I have autism. I got diagnosed when I was 12. In December, I believe. I’ve come a long way, and I’m proud of that! Growing up, I used to be really shy. Now I’m making an effort to reach out and make new friends. That’s a huge step of bravery for me, especially since I’ve had trust issues with failed friendships in the past. But now I’ve decided, my past is no longer determining my future. I have been a part of this group called The Independence Center and I’m learning a lot of interesting and useful hobbies like yoga, mindfulness, and gardening. I love learning new skills, and making new friends.
However… I’m 27 already and I’ve never really had a dating life. That’s why I said I’m a mistake. I feel like I’m getting into all of this pretty late. Like I mentioned, understanding those social cues just doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s just like learning a foreign language. Dating apps, tried them, didn’t really get anyone interested in me. I’m not drop dead gorgeous, but I do have a kind, caring and open minded heart. And I’m not exactly in a situation where I can date because I live with family, and I’m high functioning on SSI. Yes I look normal on the outside but my brain functions differently. I’m not entirely helpless. But there are some things that yes, I still need help with. As a Christian with very conservative values I feel like I don’t belong either. I hold to my “old fashioned morals” not because I’m forced but because they’re my choice. I like being different and being a good role model. For now, I’m trying my best! I can overcome social anxiety with self confidence! And if I fall in love with someone else, ok.
But for now, I’m in the healing process of loving myself. Self love. Practicing self care, whether it’s reading, listening to music or an audiobook, yoga or skincare, helps me be gentle with myself. I would describe myself as creative, sensitive, and an introvert. I’m learning that sure, all of these make me a bit different, but they also make me unique, rare and beautiful.
I also journal, and like to cook/bake, watch cartoons or something funny, draw, look at art or comic strips. Putting on music and dancing, or watching my favorite Disney channel comedies always lifts my spirits! Creative writing has been one of my gifts as well. Mindfulness also helps me reduce trauma, and extra stress which I love. And, mindfulness also strengthens my self acceptance and confidence. It’s hard, and there are obstacles to overcome. You see, I faced a lot of bullying and gaslighting in school. But I’m getting my confidence back. It’s hard, and there are obstacles to overcome. But why not use this as an opportunity to promote more diversity and inclusion, and inspire my community? I can do it, I know I can!