All You See Is Highfunctioning

Danette Makaila
4 min readNov 22, 2021

I feel like a failure...but all you see is high functioning.

My brain collapses and blazes burning down every train of thought that connects you and me.

I try to think. To produce one simple task but my head is on fire trying to do the one thing you ask.

I try to speak. But my words aren't there. They are missing in action or a bumbling array. You say SPEAK! We're going forward not backwards today. But my brain is the part of me malfunctioning not my will or my way. I didn’t ask to be this way.

I try to read. But the words blur into solid blocks and the letters switch around from have you had to you have not. Lines become billboards with numbers and dots and one words pops out when there are 100 words that matter a whole lot.

I try to listen. But I zone out in one phrase, I concentrate on my daydreams and lose what was said. I try to pretend like I didn't miss a beat. But I'm stuck in a ditch hoping someone will repeat.

I try to eat. But I prefer my food bland. I hate when it's oily, chewy, juicy, too flavorful, or just off hand. I smell everything before I eat, because that's just how life should be, if it smells off in any way, it's definitely not going in me!

I can only handle so much before I break down and crack. I start to mess up on little things like forgetting to take my medicine or being too exhausted to feed my self.

My brain can't focus on the things I'm best at anymore, not even art, or the flow of written word. I start to studer then slur and eventually my voice completely fails me. I am lost in my head and can't make it from point a to point b. Even though my brain is still circulating all the points and pieces to z...

But you would just look at me and simply call me High Functioning.

I am simply me. I am the definition of what it means to be smart or clever and autistic in your terribly over functioning world. Though, I can never keep up, no matter how hard I try. My disability is always like a leash to me. No matter what route I go, or accommodations I make, it is never enough to feel whole.

I don't have a high iq. It's below average which I'm sure might shock a few. I don't speak or think at the speed of light it takes me hours to catch up to what you might know is right - like which way is left and which way is right.

I can't read a clock or do simple math because that's not the beauty of what I offer to this world and I shouldn't have to try so hard to fit in. I no longer want to trap myself in this prison. It's okay if you think I'm stupid.

Sure, I was the kid in advanced reading and doing multiplication tables by memory earlier than most. The kid who could read you chapter books or any big word on a wall. But THAT kid no longer thrives with those things.

But I am now the adult who can write children's books that feed people's souls, I am the adult that can care and nuture those around her to see the best in themselves and be a CHAMPION for everyone! I am the adult that doesn't let anything hold her down from her purpose and her dreams ✨

I am AUTISTIC and by association chronically ill. Everyday I wake up feeling like half of a person but I realize now that I will do whole person things in my own time and in my own way... please don't belittle us by calling us highfunctioning - you don't know the whole story 💛

ANYDAY OF THE WEEK I CAN EXPERIENCE:
Paralysis
Seizures
Severe Miagraines
Self Harm
Loss of Speech
Loss of taste, smell or distorted hearing
Sensory Overload
Stimming
Meltdowns/Shutdowns/Crying Spells
Inability to swallow/eat/take medicine
Inability to use the restroom unaccompanied
Spelling and comprehension difficulties
Need to be spoonfed and kept alert
The overwhelm of too many sounds at once or too many questions directed to you at once
Allergic Reactions
Symptoms of ADHD
Nausea & Dizziness
Anxiety & Depression
Dyslexia & Dyscalculia
Severe Stomach Aches
Insomnia & Fatigue

Just to name a few.

You have no idea what it is like to be autistic or even worse have comorbid conditions - don't think that you can so easily split us off into sections just based on what you see from the outside looking in.

You say I am constantly too shy too empathic too dramatic too sensitive too loving too naive. NO. I AM ME & AND I WAS MADE PERFECTLY JUST THE WAY I AM!

I'm not afraid to be autistic. ARE YOU?

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Danette Makaila

Daydreamer, Artist, & Author. ✌🏽🌎❤ Just a girl, striving to change the world, from the inside --> out, through art, philosophy, love & light…