Last summer, after many years of suspecting, and several years on a waiting list, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It’s taken me a while to talk about on here, and there are still people in my daily life that I haven’t told, because of the stigma that often pops up around the word autism.
I was scared people would jump to conclusions about me and my personality, or assume that all my quirks and weirdness are just autism, and not my personality. Working with tapes and tape collectors fuels all sorts of autism jokes, I didn’t want to be the ‘typical autistic tape lover’.
Having spent months now finding other autistic women living their lives, and learning about my autism, I’m much more comfortable and sure of myself. My autism has always been there, it’s part of what makes me who I am, but it’s not who I am.
And I’m ready for people to know that now. It doesn’t change who I am or the things that I’ve done, and if someone thinks it does that’s much more their issue than mine.
Having a diagnosis has explained so many behaviours and events through my life, and knowing why I’m awkward, or why I find it so difficult to be myself around friends, makes it a lot easier to work on being able to function better. Knowing I’m autistic lets me figure myself out without this blank, empty space of wondering why I feel so different from other people.
I want to talk more about autism and being autistic. My older brother is autistic, as is my boyfriend, so I’ve always been aware of, and wanted to educate people about autism, but didn’t feel it was my place.
Now, it is my place, because I’m autistic. And it’s a way bigger deal than you might think because it explains so much, and having answers doesn’t fix the problem, but it gives you the tools you need to start working on a solution to help.
It’s not about to become the main focus of me or my blog, but from here on out there will be most posts about autism. People’s awareness of the spectrum, and how different everyone with autism is, being raised would make life so much easier and less nerve wracking. Why not be one of the people helping raise that awareness?
I’m obviously not some famous blogger with thousands of fans that are gonna go mad about this, but I have a little group of regular readers that I love having around and always notice, and I really hope this doesn’t change what you think about me at all. I’m still just me, now I’m just more aware of some of the stuff that makes me me.