It can be quite difficult to find places that work for me to just sit. I enjoy people watching, although admittedly don’t understand the interactions I’m observing. But the sensory aspects of coffee shops can be overwhelming for me. But the one I’m in at the moment is quite good. The music is the type I can cope with and not too loud. There aren’t big groups of people, and normally no young children. (I don’t dislike children, but I find them unpredictable and they tend to shout.)
The sensory aspects are the main things I’m struggling with at the moment – well, that and the anxiety. But the sensory stuff seems to be less within my control and I don’t have as many techniques to deal with them. Sound is the big one, and where I find the most problems, but I have ‘definite differences’ in most senses.
But even though I know that there is a reason for finding certain environments difficult, it doesn’t stop me thinking that I should be able to cope with things and situations that I just can’t. Including agreeing to do things that, in hindsight, are a really poor fit.
Which takes me back to the reason why I’m in this coffee shop today in the first place. Have agreed to go to an event with someone that I haven’t really talked to for a while, and certainly not since I’ve started to go more public with my diagnosis. I don’t even know if she’s aware. So I don’t know quite what this evening will be like. But having a ‘safe place’ to prepare – and this is somewhere I feel safe – helps. (Now if only I could persuade more people at work to have meetings here I’d be all sorted…)