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.
Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this page are © Alex Lowery Speaks About Autism. Please do not reproduce, modify or use for any purpose without the prior, written consent of the author. If you are interested in using an article on your blog or in your magazine, please contact us.