Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Autism Answer: Addicted To Seeing

There are many people who choose drugs because they help us see the world differently. We can be creative, without too much attention to how others see us. We can forget some of our pains, and surf on a wave of relief from physical hurt or emotional fears. We sometimes see the man-made nature of society and it's rules clearer with a drug. And we can imagine a different way, free to explore ideas without getting in our own way.

There are gazillions of bodies that thrive on caffeine because we feel awake and focused and see ourselves and our lives with a buzz of confidence and energy! We can see our goals with a belief in reaching them, knowing that our abilities can be refueled at the nearest coffee bar, organic green tea grocery isle, or soda machine. We can see our own hard work and value in the moments we take to sip and reflect, using our caffeine crutch to "take a break".

There are bunches of folks who cling to routine because it helps them see what's coming next without fear of unexpected expectations. We can see our talents grow clearly when compared to yesterday's sameness, and can rely on coping skills we've already discovered to get us through the known routine. We see comfort and safety in similarity.

There are even very many boys and girls who chase the new and different, because it helps us see our edges, and know our feelings intimately. We feel focused and busy when pushing the boundaries, and our bodies and brains create chemicals that invite us to see our surroundings with a new kind of sharpness. We see ourselves with immediate clarity when waiting on the edge, prepared for the unknown.

This is a small example of addictions I see on my loved ones or myself. Not a single one of these things is something we must have to get the benefit we are seeking from it. As a matter of fact, they all get in the way of truly creating and seeing our own ability to get these benefits addiction free.

However, I have never striven for an addiction free life. Just one where I see my addictions clearly, and am honest about them. After all, my mom's addiction to adopting challenged children--and inviting other challenged adults and teens to stay in our home while they put together pieces of their lives--not only saved my brothers and helped many others, but enhanced my own world and made it beautiful.

I think it's quite possible that my mom's addiction to loving seemingly unlovable people, and teaching me to do the same (because it actually didn't come natural to me, sadly), began the creation of my addiction to seeing. 

I have a very real addiction to seeing how my choices--new and old-- look and feel on me. And to seeing how they are touching and effecting my world, especially my immediate world.

I think then, what I'm suggesting and sharing, is that we all accept ourselves and our loved ones as completely human and easily addicted. But that we always keep an eye on what those addictions are and what we believe we're getting from them.

And to keep in mind that always we can see what we're hoping to see, get what we're hoping to get, without that addiction. We can be creative, pain free, energized, focused, comfortable, safe, aware of our edges, and see ourselves with sharp clarity. We don't need a vice, just intention. 

For many of us, that attention to addiction will keep us on a mostly healthy path. And for those of us who can't quite swing seeing the addiction clearly, please reach out and let others give you a hand.

Because there are also many of us who adore giving a helping hand and sharing our time and ideas with others. It helps us see our own beliefs with new eyes, and encourages us to know the value of difference, and the power of connection.

And that is something I'm pretty okay with being addicted to!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers