A Pavilion at a local park
Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Radical Acceptance

The past week has been a better week for me , but to get through it required practicing radical acceptance in order to not back down into my immature behaviors that I have done previously. This skill can be a challenge to adult and face the music of the things that we don’t want to do.

As we know, autistics, myself included, do not like changes to our routine. The past week was another change to the routine as has been many in the day program I attend. In the past, I would react and express my opinion very abrasively and bluntly about changes that at that moment I could not see the benefits that they provide to everyone, not just me. I would not take a moment and consider the whole picture and reason behind the change and maybe there would be a small benefit to me by doing it in a new way than in the past would provide.

As autistics we can often be very regimented and have our minds set on things only occurring the ways we see them happening that when someone proposes a change to something that we value greatly or do not want to see it change we can react deeply to the change without being open to trying it and because our anxiety flares up into a fight or flight mode, it is often what we result in doing making something as a simple change to our daily routine more difficult than it is intended to be or bigger than what it is made out to be.

Radical acceptance is the ability to accept things for what they are because it is sometimes best to just go through the motions for the small time that a small change to the schedule involves or MAY happen than to fight it to no avail and be even more tweaked out or make it more difficult to maintain composure within yourself to get through the situation at hand. It may be easier to get out of the situation if it is causing undue stress, but if it is something in the grand scheme of things that isn’t as bad as your mind pictures it, then, just try your best to go with it.

Many times, our mind tells us of things that are in reality far from the truth. Being autistic , seeing the truth of the matter can be difficult because we often think of the bad or what is wrong with the situation and the perceived fear that something that is different to us can be produced. But, when it is often something that has a lot of familiarity to us and has little risks for something to be challenging to us, those stories that we think in our head can seem silly and it is best to just go with what is being planned for us because in reality it isn’t that bad and in fact it will likely be just fine or even provide additional great experiences for us.

We also must sometimes accept the flaws in others regardless of past stories that are told about them or the picture that is painted about them because someone else has had a bad experience with them. It may seem hard sometimes, but it is often best to be the better person in the situations that you must involve yourself with them and not react to them because you continually see the bad things and want to call them out on their flaws as a way as getting revenge within your mindset. In the end, what does that do to them and you and what kind of person does that make you look like? Sometimes, we have to see the whole picture and how we as an individual want to be treated, not what the picture that someone else paints of a person because everyone’s experience can vary from situation to situation and we do not know everything behind the whole story , only the fragments of what we are told.

Radical acceptance makes us do what is necessary to manage our wellbeing as an individual and not the picture that is painted for us which can cause us to have judgment on others because in reality they too have their own issuers and we do not have an all access pass what is going on with them, therefore it can be easy to rush to judgment and put them down without seeing all that they do. It is imperative however, to keep up your defenses in order to protect yourself in order to stay well and not cause any stress to yourself by practicing proper self care techniques as necessary.

Having radical acceptance has been one of those skills that I have added to my toolbelt in order to make getting through the unpleasant much easier that I would in the negative mindset that I once was in. It makes going through the challenges that life endure on us much more manageable than it would should we just react deeply and fight the fight than just go through the motions necessary to get through the small changes in life.

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