How to Let Your True Wants and Needs Shape Your Life
Week 2 of the YES/NO unmasking challenge
Welcome to week 2 of the YES/NO unmasking challenge!
This week I lost track of my quest to unmask somewhat, as I went back to work. Do you relate? ‘Professionalism’ aka gentle dehumanisation as we ‘smooth over' our differences, needs and wants. Gotta love late capitalism.
This is why I know the YES/NO challenge will be helpful to non-autistic people, too. Because society endlessly encourages us all to be fake.
So how did your YES go? Did you manage a NO? Which was easiest?
One reader pointed out that this challenge could be very helpful for Mums so please invite your mum pals to give it a try.
I heard from a couple of people joining in, and finding it useful, and I would love to hear from more of you. Please update me in the comments ✌️
This week's NO…
This week I decided to say NO to feeling shame
if when I need to nap.
Because otherwise I just feel bad about myself and out of control pretty much every day.
I also said NO to something that would impact my workload. 🎉🎉🎉It felt very strange and unnatural, so it must have been a good and meaningful NO.
This week's YES…
I found it hard to think up my YES this week. As I say, term has begun again and I find myself in Just About Keeping Up mode. There isn't a lot of extra space to think about soul yeses.
Which is why this weekly check-in is useful. Knowing I would need to write something helped me remember to YES. So thanks for your help with this. 💙♥️💙
Inspired by Predisposition's post on his quest for better self-acceptance I have decided that this week's YES is to napping.
Not only NO to the shame surrounding it, but a heartfelt YEEEES to the beautiful wonder of day sleep.
Historically I have unsuccessfully fought and been embarrassed of my nap urge. But maybe my body knows what's what. Days be long and a little unconsciousness goes a long way (to helping me stay employed 🧐).
The not entirely comfortable fact I am discovering is that I need to lie down (and sometimes sleep) in the middle of the day in order to manage. I'm lucky enough that my work provides space, privacy and support for me to do this. Since diagnosis and learning about autism I have felt more empowered to communicate about my experience, but I know I am in a privileged position with this.
When I worked in the library I used to sneak under desks to nap or lie down in a dark space beneath the stairs. When I worked as a waitress I used to drink gin and tonic, which created a similar effect, but with longer lasting consequences. 😎
So, booze is off the menu for now. And naps are looking more glorious than ever.
You win, naps. And you were right, I DO love you.
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Chelsey Flood is the author of Infinite Sky and Nightwanderers, and a senior lecturer in creative writing at UWE University. She writes about freedom, addiction, nature and love at Beautiful Hangover, and autism and self-compassion at Polite Robot. She is also working on a new YA novel.