If I could go back and tell the younger me anything “I probably wouldn’t say anything#autismawarenessmonth

Without the suffering and struggling I wouldn’t be where I am today. I think I had enough issues dealing with racism to be adding the public stigma of autism to that. I honestly don’t think I would be here had that happened – I’m a big believer in things happen for a reason. 

As a child I hated the colour of my skin. I scratched my face off my school form photo in secondary school due to the self hate from the racist abuse. I know now that being autistic and undiagnosed I processed things a lot different – but the majority of my life I thought that was down to there being something deeply wrong with me! I now know and accept this to be that I am, and always have been autistic, and that’s okay.

Having the diagnosis has changed my life for the better.

I believe that the trauma I experienced and my childhood environment impacted me significantly, due to the way I process things.

I still don’t blame anyone or anything as that mindset gets us nowhere – it’s about where I am now and what I do with my time and how I control my environment to help me get the most out of my life. Since my diagnosis this is something I have dedicated my life to doing. 

Through discovering art and using it to express and process my feeling and emotions, it has given me a second birth. I know I am still at the start of my journey, but the feeling of being authentically myself is truely freeing. I am still navigating how to unmask and after over 40 years of masking it’s not something that you just click your fingers and then stop. Masking is an inherent part of how I am. Processing this has left me feeling lost at times and questioning who I really am (imposter syndrome) but I know that logically this is part of the process. 

My achievements since my diagnosis, my strong drive and determination would not be here had I not suffered. I guess that is easy to say now as I am at this point – but after multiple suicide attempts I nearly wasn’t! I am lucky to be here, and although I still struggle I now have big goals and see that I can help so many people who are in the same boat or don’t have a voice and that is what I have dedicated my life to doing – this is my purpose! 

Collaborating with so many beautiful inspiring forward thinking people gives me even more passion and drive to hit my (sometimes overwhelming) goals! If I can achieve so much in such a short space of time on my own, it excites me to think what can be done moving forward with like minded people who really want to make a difference.