Reflections: Four Years…Much Growth

With the new developments in the new year, I have been reflecting deeply on where I was four years ago as the bottom was starting to fall out on my mental wellness. It reminds me that I never  want to get to that point again, to try to strive better and advocate for change,

While I do not go into specifics on what particularly happened with needing to leave my first own living arrangement suddenly as it is not totally mine to divulge, I know it was the catalyst of what added the fuel to hitting rock bottom. In a little over a month the world would shut down as part of the pandemic and by not having the adequate routine that I needed and the lives of everyone in my parents’ house being uprooted and unpredictable did not make things better. Additionally, not doing things that were intuitive for my mental health only worsened things. 

It took hitting rock bottom for me to accept that I had to better myself. It was through a number of divine interventions that saved me from wretched circumstances and developing not only a circle that I could rely on in dire instances but also having opportunities provided to me that got me back on my feet and preventing me from falling into a more consequential situation that where I was at that present monent.

Once the opportunity paved the way for being on my own again and having my own personal freedoms back, despite a COVID resurgence that sent us back into modified services for some time, I slowly accepted and developed what was essential for me to be well. While some things were still bringing me down, I slowly began to understand what was valuable to my being well.

It also came with many changes to things that were in place for many years. However through processing them and giving things a changes and not being impulsive and running away, as I recently learned that I struggle with transition and change intensely, I eventually realized that changes in some way can be good if you have an open mind and see beyond the tunnel vision that makes things in the autistic brain become so rigid and regimented.

As I freed myself from the negativity, anger, resentment and hatred that I clutched onto for dear life and was willing to open myself up to seeing things from different perspectives, I allowed myself to open up more and more about what I really wanted life to be and not allow baggage that I was holding on for so long weigh me down. I started to unpack all the stretched and dirty laundry that I was holding within myself about my life for sometimes decades and it has been refreshing to know that there are things I can not only understand were normal to feel, but that they were also validated for me.

At times it took realizing and accepting the fact that some things were a reason for being autistic. While I would never condone using any of my challenges as an excuse, I had to learn that being autistic was the cause of things being challenging for me and not the fact of particular things that I continually thought I had struggled with. I know that it is not a pass for running away from things I struggle with, I realize that I have to employ the necessary coping skills and defense mechanisms in order to cope with the challenges that being autistic brings in amplifying feelings such as anxiety or anger.

It is moving on past what happened four years ago and realizing that I have to live in the present and not dwell on the way things were or could be changed. It is accepting that I need to move forward in the present and live my best life possible without holding feelings or baggage that may be burdensome. It is simply letting go of what I can for what things are.

As we continue in 2023, I can only be optimistic and hopeful and wish for better things to come as I have many of the struggles that I had faced over the past four years finally be resolved or better manage the challenges that they bring. It is not continuing to dwell on things that I know are not an issue for me anymore while continuing to build more confidence and grow more.

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