This was originally posted in January 2019, and I have come to add further reckonings to this. You’ll see them below. Thank you for joining me.
I fear this may be one thing I never conquer.
There is a peril of a thread that runs through The Life Autistic.
An ice-cool needle leads it through, unrepentant, coursing through the fabric of our lives and needling us at the intersections of thought, actions, emotions.
Logic. Reason. Frigid. Rigid.
In some ways we are too ordered for our own good.
And as such, we think the world should work in that order.
I remember being younger, more impetuous than I am now, thinking that I should have advanced further based on the strength of my skills, my accomplishments.
“Oh, that’s not how the world works,” I’d correctly surmise.
“That’s how it should work,” my autistic self would clap back.
He’s as wrong as he is right, but I’ve since convinced him to play the hand.
It’s not about the strength of your cards, but the strength of the player.
But this is a game I cannot play.
At my lowest, I face the conundrum value.
My own value, to my family, families, friends, acquaintances, and those beyond.
The ice-cold needle and perilous thread wrap and warp my mind away from the altruistic reasons that I fail to grasp, to comprehend.
So I ask:
If I no longer serve a purpose to those around me, what then?
Out of a heart and mind perhaps misguided, I seek to be of some benefit to others, whether for my family, friends, those I know.
Something tangible, brilliant.
A needed light in darkness.
What if the darkness fades, and there is no need for me in the light?
It’s a daring, haunting question.
It’s a frame of mind and feeling I’d rather take apart and rebuild into something better.
Perhaps I’m the accent to otherwise perfect interiors, the blazing comet to balanced galaxies, the shady cloud above compact forests.
“This is how your value should work,” my autistic self asserts.
But this is not the way it works, I continue to repeat, hoping to believe.
Feb 2021: This was a sobering thought to reconsider, some two years later.
I have still held on to being light, despite dimness and flickering at times. But this Life Autistic has grown in luminous intensity, to where I have found that as one space is lit — there are always further tunnels, caves, little troughs, and shadow-beaten clefts alongside mournful mountains.
To be light is joy; to give, grow, and nourish hope is powerful — what thrives is the gift, and the joy is fadeless.
Where I once feared that the dark would erode and look upon a lamp, pat its bronze head, and say “you may go along now” — I don’t.
To be a good is a grateful endeavor. And on that shall carry here.
To learn more about autism from an autistic person’s perspective, follow & subscribe to The Life Autistic here and on YouTube — or follow the more whimsical, spontaneous, and amusing content on Instagram.
Speaking of light, I’m glad to shed a little bit more on the topic of ‘autism moms.’ Hear me out on this one. You’ll thank me for the bridge.