Possible trigger warning ⚠️
1. Feeling ok- life is good I am feeling positive and happy doing things that make me feel good;
like working out
spending time outside
spending time with family
2. Triggers- something comes into Autistics life that causes them to feel stressed or causes an unpredicted change in routine. Some Autistics don’t know how to manage this trigger or sometimes not even realising this is a trigger. This can lead to negative feelings;
multiple other feelings and emotions.
3. Response- Some Autistics(definitely me) are now using Negative responses to cope and manage these feelings, I use food to block out the feelings and emotions to take my mind away from the triggers, and pick my fingers until they are sore. Some Autistics will have all different negative rituals that will be the response, for me it feels out of my control like a compulsion. This spiral of negative feelings can lasts hours, days, weeks even months.
4. Cycle starts again- I start to come out of the negative response and so it starts again.
I have been trapped in this cycle most of my life I am not sure if neurotypical(non Autistics) go through this, perhaps they do but I think like most situations Autistics feel this more intensely and for longer periods of times, as processing time takes longer for Autistics. I think Autistics have higher levels of anxiety so perhaps situations that bother and stress Autistics don’t stress neurotypical(non Autistics) why would Autistics experience these situation like neurotypicals as Autistics neurology is different.
Breaking the cycle
I have been thinking about this cycle for so long and so want to break this negative way of being, I think seeing triggers as triggers is the way to beat this. Dealing with the trigger understanding the trigger needs to happen rather than trying not to face difficult feeling and emotions, I need to face the triggers by using the positive part of the cycle, using the things that make me feel good. Keep this cycle out in view regularly look at the cycle and understand it is a learnt cycle, when triggers happen pick a positive experience from the list of things that make you feel good. Remember the negative feelings don’t work they don’t help! But the positive experiences do help! Will this be easy sometimes yes other times NO! is it worth trying to do do this YES! We need to empower the next generation of Autistics to not fall into this cycle, look at the cycles they are in and help them to rebuild the cycle and build a positive cycle.
Change is hard but I know doing what I am doing is feeding my triggers and it’s never made me feel better, what if the positive replacement works…….
Girls Autistic Journey~