Things never get easier, is this common?

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The_Illusive_Man
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29 Oct 2021, 5:19 pm

One of the very few things that all humans seem to have in common is that the more you do something the easier it gets/the better you get at it.

But that is factually not true for me, I am wondering if anyone else is like that?

Don't worry I wont give my entire life story, I will try to keep this relatively short so I will use one area of my existence as an example. I try to be healthy, I go to the gym, I have now been going to the gym 3-7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for the past 16 years. The one and only exception to this was when all the quarantine bs started. I know the gym is not a big deal, I know I am going to workout that I am not going to war, I can tell myself this and in my head I know this, but that does not stop my body having a very over the top very visceral reaction. Every single day when it is time to get ready for the gym I will break out in a cold sweat, I will be trembling, my head will throb and I will vomit. There is no way to say this without being gross, but I vomit so much that I bring up blood.

I tried very hard to not let this dictate the course of my existence, but to this day this still happens, and remember this is just 1 example to try and relate how ridiculous the symptoms are, but this is not something that solely happens regarding the gym, it happens for everything. Walking to the local corner shop , walking my dogs, the morning commute, expecting a phone call from a bank/landlord etc. I tried to not let it control me, but the truth is that it has destroyed any hope I use to have of building a life for myself, literally every minor, mundande, every day task causes my body to react so violently that I experience a level of stress and nerves that most real people wont even come close to experiencing on their wedding days and now all thats left is a permanently stressed husk who knows it is too late to have any kind of future.( went on a bit of a tangent here, been a long time since I expressed these thoughts anywhere but my own head, sorry)


For what its worth, I have been on medication, but evidently my constitution is immune to medication. Doctors have tried me on every prescribable medication they can, beta blockers, anti depressants, sleeping tablets, you name it they've tried it. In fact currently they have cycled back to citalopram, which is a medication they have already had me on 4 seperate times in the past, with zero effect.
I wish I could tell you that something, anything, helped at all, but nothing has and so i remain a mess, I am autistic and I will never come to terms with that, I will hate it until I die and if there is existence after death I will continue hating it into oblivion( no offense to anyone else here, that is just my personal view of my personal diagnosis). But this one thing has ruined me more than anything else, if I had a single thing in my existence ( I say existence because I dont class what I have as a "life") that I could say I achieved or was good at I could have some minute building block of self esteem, but being a 30 year old who cant do a microscopic task like walk my dogs without vomiting blood is pathetic, truly pathetic. It doesnt stop me, I still walk the dogs, but it's such a sad, pitiful state, I dont want to go through it and I fully understand why I am completely isolated in this world, why would anyone choose to spend time with someone who cant even open their front door without being physically sick.

Sorry for my rambling, I feel self conscious even behind the anonymity of a username and end up being long winded as I feel compelled to try and justify every word I say( sorry again), but that is my explanation, and I am wondering is anyone else like this? where no amount of work, effort, discipline or exposure makes things easier.

Thank you



Ettina
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29 Oct 2021, 5:36 pm

If a disability affects your ability to do something, it's pretty likely that at some point you'll hit the limits of how much you can improve with practice. For example, people with cerebral palsy, like anyone else, are likely to improve in their motor skills if they get regular exercise and practice movements they find difficult, but that doesn't mean that you can get everyone with CP to walk if they exercise enough. Some people just can't do it, no matter how much they practice. Or they can walk with difficulty, but it'll never get easier. The same is true for pretty much any disability. Eg practice with visual tasks can sometimes make you better at seeing, but it won't make a legally blind person able to see normally.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that since autism doesn't affect how you look and doesn't cause as easy to understand limitations as something like cerebral palsy or blindness, it's not as real as those conditions, and an autistic person can just overcome every characteristic of autism with enough practice. It's what ABA treatment for autism is founded upon. But the reality is that autism, like any other disability, causes limitations that won't get better with practice, as well as things that you just need more practice to overcome.



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29 Oct 2021, 5:40 pm

Maybe you have an ulcer, and even minor stress will cause nausea. I'd suggest finding exercise out of a gym - bike riding works for me, but others do fine with just calesthenics at home. It is OK to avoid stress if there's less overall harm done.



