One of the key points of being autistic is knowing that we don’t like to change the way we do things. Autistics are very regimented about ourselves and we thrive off routines. And while I made 2022 about doing new things and following new routines so that I can track my progress throughout the year,. I must learn that while doing these things, that I must adapt to the way things are at the present moment.
Change for autistic people is hard. Adapting to doing things in a different way becomes challenging. When it doesn’t go the way we want it to go, it becomes frustrating for us and we don’t want to pick up the pieces and rebuild them to adapt to our liking. Autistics at times are very regimented so that we can become resistant to change. For me, I do this because I want to stay within my comfort zone because it doesn’t cause me any anxiety. New things are scary, as they are for our neurotypical peers. However, for the neurodivergent and those with similar challenges, this can provide us with more challenges than our neurotypical peers.
Change can be good if we give it a chance. I have been in my present home for 14 months now and now starting to feel at ease realizing that this can be my home for some time. I guess with past experiences, coupled with the challenges it presented, alongside the anxiety I faced, I never felt as if I deserved to be happy in my own home. I am finally at a place mentally where I can be at ease and feel comfortable about myself each day. As such, I need to realize that I have to finally accept the fact that I am at ease being here. It is a gift that was bestowed to me in a time when I was ending being in crisis and I am forever thankful for it.
Therefore, I need to accept that this is my home for an extended period of time and as such, I need to adapt to the new environment. As I have said, change isn’t easy for many autistics. I have been through alot of changes over the past three years and intensely in the past two. I must realize that it is OK to do the things that I once did prior to when my world shut down almost two years ago. Yes, we had COVID appear in our lives, however we have many defensive tools in that arena, and as such I am vaccinated and boosted to prevent the worst from happening. Furthermore,many of the things I did were not in environments that had susceptibility to getting COVID, therefore I need to adapt to the way things are, live in the present moment and expand on what I once knew before my life was uprooted almost two years ago.
My first opportunity at living on my own taught me many things that have molded my present environment that I have. I have also builded on those experiences to make this one a better one than that one. While the first experience had taught me the freedom one can have as an adult, it also taught me what can happen if it isn’t lassoded under control and kept in check. Over the past year or so has taught me that I cannot continue to do the same things I was doing in the past experience and rather stick with the proven things that I knew all along worked and were key to me being successful in the many things I have done in my life.
Life is what you make it. I can live my life being miserable thinking of all the “horrible” things that happened to me over the past three years and thinking of where I ended up, or I can use them as learning experiences to make me move on to greater things. Being independent has opened up the door to many great things as well and I need to live off of those experiences. Life isn’t made for us to stick in the same rut that we have been running for years because it is comfortable.
I as a autistic person can do much more than I pose myself to believe. I also have to accept the fact that these things are going to cause anxiety in the process that is going to make me feel uneasy at times where I am going to feel like I am not deserving of what I am attempting or wanting to throw in the town. However, I mustn’t do that because I know doing things that may seem challenging at first will eventually open more doors and make me a happier person in the end.
Here’s to an Optimal Year!