I’m not trying to be happy. Maybe you shouldn’t either.

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A few weeks ago I was reflecting on my life. At the time I was really struggling. My routines and support had been hugely impacted over Christmas and I was finding life really difficult. Fighting with my muddled brain and feeling very vulnerable.

As the supoort dropped I found myself in ‘coping’ mode more and more. Running up against the limits of what I could sustain.

Sometime during that period I read a comic by the outmeal about happiness and it started me thinking about the concept of happiness.

I don’t have happiness as a goal. My goals for a long time have been to have autonomy and to be productive.

By Autonomy I mean “being able to make meaningful decisions about my life.” and productive means “being able to do something positive which benefits others in a sustainable way”

I don’t think these goals ‘make me happy’. Instead they make me feel like I belong. They help me feel connected to the people around me and the society I live in. I feel part of a community while also protecting myself.

Being happy all the time isn’t what I want. I don’t want to chase a single feeling. I am a human and all emotions are part of being human.

Instead of trying to be happy, my aim is to maintain my autonomy and productivity in a way which is sustainable. Essentially, I want to avoid needing to be in a coping mode too often or for too long. To me. That’s better than happiness.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr