Laurel Hill State Park CCC Monument
Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Accepting Autistic Burnout

As this post is published on a holiday such as Labor Day (in the US), I would like to share a little more on how I have recently discovered that I recently met my terms with Autistic Burnout and that I accepted the need to better take care of myself.

I had discussed this earlier this summer how I thought I may have reached that point in my life as an autistic adult who for several decades has been encouraged to fall into line with what the neurotypical world has called us to do. This can include doing things that the neurotypical world is made to do like work-like activity, etc. I do understand that while things of that nature are good for me in many ways to prevent the onset of other unwanted behaviors as being isolated in my home for long periods has been determined to be unhealthy for me, however, I do need to properly take time to care for my well-being.

The challenge is not accepting autistic burnout within itself, but that it is OK to accept the fact that after being programmed for several decades to take it easy and do what is necessary in order to protect my well-being as it is better to do that then to expose myself to overly sensitive environments and then causing me to react in a negative manner or have to be within the burnout period for a longer duration.

There is no set period for how or when someone with autism recovers from their burnout. I am learning that I need to build more periods of rest into my routine so that I can be my best when I am needed to fall into societal norms in order to perform activities where I have to be my best. This requires having a delicate balance of knowing when you just need to take time for yourself. Your body will tell it best by knowing that it has had all it can handle or if not, it will just give out and physically cause you to go into burnout. Nonetheless, it is important for you to know that when things that once seemed to be manageable are at a point of not being that way, then it is time to get some rest.

For me, it was knowing that I was experiencing very heavy doses of sensory overload that was very taxing on me. It was no one’s fault. It is just what being autistic means. It means having to immediately shut yourself off from all external sources of energy when you arrive home after a long day out and resting for over an hour just to be able to function again. It also means having to take a day, week, month, whatever the case may be in order to take care of restoring the energy lost over what could be an extended period of time. For me, I know that short spurts of restorative time is what is necessary for me to recharge and eventually get back into the necessary rhythm, but again this is different for each and every person.

When it comes to autistic burnout, having to realize that you need to take time for yourself in regular intervals to restore your ability to be in a world that just isn’t made for the neurodivergent people can be a hard pill to swallow, but making it another part of your regimen will prove to be well in the long run for restoring all the damage made over the path to where you are today.

My story on this subject will continue tomorrow.

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