Hello I need help and advice.
I have an extremely vivid imagination, which has some positives, especially when it comes to my writing and art. However I feel like my imagination is doing more harm than good for me.
I imagine such awful and very scary worst case scenarios in my head and convince myself they are going to happen to me. It makes me distressed and very anxious and I worry myself so much I make myself physically ill. I constantly live in fear of something truly horrible happening to me. My parents are concerned about me and my constant obsessing and worrying is destroying my relationship with my boyfriend (we've been together nearly 2 years).
So far I have imagined that I will die from a deadly disease soon, I will get cancer and not know about it and then I will die a horrible death, that someone will murder me in the street, I will get kidnapped, I will get locked in someone's basement forever, I will get accused of a crime I haven't done and will have my name and photo blasted all over the media, I will go to prison, I will get burned alive, someone will throw acid at me in the street, I will be a victim of a horrific assault or accident and will be disfigured, I will get raped and contract HIV or herpes, I will live in poverty after Brexit.....all these crazy things. Neurotypical people have constantly told me these worries are absurd but I somehow have come to a conclusion as to why each of those things will happen to me in the future. I spend all day and night worrying and thinking about them - I don't sleep, I have bad eating patterns, my house is a mess, I don't look after myself and I never get anything done due to my constant obsessing and panicking and overthinking these horrific scenarios.
I am seeing a counsellor again next week for the first time in years. I just want these thoughts to end I am so so sick of feeling like this.
There's also the data-handling - the word 'table' only takes a small amount of data to store and process - we're dealing with huge table video and image files for the same word. It uses a lot more brain crunching which is tiring.
You can do something very helpful when going over past events. Learn how to replay them in your mind, but this time, in a way which would be completely perfect for you. When you have cemented this new version of events in your mind, because the subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish between reality and fiction, it thinks everything is reality and as such, you are building confidence in yourself and you get rid of the constant replays. This is just one strategy in many but it’s a good one and you can have fun with it.
The same with future events as well. As we know things never turn out as we have rehearsed them but if we’ve rehearse a really positive, in fact, perfect outcome, regardless of what happens, the outcome is more likely to be closer to our dominant thought pattern so it may not go in the exact same way, but it will go well and it also gives us an opportunity to learn.
For example, we might say to ourselves, why didn’t I say what I wanted to say? It might be that we didn’t have the confidence ~ so this gives us a great opportunity to see if there’s a chance we can improve our confidence in this area.
Through this, I’ve found that there are just some things that I can’t do or that are too difficult and the reward isn’t worth the practice so I can accept these things and think ok, I won’t set myself up to fail, I won’t try to do that again. And so on and so forth. It might be that the environment was very noisy or busy which meant we were hyper vigilant and what we wanted to say became less of a priority. So in this case, we can make efforts to make sure that when we want to have a similar interaction again, we make sure we’re in a quite room with fewer distractions etc.
Excellent points there. I definitely think things through very visually.
Thank you all for the responses. It always shocks and amazes me how some people assume those on the spectrum lack imagination, I have the utmost vivid imagination compared to a neurotypical and I know of plenty who are on the spectrum who are extremely creative and imaginative as well.