Mr Methodical

Another day, another revelation! I was working on the garden today, mowing, re-seeding, cleaning fencing... and halfway through I noticed something. Everything I was doing was in an order, a logical order. Items were brought out into the garden in order of their use, placed in the right places, and each job was performed in a methodical, logical way. First this. Then that. Then this. Then that. Even at the end of the work (seven hours in total) all the items were cleaned in order of dirtiness, and size, and then put back in their home in the right place.

I stopped at regular intervals to have a drink of water, or a tea/coffee, cold drink, and that's when I caught myself mentally going through the order of business... and I saw how it relaxed and soothed me. I was relaxed. It was a relaxing day.  I was really quite happy to have noticed how I approached things in this methodical, step by step, way.  I can see now how and why I sometimes get stressed: it's because I'm called upon to do something out of order, or out of sequence, and it is creates an internal stress. 

I'm not going to look anything up on the internet about this. Not yet. I'm almost certain it's related to autism, but it might not be. Anyway, I'm not going to look just yet. I'll wait and (hopefully) be able to read some of your experiences.

Does any of this ring a bell? Are there other Mr, Mrs or Miss Methodicals out there?

  • I could NEVER hack seven hours on a task, although I put my name down for gardening at WAVE in Omagh for Volunteers' Day tomorrow.

  • yes exactly. And now I have been convicted for requesting help while suicidal and that feels totally wrong and so I keep campaigning for support to recognise the wrongness of this

  • This is SO TRUE. I loved reading this even! 

    I think this is also how the Autistic brain is wired to learn according to several books I've read including Field Guide for Earthlings. And I think it's why so many have problems at school and with education. 

    My father would always say if you can "Learn the system of a thing you can learn anything". That system requires ordering. And I've also found that a common theme in research regarding the autistic brain is the ability to visualise or understand sequence, order of workings, know when there is a missing element (even if trouble identifying it). According to this, Autistic Individuals can, if given information and education in the way they are wired to intake it, keep society more fluid, in motion, properly functioning. 

  • Thanks, Juniper. There's a lot of useful information there.

    As soon as something interrupts my order; a phone call, a mechanical breakdown, or any unexpected happening, I get stressed. If it happens too often in a short spaec of time, it turns into anger. 

  • Me too! I literally irritate myself at how angry things make me!!! 

    I had thought for years that being interrupted was simply an aspect of being female - little did I realise interruptions of flow (interrogations more like) were not a big deal to NTs (really, how DO they actually finish a thing fully??)

    Even minor elements. Auto-correct doing things that I'm not intending to do. Expecting a process to happen on a phone or computer after the Update wiped out that capacity. General things not working how they're supposed to. Let me just throw this device across the room for a moment. 

    I've broken off relationships because the interruptions literally destroyed my aiblity to work. 

  • Messenger's reaction menu, which activates at the touch, grinds my gears. I'm trying to scroll down,  then the reaction menu activates.

  • So irritating!!!  Or when a site has Ads bouncing like mad at the bottom and a "hidden" top bar which appears every time you move the screen. Being a bit dyslexic, I use the top bar to help read. Cannot read on those sites - especially now every time you highligh a script, bubbles of things to do appear On Top of what youre trying to read. No LOLs. I'm becoming a pro at evaluating whether or not to get too invested before hitting the Show Previous Page Button. 

  • Putting things together that go together, that's to do with order. If I go to a charity shop and see something similar to something I have I will be very tempted to buy it. I have a collection of Bulgarian ceramics, other people's souvenirs, different colours but all decorated with dips of coloured slip, it must be difficult and they look nice together. I had quite a large collection of blue and white ceramics from many countries, I love the similarities and differences and the global nature of blue and white pottery.

    I love order but I am pretty disorganised too. I also get exhausted physically so don't usually finish the jobs like sorting out my paint tubes. 

    Order, patterns, listing, all very autistic activities. 

  • I have a thing about sets of things.   If I'm working, I need to know I've got a complete set of something before I start and after I'm finished - socket sets, drills etc.     If there's one that's missing, it's the one that was used before so it's probably the one I'll need.....

  • Hello everyone, this sounds like planning to me and more about sequencing for order which all comes under executive functioning skills, right? and which people with ASD typically have difficulties with.

    I would really like to be able to do these things but my executive functioning skills are just to poor for this kind of planning! 

    Do you think it's possible for someone to have split executive functioning skills if that makes sense, for example, be good at planning and bad at sequencing, it just seems to me the two work in tandem along with being able to 'organise' which would also be part of the process I think.

    Just my experience.

    And a bit off topic, my aspirational movie character who's simplified lifestyle solves a lot of these problems I think is Ben Affleck who plays Christian Wolff in 'The Accountant'. That is how I would love my ASD to have affected me.