In my social media posts, I have been one often to stress the importance of self-care. However, I did not truly practice self-care to the fullest potential. Last week, I was able to take the day to put my worries aside and focus on taking care of myself for a change.
In continuing this week’s blog of Independence-Dependence, I had several examples of why it is important to be thankful for the ability to live independently and have a place to call home. After losing my first home, I now realize how close I was to losing the opportunity of ever being independent for a long time.
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 discussed over time, being independent comes with responsibilities. Many of the responsibilities are just that, a responsibility. However autistics that are independent, myself included struggle with understanding many of the norms that many expect of us. Because many times this is not instilled as a norm in the years prior to being independent, it can continue to be a struggle to realize the need to perform what can be mundane or silly gestures as a way that others expect us.
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 I continue to work on my overall wellness, I am beginning to realize that I am beginning to develop my own sense of assurance and maturity as far as being more comfortable making decisions on my own and not relying as much on the guidance of those I have sought for so long to base my decision for me. I am also realizing that despite the opinions of others, I am the one that has to be satisfied with making that decision.
When someone who experiences challenges decides to “leave the nest” of the home of their family and start a journey of independence, one need that should be addressed is how the person will fill the void of their free time.
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.
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.
Being independent comes with a sense of freedom, From how we choose to decorate, buy, wear, our routines, our interactions, our involvement and so much more. What also comes with freedom is an equal amount of responsibility to carry out that freedom. In order to maintain optimum independence, both must be maintained sensibly.