One of the hardest things for me to deal with as an autistic person is people not understanding what life is like on a daily basis. Nobody has any idea how much energy goes into ensuring I don’t mess up too badly or that I “get things done” when they need doing. Well, they might, but many people in my life didn’t until I received my diagnosis, and even then, it’s hard for them to understand sometimes.
In 2016, I wrote a blog post called The Exhaustion of Autism, and today, I’m sharing the post again (with some slight edits to make it more general audience appropriate!) because this is one piece that really means a lot to me. I’ve also added a bit to the end. This expands on what being autistic can be like for someone. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.
Ever been so tired after a busy day that you sit down and before you know it, you’re waking up out of nowhere and it’s the next day already…when you weren’t even finished with the day before? This has been my reality since I was young. A few hours of an activity that didn’t involve being at home, and for the next day or even two, I’m so tired I can’t do anything except lay around and sleep. The exhaustion of autism is real and tangible in my everyday life.
Four years ago, I wrote this post on my original blog, when I hadn’t even written a book yet. Today, I’ve decided to republish it and I’ll hope you’ll take the time to read and answer the question at the bottom!
So, without further ado, here goes!
First, what is the meaning of failure?
Quite simply, it means lack of success.
The problem with this is…what is success?
Generally, this is the accomplishment of one’s goals and/or the attainment of wealth, position, honors or the like.
Here’s the thing:
Each and every one of us defines success differently.
If there’s one thing I’ve loved my whole life, without fail, it’s education. In school or on my own, I love to learn new things, especially when those things are my interests. I will hyper-focus on whatever I’m wanting to acquire knowledge in or about, and I will gather information until I’m satisfied with it.
Then, I’m on the to next thing.
I’m a sponge. And I’d rather learn something to do it for myself than have someone else do it for me…that is, as long as I’m interested in what I’m doing, of course.
It won’t surprise you, then, to know all through elementary and middle school my grades were mostly A’s with an occasional B. The B’s were usually the result of something I found relatively boring, but either grade I received was from absolutely zero studying. In 6th grade, I never had to take a spelling test on Friday because I would get them all correct by mid-week. I was even in the talented & gifted program.
Through this, I went to three different elementary schools and one middle school…