April 4, 2023

Living with autism

By rosieweldon

‘Living with autism’, that’s what they say. Like it’s this thing that I just ‘live with’. Sit down to watch TV and put it beside me while I watch.

In so many ways I am so proud to be autistic. But, equally, there are days I’d give anything to not be autistic. To not ‘live with autism’. To have a bloody break from autism.

I’ve gone through huge amounts of change recently. Autism has certainly raised its head to make the whole thing worse, mainly by inflicting damage on my own head! I get stuck, so stuck on wanting to make sense of everything. To the point my brain screams at me, and my fists lash out at it, trying to get it to just make sense. To please stop the confusion and start to make sense.

Having said that, I also know that autism has helped me stay logical, detach from emotions when I need to. I can hyperfocus on something to the point I can block everything else out. Through this crappy period, I have hyper focused in on my author platform. I can easily let my brain think about nothing else other than the autistic community and how best to support them. How to take my shitty circumstance and use it to help educate and raise awareness.

I often wonder if the extreme challenges and pretty cool benefits of autism, just cancel each other out. Maybe someone else wouldn’t lash out at their head through anger at it making no sense, maybe they’d just cry. But maybe they would lose themselves to that emotion and not be able to be pulled out by hyperfocus on something that keeps their head above water.

‘Living with autism’, means my life is always one or the other. I excel, or I hit a brick wall. I thrive, or I fail. If I netted off the difference, maybe it would be a pretty mediocre existence?

I can never decide whether autism is a good or bad thing. It entirely depends on the circumstance. As much as I hate the autistic effects of this period of my life, I also sort of credit it for keeping me going. I see a goal and I work towards it, nothing will stand in my way. Once I latch onto something I am aiming for, no amount of emotional turmoil will stand in my way.

One thing I will tell you for a fact – ‘living with autism’, is exhausting.

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