Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Thoughts On Autism and Suicide

I am going to preface this post by saying I am not going to kill myself. I'll even say it twice. I am not going to kill myself. Now that that is out of the way...

The disability community has been abuzz recently due to articles like this - People on the autism spectrum live an average of 18 fewer years than everyone else, study finds and I have hesitated to share them on Facebook because I don't want people, my children specifically, to worry. Turns out I have too many thoughts on the subject to keep my mouth shut, though.

I have an odd mixture of horror and relief reading about the suicide stats. Nine times more likely to commit suicide? 14% of autistic children think about suicide? I'm horrified for my tribe but relieved to know on some level that it's not just me being 'crazy' again. This sense of doom that I have lived with my whole life has a reason to exist.

I'm a bi, Autistic whose mother committed suicide. That's, what? Like the Trifecta of Doom? The other day I thought,"I probably have something like a 1 in 10 chance of not killing myself", but it actually made me giggle. Partly because I'm kind of twisted like that but mainly because I have this little voice in my head that gets really scrappy when people try telling me what I'm supposed to do. Oh,'re saying I'm expected to kill myself? Pffft. Bite me. Just for that I won't even if I really, really wanted to.

And there are some moments when I do want to. Life can be really hard and the thought of a nice long dirt nap has its appeal but I would never do that to my family. I don't want my kids to ever know that feeling of doom. Right now I'm at that magical age (43) that my mother was when she died. I had professionals tell me for decades that this would be a hard year for me but, again, don't tell me what I'm supposed to feel or do. Scrappy kicks in. And while the subject has been on my mind lately it has had much more to do with the Swedish study and less to do with any feeling of connection to her.

The sense of doom is just something there to live with, like the tremor or the feeling of being a freak. It breaks my heart to think that so many of my tribe feel the same but at least we're not alone in this. This world is not autism friendly so it's not 'crazy' to have thoughts of escaping it. We just need to try and focus on the things in it that are worth staying here for.

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