Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Dear Newly Identified Autistic,


Autistic Art Therapist Jackie Schuld drew a picture of an autistic individual holding a flower as a gift.
"Welcome" Illustration by Jackie Schuld

I heard you just discovered you’re autistic! Welcome to the clluuuuubbbb.


Okay, before I shower you with excitement, how are you doing? How do you feel about it?


When I found out, I was in disbelief for a while. I had so many old stories about autism in my head that I thought there was just no way that could be me.


Furthermore, I had spent a lifetime suppressing my feelings and thoughts. Feeling like I was too much, too dramatic, too sensitive… and at the same time not enough.


So part of me also wondered, “Am I just being dramatic again? Is being autistic just another way for me to get attention?”


But the more I learned, the more true it felt. I love reading, so I read book after book.


It also helped that I work with autistic clients in my art therapy practice. I saw myself in them so much. They have no idea how much they helped me.


So anyways, all of that to say, whatever you are feeling, it’s fine. You don’t have to force yourself into feeling any certain way.


If you’re not excited to be autistic, that’s fine too. I went through a grieving period when I learned I’m autistic. Truthfully, I guess I’m still grieving in some ways. I wish it was easier. I wish I didn’t think or feel so much. It’s been hard to let go of trying to change myself.


I’m beginning to see more and more of the positives of being autistic though. I’m beginning to accept who I am. I’m learning to reframe so many negative things I thought about myself. I’m learning how to work with the challenging aspects of my mind too.


I’m also letting myself do more and more of the things I enjoy. I let myself get lost in projects and pursue multiple tangents and detours. I’m learning to embrace that about me, instead of trying to force myself into a singular coherent version of myself.


So wherever you go from here, I hope you also feel you can be more and more of yourself.


Don’t be afraid to ask for the support you need. Learning you’re autistic brings up a lot. It’s a lot to work through. I’m obviously biased, but therapy and coaches really helped me.


Writing, my go to form of processing, has also helped me immensely. Do whatever helps you. Whatever that is. You no longer have to see your processes and systems as weird.


They’re just you. And that’s great.


And that’s why I say welcome. Welcome to a place where it’s ok to be you. To have your unique feelings and needs.


You’re not broken. You’re not hopeless. You are loved, as you are.


With all my Autistic Love,

Jackie

 

Thanks for reading. If you'd like some extra support with your new autistic identity, you can learn more about working together here.

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