I've been noticing in some of my autism groups on Facebook, specifically the ones for parents of autistic children, that a lot of parents have been posting pics of their kids saying how proud they are of how far they've come. That gets me thinking, what can I do to "come a long way" myself?
Let's take a recap of the things I HAVE accomplished over the years:
- I graduated high school. That wasn't such a daunting task for me. Sure, I had some subjects that were more challenging than others, but with hard work and dedication, it went pretty smoothly.
- I got my permit at 17 and my license at 18, and passed both my written and road tests the first time. I wasn't in a hurry to drive at first, but with some encouragement from my parents, I did it!
- I got my first job at 17. It was at McDonald's, and I worked there for 4 years. I've been working ever since, being in human services from 2004-present. I've gotten to know lots of amazing people and know I'm making a difference!
- I graduated with my Bachelor's in Social Work at 23. The path to get her there wasn't a straight, direct one, but rather I had to take a detour. I had thought I wanted to be a biology teacher, but after three years, realized it was not my niche. I also struggled with my OCD a lot during my first couple years of college. I changed my major, and it was like night and day! My OCD also calmed down some toward my last couple years.
- I then got my first full-time job in my field, specifically in mental health, a month after graduating. I also held my relief position at that time, and at the same time picked up a relief position at a THIRD agency. I was a busy bee!
- I need to remind myself that I accomplished all this BEFORE ever having been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, anxiety or Asperger's. I had all of these things going on all my life, and while I suspected the first three were there, I didn't learn about autism until years after I graduated. I need to give myself credit for getting as far as I did without having found answers until after the fact.
Now....the question is...what can I do to KEEP making accomplishments and make my parents proud every day? I have a few ideas:
- I'm working on better managing my money. It's something that has needed work since I was about 18, because I'm an impulse spender and struggle with putting plans into place. I can formulate them, but when it comes down to actually implementing them, something short-circuits. I'm working REALLY hard on changing my habits and sticking to a budget. This time I'm really kicking myself and making it my main focus. It may mean letting other things go to the wayside, however it's what I need to do. I can only focus on one thing at a time; it's how I operate. Getting this car is a big motivator for me, and I'm feeling confident that I can FINALLY make this work.
- I need to better keep on top of things. I f I need to make important calls, I need not to let my anxiety get the best of me, but just make those calls. If anything goes on with any of my bills, for example, I need to take the initiative to make any calls I need to ASAP. This way, I can straighten things out before they become a potential problem.
- I just need to find a better balance in life. I need to be more active, and not take on too much so as not to overwhelm myself. When I pile too much on my plate, my anxiety climbs and then I want to run away from my tasks rather than take the bull by the horns. Once again, I need to stick to my "one thing at a time" mentality.
I think that if I work on these things, I'll find that I'll be able to breathe a little easier. I really want to make progress and improve myself. Let's see how this goes!