Updated: Dec 5, 2019
I am scared.
But, that is not the right word.
After speaking with my wife, my loved ones, my closest friends, and my therapist, it would seem my best path for life is to completely "unmask" myself.
That is not to say I am not myself, though that in itself is complicated, it means that I have been masking myself for so long the person underneath a lot of people might not recognize, and my fear, is they might not like who I am underneath it.
I have had a few people that have known me tell me the typical response to a new diagnosis of autism: "I could never tell" or "You don't seem/look/act autistic to me."
That is masking. Something I learned from very difficult and trying times in my life. I have learned to hide not only what I hate most about myself, but what others hate most about me.
At least, that's how I perceived it. I also have depression. I am depressed. I probably always will be, but that's okay to me. It's not me, per say, it's my brain being rude and unnecessarily mean. I understand now when depression is influencing my behavior or thoughts, and work on coping with that. My depression however, convinced me to mask. Society convinced me to mask. My parents convinced me to mask.
I will do that no more, for better or for worse, for I am tired of not being who I truly am, not acting as I truly think, and not speaking as I truly can.
As such, I am back on Facebook. I am active here again, and in time on Twitter as well. You might notice a difference in how I speak or what I say, and I only ask that you be kind to me during this time.
To those that have helped me get here, thank you. To the one person who told me to do this back in 2013 or so, once again, I should have told you that you were right.
I will end this post with a quote I just shared with someone in a message, as it encapsulate everything I am at the core of my being:
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
My love to you all.