Ambs blogs about life with Asperger Syndrome
I was officially diagnosed with the syndrome in 2009, when I was 13-years-old. I didn’t know anything about autism back then; in fact I don’t think I had ever heard of the condition before, and all of a sudden I was told I have this life-long ‘disability’.
I remember my mum sitting me down and telling me. I just said ‘okay’ and left the room. I didn’t process it and I didn’t accept it. I wouldn’t accept it for a long time to come and this would cause me to suffer from depression and anxiety. I constantly felt like I had a sign hanging around my neck declaring to the world that I was ‘different’ from them. I always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb when in reality I didn’t.
For a few years after my diagnosis I was in a pretty dark place, I moved schools a lot as those schools couldn’t accommodate my needs. I was bullied in year nine and that definitely took its toll on me when I was already feeling low. This is where it got really bad for me, I started to self harm and I completely withdrew from everything, and ended up getting signed off from school.
“I constantly felt like I had a sign hanging around my neck declaring to the world that I was ‘different’ from them”
Unfortunately I never got my GCSE’s despite having once been on fast track to get them.
Four years later, I still hadn’t accepted my diagnosis. I couldn’t even hear the word without feeling disgusting – like I was a freak. I went to college and successfully passed my course but I was still so unhappy and in denial about my condition. I struggled to make friends and maintain any friendships I managed to form. I didn’t really leave the house.
Now I’m 19 and although I still struggle with my mental health and diagnosis at times, I am much happier than I have ever been and have some really great friends. I go to film conventions and have met lots of people through these events and my old theatre company.
“I couldn’t even hear the word without feeling disgusting – like I was a freak”
If you are being bullied, please tell someone! Remember that you don’t have to tell your teacher or parents if you don’t feel comfortable, but DO tell someone who is going to be able to help in a positive way – like Ditch the Label!
In life there will always be challenges to overcome, whether big or small. The biggest challenge that I have overcome so far is being confident enough to try new things and actually commit to them. I am so proud of myself for how far I have come in the past few years; I’m most proud of writing a manuscript, I haven’t done anything with it, but I stuck with that one project until it was complete.
If I could tell my younger self one thing, I would tell her to keep pushing for what you want. It may not feel like you’re getting anywhere but one day you’ll look back and see how far you have come.
On my down days, and I’ll be honest with you, I have my fair share, I put on my favourite film or tv show, or read my favourite book and listen to my favourite album. And I read through Lin-Manuel Miranda’s good morning and good night tweets – they never fail to give me a boost when I need it. I don’t know what I’d do without the lovely Lin’s tweets to read when I’m feeling low, they always get me motivated and out of bed.
If you are having a bad day and just want to stay in bed, try to get up for at least an hour and get something done; make yourself a cuppa tea or bake a cake. Don’t let days go to waste because they soon start merging into one and that is a dull existence. Believe me!