Would I Get Rid of it if I Could?

I’ve been thinking tonight about having autism.  I was wondering if I had the ability to get rid of my autism would I do it?  This is a tough question for me.  While having autism is ingrained in me and my personality, I wonder if I’d be better off not having it at all.  Before the symptoms appeared at age 3, I was a very outgoing child, I’d whistle in public, I was all around rambunctious.  When age 3 came, I changed.  You can see it in my pictures.  I went from a smiley child to a kid who never showed her teeth and never looked happy.  Around age 3, I stopped talking except to my parents and sister.  I became reserved and quiet and I appeared to be depressed.  It is heartbreaking to see this child, me, in pictures because I just look so unhappy.  I didn’t start talking again until 4th grade and in 5th grade, I felt very comfortable with my classroom and even acted somewhat outgoing at times.

Would I get rid of my autism though?  While the diagnosis is still very new, it has been a part of me for most of my life, unknowingly.  I imagine my life would be so much easier if I wasn’t autistic.  I’d be able to handle myself in interviews, I’d be able to have a conversation and not feel completely weird and awkward about it.  I wouldn’t make other people feel awkward just by being me.  If I could get rid of it, I’d be considered normal.  I’d be able to date and fall in love without being uncomfortable about it.  If I didn’t have autism though, I wouldn’t have an interesting story about my life.  I feel like I’ve lived many lives in just one.  There was my selective mutism years, then my depressed years, then my relapsed depressed years and now my autistic years.  I have had more happen to me than the average person and it makes me an interesting person, I believe.  I have stories to tell, which is why I am a writer.  If I could get rid of my stories, my history, my interesting side, I wouldn’t be me.  I’d be someone who never had anything happen to them.  I’d be boring and I am certain I wouldn’t be a writer.  “Curing” my autism would not be the answer for me.  While I have not completely accepted having autism, I feel it is something to be proud of.  It’s something unique that not many people have and I have a different perspective on life because of it.  In a nutshell, I would not get rid of my autism if I could.  I wouldn’t be me if I did.

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