Sickness and lameness and hindrance, oh my…

grid of four people rolling stones up hills
Just keep going. Just keep working.

My stoic meditation of the day comes from The Enchiridion By Epictetus

9. Sickness is a hindrance to the body, but not to your ability to choose, unless that is your choice. Lameness is a hindrance to the leg, but not to your ability to choose. Say this to yourself with regard to everything that happens, then you will see such obstacles as hindrances to something else, but not to yourself.

10. With every accident, ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it. If you see an attractive person, you will find that self-restraint is the ability you have against your desire. If you are in pain, you will find fortitude. If you hear unpleasant language, you will find patience. And thus habituated, the appearances of things will not hurry you away along with them.

Indeed. I tend to lose sight of the fact that all my sensitivities don’t prevent me from choosing what to do with my life, and finding ways to deal with them. The simple fact of my life, which is my guiding principle, is that if I can identify that something is a problem for me, and I know what alternative I want in its place, then it’s incumbent upon me to do something about it.

I’m pretty resourceful, when it comes down to it, so I can’t very well make excuses for my life going the way it has, when I’m actually capable of A) seeing when I’m going off the rails, and B) coming up with alternatives.

Now, certainly, it’s no fun to have to constantly navigate a world that’s designed for people completely unlike me. But one of the reasons I left my parents’ house and took off on my own, was precisely because I knew that out there in the world, I could fashion my own environment that suited me. I know what bothers me, I know what makes my life difficult. And with that knowledge, I can design a life that works for me.

Of course, not everything is going to be suited to my liking all the time. But so what? The times when things are extremely challenging, are the times when I build up strength. Provided I give myself time and space to recover and assimilate all the lessons, the challenges just make me stronger. More resourceful. More determined. Maybe it’s just my character. Or maybe it’s because of how I was raised. Whatever the reason, when I look back at the worst times I went through, those were the most valuable lessons.

In some cases, you get what you pay for. And I’ve paid dearly, I can tell you that.

It’s all been worth it. Some of my experiences have felt like they tore me to shreds, but you know what? I’m still here.

So there.

And I’m going to stick around. There is no way I’m going to succumb to the dire predictions that I’ll die 20 years earlier than my non-autistic peers. That’s just ridiculous. We get to choose what we do with ourselves, what choices we make, what direction we take. And if I choose to do things that I know are not good for me — like avoiding certain foods because of the textures, but not supplementing my diet in other ways, or like avoiding exercise because I don’t have the energy — I have only myself to thank for vitamin deficiencies or poor physical condition.

Some magical being in the ethers isn’t going to descend to earth and save me from myself. If there are things I have to do, because the laws of physics and human anatomy require them, then one way or another, I’ll do them. It’s my choice. And I have the capacity for reason, discernment, to find alternatives, if one way doesn’t work for me.

So, with that said, it’s time to get on with my day. I find out what the deal is with my job — new paths are being charted for us at work, and the direction we’re taking actually makes a whole lot of sense for me.

Maybe I don’t have to leave my job, after all… Even so, I have a video interview for another position on Monday. It’s all a dynamic process.

Of course it is.

It’s life.

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6 thoughts on “Sickness and lameness and hindrance, oh my…

  1. I love how you weave stoicism and cerebral balance into your everyday life, head-nodding to both the real-life human emotions and our desire to be relatively rational creatures. It’s tough to do, and yet, you make it look so easy 😊💚💙

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny about the timing of reading your blog. Our autistic 25 yr old son is grappling w looking for full time work so he can move out. Currently he can’t afford to move out only working part time. It will be a year in May since he graduated college. Yet, it is so hard for us to get/keep him motivated in looking for full time work with benefits.
    He is comphy here at home and pleasant to live with, but I believe he would be better off living on his own or w peers for roommates.
    Any suggestions into how a mom can support her son through this process without pulling out her hair?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. VisualVox

      Thank you for writing to me. The power went out at my home last night and today, and I got caught up in cleaning my house, so I have not had the chance to respond. I have been thinking about your query, and I have a lot of thoughts. I will need to organize them and actually write an entire blog post. The bottom line, for me, Is that the dismal numbers about employment for autistic people does not reflect my experience or reality. I am surrounded by very accomplished professionals who are on the autism spectrum, and even though they are obviously very much on the spectrum, they are valued and valuable members of a team of high performers. I will leave you with that, for now, until I catch up on my rest and get a chance to write an entire blog post. Thanks again for writing, and I’ll do my best to provide something useful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This leaves me hopeful. Thank you for taking time to ponder my question. I have Complete faith that my son will end up with a prosperous career in something that leaves him fulfilled.
        Looking forward to reading more from your blog.
        Glad your power is back on. Stay warm.
        Teri

        Liked by 1 person

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