Surprise changes and adjustments

In last November, I was walking 6-12 km. per day and kayaking 2-3 times a week. Then, I had a violent coughing attack while driving. After that, I began to have issues with my arms and my walking started to break down. On Boxing Day I went to Victoria for an MRI of my spine. Two days later they performed surgery on my spine. I am now on the mend and am getting better every day. I can walk and my arms are good.

When I was put in the hospital I informed them that I am autistic. The surgeon placed me in a private room. I was frightened but okay. Two days after the surgery I was moved to a room with three other men. The biggest issues for me were the levels of stimulation; the lights, smells, noise and the food were challenging, along with remarks like I can’t tell you’re autistic or you don’t act autistic.

However, lying on my back for two weeks allowed me to think through a number of issues that I have struggled with for decades. One is so-called “magical thinking”. Like many on the spectrum, I have difficulty seeing the large picture of the world, usually known as the Gestalt. Without having a plan that would dictate what I would need to do, such as my higher education or a job, I would just do whatever I needed to do without thinking about outcomes or consequences of my actions. If, for example, in intimate relationships, it was time to move past the courting phase I would not know what to do so I would sabotage the relationship. I could not overcome my fear of emotional commitment, as I had no idea of what that meant. My inability to see another’s perspective kept me in an egocentric bubble.

Now I understand that everything a person does affects those around us and I need to keep others in mind when I speak or act in a specific way. My partner has been telling me this for many years. I can now more clearly see the issue and will be correcting the issue as it arises.

In future entries I will address other issues that have arisen since this experience has occurred. Thank you and I welcome all feedback.

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