Being autistic, my brain is constantly overthinking. It can be a wonder sometimes when I know I need to take a break. It can be the fact of having to fight with my body for the need to just relax and take it easy so I do not become overwhelmed or overloaded to the point that I completely shut down.
It comes with saying that the autistic brain is constantly in a state of thinking or providing information about something. It could be anything. But it comes to a point when it keeps going and you can’t physically endure anymore in the day. It can be hard to realize that a break is needed.
Being neurodivergent and needing to settle down isn’t easy for me. In this state of the world it can be difficult to just sit down and relax and take in something entertaining. Even when you are trying to relax, your brain is constantly thinking of something. Something that needs to be done or an idea of something. Constantly thinking of something.
Some brains are just wired like that regardless of who you are. Many of my ancestors were like this. They were the last to sit down at a meal or they constantly worked. Some once did and slowed down. While it is nice to have a good work ethic, eventually it can be hard to enjoy and see the good in life, especially things of an entertaining nature. It doesn’t make them a bad person, but it gives me insight to how my brain sometimes operates.
I have recently accepted that it is perfectly normal to take a break when necessary and able to do so. Growing up, It was often seen as taking a break as being lazy and unproductive. However, being autistic, my brain has extreme difficulty shutting down. Medication helps to some degree and I had to accept that in recent years. Additionally, I had to accept the fact that when my body wants to throw in the towel, I just need to stop what I am doing if I am able and just rest, that there is nothing wrong with doing so.
Many consider non laboring work as being lazy. However, when the brain cannot stop processing thoughts, sometimes from hours or even days ago, it can be challenging for them to understand the fact how one who doesn’t really labor can be “so tired?” Very few people understand the inner workings of a neurodiverse brain. I once had the opportunity to have it looked at as part of a research study, however the MRI equipment being of a closed nature and the inability to remain still prevented that from occurring.
Personally, I have that accommodation at work and while I don’t always utilize it, I do use it particularly during high demand times. I will go to the vending machine or use the restroom as that is sometimes unknown to be needed and will return when I am ready. I am very lucky to have an employer that accommodates my needs as I know that is not always the case.
Regardless, It comes on my end knowing that there are times that I just need to take a break, whether I need to schedule them in or whatever tools necessary in order to take care of myself. While some may not understand the necessity of why a break is needed, it should be honored as much as possible. It doesn’t make you less of a person just because you need a break or can’t do something at the same level as a neurotypical person. It is just the fact that you need to care for yourself.