As I am getting settled into my new digs this week. One thing resonates again and again in not only being autistic, but in my mental health recovery. The need for routine and regimen exactly what the autistic mind thrives of. Granted during COVID, our routines were shaking up to a greater degree, however the professionals did their best in earnest to have a continuum of services delivered to the vulnerable. Now I have to admit that It did have a rocky start, but it did bounce back and become a great thing that I feel should be considered for the future as I personally feel that it can contribute immensely to the recovery of many individuals.
Yes. There’s the understanding of social norms in the virtual world and it does present itself challenges. However, with proper guidance, I feel that it can be accomplished to be a valuable tool in the mental health and neurodivergent community. This is also evidenced on a personal level when we regiment our personal care task and errands that we sometimes just can’t stand to do like cleaning or grooming for ourselves. We must take advantage of the technology provided and utilize it as able, especially of the autistic savant mind because our brain is scrambled egg up there and we can do some things well and some things not so well. We may need help and we as autistics, especially the ones who presently do not have supports must understand that it is OK to express your need for help and not to feel ashamed about it. A good adage to remember is that they didn’t create the supports to not be used. They are there for all people in need, such as those int he disability community that need them.
We must also remember that having a routine and regimen also avoids us as autistics from getting into mischievous behavior that could end up costly to a person of any disability and could eventually result in one losing their independence. Honestly, looking back at the last independent situation, in the events I was doing it wasn’t a wonder that I didn’t brush up with law enforcement or reach the point of ending up in the psychiatric hospital. I almost got to that point with my parents and usually at the final threat I would back down and admit my issue, which was usually not following regimen.
I have accepted this and realize that this, among other things that I did in the past needed to be corrected before “graduating” on into the next chapter. I had to look at several TV shows that points out deficiencies in things I was doing to realize that it could end up to that point if I did not address it. COVID also taught me to be more of a clean person and not be illicit in my collection habits. I have actually heard of Autistics that do collect things to the point that it results in hoarding. I personally have realized that I need to limit that collection field to a minimum level. It is working, part of that, if possible is to digitize that thing I do collect, if possible. I realize a change and am able to enjoy habits that are less accumulative than collecting and are much more pleasurable.
Also being regimented makes me realize that I am hygienically a better person to be around and look nicer (yes, that is a thing that is important to me. Self-grooming, self-maintenance and self-care are three important things that many autistics lack the regard to manage well. It took me several decades and since being in my present home, have showered more routinely as a result of being more regimented.
For me I know this is a start of a great beginning. I can and others that provide services to me can realize a sense of happiness that has been missing for some time. I honestly think this is one of the happiest decisions that I have made and at the right time and for the right reasons. I can feel so much happier and more at ease even though we are coming off of a election and in the middle of a global pandemic, my outlook on life is so much greater than it has been in the past year.