Friday, December 23, 2011

Stims, Tics, and Freedom

I wish I could stop the majority of my stims. It is sort of weird to imagine my life without the stim in charge of my impulses. It is hard to explain what it feels like to people who have never stimmed, though perhaps you can imagine if you have tics or weird habits that are hard to stop. I see kids playing with their hair, gum, biting their nails. These are stim-like, though not as compelling, I’m sure. Stims are not conscious. They are relaxing, distracting, or invigorating depending on which one it is. Some are entertainment stims too.

The problem with stims us that they make me and other autistic people remote, detached, and hard to connect to. I think this is how stims are different than biting nails, for example, which is a habit. Biting nails isn’t a doorway into another realm, but stims are. It is the reason why I find it hard to eliminate them from my life.

They are compelling, tempting, and easily accessed. To resist is hard beyond imagining. I think I’d love to have just one stim free day to have a respite and see what life can be without stims in it. Would it be boring or flat, or just calmer? I don’t know. I guess I would quickly adjust to a new way if it was available, but it isn’t as of yet.

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