I find that I am often drawn to the more pessimistic possibilities when approaching something that is anxiety provoking. This is in no way help by the fact that when confronted by something new or different or scary I have to know all there is to know. When this coincides with a new interest or activity I am going to do this is often very helpful if irritating or bemusing for those who have to hear me randomly talking about it. I have discovered this week that not all share my love of old lawn mowers or the joy I have in having finished restoring one (really what’s not to love?).

That said it is not always helpful, sometimes it just serves to increase my levels of anxiety, this is also when I feel the furthest away from most other people, when it is obvious that my response and feelings are not deemed rational. Maybe they aren’t, maybe I should “not worry”. I only wish this were possible, I wish I was just worried but I’m not. I have reached completely and utterly terrified, now I find many things anxiety provoking or even scary for example a trip to the shops. I know that nothing is likely to happen, I am not scared that there is something bad or frightening just around the corner, what I am is overwhelmed by the world around me and the pace at which it moves I just can’t process the incoming information quickly enough.

I can avoide these anxieties or mitigate the impact they have and if it really all gets to much I can often hide myself away, sometimes that’s just not possible, sometimes the anxiety and fear I experience is to a smaller degree understandable and my response to it and the degree to which I experience it has a clear benchmark to be measured against. In this case I need to have an operation, it’s not a big one in fact the surgeon says it takes about 10 minutes to perform, he and others have been quite clear that there is nothing to be worried about. I don’t tend to see things this way.

It may be anxiety, it may be being autistic or it may be neither of these or something else. What every it is it is me, you see I tend to think the word nothing means, well nothing. As in not something, if you look into a room with a chair in and say there is nothing there then you have either failed to notice the chair or you are lying or making a statement and assuming there is a shared context for it. Either way the statement is wrong. Now I know that being put under a general anaesthetic and being cut open comes with risks, note not just a risk but risks as in more than one. I would at this point refer the reader back to the statement “you have nothing to worry about”.

There is a definite conflict here, the very nature of risk suggests the possibility of something you don’t want to happen happening, surely that is something to worry about? Now it is possible that you may be agreeing with me, it may be you are wondering where I’m going with this or if I’m going anywhere at all, it may also be that like many people I know you are becoming quite frustrated or annoyed because you think I am diliberatly missing the point. This is the most common experience I have. The rant I could have about way the so called majority think that there views and opinions are the right ones and that anything different is wrong will have to wait for another day or I will get side tracked (yes I know it’s a sweeping generalisation).

Anyway back to what I was going to say, I can no more change the way my brain works and preserves the world than anyone else can, I can and do seek to understand the way others see things and have developed an understanding of this but that doesn’t change a thing for me in real terms. I apologise it this trivialises the point but if you are scared of spiders will me explaining the the risk and telling you not to be scared remove your fear? If you had to walk into a room of spiders and I told you there was nothing to worry about would you think, ok thanks I’ll just head on in or would you think I was nuts for not noticing the spiders?

We live in a world that I experience as inaccurate at best but more realistically as deceptive and dismissive one that makes me feel inadequate and leaves me unable to seek support or express my fears from any but those closest to me or those in the community I have found on line. There are many who seek awareness or acceptance for many conditions or differences, I don’t know what word best describes what I am seeking, what I do know is that I try very hard to hear people and support them in a way they say they need it, trying to avoide the pitfall of supporting them in a way I would need it or judging them for experiencing something differently to me.

Just because you don’t see, recognise or understand something does not mean it is Nothing.

Aspie and Proud

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