I wrote the following to help me sort out my thinking, and I submit it here to inform, not to moan or accuse...
One thing I find that my Aspergers has brought me is the difficulty I find in doing something new. I love exploring the unexplored but it often brings much stress with it as my brain tries to sort it out. I know this sounds strange coming from someone who loves creativity and the unique! We are a bunch of contradictions.
I think the people activity is the stressor. Anxiety is common among Aspergians.
I am currently in the middle of falling apart over a wonderful opportunity to travel to New Zealand next month. I fall apart between dealing with the kids' school, finding animal/house sitters, organising the little details, and trying to ignore my fears that all will go wrong. Trying to pep talk myself that I can do it, and having confidence that I can cope with last minute emergencies like illness, especially the kids'.
Bushy has just discovered he is going to be in Sydney the two days prior, so I will be looking after the kids alone for two days, then packing and travelling to Sydney with the kids alone. Given my recent health problems I have become shaken in my ability to do it. And my confidence in this has never been firm!
You lose confidence in your ability to cope when you have come crashing down and unable to push through.
Imagine driving down the highway feeling all becoming too much, pulling over so you don't crash looking through tears, then ringing your spouse to talk you down to terrafirma. Then multiply this time and time again.
Imagine doing this in front of your kids, time and time again.
Imagine the horrors in your mind wondering how this is affecting them, seeing their supposedly in control parent crashing down. How secure do you think they feel?
Imagine giving your son instructions for what to do if this happens in the airport.
How confident would you feel embarking on the unknown?
I have difficulty prioritising. Everything comes at me at once and my brain struggles to make sense of it. This also relates to sensory experiences.
When I'm in the midst of my overload I can't get my brain to work enough to analyse what I'm really thinking, so it all becomes too much and I panic or become so overwhelmed I fall in a heap of depression. I really rely on outside help to keep my thought processes logical. Writing is useful also, hence this post, but has limited use in the busy moments.
I careen between blackness and brightness.
Sometimes the blogging business feels like standing by a busy highway waiting for a break in the traffic, and on finding it you surge forward to join in, and heaven help you if you slow down, so you paddle madly with your little feet going like Fred Flinstone.
I often feel the need for a break from the cerebral action required in blogging the way we do, with meaningful comments left on each other's posts which lead to friendships. You know the other person is waiting for lovely comments as you are yourself. Tit for tat, in a good way.
I know I'm not alone in feeling this pressure, as I hear others apologise for falling behind in reading and commenting. It seems a stress we all feel. Is it a good stress? Sometimes it is, but in my limited resources world it is often too much.
How to manage this? I have limited the number of blogs I read and comment on so I can keep up a meaningful dialogue, but even this becomes impossible sometimes. Woe betide if I stop, because I really can't catchup. When I return I madly run around reading and I feel the end in sight when I look to find more posts!
This is when I only comment on the recent ones and move forward, but then my brain niggles at me because I feel I've missed something!
The energy required to read and comment is immense because I have a very small processing memory (common amongst Aspergians). So while I am commenting on one part of a post, I forget the other things I wanted to say, so have to scroll back and forth. Maybe I need a pad to jot down as I go. Hmm good idea me!
But I think the weird thing is that when I read and comment I use as much energy as if I was having a conversation face to face. This makes it an enjoyable experience, but enjoyment can also cause overload! Did you know that? So when I read and comment on 10 blogs in a day, it's as if I've had 10 friends over to chat to. Something I would never attempt in real life!
I also stopped replying to your lovely comments on my blog. I'm not sure if this is sustainable as I really, really want to reply! This may be reassessed, but it seems a lot of energy required for something you may never read.
So there are times when all I can do is post, to add to the pool for you all to read!
And recently I'm even having trouble doing that!
If I'm honest, I'm worried you will all forget me, just as I was becoming part of the group.
(Typical Aspie worry, am I part of the group yet? How do I become part of the group? Do I even like this group? Do I want to be part of this group?
Do I want to expend the energy required to join and sustain this group?)
I was attracted to the online world thinking I would be able to keep in contact with less energy than the real world. I also looked forward to exploring and sharing my creativity with others.
The reality has been that I definitely have shared my creative ideas, and they have grown. The part I have been surprised at is the genuine friendships I've made, and the people I have learnt from and admire. This I didn't expect!
So blogging helps me reach out in ways I wouldn't have dreamed, and helps me feel worthwhile in others' lives without leaving my house. It has helped me feel less housebound, and definitely added to my self esteem which badly needed a boost!
So thankyou my friends for your love, and joy spread into my little corner of the world, for the lessons learned and shared, and for the confidence you have given me. This is still a long project and I'm not giving up any time soon, but I wanted you all to know some of my thought processes, and perhaps inform a little more on the ways Aspergers can impact on you.
Of course it isn't all bad. Aspergers has given me many creative outlets due to my diffability...the different way of being.
Here, have a flower in thanks.