Recently, I have realized and accepted that much of my moments regarding increased anxiety and anger result from struggling with the fact that I need to prepare myself to transition to something outside of a safe space to something that has the potential to be unpredictable or where I have no control. I have also understood that this is what comes with being autistic.
In the last few weeks since this recent discovery, I have thought of instances of where moments of increased anxiety or anger would rise. While I have not had a true meltdown in some time, I do struggle with anxiety before doing something that I am not in control of. This is basically everything that I do not have control or a piece to bring to the table where something could happen to cause added stress anxiety.
For nearly two decades, the cause of my added anxiety and anger would be related to the fact of the event or venue that I would have to endure. I would express my frustration with wanting to flee from what I think would solve my heightened anxiety and return me to my sense of safety. However, as time progressed and triggering factors or other causes were eventually eliminated to the point I discovered that there is no real reason to feel the way I was vocalizing, I had to examine the real reason that I would routinely feel anxious and build up other feelings.
The nucleus of it all is the fact that transitions are a struggle among many autistics and while I was diagnosed nearly 25 years ago, little was known back then about the value of transition in autistics. Many neurodivergent people experience varying issues with transitioning from one thing to the next. My issue in particular is the realization that the day is ending and the next day I will not have as much free time because I will have to do something that is likely beyond my control and therefore I will very likely need to mask to endure the challenges of a world that is not made for me.
However, in recent months, I have understood autistic burnout and the need to relax more. I am being more comfortable about addressing my needs even though some may not understand them. As I do live on my own, as long as I am safe and free from harm, there only needs to be a certain degree of necessity that needs to be understood from that perspective.
I do want to point out that there is a difference between having anxiety and not having interest in something. I have over time understood as I am an autistic man that there are things in life that I must do and in fact there are things that do help me be well. There are things in life as I become more independent and well that are not of my best interest or make me more prone to too much overload or can cause further challenges by my presence. As I am an independent individual, I have the right to express my personal freedoms in this arena. Again there are things that are needed to be done as a life expectancy, however, when there are things that cause additional challenges for an autistic individual and the better option is to just not do it in order to not make everyone else miserable, then it is something that needs to be respected and understood.
Realizing that I struggle with transitions will hopefully provide me with a better mindset as I continue down the path of 2023. Understanding what I need to do in order to be well and defend the struggles of transitions will hopefully make things better for me and all that I am involved with.