August 23, 2021

A break from autism

By rosieweldon

I’m tired. I’m tired of being autistic. I’m tired of autism ruling every part of my life. I’m tired of it making everything so hard.

Being autistic means that my brain is wired differently and that means I struggle with everyday things, every day. All the time. It just doesn’t stop. Change is everywhere. People are everywhere. Noise is everywhere. Sometimes I just want it to stop, just for a second. Just give me a day where I can let my guard down and breathe. A day that isn’t a fight.

I would love to jump in a shower and use any shower gel I like the look of. Wouldn’t that be freeing. To just live. Yes, I’d have all the challenges every human has. But at least I could just eat, shower, talk, function. I could just function, from one day to the next without having to fight my way through.

It’s this frustration and annoyance at having to face it every day that I remind myself of when others in my life are tired of it too. I’m not sure anyone wants 24/7 autism. I definitely don’t. I love parts of being autistic and it of course defines every part of who I am. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times (lots of times) that I just want it all to stop. To just be. Breathe. Function.

So, when others in my life reach a point of just wanting to get on with stuff and through a day without having to consider ‘my autism’ – I don’t blame them. Not really. How can I? I want a break from it too.

But of course. I can’t. I pick myself up and I walk face first into the next challenge life throws at me. A phone call. An appointment. A changed plan. A new smell in the bathroom.

Throughout my life people get to a point of pulling support from me because they are just tired of giving it. It’s why I can go hours and hours without eating, drinking, sleeping or going to the toilet. Because there are so many times in my life that I didn’t feel like I could ask for help with those things. Outside of my home I can’t get food and drink for myself. And if the person I am with is in a phase of having enough of supporting me, then I go without. I can’t ask them. I hate putting on people and I won’t do it if I sense they’ve had enough. Or often, been told they’ve had enough.

The worst part (for me) of autism is needing people for the little things. Things that I need. To be desperate for a drink but scared to ask for help because the person is in a bad mood and doesn’t want to help you. To then have your need for help used against you. I have spent a lifetime apologising for needing help.

I don’t have a choice but to rely on others. But I spend a lifetime feeling guilty for it, going without so that I don’t’ have to ask too much and annoy people, apologising for it.

I don’t blame people for wanting a break, I’d bloody love a break from autism. But I’ll never get one. Sometimes that’s a hard thing to get my head around.

I’m not annoyed at people for wanting a break from autism. I’m jealous that they can have one.

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