Burnout #ActuallyAutistic

The last few months I have been expierencing extreme burnout. For me it has caused masive meltdowns and doubting myself. I am realising the almost fifty years of masking. This means I have been trying to fit in.

One of the biggest things I am struggling, is being social. Even in a virtual world, it is becoming increasingly hard to socialise. The problem is because I am burnt out, my energy levels are so low. Also I have had an issue with maintaining my emotions.

My meltdowns have been more regular of late, these leave me exhausted and irritable. I feel that I am constantly fighting myself everyday.

This part of my journey, has to be the hardest part. As I write this, I have started a new part of my journey, my GP has referred me for an ADHD assessment, hopefully this will help me understand myself.

Burnout is not a nice thing to be dealing with. It is, sadly all too common. One of the things that society can do is be paitent with late diagnosed autistics. We have lived a long time trying to fit in

Awareness or acceptance

Every year for one week, everyone becomes an autism expert. Lighting up blue and getting their puzzle pieces out.

Both of these are symbols of a hate organisation “Autism $peaks”. An organisation that wants to cure autism.

Even though I was on diagnosed a year ago, I have always been autistic. The one thing I have noticed, the only thing some charities want to do is help neurotypical parents with neurodiverse children. They support ABA, which is nothing less than conversation therapy. The same as gay conversion therapy.

There seems to be very little acceptance of autistic people. People tend to infantalise us, talk down to us.

Autism isn’t just for a few days a year, we live with it for a lifetime. It’s time to treat all autistics as the humans we are.

Time for acceptance and ditching the blue and puzzle piece.

One year on #ActuallyAutistic

This time a year, we lived in a different world. We could go out without masks and no “social distancing.

These things weren’t on my mind, I was still grieving for my mum and waiting for confirmation either way.

Well on 24th March 2020, I got the call confirming my diagnosis. Even though I thought it would confirm that I was autistic, it still came as a shock.

Initially, felt numb and then a sense of relief that I hadn’t been wrong. As the weeks and months went on, I found that there was a lot of anger and resentment.

I struggled to overcome the feelings of not being good enough or even able. There were days, when I just wished that I hadn’t been through the whole process. I got to the point where, I considered the ultimate option.

I have found that, I’m still learning about my neuro type. Which is a great as I am connecting to other autists.

Where am I at now? I’m in a place where I’m beginning to see my worth and embrace who I truly am.

So, what next. To be honest, I am taking every day as it comes.

Boundaries and abuse

Boundaries have been a weakness of mine for years. Some of my boundaries have been too strong and some have been weak.

Let me start with the biggest issue,  people pleasing.  I have always struggled to say no. This causes a lot of problems, mainly people just expecting you to always say yes. Even when you don’t want to.  It also becomes an unhealthy coping strategy.  From my experience,  there have been times when it has left me vulnerable and caused stress.

I now see that being autistic, has contributed to this. Trying to fit in with the neurotypical people.

The next issue comes with closing myself off to others.  This has hurt both myself and my family and friends.

So now I’m trying to build healthy boundaries. By starting to say no, when needed and to try and trust others.

The last few weeks I have made progress, because I am starting to understand myself better and accepting my autistic self, as who I am.

Living life in high definition

Over the last eleven months, I have come to understand how my senses are affected by autism.

As with all autistics, my sensory issues are unique. My main issue is sound,  I can hear the smallest sound and sometimes my brain just shut out all sound.

It’s like living with full surround sound all the time. Sometimes I wish I could switch off the noise.

Certain lights also cause me difficulties.

One of the benefits of my sensory profile, is how I feel in the wind. It makes me feel so alive.

I am now,  beginning to really understand myself better but I still have a lot to learn.

New year #ActuallyAutistic

So, the start to my year has been tough. It’s almost a year since my diagnosis and the reality of dealing with my past, has become evident.

After the euphoria of getting the diagnosis has lifted and I can see there is so much work to do.

I’m realising that the autism may have made my trauma more difficult to deal with. Realising that some of my biggest struggles are communication and emotional regulation

I’m realising that my vulnerability, may have paid a part in the mental health problems, I’m experiencing now.

Since my diagnosis I have had no support. It has taken a mental health crisis, to finally get support. I have been told that I should have had some support.

Unpacking forty years of feelings

As I write this it’s eight months since diagnosis, I thought that it would answer some questions. I thought that I could get the answers in this short time.

However it is not the case. It seems that I have only scraped the surface. over the last week or so, I have realised that this is going to take a while. It is not going to be easy to do as, there is a lot of grief and pain. Most of it becaue of not being diagnosed as a child, even though I struggled and never achieved what I was capable of.

How do you sort through all these feelngs and begin to heal and understand. At the moment, I am learning how my senses are affected by my enviroment and the world as a whole. It feels so overpowering at times, I just want to hide. I have spent so long masking and trying to be “normal”, I feel I lost the real me. On my report, the assessor proudly wrote “the client has managed to mimick others, so to fit in”.

So hear, I am struggling to understand myself, because I cannot understand my past. I am not sure if I will ever fully understand, my past. But I need to try, because I need to move on and be the quirky person, I am meant to be.

Finding my Feet

So here I am, almost eight months on. It has been a rough time, learning to adjust to understanding the diagnosis and how it has affected me. I ahve gone through grief, anger, saddness and the realisation that I am not defective.

As time has gone on, I have found that my voice can help other autisics. There are some in the Autism Community, whose voices can’t be heard. I feel that as someone with lower support needs, I can advocate for them.

Over the last few months, I’ve managed to make some friends and people who support others. They have shown me that as a community we can work together to make a better society, where autistics support evereyone. Including those who self identfy, because they can’t obtain a diagnosis.

Because of the pandemic, I have had to adjust more than I expected. As time has gone on, I have learned so much about how autism is both a benefit and a curse.

Real feelings

So back in March, I thought I’d be so happy that I was diagnosed.

My feelings are now more about grief and anger. I feel that I have, may have underestimated the strength of these feelings and their consequences.

For the first time since this process started, I feel that I could really benefit from support.

I have not received any support or even the offer. The assessment team did try and keep in touch.

At the moment i feel lost.