Monday, 18 March 2013

Changes Are Scary

In mid-January, I posted here about how I dislike change.  I have disliked change since I was a young child and honestly, it isn't something I see overcoming in the near future.  I spend a large proportion of my time planning my schedule - for the day, the week, the month.  This proportion of time spent is matched only by the amount of time I spend worrying about the things I cannot fit into the clean and precise crevasses in my mental calendar.  I am always afraid that plans will change.  I am terrified that, since most activities require the assistance or participation of another person (or multiple people) in some way, the plan I have so neatly worked out in my head may completely morph into something else, and this process may be completely out of my control.
I have multiple diagnoses secondary to autism, including an anxiety disorder, and in the circumstances that follow change - be it major change or minor change - autism and anxiety tend to gang up on me and produce unfavorable behaviors.
I am not proud to admit that just thinking about change makes me shake a little bit.
I am not proud to admit that, even the smallest change to a predetermined plan is enough to send me into a meltdown.
I don't like meltdowns.  I have them, but I don't like them.  Meltdowns are, for many autistics, a "normal" part of living and they're oftentimes something we cannot control.  They are awkward and embarrassing and painful and undermining, but they happen regardless of how much we sometimes wish they would go away.  Or, at least, that has been my experience.  I've tried breathing, I've tried taking breaks, I've tried modified education and special education, I've tried living with the "disability" label in my building, but nothing - so far - has kept me from melting down.  And changes are, by far, one of my biggest triggers.
Changes are scary.  Changes highlight the uncertainty of the world.  Changes remind me of the omnipresent entropy in our society.
I'm finding myself incredibly lucky, however, that I have good friends who are really considerate of my distaste of changes and who try to accommodate for me as best as possible.  I am really fortunate that, even though things still change and I still melt down, I'm less embarrassed about my peculiarities and I'm starting to really embrace the more 'negative' quirks of autism that I tend to display.
Changes are scary, but people can sometimes make them less scary.  I've been counting on that a lot recently.