Monday, 2 November 2015

When anxiety is the soundtrack to your home life

Spectrumite Mum is experiencing a bit of emotional exhaustion at the moment.

To live with an autistic child means that anxiety is like constant background music. If like me you're being constantly reassuring, or trying to peel someone off the ceiling because their emotions have gone into overdrive a little too quickly, then don't underestimate the effect of absorbing all that stress.

After all, once you've absorbed it, it has to go somewhere.

Due to lack of exercise, meditation and the general peace and quiet afforded to me when the kids are at school, the stuff that I've absorbed in the last week has gone nowhere. Instead it's roaming around my body like toxic waste.

So this is my three point plan:
1) Do some exercise
2) Take some breathing space
3) Talk to noone unless they enhance my wellbeing

Sounds simple doesn't it? Try following it. It's harder than it looks.

Doing some exercise is no problem, I need to put the house the right way up again after half term. If you don't mind, AuKids Issue 30 may have to wait until the vacuuming is done. That's just the way we roll here. I can't work in a mess.

I'll also take a few minutes to just sit. This is a big problem for me.

Sit. Just sit there. Don't get up. Don't think. Look at the trees outside. Do that mindfulness crap. Argggh I need to get up and! Sit down! 

After 60 seconds break I get jittery. But today I am going to assign myself my own personal coach - me - and I will just sit and finish my coffee. Recharge. Because a spent battery is not much good to anyone.

I'm also really careful about who I hang around with. I used to have endless resources - and so any friends who were anxious about something were very welcome to come over and transfer all their anxiety onto me. I liked it, I enjoy being there for people, being a helping hand, the voice of reason, a listening ear...

You can't avoid other people's problems and you wouldn't want to, not if they are true friends or family. But I do make sure that my resources are tip top before I see them. I am quite aware of how I feel before I pick up that phone or have someone over. I say 'no' a good deal more than I used to. You have to - 80% of your emotional resources are in use constantly. You have very little left.

Be mindful of it and use it well.


  1. Fantastic blog, this is so our home. I like the 80 percent of emotional resources are being used constantly part....and use the rest well. Will definitely give more thought to that. :-)

  2. Thank you for this lovely comment. Hoping to write a book before too long!