Autism, self care, travel


“Unknown to us, there are moments when crevices we cannot see open for time to come alive with beginning.”~ John O’Donohue

I would like to think I can get so much done. But I think I’ve lost the ability… like it’s just hiding away somewhere around the corner, waiting for me to find it- the ability to focus on the why and not just the what.

I do know the why…. it’s just buried so deep and I’ve become accustomed to no one ever really asking me why. Not with out a loaded expectant question. Like, what will it get you in terms of monetary value. Or what benefit does it bring to your family? Are these questions just in my head or am I really reading between the lines. Not the assumption kind but from experience. Of living the outwardness of such questions and responses and the natural consequence of my responses. Which usually don’t satisfy the questioner.

New Year’s resolutions never made since to me. But what does is the idea of starting new and fresh. Like we do in a sense with each day and the cycle of nature, which is mostly apparent in spring. To begin anew.

Just 10 minutes ago I decided to frog (that’s unravel for you non knitters/ crocheters) a beautiful mitten that I was 1/3 of the way through with. I was pretty certain I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish the one mitten. I hated putting it down but I hated the idea more of pulling it apart and starting fresh with a bit more yarn. And I knew that I would hate it even more if I got all the way to the end and whether there was enough yarn or not, not be fully satisfied with my color choices. It’s time to add a bit more green into the shamrock motifs of the fair isle design. It’s ok, I have two other unfinished projects that I must persevere in.

I’m trying to remember the last year and what I did with myself. Like what I contributed. What I accomplished. But all I can really reminder is how tired I was. How I pushed through so much when I felt like my bones and spirit would break. I tried various self care methods but nothing ever felt like it was sticking or even felt like I could really sink into them. Because of the guilt. There’s the supporting of the person who needs the break by taking over certain duties physically and there’s the supporting of the person’s spirit. What this can look like, I can’t really tell you because I rarely see it, feel it, believe in it. I think mostly the latter. I rarely, if ever, believe that I truly deserve a break. It’s because I carry all the voices and influences of a past and societies and experiences and examples of words and thoughts and opinions we share openly about those that put the “work” down. Even for a moment. Let alone a week or two. But I do it. Despite the insecurities and the judgments that I feel are boogeymen hiding around every corner. I do it.

I take a night or two away from home but near by. I take a day of walking the woods. I take a couple weeks in another country to explore my passions and my ancient past. It’s uncomfortable in the sense that I leave my routine behind. I leave my children in the care of their patient, supportive father. I drift into an unknown openness just so I can hear my own thoughts and needs, for myself. It’s uncomfortable and I relish it.

I learned to be alone and not mind it, need it even from a very young age. Somewhere along the way I discovered that I absorb other people’s energy at such a high and intense rate that I myself gets lost in the constant of being around others. It’s not a happy thing to admit this but rather just another piece of me that I’ve unearthed that fits into the mystery of my autism diagnosis that make me feel less mysterious to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being social and my relationships but I’d like to find a way to make my part more authentic.

Looking back, even over this past year as I said, I can’t quite remember much. But I do remember trying to reach for this thing. This way of being. Peace. So I decided to just do what I want. Not in a selfish fuck everyone else kind of way but in a digging deeper into myself and really asking myself what I want at every turn and actually paying attention. Then acting accordingly to the situation. It will mean asking for help more. which for me- it’s just not a thing I do. Ever. Saying “No” more. Paying attention to my body more and not torturing it in ways that perpetuate negative self talk. And just in general doing things that please me.

I encourage you to explore this for yourself too.

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