Every month I strive to be braver than the month before. I had worried I might run out of ways to be brave but life seems to just keep throwing me more and more opportunities.
My External and Internal Bravery
I finally moved out of the family home I had been staying in and that has been amazing and a challenge because of changes in routines and finances. I have a roommate now that’s still family but it’s different in many ways. This place is half my own. I’m learning that it’s brave to own our mistakes as I’ve made quite a few already in my independence. It’s also brave to own a journey as a learning opportunity instead of seeing it as constant failures. I’m still working on that part.
Pushing Past My Fears
But the bigger thing that’s been happening is more about overcoming fears than moving out. I have terrible stage fright and yet I love the opportunity to be heard so that others can hopefully connect and either advocate for the Autism community or for themselves because they feel heard or less alone.
I auditioned for a spot in the upcoming TEDXNatick and I’m excited to share that I’ll be one of the speakers. My knees were knocking during both auditions but I knew my story might help others and my faith in service was greater than my fear of failure. I’ll also be speaking at the MCEC conference later this month. Getting on a stage doesn’t really get easier for me. It’s pretty terrifying every time. But I think that’s why I secretly love it. I feel so victorious every time I do it because it means, that despite my fears, I won the battle.
Nothing Will Stop Me
I also have mild Dysautonomia and so standing can be a breeze or extremely difficult depending on the season or day. Dysautonomia is a disorder that causes an irregularity in the autonomic nervous system and I can sometimes have very low blood pressure and high heart rate upon standing. I won’t bore you with the science of it all. But I won’t ever let Autism or Dysautonomia win in the end.
There are some days when I truly struggle socially or my sensory overload can feel unbearable. Most never know because I’ve grown so good at masking. But I am determined to win as many battles on as many days as I can. Not just for me, but to hopefully inspire others to never give up.
What’s one fear you’ve had to face recently? How did you handle it? Is it still a fear for you?
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