The_Illusive_Man
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30 Oct 2021, 5:39 am

Dear_one wrote:
Maybe you have an ulcer, and even minor stress will cause nausea. I'd suggest finding exercise out of a gym - bike riding works for me, but others do fine with just calesthenics at home. It is OK to avoid stress if there's less overall harm done.



Honestly I wouldnt know about an ulcer. I have tried to talk to doctors but got nowhere. I am not talking on behalf of other people, if other people have experiences completely different to mine that is good for them, but for me the NHS has always been entirely useless,even before all this stuff had them insanely busy. I could list off no fewer than a dozen examples, one of which includes a relative having a routine appointment and leaving the building being told they had been referred to "end of life care" but I will refrain from rambling, as best I can anyway.

As for the rest, I understand what you are saying , I do. But I don't know where to go from here, for me to avoid stress severe enough that it causes me physical health problems that would mean staying at home and literally never even opening the front door, to some people that may sound perfect, but I really dont want that. I have been on my own in this world for near enough 2 decades, I have been isolated for 2/3rds of my existence so far. As unpleasant as the never ending stress is, the thought of spending whatever time I have left hiding from the world horrifies me



Last edited by The_Illusive_Man on 30 Oct 2021, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

The_Illusive_Man
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30 Oct 2021, 5:42 am

Ettina wrote:
If a disability affects your ability to do something, it's pretty likely that at some point you'll hit the limits of how much you can improve with practice. For example, people with cerebral palsy, like anyone else, are likely to improve in their motor skills if they get regular exercise and practice movements they find difficult, but that doesn't mean that you can get everyone with CP to walk if they exercise enough. Some people just can't do it, no matter how much they practice. Or they can walk with difficulty, but it'll never get easier. The same is true for pretty much any disability. Eg practice with visual tasks can sometimes make you better at seeing, but it won't make a legally blind person able to see normally.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that since autism doesn't affect how you look and doesn't cause as easy to understand limitations as something like cerebral palsy or blindness, it's not as real as those conditions, and an autistic person can just overcome every characteristic of autism with enough practice. It's what ABA treatment for autism is founded upon. But the reality is that autism, like any other disability, causes limitations that won't get better with practice, as well as things that you just need more practice to overcome.



I guess so. I was under no illusion that my life is more difficult than other people who have their own struggles but it is such a core struggle for me, you name it and I have failed it and not for lack of trying. I am 30 years old and if you paid me I still could not tell you a single example of my efforts leading to results. You did answer me very well, thank you



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30 Oct 2021, 5:50 am

You got to replace visceral stress reactions with stronger, more beneficial emotional states. I feel like i can do anything when im angry, it will power through and override any anxiety. And if its a good happy emotion, i'm more energetic and outgoing. Also try meet people, isolation is depleting your health. You might need a therapist.


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30 Oct 2021, 6:11 am

I'm sorry you're feeling so awful. I understand the stress caused by trying to do things others find easy. I don't have such a physical reaction but my mind shuts down and I can't think or read or make decisions.

Something that has helped me has been to allow myself to retreat for a bit. To recoup my strength and resilience. Then re-look at approaching life from the perspective that I AM different and that I need to find what works for me. I am slowly giving up my perception of what I think normal should be for me. Giving up the idea that I should be able to do what others do.
Now I am slowly and with great care for myself trying things out one at a time to stretch my boundaries in ways that are helpful to me. This is slow and frustrating but that is the only way.
I have to watch my beliefs about myself carefully as what I think can have massive negative effects. This is the hardest thing of all. Undoing years of negativity towards myself.

I hope you manage to have some improvement soon. If the vomiting is every day then seeing a doctor would be a good idea. There may be something that could help. I know this means dealing with the medical profession...I don't manage communication with them very well either!
Good luck!


