I'm on the autism spectrum and I have anxiety issues. Doing unknown things in an unknown place terrifies me.
From time to time (~twice a year) my workplace would organize a "team-building" at an unknown place where we will do unknown stuff (because it's a surprise).
I have already done two of those. I always try to gather as much information as possible (by talking to coworkers and to some of the organizers). But, since the whole thing is a "surprise", I never manage to know much (or not enough in advance). So, when the day comes, I'm utterly terrified and really not ready to enjoy my day (which is supposed to be the whole point of those team-building things).
Even though I would probably still feel stressed if I had all the information in advance, it would still be much less stressful for me.
I have thought about taking a day off those specific days, but my manager already blames me for not going to the optional work dinner/party. So, not going to those paid team building day, doesn't really seem like a good idea (because I would be too badly seen).
So, how could I request those information and be taken seriously? When I talk about them, people often tend to dismiss my fear as "don't worry, it will be fine" or "you are just overthinking this". They don't seem to realize how important it is for me.
How can I convey that this is really important to me and that I truly need those information (and more than just one day in advance)?
Also, I would like to avoid bringing the fact that "I'm mentally ill" too much. I don't want people to think I'm unfit for my job because of those mental health issues that I have (and those team building days have nothing to do with what I do on a day-to-day basis). And I also would like to avoid people thinking that I'm using my disability as a tool for my own purposes.
Notes and clarifications
- My manager and HR know that I'm on the autism spectrum. They also know that I have some tiredness issues, but they don't really know about my anxiety issues.