(To be clear, when I write words like “I ‘have'” and “people ‘with'”, I’m not trying to advocate or emphasize a person-first viewpoint. Truthfully, I’m very much a proponent of identity-first language; I simply title my posts the way I do (and occasionally use those phrases in the text of the post) to make this blog and its posts more search-engine-friendly, in order to reach–and hopefully help–more people, because they’ll likely use person-first search strings. OK, with that said, moving forward…)
The last seven-plus months have been a complete game-changer for me (and at least a few others that I know of). The learning curve has been steep at times, but all the neat positive and encouraging resources, authors, blogs, social media accounts, social media groups, and internet forums out there have all lubricated the uphill climb for me, making for a much easier ascent through the learning process.
The learning process is forever-ongoing–or at least, I think it should be; hardly anything is finite and while it may be tempting for me to say “OK, that’s cool, I think I know enough now”, it’s important to resist the temptation to shut my brain off or even slow it down, because the world and its knowledge base will indeed keep moving, and if I’m not engaged, this continued movement would occur without me. I would have paused myself in motion, falling behind.
Earlier this week, I sat back and took stock, with a wide-angle view. I looked back at how my life has done a complete plot-twist, and the interesting effects that have come about as a result. The newness of it all is in transition-limbo between a shell-shock from the newness, and a comfortable familiarity, gradually progressing in a forward motion from the former to the latter.
As I reflected upon this, I jotted down a few miscellaneous thoughts (because I like making lists and stuff 😉 )…
- I am stronger than I thought.
- I am weaker than I thought.
- I’m not defective.
- I’m not anal-retentive.
- I’m not unreasonable.
- There’s a whole new culture and lexicon to be explored. Ableism, identity, invisible disability, neurodiversity, identity-first, accessibility, support systems, different-not-less, etc…
- I’m not alone; there are indeed people out there like me. There are lots of us!
- I’m not weird, just different. And it’s OK.
- I don’t need fixing–but I could always use support.
- The world is not built for me. Their yardstick is not my yardstick.
- Permission to give myself permission.
- Social exhaustion/fatigue is a Thing. It’s not simply “me being a wuss”. It’s real. And it’s OK, too.
- I’m indeed a spoonie. It took me a long time to realize this.
- I might be new to the game, but I have a surprising amount to say. Heh 🙂
- I fit the “male phenotype” of Asperger’s/autism.
- Freedom/liberation for the first time.
- Explanation–a real one–for the first time.
- Reframing my life, through a new lens, one that makes everything much clearer.
- Not judging myself, having self-compassion. Healing and recovery from past pain.
- Invisible disability.
- I’m more–and less–special and unique than I thought. And that’s OK, too.
- Life has been crueler to me than I previously realized. So it wasn’t “just me” after all…
- Eye contact is not necessary, not a requirement in order to be honest.
- The rest of the world is sociopathic and screwed up. Driven by emotion, lacking in logic.
- The rest of the world makes little sense to me.
- Autism isn’t anything NEAR what I thought it was. I had been looking from the “outside”-in (or so I thought…)
- It’s OK that I need to be alone. I’ll “people” (used as a verb) again when I’m ready. (#27.5 – turns out I’m not the only one who uses “people” as a verb, and within the same context as I do!)
- My need to recharge is legit.
- I don’t like most people. But I actually like a lot more people now that I’ve connected with others on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum!!
- The “mental jukebox” is a Thing!! This week’s internal/mental “playlist” consisted of Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”, Abakus’s “A Whole New Way of Looking At The Day”, Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, REM’s “Diminished”, and a few others. 🙂
Cheers and love ❤
(Image Credit: Cyril Rolando)