Being “weird” doesn’t hurt anyone, but pretending like we’re not different sure does.

TW: Suicide statistics.

Autism isn’t a disease, it’s a neurotype. A type of brain.

It’s got its drawbacks, that’s for sure, but it’s also got its perks. Just like neurotypical brains.

My brain is my brain, just as my thumb is my thumb. I can learn to treat my brain well to make it work better, and I can learn more effective ways to cope, but other than that—is what it is.

My brain cannot be “cured,” or turned neurotypical, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want it to be.

It is true that I struggle with living in our society due to sensory overwhelm, executive functioning issues, and being persistently misunderstood — but when my brain’s happy, I can also hyper-focus like a maniac, busting out great work in hours instead of days. I think “outside the box,” I am unique, I notice little things that others don’t, and I’m deeply passionate about my interests. …

It might seem like you’re just sitting there, but you’re learning to steer your mind.

Meditation is simply the shit. It may seem like just sitting there trying not to think, but it’s really a process of centering in oneself. Of learning to better manage our mental space. Of finding our best selves.

Image via meeeeeee

And it’ll start working quickly too, even if you find that you can’t get a moment of mental silence during your sit. This is because of increasing mindfulness, meaning an awareness of what is happening in one’s mind.

If you’re a fellow flawed human, you’ve probably heard yourself say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I did it, it just happened!” (Not. Fun.)

Mindfulness helps get rid of that sort of banal unpleasantness by properly introducing us to our minds, thereby meeting our motivations. And when we start to see the why’s behind our did’s — they change. …

When your body and mind are chaos, a second opinion can really help.

A spoonie is someone who deals with a condition that limits how much energy is available on any given day.

First, to quickly fill you in on The Spoon Theory: It was created by a lupus fighter named Christine Miserandino, who explained what living with a chronic condition was like by gathering spoons in a diner, having the inquiring friend put down a spoon for ev-ver-y little thing done in a day; illustrating that we never have enough, and that borrowing from tomorrow’s “spoons” means tomorrow will have even fewer. (In other words, we’re fucked.)

I’m a spoonie due to autism and fibromyalgia, but there are all kinds of ways to be a spoonie — sometimes it’s chronic pain from an issue (like endometriosis), that uses up those missing energy units, other times it’s pretending to be “normal,” as being chronically ill, or otherwise incapacitated, is quite frowned upon in our society. …

He’s got some changes in mind.

If you visited a zoo, and a gorilla started talking to you, what do you think they’d say about humanity? Think they’d be cool with the modern state of affairs?

According to Daniel Quinn, author of 1992’s award-winning Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit — the answers are a whole lot, and hell no.

Courtesy of Giphy

Ishmael features a man being taught about the world by a gorilla, one who divides humanity into two types: the Leavers and the Takers.

The first philosophy puts humans within the web of nature, working consciously to only take what they need; and the other puts humans as the world’s ruler, free to take whatever we can. …

There’s so much able-bodied people just don’t get.

Originally written on April 29, 2017, after a few years of continued health-improving obsession, I’ve gotten much better, but rereading it just now still made me cry. I hope it helps someone out there in the worst of it feel hopeful and less alone:

Due to a problem with my nervous system, I am disabled and chronically ill. My symptoms often become incorporated into my dreams, sometimes it’s almost funny: a man getting an electric foot massage on my back when the machine shorts out. (Okay, weird/scary, not that funny.) …

Carl Sagan’s musings rep’d in creative makeup.

My bookbaby, #HowILostAllMyFucks, is a 3-parter. This is from Part III’s Fuckless Adventures, “Make something beautiful.”

Carl Sagan once said, “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.”

The idea that creation is a way for the universe to know itself is a spiritual concept that I found both internally (meditation) then externally (philosophy class) almost twenty years ago.

It helps me find meaning when things seem just ridiculous, detachment at the unpredictable, and lightness amongst the heavy.

And he’s being literal about the starstuff.

The carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms in our bods were created in stars that lived over 4.5 billion years ago. …

It’s like being from another country, but thinking you’re local.

Imagine that you hit your head while traveling, then woke up from a coma in another country. You cannot remember anything, and have no identifying information. It’s kinda like in the movie Overboard, but instead of a rich bitch getting hers — it’s you, trying to fit into a verrrry different society, one the doctors tell you you’re from.

You don’t question this assessment. The people of Allistic speak the same language as you, most citizens even have the same accent as you, and you look normal enough; but you’re still different, even after you learn their customs and ways of socializing (which you’d really prefer to do your way, even though you have no idea why your way differs). …

A few years ago, everyone on the internet was all about #positivevibesonly, and I was fully on board. ⁠⠀
It was the first year of being full-time debilitatingly ill, and I doused myself in positivity, making myself feel better via “I’ll heal by xx date” hopes, then hope would proceed to kick my fucking ass, over, and over, and over. For. Years.⁠⠀
Trying to put roses on a shit sandwich results in losing touch with reality, setting ourselves up for disappointment.

And that’s when it’s our sandwich.⁠⠀
When we put roses on someone else’s shit sandwich, it can be far more damaging — setting expectations that aren’t possible, leaving the person in shit feeling even worse, because now they’re letting others down too. It leaves hurting people feeling further diminished.⁠⠀
And when it comes to chronic conditions, toxic positivity can be downright ableist. If someone shares their struggle with you, anything along the lines of, “It’s not that bad” isn’t helpful. At. All.⁠⠀
If you’d been stuck in rain for hours, feeling cold and miserable, and were likely to stay there for years — would you feel better if someone said, “At least it’s not a blizzard?”⁠⠀
Helpful positivity lifts up others, “You’ve come so far the last five years, and you’re working so hard. You’ve got lots of healing ahead, there’s no hurry, and I’ll be here.”⁠⠀
On the other hand, toxic positivity is like a band-aid that’s just the sticker — “It doesn’t seem that bad to me, I bet you’re fine.” It hurts the wound further, ripping off healing when it’s revealed to be a farce.⁠⠀
Looking for a silver lining is lovely. But never insist a highly-problematic cloud isn’t an issue. …

Nothing, inherently. It’s nice to want to get along and it’s normal to prefer being adored over disliked, of course.

The problem is when you start giving fucks in order to get someone to like you: Agreeing when you actually don’t, censoring yourself beyond politeness, doing things you’d really rather not, allowing attitudes towards you that are less than respectful, and all kinds of other ways we diminish ourselves when we make our objective: be liked.

Because when that’s your MO, there’s no choice than to be less of yourself. Giving fucks makes a dull wash out of the glory that you are; the you when you’re behaving with more inner-direction, when you’re really being yourself. …

Looks can be deceiving…there’s so much people don’t know.

TW: Suicidal ideation.

What comes to mind when you think of an autistic person? The movie Rain Man? Someone who loves to talk about bugs? A child hitting his head against the wall during a raging meltdown?

You probably don’t picture someone like me; a 37-year-old female who’s been described using words like “perky,” who’s organized an extensive amount of fundraising efforts and events, who’s had some career success, someone who largely “seems normal.” …


Meg Hartley

Neurodivergent writer espousing fucklessness via mindfulness + authenticity. Wellness and growth junkie. Advocate for a kinder society.

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