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Pink headphones that are great from overstimulation
What I’m Learning From Being on The Spectrum

I found out in 2020 that I'm on the spectrum. I think I've always known I was a little different. Learning that I'm on the spectrum wasn't a big shock to me. Sarcasm is something I have a tough time grasping. Sayings colloquial phrases like, "Just hold your horses," have always confused me. I'm often very literal when a conversation is casual. Processing sound can be tough. These are just a few of my unique quirks.

I've been working with my therapist on certain coping techniques, and I've learned a few things on my own along the way too.

Here are a few of the lessons I'm learning from being on the spectrum:

  1. There will be people who just don't get me, and that's okay, because those aren't my people.
  2. When in doubt, it's okay to ask, "What do you mean by that?" when I don't understand the tone of voice or I am having a tough time picking up context clues.
  3. When I'm overstimulated, I shouldn't be ashamed to ask someone, "Can you turn down the music please?"
  4. If the music can't be turned down, bringing out my pink headphones or earbuds isn't a big deal.
  5. It's okay to laugh at myself if I misunderstand sarcasm.
  6. Being surrounded by people who encourage me to lean into who I am reminds me that I'm blessed.
  7. There will be times when I struggle in social settings and when it happens to just let it go.
  8. Even when I am learning coping techniques, there will always be something new to learn, and that's okay.
  9. There is always a reason to give myself the compassion I offer others.
  10. I was fearfully and wonderfully created with quirks.

woman on the spectrum with headphones on

I don't know if I would've learned self-compassion like I know it now had it not been for ASD. There's a freedom I have when I let go of striving to be "normal." Honestly, I don't know if normal exists. What I do know is that I'm okay with being myself. I don't know how, but being on the spectrum has given me freedom to try my best everyday, knowing that my best may look different from everyone else's...

And that's okay.

be yourself graphic

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