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 fifteenth installment is about controlling meltdowns and how they relate to self-esteem.
So many who are just a little bit familiar with individuals on the Autism Spectrum often ask “do meltdowns end?” The answer is complicated. Meltdowns CAN end, its just the matter of how one learns the skills to reduce the rage stage of the autistic. When we know of a meltdown at a young age is similar to a tantrum, although it is not.
A meltdown is when an autistic has had too much sensory overload and has to release the energy that one has at that moment. As we know, Autism is a lifelong condition, so one will always have a boiling point of where they will have to channel their feelings throughout whatever device they have learned at the time.
For myself, many times in childhood and adolescence this resulted in fits of rage and lashing out in anger and methods of stimming by aggressively pounding my thighs continuously and sometimes beating others, specifically family members. This took a few years to get the right cocktail of medication, which helped the meltdowns subdue to only verbal fits of raging words. Nonetheless, the skill still takes additional time to acquire the skill to walk away and decompress the negative situations that are brought forth in my environment.
This has been a decade long trying affair to say the least. It’s years of not putting the skills of sitting weeks in psychotherapy to use. That, added with a decades long flawed way of thinking about my welfare and wellbeing, and not focusing on the negative. Rather, needing to be nice to others and carrying a positive attitude has been instrumental in this process. Furthermore, keeping busy and not drawing in things that I do not have in my control or draw negative and flawed thinking I have realized are detrimental to my wellbeing for I know I will act on those flawed thoughts by verbalizing them and then it will look grandiose and not who I am truly characterized.
Another piece that plays into this is my self-esteem, which hasn’t been always the best. Rather, it has been very low and depressing most times. I think oftentimes that I cannot do things because it is perceived as lazy when in turn It is outside of my comfort zone. Therefore, I am satisfied being me, which in turn is important, but likewise, if I am unwilling to change things for the better, then I have to gracefully accept the way things are and not complain about what I don’t have because I am not willing to make the change.
Over the past three weeks, I have slowly seen the changes occurring in my anger pattern by not having total eruptions of anger as I did in the past. I am slowly accepting that I have to be here and with my family in the current chapter and help them out because they wouldn’t ask unless they really needed my help. As such, Saturday, my father did ask for my help which spawned into multiple tasks spanning over an hour. In the past, I would have been more verbally aggressive than the minor scream that I let out when I had to walk around the field. When in reality I needed that walk and exercise anyway.
Another thing I have been taught by watching other vloggers on YouTube this week was that to make thoughts daily of the good things that happened or positive things ones said about me that day. I have been doing it this week and it feels good! Slow, healthy progress is key to the long-term goal of not showing eruptions of anger towards anyone, family or not, regardless of past situations. They have forgiven me every time, so I think I need to work on slowly beginning the forgiveness thing, because one day I will be glad I did!