A Journey to My Best Autistic Life
When I found out I was autistic eight years ago, one of the first things that I began to think about were all of the things in my life I could have done differently. I wondered, how many of my bad choices, poor decisions, mistakes, and traumas were the result of being uninformed about my neurology. Like most of us who are diagnosed late-in-life, I spent my first year post-diagnosis cycling through my life and revisiting every one of those memories through the lens of autism, deciding about each one whether it was really my fault or if it was ‘the autism’.
Needless to say, that first year was full of a lot of anger, and even more sadness.
I yelled and cried for little me, who had muddled through the world for over three decades feeling lost, alone, and broken. As I processed through that year, I realized just how unkind I have always been to myself. How for years, whether or not it was true, I blamed myself for every hardship I encountered, every failed relationship, and every job I Ieft. I had come to understand in those 36 years that my needs and wants were ‘wrong’ and that my natural instincts must be suppressed in favor of the ‘right’ behavior. Without any direct instruction, the world had taught me that anything coming from my authentic self was not be trusted. And the worst part? I believed every bit of it.
I can tell you that none of it was true except for how unkind I had been to myself.
Since my diagnosis, I have carefully, slowly, and with intention, deconstructed my life, and rebuilt it with all my new self-knowledge as my guide.
I have stripped away as many of the self-imposed challenges as possible, knowing they were built on the ‘shoulds’ of others. And then, I rebuilt. I layered in all that I know about myself because of autism and let that guide me to my goals. I spent hours upon hours reading personal development books, listening to podcasts, and watching TED talks on quality of life and how to achieve it. But I kept running into the same problem. No matter where I looked for personal development that suited me, none of it really seemed to fit naturally because it was all for neurotypicals by neurotypicals.
Still, I knew I was onto something as select bits and pieces from each source were working on their own, despite no one single source being a fit.
That’s when I had an autistic epiphany.
Suddenly, I could see the patterns in all of the books, and that a lot of the same things were being said by all. It just wasn’t in a format that worked with my brain. So, I stumbled through everything, ditching what wasn’t working and fine-tuning what was. Each day taking one small step forward to creating the life of my dreams, a life I didn’t need a vacation from.
It may have taken eight years, but I did it. I created a life so entirely opposite of where I started from, that it is wholly unrecognizable, and so am I. Gone are the long hours, working nights to avoid rush-hour in New York City. Gone are the noisy highways and lines for EVERYTHING. Gone is the bleakness of Winter and the humidity of Summer. Gone, too, is the angry/sad women who suffered through 36 years on this planet.
Gone is the miserable lump of a human who communicated solely in sarcasm. Gone is the desire to be gone. In her place lives the real me, my authentic self.
The one I spent so much energy masking to survive, now lives freely and openly in a life that the old me wouldn’t even dare to dream of. Each day that I wake in this life I am grateful. Grateful to still be here, grateful to be autistic, and, most of all, grateful to be me. Every single moment of the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get here was worth it!
Living Your Best Autistic Life Workshops
Are You Ready to Become Your Authentic Autistic Self?
I hope so! All of the work that I did for the past eight years to build my magical autistic life is now available to you! I have created a three-unit, virtual course just so you guys can build a life of your own that isn’t just about surviving, but has you thriving in your autisticness instead! ‘Self Defined Living: A Path to a Quality Autistic Life’ is designed to help you create your own life that you don’t need a vacation from. Each of the three units is comprised of an hour-long video webinar and three downloadable companion exercises, with group coaching calls and/or 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with Becca available to you.
Unit 1: Stepping Forward
It begins with Unit 1 which is appropriately called “Stepping Forward.” In this unit, I will ask you to metaphorically step forward into your best self and your best life. We will cover the path to a quality autistic life and how to start your journey. Using the principles of Self Defined Living, we will tackle how to move from surviving to thriving in small actionable steps while also defining for yourself what your life should look like. Through a candid, private self-assessment, you will begin to understand that your wants, needs, and preferences are not just valid, but also attainable. As you begin your path to a Quality Autistic Life, please remember, every step counts.
Unit 2: Fortify Your Focus
Now that you have the basics down for the changes you are looking to make, it is time to move to Unit 2 ‘Fortify Your Focus.” In other words, you have begun the process of stepping into your purpose and creating your best life, but now it’s time to add in details that reinforce your goals. The concepts and action steps covered in this unit are the tools you will need to set your goals and to keep yourself moving forward toward your best possible life. Unit 2 is all about creating the habits that fortify your focus and keep you aligned with your authentic self.
Unit 3: The Act of Thriving
Much like inclusion, thriving is not a destination. You won’t know the moment you arrive, and the bus doesn’t stop there either. Quite simply, one day you will be following all that you have learned in this course, and you will notice yourself smiling from the inside. That is thriving. In Unit 3 ‘”The Act of Thriving,” you discover that thriving is actually an action word. If you want to keep this thriving life of your creation, it’s going to take some maintenance. Unit 3 is chock full of what it takes to stay on your path, how to sustain your pace, and why it’s important to recover with grace from the inevitable curves in the road. Your final lesson is all about the act of thriving.
How to Sign Up for the Self-Guided Workshops
Excited? It all begins on June 10, 2020 at 11am MST with the LIVE recording of Unit 1: Stepping Forward. Unit 2’s LIVE recording follows on August 5th, and then we close out with Unit 3 LIVE on September 16th. Plus, each live recording will be followed by a 30 minute Q&A/AMA with me. Multi-unit discount packages are available at https://beccalory.com/webinars/.
Important Course Notes
- If you can’t make the dates OR if you are reading this after the live sessions have aired, you can still sign up because recordings of all three units will be accessible.
- Unsure of whether you can make it work financially? Not to worry, thanks to my very generous Sponsors, I will be offering a handful of financial hardship Scholarship Seats to Unit 1. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest.
- AND…Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE motivational newsletter, ‘Monthly Musings’, for Exclusive Discounts to the course. Sign up is on my website at https://beccalory.com/.
Our website at Geek Club Books is a platform for autistic voices, positive autism advocacy and education, and sharing autism resources we think you’ll want to know about. In addition to our autistic-themed comic, here are topics we cover and questions we explore:
- How to Find Resources
- What is Autism?
- What is Autism Awareness?
- Autism Myths
- Autism Glossary
- Books by Autistic Authors
- Autistic or Person with Autism?
- Speech and Language
- Autism Business Ideas
- Autistic Self-Care
- Asking Autistics Resource Page
- Zoom Autism Magazine – Autism through many lenses
- Find great books in our Amazon Book Shop