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Planning Daily Activities with Symptoms in Mind

Tim Page

Pulitzer-Prize winning Music Critic, Author of Parallel Play

And let me tell you how I handled that diagnosis. Because I haven’t let it change the way I deal with the world. But I have let it serve as a predictor of how I will do in certain circumstances. And so I keep myself out of those circumstances. I don’t...If I have to deal with people, I very purposely leave a lot of the rest of the day free so I can be alone and kind of unwind. I try to avoid any kind of administrative things, because I’m terrible at them. I try to avoid overstimulation at all costs, getting overtired and staying up too late, because that’s the most likely thing to send me into a state of overstimulation. So, basically, what I’ve learned to do is learn that I have this in my personality, and it's something that can jump out and bite me sometimes. But then I can be kind of careful with it, and I can bargain with myself. I can say, “Ok, well, you know today’s a day that I’m going to have to deal with 10-15 different people, and I can do it and talk with them,” and often very much enjoy myself. But I sort of make that bargain with myself in advance. If you were to take me right now and put me behind the counter at a drug store, I’d have a meltdown within an hour. There’s no way I could deal with so many different people, all with their own concerns, all with their own ideas, all with their faces, kind of, in my face with questions, problems. With that kind of inability to allow myself to be distracted I really would...I would not last probably 2 hours. Certainly, I wouldn’t last a week. Certainly, I’d have to go away for a very, very long rest and absolute isolation if I had to spend even a day doing that.

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