Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The strain of functioning

Sometimes I miss school because my body has to physically recuperate from an emotional event.

When I go shopping, I am sitting on the floor of the aisle after three or four stores. Dragging myself like a zombie instead of walking.

Sometimes I fall asleep at other people's houses.

Even socializing can wear me out. I crave it, but I just can't handle it. I get tired, crabby, pissy.

When I have a bad day at school, I go home and take a nap.

Sometimes I work myself up to a crescendo of exuberance and talkativeness and happiness and excitement, and then I crash.

Too much processing and reacting appropriately drains me. Wears me out. Exhausts me.

My body requires about twelve hours of sleep, although I never get that much. Ever. I think the reason I need so much sleep is because of the strain of functioning on my body and mental abilities. So I'm always tired.

When I get too exhausted, sometimes all I can do is scream and cry. Literally.

And that wears me out even more.

Functioning labels don't do much for me, and my friend Amy has expressed how she resents being labeled "low-functioning." But I don't know how else to say this. It takes a tremendous amount of effort for me to be "high-functioning." Sometimes all that processing and functioning takes its toll. And then I can't function at all.

This happens to people on other parts of the spectrum. Nonspeaking autistics or those who need lots of support, too. Just processing things and making sense of them can be a huge task.

Functioning my way is a strain. Functioning their way is a strain, too.

I meant to spend the weekend recuperating from the last two weeks, which have been emotionally and physically exhausting. That didn't happen. I was out and about all weekend. If I keep going like this, I'm going to crash.

Do you wonder why I miss so much school? Do you wonder why I scream and cry instead of just telling you what's wrong? Do you think it's odd that just being happy with people can suddenly wear me out? Do you think I don't look autistic? Do you know how hard it is on my body, just to be me? Just to function every day?