Barriers

Today on my way to physiotherapy I came across a barrier in my way. Roadworks were stopping me from walking my usual way to physiotherapy.

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For a non-autistic person this would be not a big deal. But for me, it means stress.
Now I had a problem. I stopped and started to think about how to solve it. It was sure, I had to take a different path. But this costs a lot of power for me. Because every little action I’m doing, I have to plan. Have to go through and play it through in my head before I do it. So I had to go through the exact way that I have to go now. Walked it through in my head before I started to follow my thoughts. I walked very slowly, making sure I used the correct path. Stopped when I crossed the street, looking for cars. More stress, more power needed. While doing this, I also had to remind myself constantly that I needed to buy something after physiotherapy that I should not forget about. My head was already full of informations that I had to process.
Small talking at the physiotherapy and concentrating on the exercise.
“Don’t forget to buy your things afterwards! Oh, and you need to make new appointments!” Breathe and exercise.

This is how I have to do all tasks I’m doing. It starts in the morning with washing my face and brushing my teeth, with putting on clothes and so on. If I don’t strictly focus on what I’m doing, I get confused. Non-autistic people do this automatically, they do not have to think about every small step they do. But for me it’s necessary.
Often I found myself in the kitchen instead of the bathroom, just because I didn’t really focussed and my brain did a jump to a different thing I wanted to do later.
That’s what my every day life looks like. And that’s why I often, better say always, listen to music. The right song with the right beat can help me concentrate.

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