It’s normal for everyone to get tired. However, when you have some form of high functioning autism, it seems as if we are tired ALL the time. And it’s not just the normal kind of tired that most neurotypicals experience after a hard day’s work or a day out in the mall, it’s double that. For a long time, I really never thought to figure it out as I thought it was just normal. However, as I began to truly accept my diagnosis and as I became kinder to myself and my needs, I became more and more aware that me feeling tired a lot was a recurring thing, and it did come hand in hand with me being an Aspie. It was only later on that I discovered that the reason behind this is because our brains are working twice as hard as compared to neurotypicals when we are out.
Because of the fact that Aspies and high functioning autistics get tired easily, there might be those who think we are lazy, especially when we say that we need a little bit more time to rest as compared to others. However, this is really part and parcel of what we have.
As I mentioned earlier, the reason we easily get fatigued and the reason why we get more exhausted than the typical person, is because our brains are working twice as hard.
When an Aspie like me goes out to the mall, or is placed in a social situation, our brain works double time. It helps us think of and strategize the correct response to social situations, its processing the social situations at hand, and its also processing all the sensory stimuli around us. It gets even worse when actual emotions need to be processed at the same time, and when anxiety and other things kick in as well.
Think of it as a computer getting overloaded with information and open programs. Sooner or later, your computer will crash, and that moment when it crashes is the moment when we start feeling fatigued or extremely exhausted.
Before, I never could understand why it takes a week or so for me to recover from a long holiday like Christmas, and I didn’t like it at all as others felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough to beat the laziness. However, it turns out that feeling this way is completely normal for someone like me.
Know that I know this, I do take it into account whenever I go out to the mall, or schedule to attend a particular event. I know that I can only do one event per day, and that I have to take breaks when I go out to the mall in order to “recharge” myself. I also know give myself a week to recover and slowly ease back into work mode again after holidays. A good example would be last Christmas. I knew that I would be completely exhausted, so I slowly eased myself back into work mode, and told myself to make sure that I really rest well during that week so that I could truly go back to work the week after that.
Knowing this actually helped me a lot, because it allowed me to be better and being kinder to my own needs, and it actually helps me be even more productive at work. I’m able to really keep that balance that I need so that I’ll be at my healthiest and best self always.
So, I hope that this post will help others understand some of the unique needs that a high functioning autistic has; and for those who are high functioning, I hope that this helps you understand more about yourself and your needs. Never be ashamed of it, even though it may seem like a hindrance to some things. Instead, embrace it, and use it to strategize your day so that you will be able to be at the top of your game, while still respecting the needs of your body.
Do you ever experience this? How do you use this knowledge to help cope with it and strategize your day wisely? Let me know in the comments below, and let me know as well if there is any topic related to autism or Asperger’s you want me to write about in the future!