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What is Possible After Autism Identification as an Adult

 What is Possible After Autism Identification as an Adult

by Carole Jean Whittington

There are so many things that I have learned about myself since finding out 7 years ago, at the age of 39, that I am autistic and ADHD.  This past year has been a Quantum Leap year for me in my Neurodiverse journey and not in the ways I ever could have expected.

I never expected to:
  • get hit with a PTSD flashback and for once not freeze, panic and spiral down a dark mental hole.
  • move cross country for the second time in a year only to arrive and go through one of the most crippling burnouts I've ever experienced, but was able to recover in a matter of a few weeks vs the years all the other ones took.
  • have those thoughts of suicide pop up when I'm tired or not feeling well and be in a place where I can just observe them and not feel the need to overthink and shame myself but rather allow them to flow through me like water and watch as they move away.
I wasn't sure how to best share what I have experienced in a way that would be encouraging and helpful, so pardon me if I stumble through a bit messy in order to share with you that there is HOPE.

HOPE is only 4 letters, but is a very powerful word.  Some may argue it feels like a true 4 letter word to them.  If you are like me, and spent decades not knowing you were autistic or ADHD that word seemed like a purple, glittery unicorn that was a myth.  You may be feeling that way today.

I knew, deep down, that my life wasn't right.  I knew there had to be more.  I knew that the way I felt and experienced everything wasn't how the  whole world experienced life.  I saw people laughing, happy, in relationships that worked, and working in careers that fulfilled them in ways that I craved, and able to handle the daily tasks and chores of life without collapsing in exhaustion or all consuming panic and anxiety.  I KNEW and maybe you do too.  You know in your bones there is something MORE.

I don't come across many autistics who are sharing the other side of their journey. Scratch that... I haven't found but maybe 3 right off the top of my head.  That isn't a very large pool to draw from considering there are millions of us worldwide.  So I feel it is imperative to share what I have found is POSSIBLE so that you, reading today, and others who are coming along behind us know that there is HOPE and what that hope can look and feel like.

Robin Sharma talks about Possibilitarians; those are people who are looking for the possibilities in all things.  Ancient Sanskrit has a list of 12 lessons for your spiritual journey, and what is life but a journey of the soul.  Those 12 lessons are:
  1. You will receive a body
  2. You will learn lessons
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons
  4. A lesson will be repeated until it is learned
  5. Learning lessons does not end
  6. "There" is no better than "here"
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you
  8. What you make of your life is up to you
  9. Life is exactly what you think it is
  10. Your answers lie inside you
  11. You will forget all of this
  12. You can remember it whenever you want
In these 2 things, possibilities and lessons, I found HOPE.  These two ideas led to thinking in ways I had never thought before and led to asking quality questions that serve me and that have brought me to the place I am today.  

I don't share this to boast or to say "look at me", but to share from my heart so that the person next to me, who has spent years feeling lost and alone, knows that the knowledge that you are autistic is just the beginning.  The POSSIBILITIES are more than you can ever imagine in this moment, but they are there.  I promise.

Take a few moments to re-read those 12 Lessons and reflect in your journal on the one that really speaks to your heart today.  

For me, it is "Your answers lie inside you."  And as a neruodiverse thinker, yes, I first thought my thoughts lie to me in the sense that they don't tell the truth, then I realized that it meant that they reside within me.  Yep, I thought that too so you are not alone.  And doesn't it give you pause to consider that what we have been telling ourselves based on what we interpret from the outside world is a lie and we have been living and basing our lives on the lies we have told ourselves.  OK, I went deep.

My HOPE for you today is that what I have shared of possibilities and that life is all about the lessons opens up your world in a new way.

If you are looking for a community of other late identified, autistic adults who are gathered together from a place of kindness, gentleness, patience and understanding as we go together on this journey please consider joining our private FB community, Mind Your Autistic Brain.

If FB isn't your thing but you want all the goodness like the latest neuroscience news, videos to learn or that start a great conversation, articles by autistics for autistics AND access to the MYAB small group meetings as well as early and discounted access to Masterminds, workshops, courses and downloadable content sent straight to your inbox in a Monthly Newsletter, get it HERE

All my best,
Carole Jean


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