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

Writing Again, but Seriously This Time

Back in the day, when I used to write, I was scared of all kinds of things. I was scared that people would judge me, so I would write as PC and normal as possible. I was scared that I would fail, so I wouldn’t venture into the kinds of writing that I might fail at. I was afraid that people would see the true me and not accept me or my writing, so I wrote in-authentically, leaving my true voice behind for years.
 
When we really get down to it, I’m quite eccentric and a bit loony. People keep me around for the crazy things I say, but, less often, people push me away for the crazy things I say. I’ve recently come to realize that, regardless, those things are better said on the pages of the things that I write, even if I do leave some anecdotes in my mouth for the people in my life to savor; the babies to my mama bird, receive these juicy worms!

One might assume by the title of this post that when I say “seriously” I mean to write in a somber or grave manner. No, not the case at all. There’s nothing somber or grave here, even when writing about death. When I say “seriously” I mean “sincerely.” I mean “authentically.” When people read my work they will know it was written by an eccentric lady, take it or leave it. It’s the name of this business now.

When I think about having been worried about being accepted, I try not to beat myself up about it. It would have been nice to never have had to worry about that, but it is, indeed, a scar upon the wall of my life experiences – something that I can’t get rid of. Maybe, even a little bit, I’m a better person for it.

To be honest, I’d completely forgotten about the blog analytics that automatically comes with WordPress, so when I started getting notifications that people liked my posts, I was both confused and amused.

I had no intention of my writing getting onto the phone and computer screens of anyone unless they found me by accident or I told them I blog and they wanted to check it out. If you have been reading these posts and liking and/or commenting on them, thank you. I definitely do appreciate it. Even with knowing that these analytics are in place, I still have no intention of writing anything other than what I feel like writing, unlike before, where I’d write to be liked.
 
It’s quite refreshing, though, actually. To be perfectly who I am without a care and to allow that to be reflected back to me on the pages. I’m big into inspiration, and so I hope that anyone who’s able to read the words that I not-so-delicately affix to the pages of whatever I write is able to find some inspiration there, to find it easier to be themselves in a world where conforming to standards is almost like second nature.
 
I’ll leave you with this quote from one of my ex-colleagues:

“If you’re scared, go to church.”

(I still have no idea what it means, but thought it might be fitting here.)

∞ Aminah Jamil