This week I attended my first aspie group drop in.
It was in the evening and so work during the day helped to keep my mind from over thinking it, although I had stimmed for most of the day and made my thumbs hurt from rubbing and scratching them. Coming home and getting ready to go out was a change to my routine and that also stressed me out a bit, putting on jeans after I’d had a shower on a work night. That might seem daft to you, but it just added to my anxiety. Up until the point when I was in the lift going up to the floor on which it was hosted, it was still not a sure thing that I was going, but I convinced myself (with a Lil’ bit of help) that I could manage an hour and so I went.
It really wasn’t what I expected.
I guess I just thought I’d go in and there would be a bunch of other people like me and I’d be able to sit down and converse about stuff that I was interested in and it would be so much easier than talking to other people. Maybe make some friends. I was very wrong. I was introduced to one table of people and then pretty much left to it. They all knew each other and that made it even more difficult. At first I just sat and stared at my feet, listening to the conversation taking place around me. I had worn my Superman snapback to help comfort me and I spent time snapping it open and closed. I had put plasters on my thumbs to stop me from making them more sore, but the plasters were no match for my fingers and didn’t put up much resistance in the face of the onslaught from my fingers.
None of the people were like me, they weren’t my age, we didn’t share interests. I tried a couple of times to join in the conversation, but failed. Eventually I started talking to one of the other people at the table who had not been saying much. I noticed that all of the other people had moved away. It was so hard. New people, new place. I might as well have been bolted to the chair, I couldn’t have moved. We talked about lots of things in an attempt to keep the conversation going, and eventually the time was up. I said goodbye, exited the building and headed back to my car.
I was really proud of myself for going and doing it and I have promised to go to then next one, so I will and I will try and sit near some other people and see if that helps. If it isn’t any better then I’m not going back. I will continue to find my own way.