Autism and anxious thoughts- Part 2 – A fear of making mistakes
Written on 10th Sep 2013 by Alex Lowery
One of my biggest anxieties is making mistakes. When this happens, I tend to look at everyone around me and think they’ll be thinking, “Wow! That was a really stupid thing to do! Why did he do that?” I have a fear of looking stupid. People often tell me “Everyone makes mistakes!” I agree with this completely, but while I think I do sometimes get anxious over mistakes that everyone makes, I still think that the mistakes I make are far worse.
This morning I had put some of my speaking engagements in the wrong month in my calendar. I was very anxious about it and it took me a while to calm down. My mum had to talk to me and help me to see it in a better light. I would not turn up for the wrong day because my mum keeps all my engagements in her diary.
On Saturday I went up the escalator in a department store and when I came to get down my mum had to shout to stop me going down the moving escalator the wrong way. I felt really stupid and kept asking my family if anyone could make a mistake like that. In the past, I have given really long detailed apologies for things I’ve done, but I’ve learned that, that doesn’t really help, but I still do it anyway sometimes.
I saw a mental health nurse recently; she gave me tips to manage this anxiety. She said I should try to balance a negative thought with an equally positive thought, and this does sometimes work, but other times I still can’t make the thought go away. My mum suggested we re-enact it and she would film it to share here. The film is below; it’s not very good because my mum did it on her Ipad and it was done in 1 take.