The hardest part of writing about adult autism is explaining exactly what it feels like. I mean, as the word neurodiversity implies, the autistic brain doesn’t work in the same way as a neurotypical one. So trying to explain it is a tricky task. Well, this post will do absolutely nothing to rectify that problem!
Below are a series of paradoxical statements and contradictions – but they all apply to many autistic adults. Some of them apply to me, some don’t. You can play along at home by guessing which do!
- I have to organise everything in my life BUT I regularly forget where things are
- I have some brilliantly creative ideas BUT I struggle with day to day reality
- I’m really caring, BUT I struggle to empathise
- There’s loads I want to say, BUT I struggle to communicate
- I want to be popular and sociable BUT I want to hide away from everyone
- I know an absurd amount of obscure facts BUT I forget basic stuff all the time
- I can hyperfocus on a few things BUT I struggle to focus on most things
- I can start hundreds of projects BUT struggle to finish any
- I am extremely intelligent BUT make simple mistakes
As clear as mud then! To use a cliche to sum up the whole situation – it’s both a blessing and a curse.
What is clear is that explaining autism to neurotypical people is extremely difficult, so just think how hard it can be for autistic people to live with brains that function in that way. To be both brilliant and useless, often at the same time, can be massively frustrating and depressing. And that is definitely something that applies to me!