Moving house is stressful yo!
Yes I know everyone thinks this, it’s a massive ordeal regardless of who you are. For me it was an utter minefield of events. Take your usual process of moving house and imagine your hands are tied behind your back and you’re blindfolded. Oh, and everything is on fire. Fire everywhere.
That’s what it feels like trying to uproot yourself as an autistic.
Having said that, you can become so enthralled with the negative memories of a place that it’s time to get yourself out.
I don’t think there’s ever a good time for moving house, or a good point to start planning for it. I can however confirm that trying to hire a van the same weekend as all the students go home is a bad move.
As with every other previous relocation, I spent the weeks leading up to it so engrossed in work that I completely forgot it was a thing. Of course this lead into a last minute hyperactive planning session, which in turn nearly lead into a meltdown.
I own so much stuff!
Eventually I stopped trying to plan every action of the four day process and decided just to take it as it came, leaving a general feeling of unease over the entire operation. Being autistic and planning every second of your life is fine until you can’t plan, it’s all downhill from there. Surrendering control is not something I enjoy doing.
If you know anyone that’s autistic, you might notice we have a hard time letting people touch our possesions. Or move them. Well, we have an even harder time trying to get rid of them.
See, we form emotional attachments to inanimate objects. Take how you feel about your family, or partner, or pet. Now apply that to every little nicknack in your house, every paperclip, every roll of PVC tape.
I’m well aware that I don’t need all of the things I own, in fact I actually prefer having a minimalist lifestyle. But trying to throw away anything is a massive ordeal, there’s a tightness in my chest just thinking about it. I guess it goes back to routines and how we don’t accuston well to change.
The actual act of moving was no problem, my supply of physical spoons is pretty large. The mental cost, however, was pretty significant. I started shipping things Friday and by the time I handed my old keys back on Monday I was utterly annihilated.
It’s not just the lack of planning or grand scale that becomes mentally taxing, moving house is so damn expensive. For someone who literally has money worries as part of their anxiety diagnosis this was a big problem, it still is actually.
The cost of the van, cost of the new house itself, cost of all the new furniture needed for all my things. All amount to far more than I’d like to admit.
With all that going on I’m surprised I actually managed to function at all.
I would have had a far better time of moving if I actually had anywhere to put my things. I like organisational systems, I like putting things away in their proper places. My brain is so compartmentalised and linear that the thought of organising a kitchen actually excites me, and it also means I know exactly where every little item is.
However, because I’m lacking a wardrobe and other such storage solutions, there are still a lot of things in boxes. Even over a week after I’ve moved. It’s like a constant niggle at the back of my mind that things aren’t quite right. Like an itch that you just can’t scratch.
In short, moving house is an incredibly stressful and emotional experience for everyone, especially autistics. It can be anxiety inducing or even painful, but generally worth it in the long run.