“I am no longer that person”: An autistic addicts journey to self-forgiveness

Many people praise me for my kindness, and ability to engage in open and honest communication in the name of helping people. These days i do my best to be good at these things, but there was once a time when I was not a good person.

Let me be completely honest with you. I was one of those autistics that many considered gifted and intelligent (under those particularly problematic IQ tests at least, anyway). So when I found myself in the world of addiction, it created a perfect storm for me to be a terrible person.

As an autistic addict, I lied, manipulated, and abused my way through life. Nothing could come between me and the drugs, and if something did, I bulldozed it out of my path. There were no limits to the pain I would cause in the name of my own survival.


It’s a strange word to me, for me it is reminiscent of a world in which I do not fit. I scraped by while surviving, absent-mindedly damaging the world in doing so.

When I first achieved sobriety, I started becoming very aware of the harm I had done. So aware in fact, that I could barely cope with the guilt. For a good year or two after finding sobriety I was consumed by the horror of my own behaviour. Even now, at over 4 years of sobriety, I feel my insides twist up when I think of the things i have done.

I was not authentic to my autistic self. For so many years I felt as though I had betrayed the ones I loved.

However, in the last year, I have come to a new realisation. The David who did those terrible things in the name of survival, is not the David who exists now. When I achieved sobriety, the old David died, I was reborn into a new life, and like any newborn, I had to experience growing pains.

If you are new to sobriety, it is likely that you are experiencing something similar. I want you to know that these growing pains will subside, and you will mature into your new life. Create a life where it is easier to be the new you. The old you is gone, make reparations for your old ways, and move forwards.

I am committed to using this new life to fix what I helped break in my past. I want the world to feel a little less broken.

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way” as the old saying goes.

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