Being independent has proved to me that there’s times of boredom, loneliness and isolation as many are experiencing right now due to the ongoing pandemic.
This past week I worked hard at getting all the weight off by portion control, more water, tracking food and personal weigh ins each morning consistently with the Fitbit on my phone and not staying idle too much. Even with Easter, it wasn't nothing that I couldn't handle.
Writing this on Easter Sunday because I am bored really puts things into perspective how fortunate I am. We are over a year into the pandemic, when work and my day program shut their doors for almost three months. While some of the activity during that initial time was completed virtually and I along with the majority of the world was introduced to virtual platforms like Zoom, Nothing replaces the old-fashioned way of meeting person to person in methods such as day programs and part-time employment like I do.
Independence. The dream of many autistics. Yes, that is a goal for many as many still live with their family, some by choice, some because they need care that cannot otherwise not be provided without support. But what if you could get support, would you move out on your own. For a moment last year, I wondered if I needed support and this has caught my eye again as I seen a Facebook post of where additional supports are needed in this realm and the inability to keep a home.
Growing up, I have had too many experiences to count about being disapppointed. Back then I was never one to "take it like a man" and accept was handed down to me. It has taken many years of tolerance, acceptance, adaption and accommodation to get where I am today, especially when handling disappointment
We have to sometimes have the encouragement that we have to set our own standards of what that needs to be and ourselves have the inner confidence that it is indeed what can be acceptable and what you can accomplish.
Oftentimes, in the modes of social media the journey of autistics. We see their milestones and their downfalls. We also oftentimes want to compare their struggles to our own. We wonder why we are continuing to do the things that we are doing, yet they have since moved on and out of our sight leaving us in the dust. This is when we as autistics and neurotypicals alike must remember that one’s life journey is simply theirs.
Having friends outside of family in the past few years has taught me to set my own boundaries in what I share, how I respond to others, standing up for my personal needs and values along with respecting myself.
While being an autistic can have its talents like being organized and ritual, we have to remember that this being autistic is of spectrum manner and as such not everyone operates in the aforementioned manner. We can run in the polar opposite to points where we do not recognize that things are out of place or see “What is Wrong with the Picture?” that Neurotypicals see.
So, this week partly I have been focusing on self-regulation. This topic has sparked an interest in me because I have been hearing about it from other advocates and their autistics have been doing this. I, being diagnosed over twenty years ago and now learning things on my own am discovering these terms as we go along. I had an epiphany of when and why I need to recognize when to self-regulate on a more constituent basis.