(For me,) #AutismIs (Autism is…)

… missing things other people see, and seeing things other people miss

… both a disability and a superpower

… often being able to accomplish the extraordinary, but not always being able to accomplish the ordinary

… a sea of misconceptions (from others) and underlying truths (within myself)

… an elegantly simple explanation for every seemingly-miscellaneous quirk, wrapped up in a suspiciously neat package

… the newfound instruction manual to/of my life

… a different ability (there are things I can’t do at all, things I can’t do on some days, things I can only do with extra effort, and things I can do better, with less effort)

… an invisible disability (on some days)

… the one (accurate) label no one (including myself) had ever considered

… loving being at a fairgrounds but despising the mall

… why I can zero in on people’s feelings but not their thoughts

… why I can see details but not the big picture

… why I can feel lonely when surrounded by people, but perfectly, happily content when I’m actually alone

… my ticket to long-overdue self-compassion

… up until 8 months ago, a foreign concept and unfamiliar entity

… not a disease or disorder to be cured, but a variant to be accepted, accommodated, and embraced

… “a whole new way of looking at the day” (link to video of a song with the same title – beautiful song!)

… an entire, global tribe or community

… not a cage or a box

… not a monster or boogeyman

… not a thief that steals children

… not a hashtag for an Autism Parent (TM)

… not a “puzzle” to be “solved”

… not a slogan

… not a puzzle piece

… not a campaign battle-cry or promise

… not a demographic to be exploited or monetized

… not exclusive to children

… not exclusive to males

… a different cognitive type

… not a mental or psychological disorder or illness

… a neurological orientation (post coming soon!)

… needed in/by the world

… something that sometimes, you just know you are

… not a defect to be hated, feared, eradicated, or prevented

… a major source of creativity, systemizing, and invention

… both my curse and my blessing

… my invisible wall/chasm and my springboard/bridge

… my confusion and my liberation

… my joy and my despair

… the ultimate quirk

… deeply resonating

… my ultimate mirror (and Mirror Gate)

… not caused by vaccines; not cured by anything

… not in need of a cure in the first place

… what makes me better at my job than I would be otherwise

… going through the day with dread, because I know I can’t please everyone, even when I’ve tried my hardest and I think I’ve done everything right

… being one-sidedly accused of lack of empathy when it actually goes both ways

… arguing with someone for 15 minutes and then needing to recover for 15 hours

… having to do things on my terms…and being increasingly OK with that

… having my own “mental jukebox” playing random songs in my head every day

… some days amusing, other days frustrating

… why I want to have friends…but have a tough time making them

… why I can make eye contact (and have staring contests) with animals, but not people

… not an excuse to be rude

… not a warrior cry

… not a catch-phrase

… not just a hot, trendy hashtag

… probably equally prevalent in males and females

… why I’m not preoccupied with frivolous topics – gender, trends, attention, parenting/children, mainstream news headlines, fashion, appearances, small talk…

… a bullshit filter (autism strains out the BS)

… finally knowing how to express what I’ve been feeling

… finally being able to identify who and what I am, and what I need

… finding my correct “yardstick” by which to be measured

… where I belong

… the reason that, when I look the laziest, I’m actually the most active

… the next step in evolution/advancement

… part of the human condition

… universal across time, ethnicity, culture, and geography

… a diverse group of loving, intelligent people

… a breath of fresh air

… a rainbow (my favorite!) infinity

… beautiful and amazing ❤

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10 Comments

  1. Okay, I’ll try again after accidentally closing the tab and losing what I had written last time. 😉

    There’s much that could be said about most of your short blurbs (and it’s been less than your 8 months for me and already seems … removed), but there’s one that jumped off the page at me. I’ll share a few thoughts about it.

    “arguing with someone for 15 minutes and then needing to recover for 15 hours”

    Fight or flight (or fight *and* flight) impulses are never far below the surface. However, it does seem to really matter for me what sort of conflict it is, who it is with, or even how it goes. It can be a conflict with a stranger, at work, or with someone close to me. It can be over something minor or more significant. I might have lost control of my words and lashed out. I might have contained myself and stayed seemingly calm, reasonable, and rational. I might have won the argument by any standard, perhaps incisively destroying the positions of the other. I might have retreated into a defensive shell, huddled in on myself, simply trying to escape or endure the conflict.

    There are myriad ways I might have reacted in the moment and managed the immediate outcome with varying effectiveness. The part that people don’t see is how much the conflict debilitates me for hours and sometimes days afterward. I can’t focus on the things I need to do. I run scenarios through my head. I dissect what happened and try to figure it out. Sometimes I sit alone, rocking, muttering under my breath trying to manage my reaction. My mind will go into a loop I can’t stop at times. Right or wrong, win or lose, conflict is always costly, even overwhelming.

    Sometimes adrenaline will carry me away and I won’t even notice the cost until the adrenaline ebbs. In a crisis, I can hyperfocus on the things that need to be done and defer the eventual cost. But I’ve never found a way to avoid the penalty of conflict.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind compliment! 🙂 You both sound totally amazing! (I may not know very much about y’all, but I know what I need to, to be able to tell that you’re amazing) 😉 🙂 Blessings to you both ❤

      Like

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