Being autistic there is a great deal about balancing what you can do versus what you cannot. However, there is a point that you have to realize that it is imperative to get up and get moving about because it is good for not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.
Somehow in the past few weeks, I have been attracted to the TV-show My 600-lb life. While these individuals who nearly put it all out there to show how difficult being that size is, it wakes me up as a person that is over half that size that I need to face reality and that it is important to do things in order to be physically and mentally well so I do not end up like that. I often think about what living a careless life being a “homebody” would be like. Actually, it is the pitfall for many autistics who struggle holding down a job or going to a program because of the literal “cliff” that ends when they are no longer eligible to go to school.
Upon falling off the pereval cliff of education in the early 20’s, autistics who have difficulty managing life in society that is not made for them often resort to being home with someone such as a family member or another person that cares for them. Eventually this can be taxing for the family if the individual does not do well in this environment and ultimately if they are unable to be cared for, they could end up in that setting.
Over 15 years I was there where I spent over two months with my father at home day in and day out. Eventually, I gave in and returned to the day program where I started after graduating high school. While I am still there today, it is only one day a week while going to work from there two other days. Eventually, I will have to make plans to move on and that is scary to a degree.
Regardless, I know what being at home every day is like. Many have experienced it to some degree during the recent COVID-19 Pandemic and that was a struggle for many. Some still experience this because of the transition of some models in the behavioral health system and as such are suffering as well. Deep down I know that it is unhealthy to live in that way, yet I seek it as a way of getting out of things. When my mind is in that state of flight, it can be hard to see the benefits of doing things that are helpful or seeing things from a different lens.
It can be easy to just lay in bed and let time pass scrolling on the phone and eating food that can numb your feelings. It is when you constantly turn to food to numb your emotional pain and allow it to take over your daily life not caring about yourself or the need to feed your spirit emotionally with things that keep you busy, Me being alone only makes things more compounding to battle if not properly managed. Myself, having issues with my weight and appetite issues due to my weight can see this as a problem if not having things to properly engage me in the things necessary to live the life I want.
I also know that it is imperative to keep my physical and mental health in check. This means following all necessary regimens needed in order to be well and noticing when I am needed to take care of my bodily needs such as using the restroom, cleaning myself up and making sure I am properly nourished. It is also important to have a daily routine as much as I can during the day in order for my mind to not get astray and deflect itself from doing what is needed.
It is important to know of things you can do to stay busy when you have that down time. As someone told me, “an idle mind makes a devil’s workshop.” It is known that when I get to the point of not keeping engaged that my brain starts to overreact and ruminate into those unhealthy, looping thoughts that can get out of control if not properly reeled in. I know this and am constantly reminded to keep busy.
It’s all about that delicate balance and not allowing things to get out of control either in our head or in our body, but one thing that is important is that being casual all day, especially if it is a precipitator to allowing your mind to wander can be very detrimental, therefore it is important to move not only for your physical health, but your mental health as well.
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