Even though I have only been officially autistic a very short time I am more then happy with the label. I consider myself out and proud. Happy to be it, tell people I am it, wave the flag and celebrate.
But there are days when I still don’t know who I am. There are things that fit, and make so much sense it is a homecoming. But other days I feel like someone has taken the box, shaken out all of the bits and left me with the instructions for something else entirely.
I don’t have to pretend to be NT anymore, but I do have to play by enough of their rules to be considered polite enough and to get by. But I also get to prioritise me. It is hard working out who I am and what I want after so many years of pretending to be a sheep.
I am trying lots of things on for size to see if they fit, and also if they feel good and I like the look of them. But even things that look and feel good aren’t necessarily what you want or need. And some things you want or need aren’t necessarily the things that look or feel the best.
Today I found out that autistic people NEED their special interests. It isn’t just something we do, it is one of the things our brains needs to do to function. It helps us function to a higher capacity, but if you don’t indulge (for want of a better word) in a special interest the brain actually starts shutting down and wont function on a basic level. So, find me here, working out what a special interest for this moment in time can be. Feel my brain starting up again. My mentor (who told me about this special interest requirement) and I are starting a local facebook group for autistic adults. I was hoping to join one but apparently a local one does not exist. Well, it does now. Creating the group was my special interest for the day. I have a little bit of happiness in a job well done.
So, learning to be the autistic version of me is going to mean creating some of the tools I wish were already out there. Someone has to go first, I am happy to do it, but I kind of thought a lot of it would already have happened by now.