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30 Oct 2021, 6:22 am

The_Illusive_Man wrote:
Ettina wrote:
If a disability affects your ability to do something, it's pretty likely that at some point you'll hit the limits of how much you can improve with practice. For example, people with cerebral palsy, like anyone else, are likely to improve in their motor skills if they get regular exercise and practice movements they find difficult, but that doesn't mean that you can get everyone with CP to walk if they exercise enough. Some people just can't do it, no matter how much they practice. Or they can walk with difficulty, but it'll never get easier. The same is true for pretty much any disability. Eg practice with visual tasks can sometimes make you better at seeing, but it won't make a legally blind person able to see normally.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that since autism doesn't affect how you look and doesn't cause as easy to understand limitations as something like cerebral palsy or blindness, it's not as real as those conditions, and an autistic person can just overcome every characteristic of autism with enough practice. It's what ABA treatment for autism is founded upon. But the reality is that autism, like any other disability, causes limitations that won't get better with practice, as well as things that you just need more practice to overcome.



I guess so. I was under no illusion that my life is more difficult than other people who have their own struggles but it is such a core struggle for me, you name it and I have failed it and not for lack of trying. I am 30 years old and if you paid me I still could not tell you a single example of my efforts leading to results. You did answer me very well, thank you


But you do feel you were trying..story of my life at least. people always accused me of not trying hard enough so much so one time I got stuck in the river current when swimming but I was somehow able to cling to some rocks with my toes and it was high up enough I was ok in the moment but I could feel m toes would give way any second and the river current would take me...so I was clinging to rocks with my toes and no one would believe me that I needed some help. Then my toes finally gave way and for sure I was afraid of getting sucked down the river....but my cousin jumped in at the last minute to save me because I guess he was the only one who noticed I was actually like on the verge of getting carried off in the river and if he hadn't dived in to save me that could be just what would have happened...because yeah none of the adults believed me that I couldn't just pull myself back to shore....if that cousin hadent dived in they would have still been drinking their beers wondering where I went.



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30 Oct 2021, 1:07 pm

The more I learned about electrical engineering, the easier it became; the easier it became, the better were my results; the better my results, the more difficult the projects; the more difficult the projects, the more I learned; the more I learned about... (et cetera).



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30 Oct 2021, 5:31 pm

Some people react quite physically to stress in that way. I'm sorry that you go through that, sounds agonizing. I understand the feeling of things never getting easier. I feel like the older I get, the harder it feels just to exist day by day. I don't have these symptoms you describe. But you are not alone in your views of the diagnosis.



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30 Oct 2021, 7:57 pm

The_Illusive_Man wrote:
One of the very few things that all humans seem to have in common is that the more you do something the easier it gets/the better you get at it.

But that is factually not true for me, I am wondering if anyone else is like that?

Don't worry I wont give my entire life story, I will try to keep this relatively short so I will use one area of my existence as an example. I try to be healthy, I go to the gym, I have now been going to the gym 3-7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for the past 16 years. The one and only exception to this was when all the quarantine bs started. I know the gym is not a big deal, I know I am going to workout that I am not going to war, I can tell myself this and in my head I know this, but that does not stop my body having a very over the top very visceral reaction. Every single day when it is time to get ready for the gym I will break out in a cold sweat, I will be trembling, my head will throb and I will vomit. There is no way to say this without being gross, but I vomit so much that I bring up blood.

I tried very hard to not let this dictate the course of my existence, but to this day this still happens, and remember this is just 1 example to try and relate how ridiculous the symptoms are, but this is not something that solely happens regarding the gym, it happens for everything. Walking to the local corner shop , walking my dogs, the morning commute, expecting a phone call from a bank/landlord etc. I tried to not let it control me, but the truth is that it has destroyed any hope I use to have of building a life for myself, literally every minor, mundande, every day task causes my body to react so violently that I experience a level of stress and nerves that most real people wont even come close to experiencing on their wedding days and now all thats left is a permanently stressed husk who knows it is too late to have any kind of future.( went on a bit of a tangent here, been a long time since I expressed these thoughts anywhere but my own head, sorry)


For what its worth, I have been on medication, but evidently my constitution is immune to medication. Doctors have tried me on every prescribable medication they can, beta blockers, anti depressants, sleeping tablets, you name it they've tried it. In fact currently they have cycled back to citalopram, which is a medication they have already had me on 4 seperate times in the past, with zero effect.
I wish I could tell you that something, anything, helped at all, but nothing has and so i remain a mess, I am autistic and I will never come to terms with that, I will hate it until I die and if there is existence after death I will continue hating it into oblivion( no offense to anyone else here, that is just my personal view of my personal diagnosis). But this one thing has ruined me more than anything else, if I had a single thing in my existence ( I say existence because I dont class what I have as a "life") that I could say I achieved or was good at I could have some minute building block of self esteem, but being a 30 year old who cant do a microscopic task like walk my dogs without vomiting blood is pathetic, truly pathetic. It doesnt stop me, I still walk the dogs, but it's such a sad, pitiful state, I dont want to go through it and I fully understand why I am completely isolated in this world, why would anyone choose to spend time with someone who cant even open their front door without being physically sick.

