Why I Love Being Autistic | Autism Awareness Month 2017
I’ve often thought about why I love being autistic. When so many people focus on the bad sides of this condition, why am I so happy about it? I guess the simple answer is that this is me. I can love myself or hate myself, but either way, I’m not going to change who I am. Autism doesn’t have a cure—this is me forever.
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the reasons why in more detail.
I love being autistic because…
I can re-watch/read the same things over and over again without getting bored.
I’m currently re-watching a TV series I watched last year, and I’m loving it. I do the same with films and books on a regular basis, too. There’s one film on Netflix (X+Y) that I’ve watched six times over, and could happily watch again. I notice neurotypical people watch something once, and then disregard it forever. I get way too attached to do that.
It does mean that I’m never stuck for something to watch, though. If I can’t find anything new, I can always go back and watch something I’ve watched before.
It’s the same with books. Some people wonder why I keep the books I read, and it’s because I never know when I’ll want to read it again. Does anyone remember reading ‘Double Act’ by Jacqueline Wilson when they were younger? I read that so many times that the cover came off, and the pages didn’t look great by the end.
I can offer logical solutions to problems.
I’m one of many autistic people who looks at small details rather than the bigger picture. I take a more logical approach to life, which enables me to provide a unique outlook on many situations. It can make me guilty of overthinking things and making anxiety worse, but it isn’t all bad.
It means I can offer logical advice to friends who might be struggling with something that they may not have considered before. It means I can offer solutions within group situations, too, which make me feel part of a group I might otherwise feel excluded from.
I can become very knowledgeable about certain things.
I wrote a blog post about my special interests a while ago. They are one of my favourite things about being autistic. I love the fact that I can focus on one thing for a long time, and know a lot about it.
Some of these things I indulge in will prove helpful in my future career. Things like psychology, which has been a main special interest for several years now. It’s even helped me to understand my brain when I couldn’t explain how I was feeling to mental health professionals.
Other interests are just for fun, a way of de-stressing from long days of real life commitments. If you know me in real life, you’re likely to know I love The Walking Dead, to the point of an obsession. I’ll never have to use anything I learn in this programme or the comics in real life (at least I hope not), but it’s fun to watch nonetheless.
I am comfortable with being different.
I struggled a lot with feeling like I was different before my diagnosis. Everyone wants to fit in as a teenager, but I often took it to extreme lengths, hiding my real personality. I’d pretend, instead, to be interested in the same thing as my friends, even when I didn’t understand the appeal.
Now, I am comfortable with being different. I love that my brain works differently to other people’s, and I embrace it regularly. People seem to like me more now that I’ve stopped pretending, which is definitely a good thing.
I am a perfectionist.
Most people would argue that this is a negative thing in my life, but I love it. Being a perfectionist allows me to walk away from something knowing I can be proud of myself, and have done all that I can to do something right. I like that it enables others to put their trust in me, too, knowing that I won’t put much effort into something.
In reality, I love being autistic on the whole. I am proud of my disability, and nothing anyone says will change that. It’s so tempting to focus on the bad things when that’s what everyone else talks about, but there are good things there, too.
If you’re autistic, why do you love being autistic? If you know an autistic person, what is your favourite thing about them? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and until next time,