming more inattentive, clumsier, forgetful...

Years of effort, practice and experience gone. Irrelevant.

Even the hours were cut short. Even in slow days.

Might be burnout. Might be something else. Might be something in between and complicated.
Whatever it was, I never had it in my younger years.

But it wasn't simply age. It's too quick, too soon, and too severe even if it were seem gradual.

And the gap between now and then are wide enough for me to notice, and I'm frustrated about it.


I work similar hours and have similar problems. I find myself making obvious mistakes and my attention has span has noticeably dropped. It might be a bit of a burnout or perhaps that I'm so used to the job that I'm getting complacent hoping my mind will do it on autopilot when it clearly can't with some of the mistakes I make. Either way my mind wanders a lot during the working day.



HeroOfHyrule
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03 Jul 2021, 9:39 am

I think that for me this is an executive dysfunction issue. I find it very hard to gather the mental energy to do things and pay attention to them, and it gets a lot worse if I was already intensely focusing on something recently. I even have this issue with my special interests, and they honestly cause it a lot of the time because I will hyperfocus on them whenever I get mental energy and "waste" it on them.


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