Sometimes being autistic, it can be hard to understand that your body has a limit on what it can do. As such I have learned the hard way that things have to happen in order for me to be my best self and not fall into the trap that I have long fallen into.
Being autistic can make us hyper-fixated on things to the point that we cannot stop thinking about them. Not being able to have these tendencies toned down so you can get the rest you need can be very challenging for me and many other autistic people. It is hard to understand the difference between day and night and there is a great sense of many autistic people having a sense of accomplishment with tasks in the evening.
However, for me, as many of my activities are in the daytime, I need to sleep at night. This was a struggle upon having my independence over four years ago until a few weeks ago. There was a sort of thrill with being able to have complete silence and time free of distraction to be able to do things. Even now as I get a more balanced medication regimen in place, I am seeing the need to have all the sleep I have missed over the years.
The first days after getting back on track resulted in me having 14 hours of sleep and almost a week later we are in the average of 6-8 hours of sleep. Also in the beginning we had to have small bouts of rest to offset the exhausted energy that was had from not having enough mind power to manage the day. Getting back into track with the medicine makes me realize that its purpose is not to sleep, but to settle my brain down so I can get into sleep and be recharged and regulated the next day.
In no way does it ‘zombify’ me or make me catatonic. It is to help settle down my brain that is in overdrive and in the end causes irritability from the lack of sleep, the intrusive, ruminating thoughts that loop over and over again. For so long, I disregarded the need to put what I had in mind to rest and work on what is needed to be well. Life is better when I take my medicine and I know it! It is not a miracle for what helps me, but not having it sets me back greatly.
It has taken growing up and understanding that life has necessities and that the human body cannot run like the Energizer bunny non-stop. It too needs to rest and recharge its batteries. I am a human being and as such this is evident in the need to take care of myself mentally and physically. I am a very intelligent person and can do the right things if they are known to be beneficial to my mental and physical health. Slowly it took me to realize that the years of lack of sleep were playing havoc on my body and limiting me in what I can do.
I have a kindred spirit to do better as we continue in 2023 and hopefully it will get to be better as time progresses. The thoughts that I have about the all-nighters or wanting to not take care of myself in the way I adr diminishing over time and hopefully within the next few weeks they will dissolve completely from my headspace so that I can put this dreary story behind my past once and for all and continue to do what is right in order to take care of myself and move on to future endeavors. I deserve to be happy and slowly that is progressing more than not. There is hope in recovering from the struggles that I have been facing for so long that they hopefully will no longer exist in my life.