It's officially a full decade now since I managed to overcome one of my darkest demons.
For much of my teens and early 20s I was harming myself on and off due to self-loathing as a result of first undiagnosed and then poorly understood autism; whenever I struggled with something, instead of realizing it was usually due to a disconnection between the way my brain worked and a world that wasn't accommodating of my neurology, I blamed myself, and when the frustration boiled over into anger I took it out on myself.
At 22 I hit rock bottom when one particularly nasty incident landed me in the emergency room. The shock of this helped break the habit initially, and in the years since, by finding my place in the autism community and thus learning to better understand my own mind, I finally stopped blaming myself for everything and found self-acceptance.
Working with so many others like myself in my career as an advocate also held up a mirror through which I started to see the good in myself through others, instead of just the bad.
The scars will always be there, but where once they were angry red, now they are pale and faded. The spectre of relapse has reared its head at various low points over the last decade, but over the years it has showed up less and less, until by now I can't remember exactly when it last showed its face.
If anyone reading this has had or is still facing similar struggles, I promise you it gets better. You can't see the sunrise at midnight, but that doesn't mean it's not coming.
Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.