How to Survive as an Autistic Adult in America

Lots of HFA/Aspie/autistic adults such as myself may find it difficult to do even the simplest of non-disabled tasks. Tasks such as driving a car, moving out of your parents’ house, or even finding someone cute who likes you back can be monumental hurdles for adults with disabilities, especially if those disabilities are primarily mental, such as with autism.

Luckily, I’ve come up with this 5 step guide to help you, as an American with autism, survive in today’s world.

Step 1: Be a Techie

If you have autism, you need to love computers. I don’t just mean video games. You need to love coding, assembling microchips, providing IT support, and all that good stuff. If you are more artistically-minded or if you don’t live anywhere close to Silicon Valley, stop doing that immediately. People with autism are not allowed to be artists, unless they are already well-off with a lot of established connections. The arts — especially the world of publishing, comics, and literature — is no place for a low-to-middle class person with autism and no connections. You need to be a techie, no matter how much you hate it or how little talent/motivation you have for it.

Step 2: Be Grateful

As a disabled adult, your primary purpose is to give non-disabled people inspiration. You’re supposed to help other people realize that they have the inner strength necessary to overcome life’s problems. Your own problems don’t matter. No  matter how bad your life is, remember that you don’t get to complain ever. Complaining, like job satisfaction, is for those of sound mind and body only. So be grateful for everything you have, even if everything you have would reduce a non-disabled person to a quivering  mass of horror and panic were your situations reversed.

Step 3: Accept All Advice

People are going to be giving you advice. No matter how terrible it is, you have to take it. If you don’t, you are Ungrateful. And there is nothing worse for a disabled person to be than Ungrateful. Remember, techniques that people without disabilities say work will work for you, even if you’ve already tried them to no avail 14,000 times. Clearly, you are not trying hard enough or you just aren’t doing it right. Try their advice again and again. But remember, even if you do go quite mad from all this effort, you are not allowed to complain or even to politely decline anyone’s advice. Unless that advice comes from someone else with a mental or physical disability. Their experience doesn’t count.

Step 4: Remember that Your Opinions, Feelings, and Interests Do Not Matter

All that matters in this world is what other people tell you matters. Your own opinions or feelings don’t come into it. Remember, your emotions, no matter how uncontrollable they may seem, are your own fault. If you feel a constant sense of dread that lasts for hours, days, weeks, or even months, it is entirely your fault because you are clearly too weak. You need to be stronger. Pray more, accept more advice, keep doing what other people tell you to do, even if it doesn’t make any sense. You don’t have a right to an explanation, a sense of peace or serenity, or a life filled with anything more than constant drudgery punctuated by joy. You don’t have any rights at all.

Step 5: It’s All Up to You

In the end, the only person who can help you succeed is you. If you’re not able to make the right connections or find the best jobs or if you blow an interview because you get manipulated into mentioning the fact that you do not drive, it’s your fault. You need to do better and try harder next time. It’s your responsibility to keep emailing contacts, even if you’re pretty sure at this point you’re just harassing them. Think outside the box, unless the advice-givers tell you not to.

It’s up to you to go and get that career/relationship/life other people think it’s within your ability to get. And if you can’t rise to their expectations, let alone your own, it is because you are weak. Remember, there are lots of famous people from history that we think may have probably didn’t have autism. So if you’re not at least as successful as them, it’s entirely your fault.

Step 6: Think Positive

While these steps may seem impossible, as you slowly allow yourself to go insane, you will begin to realize just how small we all are on this pathetic planet. You will realize that you are indeed the Lizard King and can do anything. As you tear through the veil separating this world from the next, rejoice and sing a song of fire and blood that brings this world to its knees. Remember, anything is possible!

Thirty Is Pretty Great

So. I don’t  have a comic for you this week. Probably won’t  have one next week. Will try to get one up by the holidays, but I think we may be looking at a June release, at the earliest. Very sorry. Grad school has proven a bigger bear than I anticipated. Scratch that. It’s proven EXACTLY as difficult as anticipated, and for that reason alone, my time for comicking has drastically been reduced.

Be that as it may, I will try to keep weekly updates going as long as I am able. Maybe throw a few In His Spare Time’s at you. See what happens.

Now, to address the title of this post. I turned 30 in April. So far, being 30 is kind of amazing. Having my mind blown constantly by all the ignorance and ridiculousness of modern society and how this ignorance has infected and infested our public school system. But I’m also learning about the great, unsung heroes of my nation, and for that, I am grateful and inspired.

Also new this year: The amount of farts I give has been growing steadily closer to zero. And it is amazing. Tyler Durden was right. There is an amazing amount of freedom you gain from being able to let that which does not matter truly slide.

Update On Comic

Hey y’all.

Well, I’ve finally got my head on straight re: Bubblegum-Man. The big news for now is that there is no big news for now.

I’m fleshing out a plan to get Bubblegum-Man online within the next year or so, but I want to wait until I get the final drafts of the scripts done before illustrating and uploading. Probably to a separate website, unless I choose to just host them right here at williambrust.com.

So, yeah.

Sorry for the false alarm.

If it’s any consolation, the final product will be that much better!