Impulsivity Strikes Again!

6/19 Sunday or 6/20 Monday

Hi Friends!  I apologize for the delay in posting an entry.  Last week, I impulsively said “Yes” to something without researching the implications of the decision.  This set me in high anxiety/panic mode.  Feminine matters did not help the situation either.  My anxiety was so high that I could not shake the matter from my mind.  Thankfully, the anxiety has decreased since then.

 

6/22/16 Wednesday

Two days later, and the anxiety is still high.  Any decrease in my anxiety level did not last very long.  I hope that typing out the situation will help settle some of my anxiety.   CAUTION: Honesty ahead!

I have worked at my current job for a year now.  As many individuals with advanced degrees, I am immensely overqualified for my position.  I studied Psychology in college, and most of my experience is with the AS population.  My goal is to help other females with AS who may be experiencing some of the things I struggled with, especially during adolescence.  Through my job search, I have quickly learned that one cannot advance in a career working with individuals with ASDs without some kind of certification.  Without such credentials, my job hunt has been a struggle.  I am crippled by a fear of messing up, which has prevented me from consistently searching and applying for jobs.  When I find a job that fits my qualifications, my excitement quickly drops to sadness as I read the job description and feel extremely inadequate for the position.

Nevertheless, I found two jobs online that involve working with individuals with disabilities.  Job A, an hour from home, focuses on individuals with various disabilities, while Job B, about ten minutes from home, focuses on the ASD population.  I REALLY want Job B.  I interviewed with Job A on Friday (6/10)  and heard back the following week.  I then interviewed with Job B the following Monday (6/13), and should hear back by the end of this week.

Ok, now for the dilemma.  Thanks to my impulsive tendencies, I accepted the position at Job A.  Job A called twice in the same day, first to clarify an item on my application, and second to offer me the position.  No, I did not consider their medical insurance policy (my ADHD meds are too expensive without insurance).  Looking back, I most likely accepted because I was afraid of losing the job opportunity.  I do not want to work at my current job for the rest of my life!  Also, I am awful with important phone calls, and did not think (in that moment) to ask for some time to consider my choice before accepting the position.  Looking back, I had enough time between the two calls to consider the implications of accepting the position.  So what did I do instead?  Basically anything but that!  I was probably reading a book.  On the plus side, I did ask for a few days to determine a start date, giving me an additional two days to do the smart thing.  I called my grandmother in a bit of a panic after I verbally accepted the position.  I explained the situation to her and came up with a conclusion after talking out the dilemma.  I was ready to confirm a start date when Job A called later that day.

It has been about a week since this took place.  Both my mom and grandmother suggested that I call Job B and ask when they will be making their hiring decision because I have been offered another position but am very interested in working for them and would like to wait before making my decision.  As I mentioned earlier, I am awful with important phone conversations, and am terrified of messing things up with Job B, the one I REALLY want.

When my anxiety is high, I shut down emotionally and mentally.  I have been retreating to my stress relievers, but my anxiety and worry is so high that I cannot focus enough to enjoy the things I love to do!  I watched a few episodes of my favorite show and could not truly enjoy it.  I am waiting for a day or two to see if Job B will contact me soon, but I know I need to make that phone call..

More on the situation as it unfolds..

Impulsivity Strikes Again!

Find your Jackie D

I have been binge watching “30 Rock” on Netflix recently.  I identify with Liz Lemon on so many levels!

The most applicable lesson I have gleaned from this show is the Liz Lemon/Jack Donaghy mentorship.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this show, Jack (Alec Baldwin) noticed Liz Lemon’s (Tina Fey) weaknesses, for lack of a better word, and jumped in to offer to be her mentor.  I recently watched an episode in which Jack reminded Liz where she was before he started mentoring to her current status and how much she has grown during that time.

I am so thankful for my current job, especially my boss.  We recently had a meeting in which she expressed her genuine desire to coach me and help me move up in the company.  My boss is well-aware of my Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD and wants to help me overcome my weaknesses.

For those of you who are on the autism spectrum and are currently seeking employment, find those employers who are ready and willing to work with you.  I work in the mental health field, so my coworkers have a solid understanding of the autism spectrum.  I firmly believe that individuals on the autism spectrum thrive and flourish under good mentors.  Need proof?  Look at Temple Grandin and her mentor, Mr. Carlock.  Or, my favorite historical figure who may have had Asperger’s Syndrome, Thomas Jefferson.  His time with George Wythe exposed Jefferson to the prominent political figures of the time.  Jefferson in turn, mentored James Madison and James Monroe.

Fellow Aspies, seek out mentors!  Don’t give up on your job search!  And parents, never EVER give up on your child!

