I feel I have to spend so much time thinking in social situations (and many others). Is there a reason why Aspies have to think all the time? Perhaps even an evolutionary one?
I had a really interesting thought a couple of weeks ago: Whenever I’m in a social situation I always have to “figure things out”. I have to think, analyze and make almost calculated guesses about what’s going on – and I still fail to catch some things anyway (and I actually hate guessing as well). As far as I have understood, when you are an NT (Neurotypical – normal, I think I have used and explained that term before…) you don’t have to analyze and intellectualize so much, you just “have a feeling” and go on your “gut instincts”.
Of course what’s really happening in an NT is also a kind of analysis and the use of intellectual resources, it just doesn’t happen out in the open, and it doesn’t have to be started whenever the social or similar situation arises, in fact, I believe few (if any?) NT can turn it off. For an Aspie, on the other hand, this analysis has to be turned on, every time.
There are two advantages to an Aspie here. First of all, he (or she) has to think and analyze all the time. With this thinking, I believe there’s either the opportunity to just stop the analysis and look at the situation as if it was completely strange. Like, how would an alien that had never ever seen humans, humanoids or even carbon based life forms, look on human social interactions? And is there perhaps something that can be learned from having someone that isn’t so extremely alien be able to take on that role and have a look “from the outside” for a while?
The other opportunity an Aspie has while being forced to analyze all the time is, of course, that nothing happens on instinct and the opportunity to stop and say, “Hey what the hell are we doing, exactly, and why?” are much higher.
I cannot count the number of times I have questioned bull shit about non-present colleagues, fishy or panicked ways of trying to solve project problems, or just stepped outside the “aquarium” and had an unusual and sometimes brilliant idea.
Just after I had my diagnosis I felt really disabled. I got sick leave from work (first 75%, then 50%) and it felt like everything around me was in a kind of panic mode. This Asperger/ADHD thing really was a disability.
Now, after three years I’m still here, the world is still here, and hey, I haven’t fallen through the roof… much :D… I’ve started doing one thing though… I’m starting to see that perhaps there’s a… well let’s not call it a plan – but there’s definitely a use for people like me… It all seems to boil down to a few basic truths, like, don’t use a hammer to dig a hole and don’t try to shave with the buzz saw… OK, what I mean to say is that as an Aspie you have a larger need to figure out where your abilities are put to the best use… and of course, where you can feel relaxed and happy at the same time.