Many times when anyone is given a lifelong diagnosis, they or those that care for them think of all the things they will miss out on in life and if they will have the same lives as others. They may want to give up hope and the possibilities or continually live in a sense of doubt or fear. I am here to tell you that you can fight the doubts if you want to
To even say as I am writing this post that some of the things for myself that I thought would never happen in fact do. You just have the hope and know that if you can make it happen, don’t doubt your dreams and try your best. You may stumble and fall down in the process, but as I have been, you have to be resilient and rebuild and try again. Being patient isnt my best quality, but I have learned if you give something your all that you truly want to happen it will. It may happen without you knowing it.
When that moment arrives, you will be so proud of yourself that you will be gleaming from ear to ear that you reached that milestone. Growing up, skill learning and building was very challenging for me while navigating puberty, challenging behaviors, and bullying in addition to the doctors appointments and years of treatment after learning my host of my ASD and mental health diagnoses. While I always knew that I was “different” and fighting all of my personal battles, I missed out on many opportunities to actually be a teenager, grow and learn the things that a person my age should be learning and enjoying.
Some Days when I was a teenager, the goal was to make it through the day. Most of the time, with the assistance of my parents, family and support workers that were intended to aid me in getting better, yet autism at my level was rather new with the professionals that were involved in my treatment and it was a try and see approach most days with again the goal of just hitting baseline many times.
With my growth being stunted after treatment and getting through my high school career, which was mostly good, it was hard to believe that I would after fighting all the challenges with and still having my parents within a healthy family unit upon graduation. While grounding myself into a routine until post-secondary plans could be secured, again fighting the doubters (with my parents and educators’ advocacy) I was able to do so.
Looking back at that opportunity some 15 or more years later, there are some things I wish I would had the courage to do back then and be more outgoing so that I possibly would have been able to been understood, however, I have made connections to those that I thought were important and mended bridges that they saw the signs of what I needed to get across and understood, which has made me glad that I am at a good place with that.
As I continued to mature into being more of who I am now, it came with its faults and times where things had to be repaired and rebuilt in many instances, but it doesn’t mean that progress has been made more than regression has. I’ve done many things that people given my diagnosis wouldn’t have had the capability of doing on their own – even without the assistance of those who were intended to support me. Sometimes you have to take a breath and remember those days where you hit a snag in your growth and realize that it was a learning curve for you to remind yourself to not repeat history.
As such, when I hit rock bottom two years ago, I regressed some that I thought that I would never be at the state of happiness that I left for a very long time, in fact I thought even at this juncture I would still be waiting to start picking up the pieces.
It has been through pure luck that I have been able to bounce back from rock bottom so quickly and get the pieces back together and even advance some more beyond where I left things before I and the world crashed.It doesn’t mean that my journey is over, as I still need to learn how to do more things to have a fulfilling life. I deserve to have it because I have been so stunted from living my best life for so long that I know that I can do anything that I can put my mind to.