An open letter to autistic addicts

My fellow autistic addicts,

As we approach the end of a historically difficult year, I hope that you can look back and be proud that you have survived. This year has brought many tests, and you have passed. If all you did this year was make it through, I want you to know that was enough.

You are enough, you’ve always been enough. I know it’s likely that you don’t believe me. This world already misunderstood you for being autistic, let alone the spectre of addiction that hangs over us.

Perhaps you are new to the world of addiction, perhaps you have been fighting this battle for years. Perhaps you have been in recovery for years, perhaps this year was too much, and you found yourself returning to old habits.

I want you to know that whereever you are at, it’s okay. Don’t give up. This world may not always be fair and kind, but I promise you it is made all the better for having you in it.

The beauty of a new year is that we have an opportunity for rebirth. A fresh start. Take that opportunity and give it everything you’ve got. We can’t predict what kind of year 2021 will be, but we can choose to make a concerted effort to leave behind the old toxicity of the past.

Please hold on. Even if you can’t see it right now, your life has value. There was a time when I felt I contributed nothing, and now I use those experiences to benefit others. It’s a gig I will always feel blessed to have.

It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out this year. The future shines a bright light into the dark places, bringing with it the hope of change.

Together we will fight for a world that accepts Autistics and addicts alike. It will be a group effort, and everyone contributes their part.

You are enough, you are loved, and when the world turns its back on you, I promise I won’t.

Happy holidays, and a happy new year.

David Gray-Hammond, autistic addict.

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