As we come off of a national holiday, it was a somewhat different schedule for me. The day program was open on Saturday and we were open on a different schedule on Monday because of the holiday. As many know, these changes, while planned can throw someone such as myself off a bit. While I though yesterday was Friday, I am slowly realizing this morning as I am writing this that it is Tuesday.
Because of COVID, many including myself cannot sometimes handle the dullness and isolation as a result of the government restrictions. Additionally, we may acquire increased anxiety and depression as a result of that isolation that is experienced. It can get to a point where one can lose the motivation to do things such as take care of their habitat and do normal things like take out the garbage, for example. Mail can also be ignored and the recognition of doing normal things like taking care of yourself and cleaning up your environment do not happen.
At times, I go through highs and lows of experiencing the need to take care of my habitat. I know I need to take pride in it and keep it clean so that it stays that way and that if I become subject to inspection, that I do not risk eviction. I have to admit that this apartment is by far easier to clean and very plain compared to the last. Although, I do cook quite more as a result of being home more often. I realize that I have to continually maintain a clean kitchen and eating area at all times. I have to admit that I am doing better than I was in this area too, maybe because the space is smaller and there is limited room for things, so I kind of know it must be done.
Although there are areas of improvement., there are days when I too lack the motivation and place more of a focus on my interests rather than focus on things that need done. One of the areas I have needed to tackle for some time has been my bedroom. For one reason or another I have ignored it, for whatever reason I do not know why. It doesn’t have much in it but over the past few weeks, I have become lazy and haven’t picked up a lot of dirty clothes, trash and other things. I kept knowing this needed to be done, and if I would do it I would feel better about it, yet I continued to ignore it. The effort that I would have to put into making the bedroom clean, while it wouldn’t take much, just didn’t spark and interest in me for some reason.
This is one of the one big myths of autistics that I would like to dispel. Just because we are very detail oriented doesn’t specifically mean that we are squeaky clean. I also at times lack the knowledge that hygiene is a daily thing. This by no far doesn’t mean that we are lazy, we just either think it is lackluster or we just have sensory issues to certain things like the water of the shower hitting our body. I am ending my third month in my new apartment and still struggle with tempering my water for showers, and while I have to honestly admit I am not totally proud of my hygienic routine, I do accept the fact that I need to take ownership and feel proud about the need to keep clean. One of my biggest struggles in my hygiene is having a normal shaving regimen. It is something I continually put off and do not do until my facial hair looks horrendous. At this point it can cause pain to take care of and maintain that I do not like it. Yet, like many other routine hygiene practices, I lack the care to keep up on it.
My point is this, while we as autistics like many in todays world lack the motivation to do the things that life requires us. We are not lazy, we do care. It Is just the simple fact that specifically for autistics we just don’t often find it interesting and sometimes don’t realize that it is normal and we don’t see anything wrong with it, but once we do it, we are proud of our accomplishment and area a happier person.