A thing of beauty: Living authentically autistic

For many years I was at odds with my autistic self. I blamed all of my struggles on being autistic, and truth be told, I wanted to be cured.

I was privileged to discover the autistic community a few years ago, here’s what I have learned.

While autism itself can be a disability, when viewed through the lens of the social model, being autistic is a beautiful state of being that I now find myself excited to share with the world.

Being autistic makes me single-minded in the pursuit of my interests, a gift that many do not recieve.

I am surrounded by a community of people who share in my experience while being just as individual as me.

I notice the little things in life, like the way and old book smells, the way the rain runs down the window, the lilt of my loved ones’ laugh.

Being autistic gives me a unique outlook on the world that I would not trade for anything. While some may be put off by my “out-of-the-box” thinking and blunt honesty, I am surrounded by a culture of acceptance in our community.

I take comfort in the autistic community and its celebration of the diversity of minds.

Thanks to being autistic, I no longer feel constrained to societal expectations. I have learned to love my differences. It’s what keeps me going on the more difficult days.

I love being autistic, and I love this community.

Embrace yourself, you won’t regret it.

Published by David Gray-Hammond

David Gray-Hammond is an autistic mental health and addiction advocate living in the South East of England. He is in recovery from addiction and psychosis, as well as other complex mental health conditions. He was diagnosed as autistic seven months after achieving sobriety, and is resolved to share his experiences with the world in the hopes of being the person that he needed when he was younger.

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