Reflections: Managing Life’s Challenges

Being autistic, it can be hard to accept when changes occur to our daily routine that we may not see beneficial. But when you add in further change that can happen in short notice and not know how your day is going to go, it can be difficult to manage your demeanor and not react to the change because it is different. I apparently have been doing better in this regard and it proves that some small changes that I have implemented on my own have helped in this regard.

Changes to our daily routine can happen sometimes when we least expect it. Even more, it can cause additional issues if when things are set up to be the same way that caused us unpleasant feelings in the past we just want to avoid it from happening again and retreat to what makes us feel safe and comfortable. But sometimes,for me I have learned that I need to look at the true situation at hand and look past the story I was telling myself and what was I really running away from and by doing that what would that make me look like. Much of my thinking is internal where I have a very narrow mind of thinking and it is generated by excessive overthinking of something like a small change that in reality is not that bad and is short in duration or enhanced anxiety.

Once that challenge is initiated and I become comfortable with myself and those around me, I become natural with the skills that I have learned over the years that sometimes I can pass off as neurotypical and not have heightened challenges that I have. It is the way it goes in many cases and this way of thinking can hold me back from doing many enjoyable things in life that I may expand my palate to and not remain as reserved as I am because of the challenges I experience.

It can be easy to remain with what I know because it makes me feel safe and doing things that I am uncomfortable doing can seem so heightened to me because my brain makes me feel like they are these big scary things that may hurt me or upset me. In reality, I can be a very pleasurable person once others get to know me and I am in my moment and can flourish greatly as a result of the multitude of skills I have learned over the years. In fact, this has been proven time and time again, yet the fear builds up when preparing to go through a situation that seems different to me because I fear that something bad is going to happen that is beyond my control that I cannot manage and will cause me to react in a negative manner.

Keeping things in check such as limiting caffeinated beverages and adhering to my medication regimen help in regard to properly regulating my mood and being able to be cognizant of what is right and what is wrong. Many of the myths I have created in my mindset about doing these things have been busted over the past four years that I believe I am ready to move on to where I left off nearly four years ago and get back on track for bettering myself and being a more enjoyable and friendlier person because it fills the void of emptiness when I have downtime and prevents me from doing things that may seem unhealthy or unproductive like falling asleep and could cause a relapse of not adhering to my medication regimen.

In my right mind it is like having the old Dustin back that has been missing for so long that everyone has missed. It also makes the ability to experience the challenges that life presents to me more easier to manage and overcome with ease and not cause adverse reactions of additional burnout as a result of taking care of myself I must remember of where I have came from and what I have done in life to get to the point where I am right now and the potential that life can bring if I open myself and allow it to be.

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