Sometimes, as an Aspie, I can go into an “Aspie Worry Cloud” as well. This is a cycle of obsessive thinking that is very hard to break. I term these thoughts and feelings “misfires,” because t’s all about imagining things going wrong … when the reality is that it probably won’t. Life Skills will have tips and tricks about how to get out of this “mode” of thinking in the next entry.
Now, what triggers “worry clouds?” Sometimes, it can be as innocuous as worrying about something you really aren’t sure of. For instance, “What if the background check comes back bad for my job opportunity.” While others might decide to get rid of a “shady” reference, the Aspie mind, might, instead, decide that the person who is “shady” is actually a hacker who has stolen your identity … by texting with him and just giving him your number and no real personal information.
Sometimes, it’s worrying about others. Once, when I took a friend to a walk-in medical clinical, I began to worry. I was sure she would die from an exotic illness whose only symptom was … a cough.
Other times, it’s a life event. When my grandma died, there was a brief period I went through where I was 100% sure I was going to die … from sleeping in longer due to depression.
Finally, there are times that these worry clouds happen because of a uniquely bad set of circumstances. I call these “daymares.” An example of this was when I had been asked if I was in a gang, followed by listening to an NPR story about inner city Chicago. For the next few weeks, I was convinced my neighborhood was overrun by thugs…in an affluent neighborhood with a police station 3 or so miles away from where I lived.
You see, not only are Aspie “worry clouds” intense, but they are also often wrong and predicated on premises that aren’t accurate — to an outsider at least. But on the inside, it feels very real to the person suffering from the “worry cloud.” As I mentioned before, head over to the MIC Life Skills column to learn techniques to help weather the storm, should this happen to an Aspie you know.