Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Aspergers matters

A couple of years have passed since my diagnosis. During the first years having Aspergers was something I thought about every day. It was always in the back of my mind, I looked at everything through the Aspie lens. It was a good and helpful process. I figured out so many things, and made peace with most of them.

I think I have grown into my Aspie skin now. I don't think about it so often, some days not at all. It does not take up much thought space any more. I had a sudden thougth the other day though – that having Aspergers does not matter, except when it matters. Doesn't sound logical, and I did not share with anyone, but since then something happened that I can use as an example.

About two weeks ago, something really sad and upsetting happened. The only way I can cope with it now is not thinking or talking about it, but doing that takes a lot of energy. Then last week we invited guests for dinner and to stay over. I had to buy and prepare food for 10 people and clean the house. I enjoyed the cooking and loved having the guests over, that wasn't an issue. Then the day before they arrived, my son developed a tooth ache, and our regular dentist was on leave. I had to make phone calls and get an appointment at a new place. Took him there, had to answer questions and fill in a form (always exhausting) and eased him through the appointment. Two days later I had an appointment with my therapist. Discussed some emotional stuff with him, and while I was in the city, had quite a few errands to run. Did it all successfully. Came home, and found that the new gardener has created havoc and dug out ALL of my spring flowers for some reason – I found that hugely upsetting.

None of these things were that tiring by themselves, and most of what I listed were positive experiences. But by yesterday my energy was depleted. I felt literally sick, my brain felt fuzzy and I experienced complete sensory overload. Dogs barking, the ducks quacking, the kids talking, the clothes against my skin, the hair against my face – everything was just amplified and too much. I sat under a blanket on my bed a large part of the day, my eyes closed, and spend the rest of the time mindlessly playing computer games and listening to a favourite song over and over and over.

This is when having Aspergers matters. When doing 'normal' things use so much energy. When not being able to function for a day is not laziness, but real exhaustion.

I just wish I have the ability to recognise this exhaustion when it happens and allow myself to rest because it is what I need, instead of feeling restless and guilty and worthless because I am doing 'nothing'. I also hope that when I do talk about it, other people will understand that I still want to do the things that use so much energy. I love having friends over and cooking for them, I love being able to run errands for people or being able to help friends. I love driving to town. The exhaustion is just part of being an Aspie and an introvert, it is not something to avoid by limiting things that bring me joy.


  1. Having you share this helps so much to give insight and perhaps a bit of (hopefully) understanding of your innermost emotions. Thank you. You are an exceptional person (and cook) :-). xx

  2. Hey I have a quick question about your blog, could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! -Cameron

  3. Thank you for sharing this article to us your readers. It help us understand more about Aspergers and the it's emotions.