Reflections: Continued Resilience

Being autistic and sometimes facing struggles in life, it can be hard to be resilient when the life we desire brings us down. Many times though, we just need to be given a different avenue to travel in order to succeed and be resilient.

A common phrase is that there is no ‘easy’ autism, and that is so true. I couldn’t even imagine that life has not always been free of some sort of struggle in the course of the life that I have traveled. As much as I can present myself with a smiling face and cheery personality, behind closed doors I can often think very dark thoughts if left to my own devices, but in hindsight I know that I cannot act on them. This can become a challenge for many autistic people and their families.

Autistic people often have a catastrophic way of thinking that can become very magnified if allowed to become such. It can often present itself in a very negative manner and become very unwelcoming if brought to light in the public eye. Knowing this, autistically masking has become a skill if autistics are able to withstand undertaking in the public eye. As such, I have always done this throughout life. Even while being in the psychiatric hospital in my adolescence, I had the environment to oftentimes become the ‘model’ patient that in between hospitalizations would result in my behaviors becoming more apparent. In addition, this was known even before my diagnosis in school where the environment was best to meet my needs.

Today, I can mask very well, however I have what I call an ‘inner circle’ of a few people that I spout off the negative or dark thoughts to. It is slowly getting better over time and I am getting better at understanding prompts when those in my inner circle understand that when I share something with them that I need to understand that it is something that is not true.

Nonetheless, in reality I am doing so because my brain thinks it wants negative attention and as such I magnify and catastrophize on it thinking that nothing else matter but, I known that is unhealthy when I am in my right mind, yet there is some sort of thrill in thinking that I will seek justice in voicing how I think I feel about something as if I will automatically be freed of the catastrophic thinking that I am experiencing at that given moment. Additionally, it is something that I do hyper focus on and as such I cannot let it go from my thought pattern until I move on to do something else. That is the hard part. Moving on.

I know staying in that moment is unhealthy and in reality is not what is viable for me to be well in my life. Doing the things that I have minor gripes about for battle scars from the past, yet things have changed in recent years, but for some reason the trauma holds on like a scar that just won’t go away. I know things are better than they have been in some time, but when past instances appear in my mind, they cling inside because of being pressed continuously over several years.

Regardless, I am slowly working on better coping skills so I can be better invested in my mental health and overcome these challenges. They did not happen overnight and they will not disappear right away, but little by little they are getting better each and every day. With my constant ste I have faced over the years and come out ahead from them.

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