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My Autistic Wings and the Tapestry of Life... A patchwork of hardships and weavings of hope :-)

Hi! I’m Joely, welcome to the tapestry of my life...

💫I was diagnosed as #Autistic & #ADHD at 2.

💫I used to be mostly #NonVerbal & didnt speak until I was 8

💫couldn’t make sense of the world

💫was #Deaf

💫was a #WhirlWind

💫was totally unable to process BASIC information

Goodness me, did any of this prevent my happiness or acceptance? Absolutely not! The tapestry of life, is too beautiful for that, although it can be filled with hardships and over whelm woven into each patch work piece... Such patchwork pieces of hardships can include sensory overwhelm burnout, shutdowns, trauma... During shutdowns-which are an weekly occurrence -I can't make basic connections like if it is raining -even if I could see or feel the rain on my skin-let alone establish I needed a coat to avoid getting wet! Processing information is the biggest difficulty I have, & underpins every single of my autism related struggles.

Another patchwork of hardship woven into my tapestry of life, is my PTSD...

💫As a teen I was generally happy-lots of good friends & a zest for life… but I was darkened by trauma…

💫I became invisibly lonely, fighting for my rights to be at peace from flashbacks & intrusive thoughts & diagnosed #PTSD.

I thought I’d never be safe or happy again… Challenging the patchwork of hardships 💫 My PTSD can be managed by using my autism to learn about things & heal through knowledge. When my mum had cancer, I researched the replication of cancer cells until I understood the process, & somehow, knowledge helped me cope. I couldn't do that without my Autism, backing me up with a hyper focus & an ability to retain information & systemise data in a way that works for me. My hyper focus can help me heal, even though I slip into hyper fixation. 💫My PTSD says nothing bad about my intentions, therefore, even if it is straight up horrifying & traumatising, I know I have good intentions to achieve a good intentions, & so I wont beat myself up & make myself feel worse, for struggling with mental health. PTSD makes me strong, a survivor, a justice seeker, a winner of hope and self faith, & not a victim... PTSD made me into someone who is using that trauma to make sure other people don't suffer like I did, with as much power & good intentions as is safe for me to give. it would be far better if I could have learnt this without the hardship & PTSD, but sometimes you have to make lemonade! Good intentions, challenges those mindsets that make me feel weak & powerless when it comes to my hardships, & that is where beauty can be found in my tapestry of life, no matter what. 💫My adoration of nature can make my pain, worth it, just to be amongst trees, water & earth, because I do see & sense so much beauty around me, that many others don't notice. I can become enchanted my these details & heal, where as many neurotypical people find it harder to switch off - because of my autism, my 'switching off' from stress, is found through nature, stimming, stimulating my vagus nerve & mind wandering stimulations... The patchwork of hardships, can be learnt about at the root, so I can best navigate life in a way that helps me become who I best want to be. However, what the tapestry of life taught me is that, even if there are so many, countless hardships patches threatening to take over the entire tapestry, there's beauty woven in too. This is especially true, if you know how to challenge your mindset, adapt to an Autism based growth mindset, & autism specific mindfulness, find what it means to achieves, try, succeed & be happy & hopeful....

💫I started volunteering at 18, which #ChangedMyLife & I became instantly happier & safe again, thriving with likeminded people

Volunteering taught me these valuable life lessons and helped me piece together more realistic positivity & hope into my tapestry of life.

💫After years #Volunteering, #Charity work & my beloved #AutismActivism,

I’m now 31, & I have 15 National/ world or regional awards, a loving healing community,

& I see my #Disability as a gift...

My #Disability impacts every second of my life in hugely complex, frustrating, painful & also endearing ways- for an invisible disability-autism can became very physical too; I’m an ambulatory wheelchair user, & often can’t walk, talk, do life skills or self care…

The older I get, the more I understood my #Autism; From there inner acceptance grew as I learnt how to help myself-I learnt I was never wrong for being myself- society was for blaming & shaming & trying to gaslight me to change the parts I shouldn’t have to, or cannot change.

I should never change, because I always tried my best to be good & always put 100% effort into everything I did.

Society MUST change!

💫My biggest passion is to empower understanding of #AutisticSpectrum hidden depths, hardships & quirks/gifts, & while I’m really chronically ill & disabled, & can not empower like I used to, I hope to still help with my social media & speeches! I could see my 'failings' & mistakes as a hardship that is holding me back... but I know in my heart that even when I failed, the only true failure, was if I had a bad intention. 💫My intentions were good, therefore, I never failed, I was failed - & failure can take any patch of hardship, & weave in hope for the future. This is because with every mistake & failure we are learning to grow & become who we want to be, by enhancing our relationships with what we are bad at & growing our self esteem. 💫If we can help it, we must avoid being scared of what we are bad at, or being scared of our struggles and hardships because although they are so so difficult to navigate, we can learn from them too, & they are helping us become the person we want to become, if we have good intentions to achieve a good intentions... 💫Having a good intention, is how you weave in hope, into the tapestry of life. Finding passion & understanding your roots with a positive mindset, helps too! My disability-my gift -autism, enables me to experience the rich, vibrant tapestry of life in all its glorious detail.

Tell me, when you were a small child, did you ever lie in a luscious meadow safely shaded by the splintered trees, just to soak up the peaceful atmosphere?

Ten years on, would you be able to accurately describe everything you saw?

️Could you remember everything - from the scientific names of the flowers, clouds & insects to the numbers of leaves on the floor?

️I can️!

My superb photographic memory is one aspect of my gift that is unique, positive & empowering.

Good memory is a common trait of Autism;

I can use my memory & my ability to soak up facts to my advantage if I’m enabled & well supported & not too shutdown.

As with many others on the Autistic Spectrum (not all ofcourse), I have passions – which is topics of fascination that I spend all of my time talking & thinking about. My passions alternate freely as much as my fixations & hyper focus changes-but when it hits, it’s all consuming-to the point of drowning out all other sensory input or needs.

It is thanks to these fascinations that autistic people like me are often known as ‘Walking Encyclopaedias’ due to their rare & expansive knowledge of any subject that holds their interest.

For instance my ‘Specific Narrow Interests’ and passions are mainly Autism, white magic, healing crystals, mindfulness, forest, stoicism & Ancient history (& no, despite the clinical term, there’s nothing narrow about my interests they can vary greatly!). For example when I was 5-8 years old I used to communicate using Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics & Sign Language because I was deaf & could not speak.

Additionally, my interests have always been there for me; allowing me escapism, peace & knowledge to learn & grow through hardship & introduce role modelling to help me deal with things in the real world too. I get to choose how to weave my own tapestry of life, even though I often feel trapped by patches of hardships. 💫The best part of my tapestry of life, is that my humanity remains no matter how hard things get, no matter how much I feel I have lost, no matter how much I feel the hardships are taking over... & I know deep down that if I try my best, & justice seek & have good intentions to achieve good things, then that's all that matters in growing a mindful tapestry that reflects me & who I wish to be.

💫Even when there is many patches of hardships, our good intentions to achieve a a good thing, is what makes life tapestry so beautiful, & we should never forget just how much the very essence of what makes us, us, is also what will help you become you want to be in the future too, even if it doesn't feel like it yet.

What’s your experience with memory, or passions? What experiences or efforts would you choose to weave into your tapestry of life to become more of the person you want to be? Let’s chat!

x <3 x


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