Burnout, for me, is the absolute worst thing about being autistic. It fucking sucks. Burnout, for autistics, is when we are just done with the neurotypical world. We have to mask constantly, which is unbelievably tiring. Masking is basically having to act as society wants you to act, even if you can’t live up to the social expectations.
I tend to get burned out most by social situations. I have lived all of my life in abusive situations, first by my parents and then by my spouse. I was told that every social thing I did was wrong. I’m normally able to ignore my feelings of self doubt, but it all builds up inside. I like to compare it to an avalanche. That huge mountain of snow is made up of individual snowflakes. All it can take it that one last snowflake to cause an avalanche.
Lately, I’ve been burning out a fuck ton. When I’m burnt out, I question every single social interaction I do. I could say hi to someone and burst into tears because I was scared I fucked up that one word. I also get nonverbal and will go into comatose states when the burnout is too bad. I have no interest in doing anything. If I’m by myself and burnt out, I will sit on the couch for hours staring straight ahead because I literally can’t do anything else.
I’m not going to lie. Burnout is goddamn terrifying. I hate to lose control of my vessel. Shutting down is such a total loss of control. I often get scared that one day I’m going to burnout and not come back. After all, a rubber band only can stretch so far before it breaks.
For anyone interested in listening to the song that inspired the title for this article, here it is. I listen to this on repeat when I’m burnt out. Jamming to it always makes me feel better.