Overwhelm

Today was a most interesting day.

I found that I was “procrastinating” and not actually managing to get anything started. It wasnt that I didnt want to, it just seemed all a bit too much… In fact it seemed that the more I tried to sort things out and make a plan to get things done, the harder it seemed for me to actually start.

It seemed to me, that I was wallowing in anxiety and yet this didn’t quite fit. I wasn’t so much worrying about what I had to do, it was more overthinking to the point of paralysis.

I spoke to Helen and told her that my “start” button was broken and that I was ok once I started a task but actually getting started was the sticking point. We then went on to talk about the executive function ?

So my plan for tomorrow is to do more research on the executive function but my executive function is what controls starting tasks.

I was feeling a bit down as I had been feeling that being Neuro divergent was not a positive thing to be and that it was just making my life damn hard. I was so overwhelmed with all the things that were sneaking up on me such as buying school uniform, going back to school myself and all the other little things that seemed to be yelling at me for attention. Which one do I start with first? Which one was most important?

I decided that Bills school uniform was always a difficult one for me with the notoriously bad time keeping and estimation that I possess. While I thought that it was just me and that it was a fatal character flaw that I really should have grown out of by now, I believe it is part of the ASD.

So we discussed funneling and chunking and how this simple method can break the tasks down.

I started with writing the task – Buy Bill’s uniform – at the top of the page and the date by which I wanted to achieve my goal. I then thought of the first thing that I needed to do. This turned out to be finding the letter that told me what the school uniform consisted of. I had a fairly good idea that it was in my folder but …. then again it could be in any of my “safe” places.

I then proceeded to carry on and break down the task or “chunk” the task into manageable steps and stages. This took the huge mess of thoughts out of my head and organised them into a coherent framework.

The one big thing that I forgot to do???? I forgot to congratulate/praise myself after each stage. ‘We get so carried away sorting it out that we dont realise the struggle and the effort that goes into organisation of thoughts that avoid the dreaded overwhelm.

Disaster averted but important and life changing lesson learnt. I may have to work a little bit harder at certain things but i wouldnt change myself now I know that who I am is so linked with what I am.

I still find it hard to label myself as Aspie or Aspergers or autistic but for the first time ever I feel that this makes sense of who I am.

I was listening to the life story of Oliver Sacks a great neuroscientist who carried out research into migraines and then wrote up some of the case studies into a book. What an interesting person he was. I completely identified with him and found his life fascinating. I was in awe of the work he did and I have decided that I am going to read “the man who thought his wife was a hat” ( I will check the proper title in the morning)

So my current reading list is getting longer and longer and the holidays are running out!! But Im loving all of it. The whole psychology and sociology and everything is so very very fascinating. I have now signed up for 3 Open University courses. One is a basic introduction to psychology, one is criminal psychology and one is using a time line app that allows you to investigate the history of psychology and see all the different links to discoveries.

I aim to complete at least one of them before i go back to school. But I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself and am upset that I have to go to sleep. I have not felt this excitement about finding out about something new for a long time.

I am waiting for my bracelets to arrive from Amazon tomorrow as I ordered two to help with the stimming in meetings rather than twirling my hair like a five year old or twisting my rings.

So pictures of my bracelets tomorrow and progress report on how my chunking and funnelling is working out and if my bracelets arrive in one piece!

I have time to make positive changes in my life.