Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
I often feel overwhelmed, like my problems and limitations are more difficult than other people. I get angry and frustrated that life isn’t easier for me. I feel like other people don’t understand why I’m so angry and because of this, I usually try not to express those emotions unless I’m with someone I trust.
Recently I realized while it’s okay to be angry, I need to be thoughtful about how I express it to the world or inside myself. Anger is a powerful feeling that if mishandled, can hurt both myself and the people close to me. When I feel out of control with anger, I want to throw things, say hurtful things, and make other hurt as much as I’m hurting. I don’t think about consequences or repercussions. I have hurt family and friends feelings by saying the most hurtful things I can think of while angry. I have physically lashed out by destroying material things around me during a fit of anger. I used to express my anger outside of myself but now I turn my anger inward on myself. Sometimes my thoughts become negative, self-destructive and hurtful, telling me I will always be angry and there is no hope. It’s harder for others to detect but just as scary and painful for me.
I know that anger isn’t the first emotion I feel, however, identifying what came before my anger is often difficult for me. Anger doesn’t come first of course, other emotions and thoughts before that point cause the anger. Being able to figure out why I feel angry is very helpful. I’m really not that good at controlling my anger but I have found some tricks that are useful.
1) Try to get away from what’s making me angry.
2) Distraction: focus on something else (exp: gaming, exercise, reading, craft)
3) Focusing on calming my breath and body. Practice breathing exercises.
4) Remind myself that emotions are temporary. I am NOT my anger.
5) Think before I act or speak.
Controlling myself takes practice.
I’m trying to be careful how I express my thoughts to others, as well as inside my head. I’m still learning how to use my anger in a productive manner instead of a destructive manner. I’m learning how to let my emotions pass by me without letting them define who I am. I’m still growing as a person; every day I learn something new about myself. I believe that life is about finding what works for each person as an individual, and change is always possible. No one is perfect; we are all works in progress.