The Asperger/ASD part of me hates change with a passion, yet the ADHD side gets fed up of the same thing. For example, I will eat the same thing for a week, then I need a change.
The reason I don’t like change is because it’s uncertain and uncertainty causes anxiety. Controlling my environment is a way to reduce this anxiety. However, it’s difficult to do if you live or work with other people: there has to be compromise. The ADHD side gets bored very easily and wants a change, but only within narrow parameters that I set.
I like to know what is happening in advance and if something changes from this plan, it can really throw me (especially at work). I can deal with small changes, like a last minute stop at the shop on the way home for example, but in general I need to know what is happening in advance. When I plan to go on holiday, I have to plan an itinerary in advance, as I need to know what is happening and I want to cram as much sight-seeing in as possible.
When I went on holiday with an ex pre-diagnosis, it was my birthday over the holiday. I expected my ex to pack at least one of the presents, from him and his family, for me to open on the day (they had bought presents for me previous times). They had asked him what I wanted and he said just to give me money. So I had the money in euros, which I had to spend before I got back, or lose some in the exchange. If he had told me a couple of days before, I could have put it towards my half of the hotel. I was very grateful that they had got me anything, but because the money was unexpected, I had been looking forward to opening something, and I felt ‘forced’ to spend it in the next few days of holiday left, it bothered me. I didn’t have a clue about ASD so I couldn’t explain why I was unhappy. I was unhappy because it was a surprise, even if a good one.
I really also struggle with people moving my things at work. It annoys me so much, I could happily give them a good whack (I obviously wouldn’t and am not advocating that). I know it’s not really a big deal, but it is to me. I feel like a small child in finding things like this really difficult to accept, but it’s not that – it’s ASD. It is difficult to deal with these irritated emotions at work, but at soon as I arrive home, I try to use distraction as a technique to make me feel better eg. watching a program, or listening to music. I also like gardening: I find digging therapeutic (digging plants in or weeds out). I never thought I would like gardening, but now I have my own, it really calms me down. I suppose the trick is finding a past-time where you can ‘zone out’ for a bit. Also speaking about it to my partner helps.