Sunday, February 24, 2019

I'm 19 and I'm from the Netherlands

In my opinion my biggest accomplishment is being able to finally stand up for myself and just being able to live life again thanks to my service dog.

I want those who are not autistic to know: Every autistic person is different and none of us are the same!

No resources have benefitted me. I've seen many therapists and none of them helped me. I mostly helped myself. It became clear that none one of these therapists had any clue about autism.

I want those who are autistic to know: Never give up! You can do this! While the world can be a tough place for us autistic people, it's important that we don't give up and that we continue to fight and to stand up for ourselves!

I had a friend on YouTube who was autistic. I don't know him in real life but as I continued to talk to him and watch his videos, I saw signs of his autism in myself. So, I asked my parents if I could go to a professional and get a diagnosis. Turns out I was right! I'm autistic just like I thought back then! 🙂

When I first received my diagnosis I was very happy. My parents were a little surprised. I knew I was different because I was always targeted for bullying. I was wondering what was "wrong" with me. Of course there's nothing wrong with me or any of us, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Getting the diagnosis was a big relief. Back then, besides my diagnosis being a relief, I didn't really know what to think of it. I was just happy that things were starting to make sense and that things were becoming more clear.

Now, I couldn't be happier! I'm proud to be autistic and I wouldn't change a thing! If someone were to "take away my autism", they would also take me away because my autism has made me who I am today. That being a super strong woman who finally stands up for herself and who won't just back down! But really, I have my service dog to thank for that! 🙂 When I first got my diagnosis, I was happy and relieved, but other than that, I didn't really know what to think of it.

I was diagnosed with autism at age 13. I was always the one who got bullied and I just couldn't figure out why. I had a slight feeling I was different but I didn't know how or why. I was always the "lonely loser" who couldn't fit in anywhere or with anyone no matter how hard I tried. Looking back, my parents and I definitely noticed signs of autism but back then, we had no clue about it being signs of autism. After I got my diagnosis, everyone was relieved and things were starting to make more sense and we could all study up about autism so that everyone could learn and know what autism was all about.

There might be a TRIGGER warning here:

All in all and everything together, I'm so happy and proud of myself for how far I've come! It was extremely tough and difficult because I wasn't just autistic, but I was also diagnosed with PTSD and I also suffered from severe depression. I had absolutely no motivation to live or get out of bed each morning. Why should I continue to live my life? This was during the years of 2014 through 2016. School wasn't getting any easier and I had a lot of suicidal thoughts. The only school I was extremely happy to go to was a special education school in my area! I was friends with my whole class, there was no bullying, and the teachers actually cared about their students and their well being. You could clearly see that they had training of some sort. I felt real safe at that school. Best school of my entire life but unfortunately, my classmates and I had to leave and go to a different school because the next classes were only for students with learning disabilities which we did not have. Knowing that just really killed me on the inside. There were no more special education schools nearby and so the school drama continued. More drowning. More getting lost. No more friends. And so on. The depression became worse and worse. I was not happy and it felt as if I'll never be happy again. Thankfully, my life started to change drastically in 2017 to the current present. I now have a service dog and thanks to him, I am finally able to live a more better, healthy, and happier life! My dog's name is Sony and training him as a puppy was extremely tough at times but everything has been worth it! I finally got to pick up my hobbies and special interests again, such as making art creations and playing video games! I finally go outside again! I finally go shopping again! And so on! I barely suffer from depression nowadays and my self confidence has grown extremely high! I can stand up for myself now, and everything has just changed for the better! My dog has changed my life and I'm a completely different person now compared to back then! 😀

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