I hand flap. I finger wave. I bounce. I rock, sway, and spin. Sometimes I’ll organize and line up objects (like candy LOL) to create a sense of order in my usual chaos. Those are only a few of my stims, and I choose to no longer be embarrassed by them. They make me happy. They make my brain happy. They calm and soothe when I’m overloaded, excite and stimulate when I’m underloaded. It’s my balance. For a very very long time I hid these things, for fear of seeming even weirder than I already am. I recently realized that I’m much happier not hiding these things. I’m a quirky aspie, and I’m fine with it.
Lately, there has been a lot of stress in my life, and for the past few days, I’ve hit meltdown point after meltdown point. Today I did nothing but stim in my office at work. I rocked, bounced, and spun in my chair. I flapped my hands and waved my fingers in front of my face. I was happy, and I got a lot done. I’m a productive aspie, and I’m fine with it.
I obsess over puzzles, and I love my Rubik’s cubes. I almost always have one with me. Twisting them is a stim for me. Just twisting and turning the sides over and over again, even if I’m not actually trying to solve it, is calming. Actually solving the puzzle is both calming and exciting. Jigsaw puzzles (both digital and physical) and the like are things I find are visual stims. Moving things around and finding their proper place, watching the image come together, makes for a happy brain. Sometimes I find it difficult to stop, but that’s okay. I’m a puzzle-loving aspie, and I’m fine with it.
Sometimes I get cranky with my kids. They can be hyper and loud, with shrill voices, and the sibling fighting can get to be too much. I get overloaded and upset and want to be left alone. These are my less-proud moments, but it is what it is. Sometimes, when one of them would get hurt, I used to tell them to “shake it off.” They would look at me confused for a second, then I’d say it again and demonstrate by flapping my hands. I’d get them to do it, and then ask if they felt better. They’d smile and tell me “yes” and I’d send them on their way. I don’t know if it actually took away the pain, or if they just felt so silly that they’d forget about it altogether, but it always worked. Stimming feels good, even if you aren’t an autistic/aspie. But I am an aspie, and I’m fine with it.
If you’re an aspie, embrace it. If you aren’t an aspie, embrace one. Just make sure they’re okay with it first. ;)
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