Thank you for spreading around last week’s blog. When my brain is a bit more stable, I’m planning to work together with some friends to tackle the problem of radicalisation of autistic people. Today’s blog going to be a bit shorter after a few long blogs over the past few weeks.
This week I had a few rough days at the start of the week and crashed directly after reducing the quietiapine on Tuesday night. This meant that I had three days of not being able to do much from Wednesday, but was able to give the flat a deep clean yesterday. Today, I’ll take things slowly. I’m taking a long time coming to terms with not being as productive as I want to be on a daily basis. I really struggle with being ok with that, as my sense of self is based on what I do in the outside world, rather than “enjoying” my day. I need to work on that personally.
Over the past week, I have reduced my workload. I haven’t written my daybook for ages, I’m not spending hours learning Japanese. But I’m also cutting off internet time. Instead of spending hours a day simply passively scrolling and agreeing about how bad things are, I have more energy to recover faster and then make a positive difference. Of course what I want is to have every day be a full 8+ hour day of productivity, exercise, cleaning, special interests and excellence. But I can’t. It’s not fun, but that’s what it is unfortunately. Fighting it only makes it worse. For me, taking action against something means that the thing you fight becomes easier to overcome.
With spoons and productivity, it’s the opposite. If I put more energy into fighting myself, I end up with even less. As I’ve said before, there’s no right answer, but there are lots of wrong ones. The only thing I can do is rest and allow my brain to recover from being on a huge dose of a drug I’ve been on since 2012 and should never have been taking in the first place. Again, the way to being productive whilst reducing medication is not being productive in the world – all the productivity is being consumed by my brain dealing with life on less quietiapine.
I have been having meetings around autistic advocacy and training, including one about mental health, neurodiversity and intersectionality at Said Business School this Friday. It was brilliant, I’ll tell you more about it next week. Again, if you are interested in working with me, please contact me. I’ll meet you when the reducing’s over. 🙂
In the meantime, I’m adding a few links to change.org petitions about autistic people of colour, two in the UK, one in the US. The criminal justice system unfairly criminalises autistic young men of colour and the immigration system, already brutally unjust, is even worse towards autistic people of colour. All three of these cases are about autistic people with learning difficulties. All are examples of how intersectionality works, as confluences of oppression that add to and intensify one-another (if you need a reminder of what intersectionality is all about, look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjpS9CftpVo).
Autistic people are often told that we think in boxes, that we are black-white thinkers, that we are frightened of change. That may be so, but we are also hugely conscious of the world around us. Professor Geoff Bird is an autism researcher who challenges the misapprehension that autistic people “have no empathy”. This could not be further from the truth and his analysis challenges the very notion of what we understand empathy to be.
Signing these three petitions should not be the be-all and end-all, but empower you to do more. Inform yourselves and end the systemic injustices that punish people of colour for existing.
Osime Brown is in prison unfairly and is liable to be deported from the UK back to Jamaica, where he has no family connections and hasn’t been since he was four. This is no example of an immigration system failing- this is the system. The hostile environment is alive and well.
Matthew Rushin is being held in prison after an unfair trial that punished him for having a meltdown and continues to punish him for being autistic, not getting the care he requires. This is just another case in the US where being born black and autistic is often a death sentence. The examples of injustice in the US are rife at the moment. It’s gone on long enough.
https://www.change.org/p/home-office-please-grant-a-young-man-with-autism-and-learning-disability-a-chance-to-remain-in-the-uk I’m not sure what Fahad’s current status is, but the Change.org petition is still open. At the time of writing, Fahad was still awaiting asylum procedures. Again, this is the hostile environment doing exactly what it was meant to do: stop people of colour living in this country.
Please sign these petitions and change the systems that punish minorities for existing. Black Lives Matter.