When a medical professional tells me I’m probably autistic, I’m not surprised. I’ve suspected it for over a year now. This diagnosis isn’t even the main reason why I’m here. I’m in this office because my sister was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I think I might have it too.
I love things too much. I can pass through the world sarcastic and largely inexpressive for most of my day, but then I get home and consume the things I love with a covetous frenzy. I can watch a show and then read fanfic after fanfic about it, analyzing a five-minute scene and the actors’ microexpressions, trying to figure out what exactly they mean.
I am returning to blogging (hopefully on a regular basis) after an exhausting semester. Five days a week, I did the following:
- woke up and walked to the bus stop
- sat for hours in classrooms where the lights were too bright and I had to interact with people
- did intellectual work that added to my mental exhaustion from social interaction and an overstimulating environment
- took the bus and walked home again
And then I frequently worked a dinner shift after that.
Dear Google, how do you cope with mania? Please don’t tell me to avoid caffeine. I literally haven’t drank soda for weeks, and I still feel like I’m going to pop out of my skin and roll around on the floor like marbles, my pieces clinking together awkwardly and never merging together to form a whole.
Dear Google, telling me to seek a qualified mental health professional isn’t helping right now. I’m already seeing one of those, and she’s not going to come to my house to help me calm down and concentrate on studying so I won’t bomb that test tomorrow. It’s after hours anyway. I need your advice right now.
Content note: This post talks frankly about ableism in a way that might induce anxiety in autistic readers.
Recently, I started a new job. I haven’t told anyone there that I’m trans or on the autism spectrum. I don’t like to have those conversations unless I feel safe and know I won’t be treated like an oddity or less of a person. Because I usually don’t talk about these identities of mine in public, I often hear things I don’t care for.
At this new job, I overheard a conversation between two coworkers where they were talking about a customer they didn’t like. One of them said, “Isn’t making eye contact just, like, basic human decency?”
And the other one said, “You’d think so, but…” Continue reading “Why I Suck at Eye Contact”