If any of you read my last blog, you’ll know things are going quite well at the moment. Things in terms of my mood, my eating disorder, and generally things are going quite well, but I came to a big realisation in the middle of Waterloo station on a busy Friday night. I came to the realisation that even when depression has left me, when anorexia has loosened its tight grasp on me, when life is ticking over in the right direction, I’m still going to be autistic.
Now to some of you this might sound glaringly obvious, and some of you, those who believe in a “cure”, well honestly just leave my blog please, but to me, it was a reminder. It was something I knew, something I have accepted but something that I was reminded of quite starkly that night.
I got through Waterloo station, and had the biggest sensory overload I had had in a long while. You see I never used to know what to call them – they were just the tears after laserquest or the malfunctioning after the UV lights in the bowling alley and the loud restaurant. But this time I knew exactly what to call it but not how to prevent the crying and hyperventilating for the three quarters of an hour walk I then took.
I know being autistic means that I’m always going to struggle with unexpected noises and busy places, that I’m always going to be one step behind when understanding a facial expression (that is if I’m forcing myself to make eye contact), that I’m going to be lost when it comes to abstract concepts like friendship and trust but I know being autistic makes me focused and hardworking, makes me careful and kind, makes me able to understand others emotions in ways that other people can’t. I know being autistic means I’m not like everyone else but thank goodness I’m not. I’m Daniela. I’m Daniela who loved all things maths, so much so she’s got a maths tattoo. I’m Daniela who cares so much about getting it wrong that she can’t make decisions. I’m Daniela who wants to be able to communicate with everybody but really wants to be alone. I’m Daniela who believes everyone deserves a voice that people can hear or understand. I’m Daniela who is autistic and proud to be.
So the point of this blog – well it’s to remind you that autism doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t change or get better. It doesn’t disappear with therapy or medication, but it can be helped with by you. You can be more understanding and considerate. You can learn how to understand how an autistic person understands the world, how they understand you and how they understand themselves. You can learn what makes them brilliant.