Everyone suffers with stress at some time or another, in morning rush hour or dealing with your boss at work, but when you’re an Aspie it is a much bigger deal.
For Aspie’s even the smallest thing can completely ruin our whole day. I find that I have a plan for my day and can’t cope if I have too many things to do. Even if I can easily manage to do them all, it seems like I have too much on my plate, and I have to break it down to smaller chunks. If I look at my day that, this task is the most important so I’ll do this first, then if I have enough time, I’ll do the next item I need to take care of, but if I don’t get time I’ll do it tomorrow I don’t get as much anxiety.
If I’m running late or any part of my day doesn’t go the way I planned it, again causes me anxiety and will throw me off for the rest of the day, doesn’t matter how slight it is, if I’m taking Aston to school and he makes me late leaving, it will throw me off all day, even if when we arrive at school there are still people arriving.
The smallest things just ruin my whole day, and if you suffer with stress then everything gets escalated, and you find yourself getting exasperated. For me this is made worse by my heart condition. If I feel anxiety or stress about any given situation, then I feel it in my chest as slight discomfort, that then gets me thinking is this anxiety or is it my heart.
Then not only am I feeling anxiety over whatever went wrong with my day, but now I’m feeling IT more because I’m thinking it could be my heart, and it goes on, more anxiety leads to thinking more and more it maybe my heart which leads to even more anxiety, which leads to even more chest pain, and so it goes on.
I have found that when something goes wrong, the only thing that I can do is stop, stop everything, calm down just do anything that I find relaxing, watch TV, listen to music, whatever it is, to just let my stress and anxiety get back down to a point that I can no longer feel it then carry on with my day.
When you first of all get diagnosed with heart disease, one of the first things your doctor will do other than refer you to hospital for further tests, is give you information on managing stress, as stress can cause you to have a heart attack, or at least an angina attack, which at times can feel as bad as a heart attack.
Asperger Syndrome makes things just seem worse, the things most people can shrug off and say if I’m late I’m late. Juno is one of these people, she seems to get flustered and upset at things that don’t even gauge a response with me, but can have the attitude that if I’m late, I’m late it’s not the end of the world.
Leigh has the added addition of not caring if she’s late, her attitude is they will either wait for me or they won’t, but at the same time she does her utmost to arrive on time. I’ve known Leigh to leave home an hour before an appointment, when we live 15 minutes away, she would rather arrive early and wait, then risk being late , but that is for things like doctor and hospital appointments.
Things she sees as not so important like being at her mums or friends at a certain time, if she is running a few minutes late it’s fine as they will understand. I’m just not like that I have a plan and must follow it exactly. This means that I have to plan days out, with days in after to recover from days out, I must structure my day so that I have some flexibility.
I plan things into my day like leisure time, time to watch TV or read or listen to music, things that if I take longer on a task that is more important like work, then I can cut into my leisure time and it won’t affect me as long as I still get some time to relax. By making my days this well planned out, means that I have things more or less how I want them.
This helps to eliminate a lot of my stress and anxiety from my day.