How to Cope When Life Feels Like One Big Test?

Autism, anxiety, and chronic pain can all be hurdles when striving towards our mental well-being. Here's some advice on how to cope.

Shilynn Marshall

10/10/20233 min read

Life can often feel like one immense test, and for some of us, it seems like we're continually falling short. This sentiment rings especially true for those of us dealing with the complex interplay of autism, chronic pain, and severe anxiety. In this blog post, we'll explore why life can feel this way and discuss strategies to navigate these challenges while prioritizing mental health.

The Complexity of Autism

Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by challenges in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors, can make everyday life feel like an intricate puzzle. Those on the autism spectrum often perceive the world differently, which can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration.

Imagine navigating a world where social cues aren't readily apparent, where communication can be a constant struggle, and where sensory sensitivities can turn even a simple trip to the grocery store into an overwhelming experience. It's a test of patience and resilience that can leave us feeling like we're failing more often than not.

Chronic Pain's Unrelenting Burden

Now, add chronic pain into the mix. Whether it's physical pain, such as that stemming from a medical condition or injury, or emotional pain, resulting from the daily challenges of life, chronic pain is a formidable adversary. It can make even the simplest tasks feel like Herculean feats.

Managing chronic pain often involves a delicate balancing act of medications, therapies, and self-care routines. This constant struggle can be mentally and emotionally draining, leading to a persistent feeling of inadequacy.

The Weight of Severe Anxiety

To complicate matters further, severe anxiety can cast a long shadow over daily life. The relentless worry, panic attacks, and the fear of the unknown can transform each day into a test of endurance. This anxiety can make it difficult to engage with the world and others, exacerbating feelings of isolation.

When you're dealing with autism, chronic pain, and severe anxiety, it can seem like you're always on the verge of failing. The pressures of societal expectations, coupled with the internal strife these conditions can bring, can make it feel like life's test is rigged against you.

Strategies for Navigating Life's Tests

Despite these challenges, there are strategies that can help you navigate life's tests while prioritizing your mental health.

  1. Seek Professional Help: Reach out to therapists, counselors, or support groups that specialize in your unique challenges. They can provide guidance and tools to better manage anxiety and cope with chronic pain.

  2. Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that living with these conditions is not a sign of failure but a testament to your strength and resilience.

  3. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This can help reduce feelings of overwhelm and make daily life more manageable.

  4. Build a Support System: Surround yourself with people who understand and support you. Sharing your struggles and triumphs with a supportive community can make a world of difference.

  5. Practice Mindfulness: Techniques like mindfulness meditation can help you stay present in the moment, reducing anxiety and allowing you to better manage life's challenges.

In conclusion, life can often feel like an unending test, particularly when you're juggling the complexities of autism, chronic pain, and severe anxiety. However, by seeking professional help, practicing self-compassion, setting realistic goals, building a support system, and incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can begin to shift the narrative. Remember that you're not failing; you're enduring, growing, and learning through life's unique challenges. You are stronger and more resilient than you may ever realize, and your mental health should always be a priority on this challenging journey.