I want to escape myself. I feel trapped inside this damn shell of a human that is myself. I'm cursed with autism and I just can't take it: the sensory overload, the harder time learning, the fact I will never be understood properly or understand others. It feels painful. I find myself on the ground begging for it all to end, frequently, but I know I can't fix anything. I just wish there was a clear way out. What can I do to just stop feeling like this and become a normal human and not what I am right now?
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Thank you for writing. I know several friends and a family member with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and many of them are in the furry fandom. The bad news is that autism is not a curable mental condition. The GOOD news is that there are ways you can help yourself feel and function better in the world. One of them is to interact more with animals, and another is connecting to the furry fandom!
There have been numerous studies that show that people with ASD benefit greatly from owning pets, whether that pet is a dog or a cat or even a guinea pig, gerbil, or hamster, or big animals such as horses (there are a number of nonprofits that teach kids to ride and socialize with horses). Pets offer unconditional love and are not judgmental, which eases the stress of interacting with them versus with a human being. They offer comfort and physical touch, which are also very soothing and beneficial. They teach you about how to care for another living being, too, making sure they have healthy food, exercise, and medical care when needed. This, in turn, has been shown to improve social interactions with human beings as a result, whether they are peers in the classroom, family members, or people at work. You can read more about this at the Human Animal Bond Research Institute page at https://habri.org/research/child-health/autism/.
In a manner similar to human-animal bonds, people with ASD who interact in the furry fandom have had similar positive results. I believe that this is because of two reasons: the association of furries with animals and the generally welcoming and nonjudgmental environment of the furry family. Being a furry can be helpful because of the way that having a fursona or a fursuit or both can help create a safe buffer between people that eases the stress of social interaction and communication. When you are interacting as your fursona, you feel the relief of not being you for a while and being who you would really like to be. People with ASD have also commented that wearing a fursuit is comforting, like being wrapped in a protective blanket.
Although I don't have ASD, I can attest to this effect, too. For example, when in fursuit I was able to do karaoke on stage at a furcon, something I would be too self-conscious to do as myself. It sort of gives me a little insight into how this would work for someone such as you, BX3.
What can you do to "stop feeling like this" then? If you don't have a pet, I would highly recommend you get one (I prefer dogs myself, but whatever you enjoy is fine). I think you would also do well to interact with the furry community while in your fursona character. Both of these things can go a long way toward easing stress and improving your ability to interact with others in social situations.
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