The world is reeling under a pandemic of scale which was not foreseen or imagined by our generation. The time is really stressful for everyone and people are managing in their own ways. People who are on the spectrum are extremely vulnerable to anxiety as anxiety is an integral part of them. Many autistic people immediately made their schedule or family members made visual schedule for them to reduce their anxiety. Everyone is doing their part but the anxiety could be because of different reasons.
My anxiety levels are so high that I can feel myself shutting down. It feels like being dragged by a car with your hands and legs tied. The car keeps stopping after few minutes only to allow me to breathe. It has left me bleeding and yet it is not finished. I am tired yet I know I am not passing out or dying.
When does it end? I don’t know. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the situation has caught me off guard. Having a sense of predictability used to help me. It used to help me plan my day, the next course of action, what to say or how to respond but this is new.
Life in the lockdown just doesn’t mean living by myself all alone. It means I have to plan each day and each day may look the same to everyone else but it’s like living in the matrix. Things are rapidly changing around and I am the one who is not able to adapt.
The helplessness arising from the anxiety triggers depression and that is another level of war I have to fight. Recently it has started to feel as if I am in the middle of a war, heavily outnumbered and being bombarded from every nook and corner, pinned down, desperate to get to safety but can’t move an inch.
I bet many of you are feeling the same to some extent but when it comes to an autistic individual one must expect heightened emotional issues. Most of us feel way more than what we can talk about. Just because many of us are poor in expressing our feelings and emotions doesn’t mean we don’t feel. People with mental health issues like autism are having a difficult time during these crises and all we will like to ask you is to be a bit more considerate of our issues and if possible be sensitive to people around you.
I don’t know when these restrictions will be lifted, it may take months before we are out with
vaccines or are able to contain it but till then I can only try hard to be strong. Till then stick to your schedule and plan it out.