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  1. Just sending you hugs...
  2. Try taking a rumination holiday! Tell yourself you will not ruminate on this subject for an entire week and see what happens. It seems to me like you are getting feelings of guilt (which may or may not be justified) and you are then ruminating on that guilt in order to decide whether you should or shouldn't also be deserving of feeling shame. If you accept the guilt feelings without then ruminating they will probably fade.
  3. Hi GBG, it sounds like you are talking about the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is when you feel upset about the pain to others your actions have caused, while shame is feeling upset that you as a person are capable of behaving in that way. Guilt is generally a healthy reaction, while shame is usually, although not always, an unhealthy reaction. It took me a long time to understand the difference, but it's a really helpful distinction to make.
  4. There are lovely, kind, generous people on this forum, it always amazes me how much time, effort and wisdom some people put into their replies - thanks everyone!
  5. Hi Phil, am I right in understanding that you are not scared of the harm that germs cause, but that you get upset by the way germs make you feel? And that you can sometimes get that feeling just by thinking about germs without even having to touch them? Is that right?
  6. Theres nothing wrong with taking meds long term if that is what you need, I wouldn't put pressure on yourself to stop taking them if you have no need to do so, everyone has different needs regarding recovery. Hope you are having a nice day today!
  7. Brilliant, and very organised! Today, my big positive is that I have changed my profile status to ex-sufferer. (Not sure why I choose this emoji, just liked it!)
  8. Cub, that's so sweet! Today I bought some fun, coloured socks - doesn't sound much I usually don't allow myself to express a sense of joy.
  9. I know when I first learnt about ruminating I was shocked that it wasn't considered normal or desirable behaviour - I basically used to ruminate pretty much constantly so the idea of not doing it seemed incomprehensible. However, what I did find was that if I stopped thinking through things completely ie I was treating all reflective/planning thinking as rumination to be stopped, I would struggle in social situations because I'm not a naturally chatty person. I'm more of a visual person so I have to make a conscious effort to convert my thoughts into coherent sentences that other people can understand (hopefully!!), so some degree of reflecting/planning thinking is necessary for me. You will of course be different so what I'm saying may not be appropriate for you, but I know with autism black and white thinking is also common so I think it's worth stressing that stopping rumination doesn't mean stopping all reflective and planning thinking, just stopping it when it becomes maladaptive.
  10. I'm glad you're seemingly more positive today. Dealing with rumination when you are autistic can be tricky because the autistic brain sometimes can only deal with social situations through logical thinking because its instinctive reactions may not always work properly. Reflecting on a situation in order to learn from it and also rehearsing what to say in possible future difficult scenarios are not bad things if they are done in a controlled manner - perhaps with a pen and paper and a stop watch so you can stick to your previously planned time limit, and also perhaps having had planned something nice to do afterwards to distract yourself from ruminating, and don't have more than one reflection session in a day. Be kind to yourself and things will get better with time.
  11. What happened to you at your old workplace was a horrible experience so I'm not surprised that you are shaken and undermined by it. Do you think you are pushing yourself too quickly to recover from it? For example, if someone was seriously injured in a car accident we would expect them to take a while to recover emotionally and regain their confidence especially when driving. If you are trying to completely forget/recover about your experience and push away the thoughts and emotions you might be inadvertently making them stronger, I would try and work on accepting what happened to you, and giving your self permission to sometimes feel the hurt without acting on it or trying to fix it. The reality is you will never forget what happened, but the emotions will get less with time. I like the concept of 'radical acceptance' which is a fancy way of saying bad things happen so we have no choice but to accept that fact otherwise we will be stuck trying to assign blame and fix things that can't be fixed forever more, it's a bit like the difference between the concepts of blame and responsibility. It's not about giving in or passivity, but accepting where you are in the here and now so you are released from being stuck to be able to move forward. It's used in ACT and DBT. It might also be worth briefly rehearsing (don't ruminate, perhaps set yourself a time limit of 30mins or similar) some scenarios and things to say if you do happen to bump into your former colleagues so you are prepared - just something light and non confrontational, just everyday small talk and perhaps a few phrases to get you out of the situation with good grace, such as 'it was good to see you but I've got an appointment now so I must be going'.
  12. Procrastination often has anxiety at its core, I think. There is a good and fun TED talk on procrastination if you are interested.
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