COVID-19 Series

Concentrating on COVID: Sudden Change

Well, another week has come and gone during the COVID-19 Pandemic and while I had a better weekend, it was certainly different. 95 % of the time it didn’t result in Meltdown, in fact what disagreement I had with my mother I certainly wouldn’t call meltdown material, it was just that a disagreement. Instead, I focused on my interests and I have realized that doing that betters my loneliness and betters my mood and positivity. Yes, I do watch the media from time to time and honestly it doesn’t really sink in. Yes, I know it will be some time, and many things are different. But I just caught a glimpse of this or that on the TV. I’m not really a TV Person, and I can’t sit still for much of it except for mundane news, but it’s just the local news or the weather that intrigues me, not the far right or far left national media, for that I just go to actual sources for information.

Nonetheless, I as many autistics are very regimented. When I go to a store to get something, I expect it to be there, no questions asked. So today, when I went to the grocer that I have been having issues with all year to get something and the first item isn’t there, I instantly get upset, turn around and walk out. As I walk out of the store, a cashier asks me if anything is wrong (probably by my facial look). I bluntly state, “Can’t shop here if you don’t have what I need” and walk away.

As my mother and I proceed to the less likeable store, I vent how I am displeased with the store trying to condense operations and then making it crap and not caring about MY business and not having what I want. Nonetheless, while at the less liked store I do get a fountain drink, but not the large size and most of what I need. It doesn’t matter the cost because I was paying with SNAP, although I am discouraged with the other patrons of the store not following universal masking – another pet peeve of mine.

Back in the car, we proceed to our neighborhood where I share my displeasure with the community store that I grown to love all my life of living here being half a block from my grandparents home and my great aunt spending her inheritance, then her government benefits and food stamps for several decades and just a few years after they pass it was a victim of arson by the owner in the middle of the night through his own fault, yet it is unlikely it, among other businesses in our small community one mile square will reopen any time so I then complain of the changes over the past two years and how things are constantly changing over time and how I can’t take one more change. Then my mother says this.

“Not everyone cares about what Dustin wants or needs to keep it running or stocked.”

 So true and to the fact comes to change, it is evident, and we must accept it, but in the end, it is how we accept it. Do we have that mini vent in the car about local business isn’t catering to our own need? Will we get what we want if we get angry or go into meltdown. Probably not. We as autistics and families of autistics need to make sure that autistics get the skill and knowledge to manage when things we expect to happen don’t occur just that way.  If we go into meltdown or lash out, then we are perceived as little children (although we may have adult bodies) throwing a temper tantrum. Now I realize that meltdown does occur and sometimes we cannot avoid it and that’s ok. However, we must do our part to educate ourselves on what we can do to prevent whatever meltdowns we can prevent, especially if its over menial things such as a grocery store not having an item, an unplanned trip, whatever the case may be over the small stuff. 

In these trying times, we must do what we can to not sweat the small stuff and try to manage life to the best of our ability so we can be educated, independent and successful thinkers in the big thing called life.

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