All systems must address the need of how to properly communicate sensitve information to not only the autistic community but all communities with communication challenges.
As the weather cools and the height of the pandemic season looms again, I know that I need to get back out into the community and be less of a hermit. Being isolated does not do well for me and it results in decline of the work that I have done in recent years.
For most of the 33 years of my life, I lived under my parents’ roof. As such I was often coddled because of my challenges in life. Oftentimes I followed suit in their choices they made for me. Now in my fourth year of independence, I am learning that I have to think and decide for myself what is necessary for me in my life, because I am the one that has to live with the choices I make.
Recently, I have realized that there are things I am slowly becoming more aware of that affect my senses. Knowing this, I have to use the proper defenses to best protect myself from reacting in a negative manner that can cause unwanted attention or behavior and produce consequences that I will deeply regret.
In recent weeks, I have been accepting the need for free time where I am not engaged in an object or item at hand. For most of my life, until I chose not to have Cable TV in my own home at 35, when it has been all I know, I am realizing that I can choose and limit the content I watch in order to keep me entertained and not so much engaged in something.
Since being in the new environment over a year and a half ago after being absent from the community that I love for several months, I keep putting off in many cases many of the things that I once did for my personal freedom. It continues to be a conversation in the course of my weekly treatment and as things continue to advance, I keep deflecting from the real initiative of just getting out and doing the things that I love.
Being independent, yet not having total freedom to go the places you truly want to go can be rough to manage. Having to wait and rely on the help or services of others can make you feel like your independence is severed and dependent on whatever is available to you. While I am working on lessening this need, I must not give up while working towards that ultimate goal.
As I have had some time to ponder my own thoughts recently, I began to realize how much I have matured socially over the years and how people realize that I can actually be someone who can carry a conversation for a long time and my ability to mask as a neurotypical when necessary.
As human beings we are often creatures of habit. We cannot often see beyond what we know. Change is often reluctant, being autistic further hinders it. But what if there is a chance to grow and change for the better. We have to sometimes have to lessen our dependence on the things that hold us together because we know it works, there’s a time we have to look beyond what works.
Sometimes after we grow, we begin to learn. We begin to feel confident about making sound choices and becoming less dependent on relying on others to accept or oblige by our choices. After all, as long as our mentality is stable, we are adults, so we should be able to choose what we want to do without having to rely on the approval of others.
Over the past weeks when being out and about, I have had to learn that regardless what someone ha cause me or what I personally feel about them, I musnt treat them differently because of that, I have to remember that they are just a person as much as I am and it doesn’t cost anything for me to be nice to them.
For the month of April and Autism Awareness / Acceptance Month, I have been writing on how the acceptance of the autistic community has increased in the 23 years since I received my diagnosis under the autism spectrum. This past week, I learned that even more acceptance has been seen, but yet we still have a ways to go.
I am often told by those that support me in my journey to “give myself some grace.” For the longest time I continually bush it off mostly because I often think that I am no different when going through my journey.
In recent years, there has been much divide between self-advocates and family members of autistics about the advocating for all autistics. Sometimes when either side is advocating for things that they are passionate about, it must be understood that it is their experience and that everyone experiences things differently as autism is indeed a spectrum disorder.
As I continue down the journey of my personal self-discovery. One of the things that has helped me refrain myself from the process is the ability to make connections with others with similar challenges so the world that I was living in didn’t seem so small although it was physically, it made me be more of a friend that I ever have been.
Continuing on this personal growth journey as it ever evolves personally has made me become a well-rounded person in the effects of the many facets that I represent. Part of that has been the ability to accept who I am overall, not just who I want to be, I am learning that I can be who I want to be while understanding and recognizing the need to properly care for myself in the process.
Following up with the explanation of my journey of personal growth has made me realize the need to be well along with acceptance, discovery and growth. While I have grown into a man that knows what is acceptable versus what is not acceptable in the public eye, I realize in order to represent myself properly, I must be overall aware of my total wellness in doing so.
Many times when anyone is given a lifelong diagnosis, they or those that care for them think of all the things they will miss out on in life and if they will have the same lives as others. They may want to give up hope and the possibilities or continually live in a sense of doubt or fear. I am here to tell you that while in a minimal sense that I can be there, I can also tell you that if you reach out of your comfort zone.
As much as we want it to be, life doesn’t go exactly as we plan it to be. The world is not a perfect place and life is going to throw wrenches in it. We are going to get frustrated when things don’t go our way or happen the way we don’t think they should. However, that doesn’t mean that the world is over or horrific, you pick up the pieces and move on.
So with the winter being the way it has been along with the COVID spikes. I have not had the opportunity to visit my weekly weight loss support group for over seven weeks. Learning that I had a loss of just one pound over that time has energized me to keep going in the journey and rededicate myself to getting real for 2022.