Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Understanding Life Obligations

Being an adult means that there are obligations in life that must be endured. Whether or not, there are just some things in life that we as adults cannot get out of because of our need to be present for many purposes.

As an autistic adult, I can in my right mind conceptualize the need to meet certain obligations in life. However, there are times that are mostly guided by my anxiety that cause my thoughts to be amplified and not want to follow through with necessary obligations because of fearing change or other similar autistic traits. In those moments of catastrophic fear, I cannot see the need to follow through with necessary obligations or realize that I need to do what is necessary for me to be well when I do them.

Until the first of the year, I often thought that isolating myself from any potential of fear-producing events was the answer to my problems. It was like it was going to be the answer to making me feel better. However, I realized that it fuels my thought-producing engine causing it to spiral out of control. This can result in passing this energy onto others because I have nothing else to do with my time. Other behaviors can exist such as wanting to mindlessly nourish my body with unhealthy food, not sleeping or feeling sorry for myself because I don’t think I have control of the present situations in my life.

Regardless, I know that in the present time, there are things that must be endured. It can be hard to fight that pre-event anxiety of wanting to give up the things that I cannot control in my life. In reality, I know once I become in the moment of what I need to do, I will be fine. Nothing is wrong with the things that I have to do and I do them well when I am in my right mind. My brain sometimes tells me that I need to forgo things that may seem challenging or uncomfortable because they scare the living daylights out of me that something bad is going to happen or that something different that I may not like or agree with will cause things to be different. 

I have to admit that over most of my adult life I have been more accepting of change and been more flexible to the things I cannot control. Yet, by brain gets in this childish state of mind wanting things to be easy and not have any change whatsoever. Many people, regardless if they are neurodivergent or neurotypical can be resistant to change. However, when the battle continues for years because I am at times unwilling to adult and do what is necessary, even if I may not see it that way can be irritating or challenging to others.

Its not that I want to be childish in nature but my brain automatically reacts that way when things seem challenging or different. Its like its the worst thing that can possibly happen to rain on my parade and ruin the upcoming day.It can be hard to see the positive in a situation because all I think about is the bad and how to avoid enduring what I may find a challenge when in reality it isn’t as bad as it seems. My brain is just wired to think that way and while I am trying to work on it, it is daunting to those in my close circle because of my presumed unwillingness to want to go through the things in life that many of my neurotypical peers have to .

What is not realized is the fact that the feelings that neurotypicals face of not wanting to endure life’s obligations, while present can be intensified in an autistic point to the point that it can be at times the only thing that we can think about as it loops around and around in our headspace. Eventually, we as autistic people are at the point that we are checked out and the only thing we can think about is getting out of our obligations as a way of being free from that overburdening anxiety that is producing within our body. We can at times have other physical symptoms that at times that can be unpleasant to some and make the need to do something even more challenging.

It is not that I for one want to feel this way or make life miserable for those within my close circle. It can be that I haven’t learned the proper coping technique to put those thoughts out of my head and not entertain them before they get to the point of where my body physically reacts to the way I am feeling as it becomes closer to the time I actually have to follow through with an obligation.

So, when an autistic person says that they do not want to follow through with an obligation ,please understand that they are not being a jerk to your or want to ruin your event, it is the fact that they are afraid of doing something that may not know what is expected to happen or that what is expected can suddenly be uprooted. More acceptance, less judgment.

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