Throughout my life I have experienced many bouts of anxiety when presented the opportunity when something different presents itself. Oftentimes it throws me into this catastrophic fear that something bad is going to happen, when in reality once I do it, I know that it is the best thing for me to do and that I will have a blast doing it.
One of these great examples was the 5K that I completed this morning. While I knew that I could do it in the back of my mind. All these fears came popping up in my head yesterday spouting off fears of what COULD happen if I did, many of them very unlikely. They are challenging thoughts and they are a common affect of autistics because of the way our brains are wired Likely, we have our brain wired to think of the worst possible thing that could happen to us while doing something that is out of our comfort zone while, in fact we will likely enjoy the new thing that we try.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced some failure and in fact I’m sure everyone has experienced something that they attempted that wasn’t a success for them. However, many things I have accomplished in life have been successful. However, they have been anxiety producers for me and have wreaked havoc for those that I am close with that care about me. Yesterday, the day before this 5K was no exception. I had a plethora of information at my disposal of what to expect. However, not experiencing it or being to the venue in several years caused my anxiety to at a higher level than normal to the point to where it became unpleasant for my mother who has been at the forefront of my ruminating thoughts for some time now. The pattern is simple, once I do something like walking, I ruminate awful negative thoughts about myself that are nowhere near true. As a result she has to hear all these hard to digest comments about myself while remaining calm, cool and collective. She and many others know the pattern. My challenging thoughts build up before doing anything new or different, then once I ease into it, it becomes likely the best thing for me without any issue.
Somehow, my brain isn’t wired to accept the fact that these challenging thoughts are just that, challenging, oftentimes negative and harsh thoughts that are likely false I have had many discussions with the professionals that serve me over the years about these and the task at hand is simply to just try to fight them, but my brain won’t process the ability to do that. Somehow, I prevent myself from processing the necessary inter-dialogue to get through what can be this very unpleasant time.
I don’t even know what to say to my parents, especially my mother who has taken the brunt of challenging banter of my expectations of life. COVID has enhanced that to a degree and has caused some regression, but all we can do is be in the present and move forward from the mistakes I have made.
As for the 5K, I will write more about it on my Wellness Wednesday post this week Yes, it appeared as a challenge and until I got there I faced the uncertain and there was a great deal of uncertainty because of being on a new unfamiliar course. However, given the circumstances, I was given inertia and stamina to keep the drive going for three miles and I did awesome. There were some uphill portions of the course and the remainder was mainly flat, but my time was back to under an hour and I am truly blessed for that, because I had those challenging thoughts of being last, but 11 people were behind me, including another person in my age group, which made me proud. I an happy beyond belief and am super grateful to my mother who is there by my side being my cheerleader and being my escort and encouraging me to not give up. I hope I can now get in my head that fighting those negative thoughts is necessary in order to experience my maximum potential when doing something I might find challenging or cumbersome.