Acceptance and Awareness, Adulting, Healthy Lifestyle, Independence, Sleep

Adulting: Waking Up

In gaining my skills to regroup for the next  chapter in my life, I have made the decision to do a blog series on Adulting. The third installment I have chosen to write about is getting up and starting your day.

For Autistics, waking up for others is easier than others. Compromised sleep and dedicated routines contribute to this factor. If one is to live on their own, and proper sleep and routine is developed, this shouldn’t become a problem. The issue at the hand, is ignoring the alarm sounds in the morning which I difficulty in obliging and getting up to start my day.

Now I understand that not all autistics do not have to be up at a certain hour and many have issues regarding getting to sleep (as I do, and I take medicine to help, as does many) Nonetheless, in many cases if one is to lead a productive life (such as me) then getting the proper amount of sleep is a requirement in making me feel productive enough to do my work.

For most of 33 years of growing up, my parents or another adult has awoken me from my sleep. This is something in my adult years that I am not proud of as I should have had the proper skills to do so. It was when I lived on my own in the last chapter that I had to get the skills to live on my own, and I did. At first, it wasn’t easy getting up. It was quite difficult really. With the help of technology, it became easier. In this chapter, it is becoming easier, although I did revert to my old ways for a bit, bit with the help of having my Amazon Alexa back, it has improved significantly.

Now on my down days, I do struggle with staying awake, especially on days when I don’t have a slightly caffeinated beverage to aid in awakening me. Not that it cannot be done, it just makes life easier. I will get up for some time, maybe grab a bite to eat, sit on the porch, but if I don’t like the way that the day is going, or I can’t find something to occupy my time, then I go and retreat and lay down back and bed. And it makes me a miserable bear, for me and my family.

The struggle has been getting started and having a routine. A shower is first and foremost, and should be a requirement to start a person’s day, should they choose. Taking a shower for me is like a double-edge sword. On the positive side, properly tempered, it can calm me down and relax me if I am tense. Likewise, if not set to the proper temperature, it can be a complete disappointment. Sometimes, I have sensory issues with the way the water is projected on my body or the feeling on certain areas of my body. It is indeed a part of the day I enjoy at times and struggle with at others.

But on mornings, especially when I do have to leave the house now, it especially has to be done and my body has to be taken care of. Then the other elements of hygiene must be commenced such as upkeep of the body and proper clothing of one self to see that the proper clothing is planned and applied for the day. It can be a tackle for myself and I am sure many others on the spectrum. But when it is completed, there is a great sense of accomplishment.

Nonetheless, other parts of that routine come into play, such as having a balanced breakfast (a must I have learned in recent years) and reading the newspapers that I like to read (although many are online most days due to the pandemic, although I heard when starting the next chapter that the Daily paper will become back to full mode next monty…yay!) Getting up is one of those crucial routines that has to be followed just like any other routine that an austistic has to follow.

With that in mind, I am at a struggle with the “new normal” and the new things we have to do brought forth by the pandemic and what is required as a result. It hasn’t been easy for me to adapt. Today, I start back at the physical work for the first time in almost five months (although I was on leave for six weeks and was scheduled to return, then was affected by the pandemic.) It is scary of what I may come across today. I know the screening process before boarding the van this morning and I am less anxious about it, but it is stored in my mind that I’ll fail that in some way. I know I feel great, especially better that I am on regular medication regimen, but its there and once I’m banded the relief will be there, for the day anyway.

Here’s to a good day!

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