One of the worst things about lasting anxiety attacks is that they often lock you into the place/stat you are in, taking away your chances to take a breath and recover.

When you’re already ‘barely hanging on’, you will always instinctively choose the path of least resistance = the path that will bring less new anxiety. Which will also meant sticking to the ‘normal’ or the ‘routine’ that brought you into the place with anxiety in the first place.

For example, if you had your anxiety attack start during the night and last almost all the way till morning, preventing you from sleeping and making you feel like shit when you’re alarm trying to get you up for work, it would be a logical decision to call in sick and rest at home for a day, or at least take first half of the day off. However, the amount of anxiety involved in ‘picking up the phone to call work and tell them that you’re not feeling well and will take a sick day’ involves 2-3 times more anxiety than ‘make yourself get up and go to work as usual (even though there are people there)’. So you get up, no matter how bad you feel. Because, chances are, the worse you feel, the less chances there are to find strength to pick up the phone.

The same happens when you’re already at work and have an attack there. On one hand, you’re clearly not well, and your body tells you that it can’t continue on, and you need to get out. On the other hand, breaking the ‘everyday normal’, getting up to explain to people that you need to go home, bringing attention to yourself by doing all that, too often feels like something that will bring more anxiety than you can already handle. So again you sit there trying to imagine which is worse.

Getting out of your anxiety attack by yourself is very difficult, because it feels like quicksand – as in any kind of struggle you imagine attempting seems like it will only suck you deeper. It feels safer to stay still where you are and save your energy. And it’s really hard to know which of the options is actually the correct one this time around.

Last year, I actually went and printed off my whole ello blog with the intention of re-reading it from the beginning. 
At first I thought that it was because it’s a thing I do when it’s Spring, and my birthday (and trip back to Europe) was near and my memory is shit (also because I just did a similar thing with someone else’s blog). 
But actually reading it, I understand that it just falls in with the stage of looking back and reconsidering things I did and said with my new understanding of my diagnosis. It’s a little staggering… to see it everywhere now. To see myself describe compulsions, patterns, sensory overload problems, and never examine them, never see them for what they were, until now.

Every day since learning the diagnosis has more or less been: I still have no idea why/what xxx (insert an aspect of human behavior largely considered normal) is, but now at least I feel marginally less pressure to understand.

Rudy Simone, Aspergirls :



To find out you're autistic is quite a realization to have in your teens, but in your 40s or 50s it means you have to look back at your whole life and re-frame everything; every incident, every moment, with this new lens to look through. It's like getting glasses after spending your whole life near-sighted. Obviously, the longer you've gone without the diagnosis the more work you have to do in looking back. And in some cases, the more damage to your spirit, psyche, and relationships you have to undo. There are stages we have to get through once we, as adults of any age, find out we have Asperger's:
* Awareness - We find out about Asperger's and the information speaks to us but it just hasn't hit home yet. We may experience some resistance or denial.
* Knowing - The irreversible understanding that you have Asperger's. The realization clicks.
* Validation - Asperger's explains so much in a life that often seems to have had no rhyme nor reason. This is not one moments that will continue for years if not forever.
* Relief - I can finally as the song says "Lay my Burden down". We don't know what our burden is until we're diagnosed but we can tell that other people don't seem to be carrying it.
* Worry - What does this mean for my future and my potential?
* Anger - For all the blame and misdiagnoses that may have been laid upon us by others or by ourselves. Hopefully we will then get to the next phase of our lives.
* Acceptance/thriving - We become keenly aware of our gifts and deficits and use what we have wisely.


I don’t know if I’m doing this in order, but I’m pretty sure I’m hovering somewhere around anger mostly.

This past year, I’ve been trying to read some books on Asperger’s, but wasn’t really able to do a good job of it.
I just can’t seem to handle it. I’d like to hope, ‘yet’.
I read articles and impersonal descriptions online just fine. And I have Tony Attwood’s book too, and perhaps I should have tried to read that one first…
But the full “Guide to Aperger’s” is big and serious, and I thought I’d ease myself into it by reading much thinner personal accounts… like “Pretending to be Normal” Liane Holliday Willey or even “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone… and that’s where I thought wrong. I don’t know if I’m just too bitter right now, or am constantly in an unstable place.

Reading about mildly confusing but generally supported childhoods gets me angsty and snuffling after every paragraph, even when I later read that usually the difference is only that what I went through in elementary/middle school, others still went through, but perhaps somewhere closer to college age. But then the chapter when she begun talking about friends had me in tears 2 seconds in and I almost flung the book against a wall as hard as could… which was rather unfortunate because I also for some reason thought that reading it in small portions during lunch at work would be a good idea.
Whatever it is, I can hardly read these personal accounts without getting frustrated or tearing up, and there’s nothing good about these tears. They are no tears of relief, sympathy, or empathy. They are bitter, and resentful (even if not towards the words and those who wrote them), and exhausted. And I really don’t like myself like this. I don’t want to be this person tearing up 20 times a day from some kind of self-pity or what is this even. I think Simone wrote in the Introduction how it made her exited to read these accounts by other women, because they finally allowed her to recognize herself in others, or identify with someone, and I get that. And I wish I could feel like that too. I wish I would just read these to learn more about others and myself, to maybe even get some hints that could help working through it, to understand things a little better. The problem is, is while I can identify with most of related issues, and am perfectly aware of the fact that each person is different and even if share some one ‘thing,’ there is no way for any other experiences to have any overlap, I still… just can’t handle it, apparently. And it is not really about perceiving my experiences ‘worse’ than the way someone else had it. Though, to be honest, I don’t even know what is this about, really.
And there are plenty of people who are not diagnosed until well into adulthood, and say things like ‘I wasn’t diagnosed until my child was,’ but I’m still in that bitter corner where I just want to narrow my eyes and say “yeaaah, the point is you still managed to get married(likely) and have those children though, didn’t you?” And the marriage and children is not the point, it’s the fact of being on the ‘inside’ of the human society, and having enough social abilities, where you’re even able to do things like that.

I laugh like a maniac. Louder and longer than necessary, in many cases. And when I do I often ‘float’ outside my body, and get a little scared watching myself laugh because it feels unnatural, and like I can’t control myself, and like I try to laugh too hard because I’m either afraid I’m not doing it right or that it’s going to be the last time.