I often say that the A in autism stands for anxiety. The anxiety causing as much turmoil as the autism if not more. I see them as one in the same, each fueling the fire for the other.
Anxiety is a beast. It can lay low at times but once it’s up and running there is no stopping it. I have had anxiety myself for many years. It has completely taken over my life at times. It causes so much inner turmoil. I have been blessed with many types of anxiety and well at times it’s a living nightmare.
It gives me insight to my daughter. To have those feelings and have no language to express it. No understanding of what is happening to your mind and body. That I can’t imagine.
It is so heart breaking to not be able to help her, or find the trigger. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense or seem obvious. You have the autism making her inflexible,unable to switch gears. It can seem so minor but to her it’s not. Lack of sleep, sensory issues, and limited communication exasperate the anxiety and it takes a life of its own.
We try our best to help her through it. To surround her with you things she loves and make her happy. To try to avoid the known triggers although it’s not always possible.
The hardest part is the things that bring her joy also cause her anxiety. The unknown, the change,the thought of something different can send her over the edge.
It is best to stay calm and patient as you help her through it but it is not always an easy task.
Anxiety is something we have to coexist with. The feelings, the emotions and the fear it can trigger can be so debilitating.
It is the hardest part of this life.
That’s why when she is calm and happy it is so treasured.