Sorry for my rambling, I feel self conscious even behind the anonymity of a username and end up being long winded as I feel compelled to try and justify every word I say( sorry again), but that is my explanation, and I am wondering is anyone else like this? where no amount of work, effort, discipline or exposure makes things easier.

Thank you
Wow. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I am sending you big hugs. :heart:


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30 Oct 2021, 8:02 pm

I don't know if this can help you or not but it's worth a try. When I am so overwhelmed and nonfunctional, I reassure myself that I don't actually have to do anything. That takes the pressure of feeling that I have to do the thing I have to do. Then that releases a lot of the stress.


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31 Oct 2021, 6:00 am

most of my early life was like that to some extent.
when called upon to perform in any way I had severe anxiety. trembling inside and out, freezing like a rabbit in the headlights, headaches, vomiting.
I always felt so inadequate to perform the tasks that were set for me, even walking across the room to speak to a stranger ( first job was as a clerk in a small dime store).

I simply did not have the tools I needed to perform, and I knew it. I dreaded everything, lived my life in fear and was constantly anxious and became depressed, feeling helpless.

The thing that helped for me was to learn healthy self assertive communication.

I had for the first 30 years of my life only done things on the demand and expectations of others. I had no idea of what I liked, what I thought, what I believed.

I studied what others liked, thought, and believed so I could meet any of their demands and expectations. (still didn't work, I was inadequate in every encounter with family, friends, strangers).

I had to have somebody teach me better ways to communicate and healthy decision making.
I could not see how I had alternatives, choices for any set of circumstances.

Early life trauma/abuse had left me programmed to be obedient, period.

I had to learn that I could choose how to respond to any situation I faced and I especially had to learn how to say NO and how to spot being intimidated, manipulated, used and abused.
I had no idea I had choices!
I was on meds too, but the thing that helped the most was the counseling to learn better life skills.

I could not recognize unhealthy behavior because that was all I had known for my first 30 years.

My autism inflexibility kept me from seeing I had alternatives. I needed the input of an outsider (counselor/therapist/life coach) to explain it all to me.
Sending best wishes.
Don't give up, keep trying to unlock the key to that horrible anxiety.

I tell people I lived with fear as my primary emotion for over half my life.
It has got better with time and practice of those skills in my new toolbox of ideas/skills and ways to interact with others.


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31 Oct 2021, 9:24 am

I'm so sorry for the hardship you endure. I agree it's so frustrating to know how you want to think and behave and to have it go differently.

Yesterday I made a mess of a "fun" time with my kids as I do about half the time. My young son was super hurt/angry. I was super ashamed. My instinct is to somehow try harder not to get overstimulated, but, umm, that's ridiculous. I explained to my children that my mom handled this by retreating to her bed and never leaving the room. No more overstimulation!! ! No more parent. I said that I want to continue interacting with them in public places, but I want it in a way that doesn't hurt them or me (as much). Soooooooo.... I'm back to the drawing board also. Ear plugs? Blinders? a code word to get me to a quieter, motionlesser place when I start to freak?

I've figured out that if I use ear plugs and close my eyes frequently (for a mini-break) I can get through board games better with my kids. That's mostly physical.

From a mental standpoint, my therapist is doing EMDR with me to try to reduce my PSTD-like responses in social interactions. Most recently I had a retail associate who was rude and I started crying inconsolably (which landed me a coupon for free merchandise next visit). I feel so helpless. If I let my Autistic instinct go, I would call that associate out in a fiery way. Knowing that's not "nice" and not knowing another way: inconsolable crying (which shows up at police stops, etc.) So if I could figure out how to divert the social "attack" or respond with strength for myself that would be so cool.

Wishing less vomiting for you, less freaking out/crying for me. :heart: