Saturday, 13 October 2012

How Aspergers is like a risotto

In Aspie circles, the word "acceptance" has a lot of baggage.

To some people it means doing nothing, just assuming that how things are now is as good as they're ever going to be.  Giving up.  That's not what it means to me.  

It means making the best of what you have, even if what you have is far from ideal, rather than yearning for what you don't.

Let's use an analogy...

You're hungry.


You have a pasta craving the like of which has never been seen.  But you've got no pasta in the house, and it's two days before payday and you're skint, so you can't just scoot off to the shops and get some.

But you have rice.

You can resent the rice's presence, cuss it out for not being pasta, and go hungry while you surf the web looking up ways to turn rice into pasta.

Or you could make a risotto.

Risotto is more complicated than pasta and takes more time, care, attention, and stirring.  It's also not what you were expecting when you set off to the kitchen in the first place.  But it's tasty, gives you the same carb-hit as pasta, and it fills your belly.

Similarly, when I first got diagnosed (discovered I only had rice in the cupboard) I scoured all over for cures and treatments and things that'd make me "better" (turn the rice into pasta).  That didn't work, because there isn't such a thing.

But what does work is finding ways to better manage the condition.  I function less well when I'm tired, therefore I accept that I need a lot of sleep and plan my days accordingly, rather than going out late or pulling all-nighters and then cussing at my body for malfunctioning the next day.  Diet makes a difference, managing my physical health and comfort makes a difference, glasses with transitional lenses and foam earplugs and working out a proprioceptive-impairment-friendly way to dismount the back of a ute all make a difference.

My life's still not a carbonara.  It never will be.  But my risotto's not bad at all.

Risotto with speck and goat cheese