The cost of autistic masking

Many of us, as Autistics, are well versed in masking. For so many of us, it is an involuntary reflex that happens without thought. What is masking? Masking, simply put, is the practice of disguising your autistic traits in order to pass as neurotypical. It is a survival mechanism in a world that actively oppressesContinue reading “The cost of autistic masking”

Surviving and recovering from the holidays and avoiding autistic burnout

Out of the last 48 hours, I have just spent 22 of those hours preparing and cooking Christmas dinner to be delivered to 30 vulnerable people in my home city. I do this every year, and it takes everything I have to do it. Whatever your traditions for this time of year, there is oneContinue reading “Surviving and recovering from the holidays and avoiding autistic burnout”

Men, it’s okay to cry: my autistic perspective

Tonight I watched “A street cat named Bob”. The film is adapted from a book, which is the true story of a heroin addict overcoming homelessness and addiction thanks (in part) to his friendship with a stray cat that he rescued. The film is very moving and relatable for me as an addict, and IContinue reading “Men, it’s okay to cry: my autistic perspective”

We need to talk about cigarettes, nicotine, and being autistic

Nicotine addiction is rarely talked about when discussing addiction, but it is probably the most common addiction around. I would estimate that at least half, if not most, of the autistic people I have interacted with have been smokers at some point in their lives. Nicotine addiction is a real issue, especially when you considerContinue reading “We need to talk about cigarettes, nicotine, and being autistic”

An open letter to autistic addicts

My fellow autistic addicts, As we approach the end of a historically difficult year, I hope that you can look back and be proud that you have survived. This year has brought many tests, and you have passed. If all you did this year was make it through, I want you to know that wasContinue reading “An open letter to autistic addicts”

A reflection on the distance I have travelled as an autistic addict

I can’t really remember the exact date upon which the shit hit the fan for me. I know it was towards the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. My engagement broke up in spectacular fashion and I dissolved into my addiction like salt in hot water. There was nothing of the real meContinue reading “A reflection on the distance I have travelled as an autistic addict”

Growing up atypical and learning to accept myself

My mother used to encourage me to be myself, to be proud of myself. In many ways I was privileged for having that, and yet I still grew up uncomfortable in my own skin. I was the weird kid. I had narrow and intense interests, I would sit in class barking like a dog, IContinue reading “Growing up atypical and learning to accept myself”

I am autistic, I am an addict, I am mentally ill

As self-advocates, we are often met with suggestions of how we should discuss ourselves. It’s deeply frustrating because it suggests that we have forgotten our own humanity, but unsurprisingly, we do not need to be reminded that we are people. You will hear me use identity First language a lot. This is not because IContinue reading “I am autistic, I am an addict, I am mentally ill”

Limits of the traditional twelve-step program for autistic folk

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the addiction recovery community will likely have come across the twelve-step program in one form or another. Alcoholics anonymous, cocaine anonymous, narcotics anonymous, the list goes on. There are many different groups employing the twelve-steps, and it is often what addiction treatment services suggest to service users toContinue reading “Limits of the traditional twelve-step program for autistic folk”

On being an autistic advocate and the difficulty finding support

I would like to start by thanking my good friend for bringing this issue to my attention. I would not have thought to write on the topic without that person, and it is such a very important topic. Being an advocate is weird. For most of us I think it comes with a degree ofContinue reading “On being an autistic advocate and the difficulty finding support”