I’m utterly fascinated by the lengths I will go to, to avoid doing things. My psychiatrist said I’m not ‘avoiding’ things, I’m simply looking after myself. He says it’s self preservation. Whatever it is, it’s highly interesting.
I’ve got two boxes in my bedroom to sort out. It’s my goal for this week and tomorrow is deadline day, and have I sorted them out? No. It’s so weird and I’ve never looked at it as closely as this before. It’s like there’s the thing I need to do, there’s me here, all able to do this thing from all conceivable aspects and it’s like there’s a brick wall between the two places that I simply cannot cross. I can almost touch and see the brick wall, sitting there all silent and still and when I think about crossing it, all I can do is cry!
I cry when I’m tired and when I’m simply unable to put words or reason to how I’m feeling. I don’t see crying as a negative thing. For me, it’s often simply a way to express what I’m feeling, without having to know, consciously, what it is that I’m feeling. But the more I think about sorting out the boxes, the more ill I feel. I feel sick, anxious and nervous and like I just really don’t want to do it. I want somebody else to do it for me.
Until I started travelling further a field, 12 years ago, when I got into these situations, where my house is a total mess and needs sorting out, I would simply leave. I would go and stay at my mums and my mum and my friend, aunty or sister or a combination of all of them, would go and sort it out for me and when completed, I would move back home.
None of us ever questioned this so I never addressed why I couldn’t just do it myself. None of us ever questioned autism or that there was anything ‘wrong’ with me, it’s just the way it was.
But I’m facing it now and I don’t like it. It’s like there’s a ball of fire in my belly and it rises up and comes into my throat. Then it reaches my eyes and tears spring forth and fall down my face. I touch my hand to my chest and start stimming with my hand. It’s so nonsensical and truly fascinating. It’s like I actually want to vomit and because I don’t like vomiting, I want to cry.
I’m not sad or anything and I don’t see any of this as a negative or a problem. Not in the least and in fact, just the opposite. It’s good to see so clearly what’s going on with me, as far as I can tell, of course. I find it fascinating that, for many years, I was able to cover my anxiety, to such a degree, I didn’t even know it was there. Victor Frankle said that it is truly amazing, the depths that human beings can go to, to survive, under extreme circumstances and he’s right, it’s like we are able to go beyond what we think is humanly possible.
I think I’m starting to get a connection to my little self, my younger self. As I sit here, stomach burning with fire, eyes burning with tears, I’m starting to feel a sense of connection with my younger self. Looking back, I must have been so anxious that I cut myself off from it and that is where my disconnection from self began, maybe?!?
Whenever I’ve done inner child work, I realise now that when I would look at my little me, it was as if I was on the outside looking in but now, for the first time, I’m starting to feel a connection. I did wonder, a few days ago, why I don’t feel connected to my childhood or my child self. Now I think I’m getting the answers. No wonder I’m like a child, in many ways. I’m being taken back to the place where I first lost contact with the self. WoW, yes, I’ve definitely got a connection.
Now I return my focus to the present. Will I or won’t I sort out the boxes? I’ve also got some super important phone calls to make which I’m also avoiding like the plague.
Deep breathing. Deep breathing. Deep breathing. WoW, even my legs are wobbly! My whole body is shaking. One strategy I have employed recently is to simply admit when something is difficult. For example, I will say to myself, this is hard, this is so hard, while I face it and do it anyway, because when was hard a reason not to do something? And if, after all efforts, I find that I really cannot do a certain thing, I simply accept it with love and get somebody else to do it for me. We can’t be good at everything! I’m not sure who I could get to sort my house out though. A friend came recently and cleaned my bathroom and kitchen for me but I don’t think she wants to do it again and this is more than a one day job. However, where there’s a will there’s a way and if I can’t do this, then I will find somebody who can. I won’t be defeated. I need a clean and orderly living/working environment in order for me to move forward with business plans, and I’m getting very very itchy feet to get back to Bali, even if only for a month, so I have got to get going with business plans, sooner rather than later, although they won’t go ahead until I have built my solid foundation, because without that, nothing else is going to last. So there’s no rush, I’m simply at a crossroads, meaning, I either have to do this (sort the boxes/make phone calls) or find another way of achieving my goal of having a clean and minimalist and orderly living/work environment.
I’m going to have a go. I’m going to sit here, drink my hot water, do some deep breathing then give it a go. We’ll see what happens! It will happen or it won’t
p.s. if you’ve got any tips, I’d love to hear them.
If I'm going through a period of hardcore procrastination I listen to a CD that lasts, for say an hour, and I tell myself that when the CD finishes I will attack the task with gusto. It works most of the time. It puts it off for an hour and allows me to regenerate my oomph.
You’re doing better than me. I put things off for months and years although I’ve been tackling the box today, so that’s really good, but I still haven’t tackled the other stuff.
I don’t see it as procrastination though. I have just learned many reasons why I appear to not do something. With reference to my current box senario, I have learned that it was anxiety, not procrastination. I had forgot, and only remembered when I started to sort the box, that I had already sorted it, at least these were things I wanted to keep. But because I had no idea where I was going to put the stuff, my mind kind of shut down with regards thinking about the box. It was too overwhelming so I shut it out. Then by observing my seemingly irrational fear about approaching it today, I can see that the fear was related to the last time I had anything to do with the box. By pushing through the fear, I discovered so much more as well. I knew mine wasn’t procrastination but it certainly looks like that.
I haven’t yet got out of the habit of thinking that my inertia is simply indolence. You seem further down the road in accepting that being on the spectrum means that what I still identify as faults, are more accurately described as symptoms.
Try acupuncture? When certain meridians stagnate, outer life may stagnate too
Yeah, you’re right, what I used to think of as problems or difficulties, I now see as opportunities to help me create my life in a way that is optimal for me. However, this process only started when I started to get one to one support. Before that, the only frame of reference I had for understanding my seemingly irrational behaviour, was how it appears to other people, for example, I’m procrastinating, I’m lazy, I’m a spoilt brat etc etc etc. However, I can now see that it is none of these things. My ‘avoidance’ today was simply my reaction/anxiety around completing a task I didn’t know how to complete and the anxiety, once it was given space to express itself, was ferocious! I’m no longer surprised that I was putting the task off for so long. I still haven’t eaten today which is another interesting point to note. At one point today, I heard myself say, and I’m not going to eat anything, which was said in defiance. So I realised that I use food as a form of control when I feel out of control. I didn’t realise I was doing this. Knowing it doesn’t change it necessarily, but it’s helpful to know. If all I do is treat the ‘symptoms’ then all I do is feed the symptoms and ensure that they continue in one form or another.
I’ve sussed it. It was a simple case of anxiety wrapped up and looking like avoidance.
I skip meals. I’m not as bad as I used to be, I’m eating more regularly these days, I think giving up smoking helped with that.
I’m in training to be a breatharian!
Are there categories of Breatherians? As in ultra orthodox followers who don’t eat or drink at all. And reform or liberal Breatherians, who just eat and drink the basic necessities to sustain life.
Sort of, I suppose, lol! Most people who call themselves breatharian, go without food and water for extended periods of time, usually at least a year. Then they will generally continue with this and most eat sometimes, if they fancy eating, it is only ever for eatings sake, for the pleasure of eating and not so often. By a time a person gets to this stage, they know that the body rarely requires food or water to sustain life so they wouldn’t eat and drink the basic necessities, as there aren’t any.