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 fifth installment I have chosen to write about is hygiene.
I cannot believe that at 35 as I am writing this that I am writing about something that is so commonplace for so many adults my age, yet I and several autistics struggle often with is that of hygiene. Yes, I will openly admit that I do lack the empathy at times for good hygiene, I am not totally sure of what it is that strays it away from me. Is it the feelings of tools and elements. Is it the smells and sounds. Still just a few weeks past 35, I just don’t know.
Now, I certainly don’t lack the knowledge of what to do. I have a great family and have been taught about this time and time again. Plus, I am a male, so for the most part it shouldn’t be that hard, right? When I was living on my own, I did enjoy sprucing myself up. However, when I moved in with my this current chapter, I began to lack severely, especially during the current pandemic where I would go at times four days without taking a shower, some of them just a in and out sort of thing.
Also during the pandemic, I have gone weeks without shaving simply because mostly no one noticed my facial hair during the pandemic. because when leaving the house, masks were required in public. Now, I am not objectionable to facial hair, it just doesn’t look good on me. Therefore, maintaining it and shaving regularly has been paramount to looking and feeling good. I have struggled with this for the past 20 years, and its often real. For several years, I used a straight razor, but I hated the mess that came along with it and realized that a electronic razor would be better. It is and even my dad likes it too and he uses is like other males every day. I just can’t get that dedicated to doing it. It oftentimes gets to the point of where I get ridiculed by my parents and others to do it, which irritates me.
I also struggle with brushing my teeth, as I have never taken good care of them. I had braces, which was a nightmare and I didn’t keep the retainer on, so the teeth reverted back to what they were, so much for an good investment. I have had only one small cavity all my life, which in a way is shocking considering all the sugary beverages I consume, however that is about all the sweets I consume, so for the grace of God, I can say my teeth have been well.
I have been getting to regular hygiene routines, Amazon Alexa has been a godsend in getting me up in enough time to get ready in enough time to get on the van for Clubhouse/Work. Some things still are lacking, but I make sure that the important stuff is done. It is important to have a routine and checklist, how immature it may sound to help you as a guide. I know as it helps me. It may seem immature at 35, but in order to be presentable around others, it’s a must have!
In closing, attempt to instill those routines in any autistic as young as possible. Those around them will thank you for it. For those who are struggling, I feel you, I am oftentimes there and am ashamed to be, but pick up the pieces and try again, it will get there,