Spirituality Won’t Cure the Autism

A gorgeous, God-provided Friday sunset in Tanzania, photo taken by me

Ever since my childhood I’ve been obsessed with the supernatural. Spirituality, religion, astrology, magic—if it was difficult to explain or measure, I was geeked. With that interest, it was only natural that when it felt like my life was falling apart (as well as when my life was actually falling apart) I would turn to a Higher Power to help me get some control back.

Despite all my of previous religious leanings, plus my current spiritual leanings, nothing seems to make the effects of this new-found autism self-diagnosis go away. While I only recently, meaning yesterday, found out that there’s a 99.9999% probability that I’m on the autism spectrum, I didn’t just get on the spectrum. I’ve been on it my whole life.

Because I have the ability to look back on said life and see all the ways not knowing about this autism likely fucked me over in multiple ways, I can see how all of the prayers, the meditations, the retreats, the new moon salt baths, the ayahuasca ceremonies, the shroom trips, etc. did absolutely nothing to help me overcome the existential dread, social anxiety, random bouts of depression, communication blow-ups, etc.

I’m not saying that spirituality and religion don’t have a place in a neurodivergent’s life, because I love me some God. What I am saying is that, instead of approaching spirituality from a place of, “ oh my god, there’s something wrong with me, please help me fix me 😩,” I can now approach it from a different vantage point.

I have no idea what that vantage point is right now, but I think it’s probably somewhere along the lines of accepting this self-diagnosis, educating myself about myself and everything that seems to stem from the autism, e.g. masking, isolating when overwhelmed, emotional outbursts, lack of boundaries, etc., educating those around me, advocating for myself and others like me (to the best of my abilities), and using spirituality to give me the courage and confidence to stand firmly in my truth and the truth about who I am.

Another important piece is, now that I know the why of the reason I am the way I am, I can better manage and cope with the uncontrollable stressors of life, and have an unmovable rock to lean on through the storms that this world can stir up.

All in all, the gist of this post is this: spirituality is amazing. My relationship with those in the other realms is unmatched, and no I cannot see dead people. That would nice though. I do not, however, believe that it can cure autism. To be honest, I feel like autism is a gift in a way. It’s made me extremely resilient, open to other ways of thinking and being, curious, and able to self-soothe if need be. I’ve been able to explore so many different avenues to better understand myself, that I can understand others better, too.

This journey is about to get interesting, friends!

♾ Aminah Jamil

If You Ain’t First, You’re Third

Surely, as I continue posting, you, my dear reader, will find that there is no meaning to the pictures that accompany said posts. Adieu.

Recently I’ve found myself going through this weird depressive episode. In the mornings when I wake up I hate life and I wonder what’s the point, but then by around 10-11am you could call me Optimistic Olga. I’ll be hopping around my apartment with all kinds of ideas, crossing things off of my daily to-do list, and laughing maniacally.

Perhaps I’m in need of a proper B-Complex vitamin?

The truth probably lies somewhere in the crevice of life that I am currently in – able to not have to work for a while, but also worried at the same time about what should happen if I don’t find work that pleases me enough to not want to run away and hide in Morocco or Tunisia in a run down studio apartment with no AC once I begin to need to work again.

The truth probably also lies in the years of lies I’ve told myself, and that others have told me, about work and career and the necessity of it and what work would be most pleasing to me. I won’t be taking clients for my life/self-empowerment coaching consultation until mid-August. With the way the world is at the moment, it’ll be a wonder to find clients, not that I’m not confident in my coaching abilities. It’ll be more of a test of faith in that concept that says, “if you put it out there, they will surely come.”

But then there’s even more truth in the fact that right now, at this very moment, I am struggling with the decision of whether to write the novel I’m working on in first person or third person POV, and THIS, I TELL YOU, IS THE TRUTH BEHIND THE DEPRESSIVE EPISODES.

Or so it feels like. I could be wrong, but I haven’t been able to write a lick of the novel yet, because of it.

The Solution: I am a very solution-oriented person. We ain’t leaving this room until we come to a conclusive decision with a solution attached. And the solution to the first/third person problem is…drumroll please…to write the first five pages of the the novel in both.

Boom. There it is. How scandalously easy it was to come up with that. Would you believe me if I told you I came up with that idea whilst writing this post? Aww you did? That’s sweet, but I didn’t. I’d mulled it over in bed yesterday while learning some Korean alphabet, or Hangul, consonant and vowel pairings.

히 is hi like “he”
니 is ni like “nee”
사 is sa
가 is ga but it kinda sounds like ka, super hard g.

If the word starts with a vowel, or it’s just a vowel by itself, you have to write it like this:
이 or 아, which are “ee” and “ah” respectively.

Alright, onto hopping around my apartment and laughing maniacally while I am somehow super efficient with my time!

∞ Aminah Jamil