For many autistics, being able to accept changes can be difficult for some to tolerate. Many may react in a negative manner or they may obsess over it and try to come up with other scenarios of why it doesn’t need to change or have a solution that meets their needs. However, it must be understood that change sometimes has to be accepted even though it may be difficult.
In my mid-30’s I am ashamed to say that I still struggle with change to some degree. Change is part of the makeup of the world we live in even more in this day in age and as such I know I have to be prepared for when something could change. But what if it really makes I or someone who is autistic angry, which is another factor that must be considered when a change is known.
For me, I can get angry and then it can turn into where I cannot stop thinking about it and looking for fuel to add to the fire. Last week, there has been a change in the town I live in to a parking situation that caused a lot of engagement on social media, but as I do not drive, nor does anyone that transports me park in the aforementioned areas where the parking would occur, I somehow could not stop thinning about the issue for the majority of my day off.
It took all day for me to realize that it became an unhealthy obsession for me and while this was the “talk of the town”.. I had to realize that I had to problem solve with my mother as she can be one of the few that can rationalize situations as they relate to me and be able to calm me down and change the narrative so that I can direct my thought process to a better mindset. In the end, I had spent almost 12 hours of my day obsessing about something so miniscule that it was hard to move on.
Alas, it can be hard to accept change that directly affects me because I can think of the worst possible effect to me and what tragic things could happen as a result of it. I can only see the bad things that could happen to me and not be considerate of others and what benefits it can provide them. I am doing better in this regard as time moves on in my life. I guess you could say that is what keeps me going through the rough times of a change in routine and knowing that I can be an example for being as seasoned as I am and not wanting to react negatively like a spoiled little brat in order to get what I want. I realize that it just makes the environment more hostile and frightening for the other individuals that may also have challenges similar to me. It takes back the clock of what they know about me and how immature it can be because of how irate I am at accepting what is often a simple change.
I realize that for the majority of when I react negatively to something it often involves when a change is made to something and I do not agree with it. It doesn’t matter even if it directly involves me or not, if I feel affected by it, I will feed into it and it can be hard to divey my energy elsewhere. I by no means don’t want to be in that state of mind and in fact it can be very taxing to be in that frame of mind. In my right mind, I know many times it isn’t worth the energy, but when my autistic mind is stuck on a thought, it can’t be let go. I know it isn’t going to get me anywhere, yet it is challenging and takes away time from what can be a joyous time.
I now know that I need to be better with accepting change and work on the proper coping mechanisms so I do not get into that frame of mind as deep as I was in the future. I know also that I must do my best to stay away from controversy on social media as it can further complicate the issue and make life more challenging to endure. Things are not always going to happen according to plan and things that are in place are not going to be in our lives forever. As autistics and those supporting autistics, it is imperative to know that extra attention should be given to embrace and accept changes as they come and not to be overwhelmed by them.