To my loved ones throughout my life, I was often considered lazy. This continually-fed train of thought led me into the current chapter of my life thinking that until I learned about the amount of energy needed for me to endure the motions of the day.
In the autistic mind, it is constantly flowing with ideas, thoughts and energy. When consumed with thoughts and having to do the things that are needed to be done on a daily basis just to be a human, it can be extremely daunting and taxing to go through and by the juncture that others want us to do something, our human battery is drained. This can also be explained in what is commonly known as the “Spoon Theory.”
Let’s say you only have 12 literal spoons filled with some sort of magical topping. To start the day, it takes 3 spoons to just get out the door, there is 25% of the energy depleted right there. Going through the workflow of the day could deplete another 4 spoons, so there is nearly 60% of what you have to offer someone gone. You only have 5 spoons or about 40% of your human battery left to spare for what you need to do to get through the day.
This was me in so many instances when the workflow for the day was over. Many times, my parents needed me to help them out, all I wanted to do was relax and I was being pressured into doing activities that were at times mundane and unwanted. This made me be perceived as being lazy because I gave little to no attention to their needs at the time.
Throughout reading others’ blogs over the past few years of me being on my own again, I began to realize that I was just out of energy by the time that I was done with the traditional flow of the day and that taking a break, even with those with limited speaking ability, was common. I also learned the importance of practicing self-care and later establishing boundaries around what I was willing to do. I had to accept that If I am an adult and indeed living on my own, I had the right and autonomy to put my foot down and speak up for things I just did not have the energy or spoons to expend.
There are many times even today when I use my autonomy and state that I am just not able to do the things that I used to do because I am thought of as the “one who knows it better than I” theory. Sometimes it brings guilt to my mind because I feel as if others are thinning about myself or that I just don’t care. The fact is that I know that I am one of the kindest persons I know and am also a deep empath, yet I have learned in 2022 that it became necessary to develop a backbone in order to maintain my mental health and peace of mind.
I know that having the phrases of being lazy being told to me the majority of my life doesn’t really help me in keeping a backbone, but there are times I know I am just checked out and that and I can only do the bare minimum to get by until I can safely rest. I had to also admit that it is not a sign of weakness because I stand my ground but it is me saying that I cannot do anymore. I know that I cannot continually give in to wanting to pass on things though. There are some things that must be done whether we like it or not.
There are things that we have to be responsible for if we want to maintain our lives to the fullest potential and there are things we just don’t have the ability to do. It doesn’t make me or anyone less of a person, it’s just the fact that our battery isn’t full or we are out of spoons and we need to fill them.