Autism Burnout: Do You Have It?

when autism gets the best out of you

 Summer is finally here. With no school to distract the kids, many moms out there must have their hands full. Without a doubt, parenting is an extremely challenging experience. It’s a round-the-clock job with little or no time for vacation or relaxation. Add autism to the equation and you are certainly in for the long haul. Though, many autism moms have learned to adjust their sails for a smooth journey, there will always be that time of the year when things go awry leading to—burnout.

Burnout can get the best out of people. With a to-do-list that rivals that of an online Encarta, mommies (as well as daddies, too!) can easily succumb to the bittersweet temptation of exhaustion—beyond reasonable doubt. Things just simply came crashing down on you and the stress piles up like laundry on a soccer game week.

You feel drained, like all your energy is snapped out of you.

Wait, is it fibromyalgia? A bad case of guilt-tripping? What disease is this?

No! It’s just your inner self screaming for a few hours of nothingness, of not being needed, of being left alone, of being yourself.

Burnout is a tangible experience. It makes you feel exhausted, drained beyond relief. It makes things seem irritating and icky. You’re losing sleep. You feel like crying but no tears come out of your eyes. It’s a phase and you know it’s a phase but you’re just not up to anything.

When things do go crashing down for me, I pray. I ask for guidance, for enlightenment. I would rise before anyone else at home and leave my mind blank for a while as if in meditation but without the chanting and everything else. I feel the moment. I take in everything that’s within my surroundings as if harnessing all the energy I can get.

After an hour or so of simply engrossing myself in my aloneness, I think of all the good things that happened within the week. I let them envelope me in a fierce hug. I think of the depressing things and then, I let them be expelled from my system.

I look at my autism advocacy. I think about how far I’ve come. I contemplate on what more I can give for others, for awareness, for acceptance.

Yes, I talk to myself as if a separate entity. It’s a refreshing feeling to let loose of inhibitions and the guilt, of having no expectations, of the stressors gnawing at your being. When it feels like the world is crashing down, I seek out help without being too clingy.

I don’t ignore what I feel. Ignoring your feelings will bring you nowhere. When autism hits you straight in the gut, you embrace it. You feel it. You work around it!

Get outside and engage others. Have a good laugh. Go on a vacation together. Go on one, alone. What is something you love to do? Do just that! Who usually makes you happy or giddy with excitement? Call them. Hug them when they’re near. Let them know, you are here and sometimes, you need someone to tell yourself not to act too strong, that you also have a day’s pass to be weak and vulnerable.

Burnout from autism is a real deal. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help. Do not wait for things to blow out of proportion before you act on it. Get on with it—now!

Got any tips on how to handle burnout with autism? Write to me at pamela@livingautismnow.com. Your inputs will be greatly appreciated by autism parents across the globe. Check out our Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

Photo Credits: Keeper of the Home

FINALIST to the The 2015 USA Best Book Awards

Finalist of The 2015 USA Best Book Awards!

Christmas came early to John and our family. My book, Living Autism Day by Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage, made it as a FINALIST to the The 2015 USA Best Book Awards (Parenting and Family)! http://www.usabooknews.com/2015awardannouncement.html
With this, I would like to send out my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who had made this happen.

Autism in itself is a huge challenge and your constant support truly touched me and my family particularly John. All my book’s awards, I offer them in gratitude to everyone who continually motivate me to go the mile in raising Autism awareness and acceptance.

This award is for you.

For those who wish to know about my book, you can check out my website for a sneak peek: http://livingautismnow.com/book/.

To order, simply go to http://livingautismnow.com/buy-now/. (for Amazon deliveries)

Once again, from the bottom of my heart—THANK YOU SO MUCH!

AUptimism In The Midst of Adversity

Autism In The Midst of Adversity
Photo Credits: http://www.wecarechildren.org/afsp

 

Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough. ~~ Helen Keller

There seems to be a lot going on in various autism communities and families around the globe. Some say it is due to reclassification, of late diagnoses, and of rising awareness to the disorder. In my humble opinion, however, the surrounding arguments are immaterial. The fact that there is shortage in autism services is a clear indication that this is growing and, up to this moment, has no known cure and no “absolute” therapy to manage it. Best of all, there is little, if not zero, services for adults on the spectrum.

My Johnny is going to be an adult pretty soon and, can no longer avail the free services allotted for him. He will no longer be on the list of “qualified” individuals but rather will be left in oblivion. He is well-protected because we, his family, are still here. What scares me most and, perhaps, many autism parents out there is what the future might bring. How will these kids fare when left alone in a world where acceptance is a long hurdle to achieve?

I have written before on how to prepare our children for a bleak adult future. I advocate on teaching them appropriate life skills and other needed abilities to ensure their future. But this is not easy hurdle to make especially for those who are in the lower end of the spectrum. This leaves many families in a quandary on what to do should their children will be left alone with no one to care for them—and I join them in this predicament.

Autism is a lifetime disorder. To some, it can be managed. To others, it takes all their strength and sanity just to get by each day. One thing, however, is for sure—it is here to stay and still has no known cure, or even an absolute cause. It is not a disease that one can simply operate upon. It cannot be removed like a tumor. It is what it is and, whether we, autism families, like it or not, it will continue to haunt our every waking moment. But this reality should not hinder our efforts to advocate for more autism awareness. Acceptance may sound like a long shot but, nothing could go wrong if we stay an optimist all throughout the ordeal.