I don’t work like other people work. I have energy rushes that see me fast tracking through tasks at a speed that leaves others behind. It makes me want to click my fingers at them and tell them to keep up.

I have energy dips that find me staring into the distance for days or weeks at a time. Watching the trees. Listening to birds and podcasts. Going for long walks. Missing deadlines.

This is fine. This is how it is for me.

I haven’t always felt that this is fine.

It wasn’t fine when I had to turn up in an office from Monday to Friday and work 8 hours at a desk. It worked brilliantly when I was in hyper focus, but I had to quit jobs when the staring in the distance started.

It wasn’t fine with friends, when I made a rush of plans in my energetic phase only to cancel them all the next week when my internal brakes were applied and seeing people was the last thing I wanted.

It wasn’t fine when I made myself conform to the expectations of society, which pushed me to be consistently productive and shamed me into feeling useless when I wasn’t.

It was a disaster when I tried to force myself to keep the energy rushes going, to extend the hyper focus longer and longer so that I could mirror the patterns of non-autistic people. It ended in dark days and silence and burn out.

It wasn’t helpful in the slow phases when the panic hit and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my job, with my friends, with my internal expectations. It made me hate myself and wish that I were someone else.

This is fine. This is how it was for me.

I am letting go of the need to mirror the patterns of people whose neurology is not like mine. I can’t keep up with them. They can’t keep up with me.

I am high functioning.

I am low functioning.

I am high/low/in between functioning.

I function as I am.

I am trusting that honouring my own rhythms is the way forward.