Thanksgiving week is one of those long weeks. The “usual” part of the week is only three days long. Then there are two days, Thanksgiving and the day after. They can be the toughest to blend together and make sure your mental health is in check. You have to make the decisions that are helpful in our journey to make sure you are mentally well.
This Thanksgiving is just as usual as the last. There’s three days for the holiday, the holiday and the day after as it always has been my adult life. However, it does change up what is a normal routine in the weekly pattern. It especially changed this year as my employer chose to exchange the President’s Day Holiday with the day before Thanksgiving. While it totally doesn’t affect me. It does present a challenge as my schedule for the week could be altered. I could choose to work both days, but if I chose to do that, I wouldn’t get the normal rest day that I need to be mentally well. Although I could consider having Thanksgiving to myself by avoiding the Zoom Check Ins that my day program provides, that isn’t the greatest idea either. I know I need to do what is best for my mental health.
While this is a choice I have to make. It is only one of several that an autistic adult has to make. Especially living in an independent situation this can be very challenging at times. Being independent requires the need to make several decisions to make sure that you are doing the bare minimum to be sure that you are being responsible in events like taking your medicine and not illegitimately spending money you know you need to live on.
The past year has been very lucky for me because of the extra help I have been receiving that I can get what I need when I want. Part of that is a result of the realization of the need to be financially responsible. This is done when visiting shops, whether online or in person, to consider whether something is a need or a want. I think, is this purchase just going to sit around and collect dust or not be put into use? Do I REALLY need this item? Just basic questions, yet these are decisions that I have to make on my own. In the end it has helped me become fiscally aware of what I need to do and whether or not I REALLY need that item or not and is it going to be good fiscally to get this item and for my well-being too.
Being autistic, sometimes we are led into things that seem like they are good at the very moment, but we often don’t look at what it can do for us in the long run. Sometimes, we have difficulty seeing how it will benefit or derail us. Sometimes, we don’t want those offering the offer to feel bad or we want that extra bonus item to say we did something without realizing what effects it causes as a result. The same can be said for connections in life that we cannot come across and if they deplete us too much energy for us or challenge our ability to do the things that helps us or enjoy, then we have to make that decision to let it go on the terms that we need it to go away from our lives on so we can return to the normalcy that we need to thrive on.
Making decisions for autistics isn’t easy, especially if they have a limited timeframe to make a decision. This can occur when we are children and we visit the store that we like and those who take us give us the option of buying just one thing. When we are presented with a department or sometimes an entire store full of options that tentalize our enjoyment senses, it can sometimes overload us and if we cannot settle on a decision, the visit could end up not the way it intended for us.
I have to give credit to my supporters there who listen to my concerns about things that I need to make decisions for me. They use the practical method, but they don’t tell me what to do. I have to be responsible for the decision and live with the consequences or benefits. The holiday season presents more challenges than other times of the year. On my side, I am now realizing that in decisions that I am making to be cognizant of what I am doing, the benefits and risks of that decision and in the end how that will affect me mentally and physically in the long run.