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I can’t speak for all Autistic people but I feel many of us struggle with things out of our control. Today I was reminded how much I am affected by changes out of my control. I had planned for the past week to start an exercise challenge today on my recently acquired exercise bike as a way of starting my fitness journey. This was the first time I was looking forward to exercise as I had motivation and some level of accountability. Despite being fully ready and prepped for starting my routine today (something I told myself I would wait until today to do to the extent that I wouldn’t use my exercise bike until today), I set up my space and discovered the display on my bike wasn’t measuring anything such as distance which I need for my online challenge - ultimately the thing backing my motivation.
After all the planning and prepping mentally and physically, this set back really knocked me. I rapidly looked through the instruction manual, online answers, and for alternative ways to measure my distance but came up short. My plans were stomped on and tossed into a fire. It has been a whole 10 hours later and yet it is still on my mind and distressing me. This is because the safety behind planning and routine that I find comforting was gone. I emailed the company for help but I can’t estimate their response time or how they can help me which is furthering my anxiety from the lack of control that I am feeling.
In a world that is so chaotic and overwhelming, as an Autistic person I find the smallest bits of routine, scheduling or structure so comforting (though I wont delve into the situations I crave change and no control because of the ADHD part of me which feels like an internal battle!). I write this to share how a seemingly small or unimportant change can actually mean a lot to an Autistic person no matter how silly or illogical it sounds such as me saying I’m upset and distressed because I can’t calculate my distance on my exercise bike!
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