P.S. “Jackie D” is what Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) often calls Jack Donaghy on the show.

Shout out to Tina Fey for creating an amazing show!

Find your Jackie D

Internalizing Guilt

10/10/16

I recently received a copy of Rudy Simone’s book Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome (2010), and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I wish to elaborate on chapter 5, which discusses the tendency for “Aspergirls” to take blame and guilt more seriously and personally than “neurotypicals” would.  I have the perfect example.

Today at work, I was confronted by my supervisor concerning an issue that I will refrain from explaining.  On a scale from 1 to 10, the seriousness of the issue was maybe a 2 or 3, but I took it as a 9 or 10.  I felt like a complete loser after we talked.  Now, I am very thankful to currently work in the mental health field because the staff already has a basic understanding of Asperger’s, ADHD, etc.  My coworkers and supervisors have been extremely helpful and patient with me, assisting me with any difficulties I may have in fully understanding the job.  (My processing is low, so I keep a notebook with me at all times to jot things down).

Anyway, my tendency to take criticism personally is a major factor in my fear of failure.  I dread making a mistake because if I do, I know I will get reprimanded/criticized, and that makes me feel worthless.

Please tell me there are others that feel this way!

Internalizing Guilt

My Mental Demon

Fear is so crippling.  Fear prevents me from starting most of my “adult” tasks.  I procrastinate on nearly everything, which leads to anxiety, and progresses to depression.  Maybe it is perfectionism, or maybe it is the result of being rebuked as a child on everything I did.  Whatever the root cause of my fear and anxiety, it is greatly affecting my life.

I have started a few projects related to my experiences as a female with Asperger’s Syndrome.  One day when the Internet was out, I wrote over 14,000 words for a book I hope to publish one day.  Once the fear of making a mistake/being rejected/not being good enough kicked in, I abandoned the project, and dumped it into a folder on my desktop.

I tell those close to me about my fear of failure/making a mistake, but they just do not seem to understand how much it paralyzes me.  I started this post four months ago.  I am just now publishing it.

 

 

My Mental Demon

The Truth

I am a Christian.  I believe in the Bible as the powerful Word of God, and that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection paid the price for all sin, past, present, and future.  There is much more theology I could attempt to explain, but I will stick to the basics for this blog.

I tell you my religious background so you can better understand where my beliefs on certain issues originate.  What you believe has a powerful effect on how you view the world.

Christianity is probably the most difficult concept to grasp because it is completely abstract.  I am still trying to grasp the principles of the Bible, but I understand more now than I did a few years ago.

The most difficult concept is the idea of “dying to yourself.”  Essentially, this speaks of being selfless.  For individuals with ASDs, this is challenging.  I mean the word “autism” derives from the root “auto,” meaning “self.”

Another central principle lies in the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  I struggle with the latter part.  I have a task-oriented personality.  I would much rather get the job done than engage in conversation with my coworkers.  However, both are essential to succeeding in one’s career.  The struggle is finding the balance between getting the job done and conversing with coworkers.  As a 20-something, I still experience slight mood swings (talk forever, then clam up for a while).  My coworkers know my “pattern” and it has worked for us.

 

I do not claim to understand everything about Christianity, but am happy to help other individuals on the spectrum who are experiencing similar struggles.

In the end, life is all about relationships.  It will be worth the extra time we (individuals with ASDs) spend learning more about how to navigate relationships.

The Truth

UPDATE on Impulsivity Strikes

I did not hear back from Job B (the one I really want) on Friday, so I called them the following Tuesday (6/28).  They said that if I did not hear anything by Friday to give them another call.

Around 4:45 this afternoon, I received the dreaded “Unfortunately…” email.  My mood dropped noticeably for a few moments, but I pushed past it to send a positive reply, following a sample email I found online.  I frequently “burn bridges” of acquaintances, so I wanted to stop that trend and keep things open and positive with Job B.

I am bummed that I did not receive an offer from Job B, but that may not be where God wants me right now.  It will be rough on my car, but I will make the hour-long (one-way) commute to Job A.  I am hoping to get the car’s oil changed before I start Job A on 7/6.  Did I mention that the commute is mostly through the mountains?  There is no highway route from my home to Job A, so through the winding roads of the mountains I go.

On the plus side, I connected better with the staff at Job A than I did at Job B.  I expressed my Asperger’s Syndrome on both applications and doing so helped me give a better interview.  The staff at Job A were really nice and very willing to work with me and my quirks.  The commute will be a struggle, but at least I know I will work well with my coworkers.

UPDATE on Impulsivity Strikes