Becoming more public about my experiences as an autistic woman is honestly the best decision I have ever made in my 33 years of living. I would not trade it in for nothing, not even a million dollars. I am constantly getting support from parents of autistic children and it’s absolutely incredible. Nothing but joy overtakes me, knowing that sharing my stories can actually inspire someone else.
There’s a sag though. It’s not as easy as it looks.
As I am speaking more openly about Autism and being on the spectrum, I am quickly noticing the emotional toll it is taking on me. Whenever a parent of an autistic child reaches out to me, I feel like my 10 years old self all over again. The reminders of my childhood and the challenges I faced overtake me. In my heart, I think I discovered why there are not many autistic adults that are willing to discuss their past experiences. It’s not an easy feat being an autistic child. Being reminded of that in adulthood is heartbreaking. You so desperately want to be that beacon of hope for autistic children everywhere. Meanwhile, the awareness of the challenges these angels will face tears my heart out. Part of me wants to jump in and rescue them from their future hardships. I know that’s not possible. If only it was.
However, there is still good within all of this. Instead of holding onto my personal struggles as an autistic adult, I have decided to share my experiences in hopes of inspiring autistic children and their families. I want them to grow up with a positive perspective on life, even though there’s a bumpy road ahead of them. I am walking that bumpy road ever day, but getting too caught up on the negatives about autism only makes living with the disability harder. Yes, it’s a tough thing to discuss personal challenges. But, knowing that there are children who will face similar challenges is tougher.
For those who are concerned about me:
As far as a coping mechanism goes, journaling is part of my writing routine. It keeps me sane. So I do have a healthy outlet if steam has to be let out. Also, I am blessed to have a family who I can turn to for anything. Lastly, I am continuing medical treatment for severe depression and anxiety (commonalities in autistic adults). So no worries. I am okay 🙂
I will continue what I started, even though it’s very difficult. It was a calling that was put on my heart. The uncertainty as to where this leads scares me to death, but I will never know where this will lead if I stop. The journey must continue…