Hey guys, today I'm explaining how I sometimes feel uneasy at places like the Pub or Club due to my lack of social confidence and how loud places affect me in general. I have this feeling tucked away everytime I go out as sometimes I feel it's unnecessary to waste money on alcohol that will be gone by half an hour or the following morning, all for that excitement that's yet to unfold as you hit the town or the clubs to dance/ talk with friends/ strangers (all things that I cannot follow too easily). Here I'm listing reasons why I find this all tough to cope with and worry over due to my lack of experience but also how I am slowly overcoming these barriers!
My best friend posted this link on Facebook a week ago which inspired me to write this up, thanks to how it lists many facts about clubbing that some people share (non-autistic people too)! Check it out as it's from someones point of view and tries to help others understand that not everyone wishes to go out, drink a lot, flirt with strangers and maybe regret it all the following morning while suffering a hangover!
When I go to Pubs in town with my different groups of friends (depending on category of interest), I do my best to enjoy myself, pick out some smart clothing (that doesn't have pictures on them) and spend a bit of money on a bottle or two. But honestly sometimes I feel it's a lost cause because I would prefer to spend my time with people at a friend's house/ the cinema or play some games while chatting socially and not in a location where the rule of alcohol is required. My friends luckily don't follow that alcohol rule, but in general and for any other autistic people with friends like that may value my opinions. And luckily we hardly go to the Pub or Club as we choose to go to the Cinema a lot instead.
When I enter the Pub or rarely a Club, I feel as if I have entered another world (a world that I feel scared to move through as I walk around with a smile on my face while surrounded by close friends) because I feel I need to make a confident impression in environments like these. With all the excitement buzzing around the loud atmosphere, I can't help but feel uneasy due to how my Aspergers kicks in because I like to hear myself think or be able to talk perfectly without feeling limited or pressured.
The Aspergers Syndrome affects me badly as I prefer to concentrate on only one thing at a time and as you can guess, in a place where there's so many people and sometimes loud music, I feel scared to talk as I can't hear my friends or even myself think. Not only that, I believe it isn't necessary to always drink to have a good time. I have Crohns Disease so I don't drink a lot as I don't know what too much alcohol and me being drunk would result in? I have experienced being slightly pissed sometimes but I am glad that I don't feel pressured anymore and only drink when I want to.
I would like to reassure you that I do enjoy myself on nights out and don't put a downer on the mood luckily, I only admit these feelings in general cause I don't do this enough to consider it a normal or acceptable lifestyle at the end of the week. I would prefer to be with my friends in less crowded areas, talk easily, and be able to listen to conversations and join in. Its best for me to sit in the middle of a group of people just to feel safe and not worry about anything bad happening.
When I see people that I know vaguely or have met once, it's hard to pluck up the courage to say "hello" again, really because they may be popular or surrounded by a crowd but more like I would be invading the night and make it awkward for them as I do my best to talk confidently. But ironically most days, people are glad to see me there especially at the Pub since I have gotten better in an atmosphere like that since I turned 18. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't but I do always try to be confident around people.
My real challenge is Clubbing! I'm not used to going to clubs where music is so loud that I can't concentrate on just one thing, it's really difficult for me and I have no confidence when speaking to girls. I prefer in general to be introduced to others by a friend as it helps me break the first barrier when it comes to making new friends. Plus being surrounded by pretty women is not what happens to me a lot since I hardly go clubbing, due to the majority of my friends not wanting to go there enough. I know we would probably split throughout the night but as long as I am with someone or know where to find them then that's good enough to handle (this is what I do when I do do clubbing on some occasions!)
Of course I don't want my opinion to offend others if they like to have fun this way, I only wish to make others aware that not everyone can adjust or fit in so easily to this kind of social lifestyle.
Most of all, I definitely don't wish for people/ friends who know me to feel sorry or unsure about my feelings or whether to involve me at all in future nights out as I am perfectly fine with going out (so don't worry about that), it's just the whole rule/ peer pressure of drinking and social hierarchy atmosphere that gets me sometimes and the fact that when I'm alone I find it hard to cope without the company of someone to feel safe with.
Who knows, perhaps in time my fear will change and I'll be out more nights and have no worries, it's just weird at the moment due to not doing this enough to feel comfortable.
Everything I say is true, but it doesn't mean I can't have fun right? I just need more experience/ time to feel okay during nights like this as it's in our generation to go out and socialise right? (even I need to take part in that!) And I know deep down I have potential to show others that I can fit in, and I hope I've shown that since my 18th. I do enjoy myself wherever the place is and thanks to the support and comfort of my friends, I know I can have fun wherever I am!