Accepting limitations is not a weakness…

Accepting your limitations isn’t a weakness, it’s quite the opposite.

As lockdown has continued I feel as though layers and layers of masking, expectation, self protection and my own false impressions of myself have slowly been stripped away. It’s a strange feeling, the world has never provided me with an opportunity like this before. An opportunity where I don’t have to be anyone but me all the time.

When I’m at home with kiddo and his dad, most of the time I am truly me. If I become stressed I start to mask and my wonderful husband immediately points out that’s what I’m doing. He either reminds me I don’t have to (he hates it when I mask, he knows it isn’t me) or he sends me off for a break and a recharge.

What I didn’t realise was that not only was I layering up the real me so that the outside world was more accepting, I was hiding from myself too. Lately, I haven’t been able to hide anymore. The number of autistic traits I have are so evident. I can’t and don’t want to run from them anymore.

I’ve begun a journey of self acceptance and it really hasn’t been easy at all. To suddenly realise at 36 that you aren’t who you thought you were is pretty shocking to be honest, especially when close friends and family saw it before you did. I spent my childhood learning, watching and copying. I found a trend and slotted in. I’m not sorry for that, it’s helped me gain a great education, a degree and some amazing friends.

My biggest challenge now though, is to accept my limitations. At first I saw this as weakness. Now i see it as strength. If I can voluntarily avoid those situations that force me to mask, drain my resources and lower my self esteem (not through anything anyone else has done) then I will have so much more to give to the situations I excel in. So much more to propel me to my own version of success. So much more to give to the people I love rather than take. Identifying those limitations will be the making of me. I only wish I could do the same for kiddo at such an early age.

So I guess today I am self diagnosing as autistic. I have written to the health team who will assess me for adhd and requested they assess for autism too. They only have limited evidence at the moment because the questionnaire is so specific which isn’t that helpful for women on the spectrum, but they haven’t yet decided. Diagnosis can be a postcode lottery but I will hunt it for as long as I can. I won’t let it bury me though, I won’t let it stop me from excelling in areas I can fly in.

Happy saturday all 💖

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