Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Unknown Territory

Hey readers,

One of the big issues with my Autism is anxiety particularly when I go to a new place. So I shall tell you about such an incident so you can get a feel want it is like for me personally.
I took my boys to the zoo this week and as much as I love the outdoors/wildlife the new situation caused me to feel very anxious.

When we went to the zoo it was half term so it was super busy. Also, I had not been out as a family for a while to somewhere new therefore contributing to making me feel even more anxious.

I get overwhelmed with being in new places because I have to take in all my environment.
I feel powerless as I don't know what to expect as it is a new place.
The zoo that day was very loud and busy causing me to get stressed very quickly especially when I have also got to look after my boys.

Another factor causing me to feel anxious was getting caught up in a crowded area. This can make me feel very claustrophobic causing me to feel like running away and hiding.
The noise levels cause my ears to ring.

I can only cope with so many people touching me. Not in a perverse way you must understand but just the sensation of other people touching my skin by brushing past. It makes my skin crawl and itchy.

Having to deal with my son screaming with tantrums and dealing with paranoia due to not having the skills to read facial expressions correctly. Because I have low self-confidence I feel very negative and worry about what others are thinking of me when they stare at me.
Having to deal with negotiating and calming my son down when I am anxious is something I have to work really hard at. It is very draining for me when I am out that it affects me the next day and I feel dead to the world.

Getting lost and disorientated not knowing where I am in the zoo does not help and makes me panicky.

I find not knowing when the event will end is a struggle for me because it being ambiguous and not having a plan heightens my anxiety.

In the beginning, I enjoyed the animals however I did have a mild meltdown due to the overwhelming. This is a result of all the factors I explained previously adding up and turning into a high anxiety situation. So much so that I could not communicate clearly and needed to leave due to a lack of skills to cope with the situation.

However, when I did calm down and my husband discussed what we could have done to make the situation better.

1) Take diazepam.

2) come back during a weekday and not in half term when it is busy.

3) should have got a map to work out where we are going.

4 Planning more structure with getting a plan online and working out where we are going and incorporating lunch.

5) Include a coffee break so we can have a drink and refresh.

If anyone has any other suggestions please feel to share as we are returning in a couple weeks again as we have a free return ticket.

Cheers for reading X



 

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