Hola (take four) Amigos!
I can’t believe that I’ve already rambled on at you four times, but that’s the point of a blog after all, right? First of all, I want to start this blog off with the biggest thank you ever! Obviously, as I knew from the start, that this blog wouldn’t become popular quick, but I didn’t expect it to become as popular as it has become in the limited time. So thanks to all you lovely lot for your likes, comments and emails to me, they’ve all been so very supportive and made me want to continue, so thank you, it honestly means the world! (And of course where possible please continue to spread the word.)
Anyway, after blogging a page each on Allergies and Autism, I guess its time to move onto the last of my ‘Triple A’s’, which is, Anxiety. I’m hoping many will relate to this one, because I know how PDA brings high anxiety levels, I know how Allergies bring high anxiety levels and because I know how many people in this world struggle with Anxiety alone.
It’s a hard topic to write about because there’s so many different ways that different people struggle with but feel free to either leave a comment or send me an email if you’d like me to talk, post or help you the very best I can with a specific type.
My main fear has to be standing out, it always has been, since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be in the corner of the room, never, ever, ever, the centre. It’s part of my PDA and I’m aware of that but with so many things edging me towards being in the spotlight, it gets increasingly harder to stay out of it. With Autism and Allergies that I try to hide, it’s almost like I was born to stand out and more than anything I’ve always wanted to hide away, to just be accepted but not made a big deal out of.
With my allergies I struggle big time to fit in, not necessarily saying I stand out like a sore thumb, but I’m definitely asked a 100 questions with each teacher I have or each friend I make. Taking catering for a GCSE seemed like such a great idea, when my only goal was to have a business making dairy and egg free cakes, cookies, etc. But the whole exam process and the thousands of different teachers my class has had has stressed me out that much, I’ve slowly lost my passion for baking and that’s something I never thought I’d do. With that, means a change of future plan, no longer do I want to study cooking in college, I now want to go to sixth form and study Psychology. Anyway, although I regret taking catering at GCSE level, I don’t regret the challenge of making myself known, the challenge of walking down the school with the biggest brief case ever, making me stand out, which carried all my equipment in, the challenge of all the questions I was asked and all the questions I felt like I had to answer. But mostly, I’m happy I put up the fight to do catering because that means somewhere down the line someone with allergies will be more easily accepted into the catering GCSE at my school and that means I’ve helped someone majorly. I’ve mostly struggled with the immaturity that my year (year 11) has, once I was in a lesson when they started throwing eggs, yep 15 and 16 year olds throwing eggs and I didn’t know what to do, because I was too anxious to leave the room yet my life was in danger, because it’s not just a joke or an exaggeration or an intolerance, that ingredient could simply take my life away in a second, and all I could do was freeze. That’s when my anxiety hits me the most, when I know I have to get out of a potentially life-threatening situation and yet all I can do is stand, when my legs won’t move and I just stare into space, that’s when I know my anxiety is too out of control, and putting me into danger.
Again with my allergies I have the struggle of socialising, when in this day and age people are going on about ‘a cheeky nandos with the lads’ now that seems great..but cheeky is an understatement when that sauce could take away my life. But do I want to seem boring and not go? No, of course I don’t..But again I’m stuck in this cycle. The thing that annoys me the most, the absolute most about my allergies is when someone finds a joke about it. They think it’s hilarious to offer me chocolate because that has milk in and it’s hysterical that one ingredient could slowly shut down my organs, so funny isn’t it?!?! But how can they know the reality of anaphylactic shock when I’m too nervous to tell them, when they’re shoving a Toblerone in my face and I physically can’t do anything but inside I’m fully aware of the fact my life could be snatched away from this bit of ‘harmless banter’ but I’m full of too much anxiety to speak up and tell them how much of a problem it is.
Another side of my anxiety comes of course with my Autism, the fight inside my brain to stay unknown when my heads telling me to do the opposite. The thought of standing out terrifies me, and sends shivers up my spine, as I am fully able to picture what my whole school would think of me if I let this dirty secret out. But is it a dirty secret? Is Autism that can’t be helped a dirty secret? No, of course it’s not, but it’s seen this way to too many people, and that shows how wrong the stigma is, how wrong the world is. ‘Role play’ is something I spoke about in my previous blog and how for me, personally, I couldn’t think of anything worse than standing up while people watched me pretending to be something that I’m not. Drama, is and never has been one for me. People telling me what to do, no matter what it’s about, no matter how nicely they ask, brings on high levels of anxiety and I cannot control it, and I think, psychologically, that’s why it scares me the most. Because I’m unable to stop myself from feeling this amount of pressure after one silly, easy, everyday, command.
Presentations. Even that word makes me shiver and straight away I can feel signs such as palms sweating, butterflies in full action in my stomach and feeling physically sick. That one word in lesson is all it takes to change me into an absolute meltdown, but I can’t let others know can I? So I hold it all in, waiting to get home so I can just cry it all out. The worst thing is? I know what every single friend will say..and I also know if you struggle with this you’ll know it too..”The more you do it, the more you won’t mind it” No matter how many times I hear this phrase it never stops me getting any less angry. Because for me who suffers with social anxiety, it’s not just as easy as practice, if it was that easy I’d be a little nervous, like you. Not completely melting down inside because there’s no way in hells earth I can stand at the front and talk to 30 goggling eyes.
It’s not even just that that makes me feel sick inside. It’s simple things. Everyday tasks. That ‘normal’ people don’t think twice about. It’s going to pay at a till. It’s going to order something at a fast food place. It’s going to talk to an old friend. All those simple, laughable things that terrify me. Checking twenty times that I’ve got the right amount of money before paying, even though I’m certain that I have but I can’t help but doubt myself, thinking that suddenly I’m unable to count to £3.50, thinking that maybe they’ll think this £1 is fake, that I’ll get into trouble, that something will go wrong. But will it? No of course it won’t. Ordering a McDonalds surely can’t go wrong? If you order the wrong thing you just correct yourself, right? Of course. But why doesn’t my brain know and understand that everything is going to be okay.
This blog is a long one and it’s still only covered a certain few anxieties but I do hope someone out there has read it and for once felt like they weren’t alone because they knew exactly what I was on about. If it did please like, comment or share to anyone that might appreciate the help, or even just the thought of a friend understanding. Also please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) The emails I’ve got so far have all been so supportive and I thank every single one of you, again!
x x x