daily crossroads of detail

ways autistic traits impact my daily life #1
colorful, chaotic road
Photo by Bulat Khamitov on Pexels.com

First, a disclaimer. A therapist of mine brought up that I might have autism. However, we never made any attempt to get an official diagnosis. So at this point in time, I consider myself undiagnosed on the autism spectrum.

With that in mind, here are a handful of ways neurodiversity/autism/mental health impact my daily life.

1.

Most doctors (doctors? Sleep experts? Psychologists?) recommend that healthy people get 8 hours of sleep a night.

Not me! If I only get 8 hours of sleep, I’m tired for the whole day. My eyes ache, I’m low on energy, my brain feels slow…no bueno. I need 9-10 hours of sleep a night to function normally.

I don’t know for sure what specific thing in my life causes that, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with my brain frequently operating in overdrive–therefore, it needs more sleep.

2.

I despise driving.

Autism involves a general difficulty sorting through stimuli. A bug on the wall requires as much attention as somebody’s moving mouth. A distant thump is equally demanding as somebody talking a few steps away. I have to a) figure out what is actually “important” and then b) actively focus on the important thing, and that takes a lot of mental energy.

Which is why I despise driving. I have to actively juggle my focus between the road, the speedometer, the motion in the rearview mirror, the side mirror, the lines on the road, the curb, the turns, the lights down the street, the feeling of the steering wheel in my hands.

And at the same time, I have to keep my focus away from the person in a bright green jacket on the sidewalk, or the clouds, or the person talking in the seat beside me, or the bird in the road, or random construction noises, or the force of the wind.

I despise driving. How about you?

3.

On the plus side, I’m super observant. Somebody got a new haircut? I’ll notice. Somebody bought a new shirt? Nice shirt. There’s rolls burning in the oven? I’ll run and save them. I’m also great at finding missing things, because I spot them easily.

***

That’s all I have for today, thank you for reading!

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