Overload, Burnout, Stress and Distress

Its OK



I have gone into a mini depression lately. Not sure if it is the change of seasons, the culmination of my frantic search for information and the feeling of the need to reach others about adult autism and how diagnosis can be of so much value and usefulness even in old age.
Maybe everything in this world combined at the moment is overwhelming me, what with Covid, politics, etc etc.
I want to hide. I want to escape, I want to find peace.

I have learned that its OK…. to put self care ahead of everything else.

I am spending lots of time sleeping, reading, cuddling with my fuzzy blankets in my favorite spots.
I have given up going onto forums and web pages discussing so much pain, angst, hurt and anger.
I have taken up indoor gardening and am involving myself in growing things.
I am walking again on the lake shores and in the woods and glorying in the peace and being completely alone.

I am not keeping to my strictly healthy diet lately and feel both guilt and relief, probably in equal doses, knowing that what I snack on directly affects my health. That is OK too and I will resolve that problem in the future, just not today, and maybe not tomorrow.

It is OK to shut the door on the world for as long as you need or want to.
It is OK to spend time alone.
It is OK to shut off the media, to avoid the internet, to give yourself time and room to process the things that are causing such difficulty and pain in your life.

It is OK to reach out for help if you find yourself stuck and overwhelmed and unable to meet responsibilities.
Make sure those you are responsible for are safe (children, pets, property, jobs, etc) ( of course you will) and ask for help if you can’t do this alone.

It is OK to be human, to have needs and to have struggles.
Being autistic predisposes us to struggles, and sometimes we need more time and “space” to sort our lives and figure out new ways to deal with the things that are hardest for us.

Deal with, cope, negotiate, approach, contend, are all descriptions of conflict and struggle.

It is OK to have struggles, to need time to find ways to make life work its best for you.

You are important and you are worthy of peace, safety, rest. and self care. Don’t let others tell you what you need, don’t let others tell you “you should” do anything or that you “ought to be able to handle” things when you are overwhelmed.

Seek help to find ways of getting your needs met, doing things in better ways, finding paths that aren’t as painful, solving your problems creatively and finding self compassion along the way. You are worthy. It is OK to have needs, to need help, to have problems so overwhelming you can’t contend with them alone.

If you are struggling and in emotional pain, please reach out and ask for help.