TW/CW: mention of suicide
*from solely my perspective*
As I started my day today, I felt intense hunger pangs. Being autistic, I struggle with interception and as such my body was telling me that I needed to make nourishing my body a priority.
My automatic response was looking at being lazy and having breakfast brought to me, however it would be at least a hour before it would be here…not to mention the cost or the chance of everything going according to plan.
At first, my brain went into the childish-like stage where I wanted to have a meltdown because I couldn’t get what I wanted right now. Then I remembered, I have food in my very own kitchen.
I set my mind on making pancakes. I put the music on and started preparing the food.
As I eat, I judge an adequate amount of syrup on my pancakes and while I know I can decide that for myself, the combination, consistency and texture are what make the meal manageable and not produce additional emotional backlash.
I knew that my kitchen was in a state of disarray. My mother was here last night, she mentioned that it needed work but didn’t overly judge. I realized it looked as if it needed to be cleaned.
I start with dishes that have been laying around for days because I’ve just not had an interest in them. I get disgusted with the textures of the things I have to clean up and the only thing I can think about is getting them off of my fingers and as the music continues to fill the room. I get into the spirit and bust those suds. I move to the other fixtures that need attention and eventually all surfaces are clean.
I realized that sweeping and mopping the kitchen wouldn’t hurt either and do that. I take a picture of it and send it to my mother with the words “better?” As I many times seek her validation to wish I get a reply that ” it is the way it should always look like and that I did a great job.”
I feel relieved and as I go about my day it made me think about how there’re so many variables of the autistic brain and the varying degrees of intensity and reaction that an Autistic Person experiences whenever they are triggered by the senses or struggle with transitions.
The reaction can at times cause the brain to flare up instant reactions that if not properly monitored can end up in one dying by suicide. While the ideations can be there oftentimes, depending on the intensity of the brain and protective/safety measures, sometimes there’s nothing stopping Autistic individuals from carrying out their plans.
While threats need to be taken seriously, it takes one to assess the situation from a perspective as to whether someone is just having a bad day or are they really in crisis and need serious mental health care.
Unfortunately, systems are not set up well for accommodating neurodiverse individuals. While strides are being made we still have a long way to go in educating all systems about how the autistic brain works and knowing how to communicate effectively with an autistic person, give them time to decompress and reassess if additional supports are needed.
Systems are burdened, understaffed, and underfunded, I get it. But at times there needs to be better understanding, education, treatment, resources, and prevention in events of where autistic individuals are escalated and working with them and their supports to best address their struggles, challenges and needs so drastic measures or outcomes don’t result from simple actions.
TW/CW: mention of suicide