Justin wanted to share how music = stimming and what it means to him. How many of you can relate??
Music has gotten me through more things in my life than a counselor ever could. I learned that music has been a stim for me just recently, without even trying or meaning to. All through high school, if you saw me, 99.999% of the time I had headphones on and a CD player in my hoodie pocket (PS, It’s Washington, everyone wears a hoodie!). The only time I really didn’t have headphones on it was class or if I was hanging out with my best friend Daniel.
My favorite genre of music is rock/metal, but I’ll listen to pretty much every genre there really is. I listen to Britney Spears, Slipknot, Lamb of God, then suddenly switch over to opera (yes, opera) or rap. I grew up listening to oldies on the radio with my parents, and any time we went anywhere they would turn on the oldies.
Describing me and music is hard cause I love it, in fact I live for music, but I couldn’t sing you one bit of lyrics. I know the lyrics–I research what they mean and what the artist meant by them, but I could literally memorize them and the second the song comes on–lyrics gone. I have no idea what they’re going to sing. I think that’s part of autism, but man, it sucks! I always tell my wife that I’m jealous because she can remember the lyrics to songs she’s heard once (jerk lol!). But I’ll listen to one song maybe 100 times in a week and not be able to tell you one lyric. I also get beats of songs stuck in my head, which is equally annoying. I don’t know the beat to anything (and God help you if you need CPR, because I couldn’t remember the beat to Staying Alive if you paid me). This also means I have zero rhythm. I realize I’m a white guy, so it’s okay, but I can’t even remember the song I just listened to or its rhythm. I’ve also been known to listen to a song and get one little second stuck in my head– like the way a singer will enunciate a word or sentence, so I’ll rewind and listen to literally like a second or listen to it 15 or 20 times. It’s kind of strange, but I think that’s part of the stimming of music.
If I’m having a particularly annoying Aspie day (as my wife calls them), I will blast music–usually rock, and it helps me calm down or relax a little so I’m not as wound up. Up until recently I didn’t even know what stimming was, and music helps so much more than I could ever think it would.
What do you guys think? Music has helped me a lot too, but I can only imagine the ways it helps my Aspie husband. Do you stim with music? Leave me a comment!