Hello again and welcome aboard the autism boat. I will say this now, I love my birthday but that doesn’t mean its a stress free time. I have decided to talk about this now as my 18th birthday is next week! I am so exited but also surprising quite scared. I wasn’t sure why at first but I think the general fears lots face at birthdays are amplified in autistics. I wanted to write about this to show that even in happy times autism is still there and needs to be taken seriously.
So let me just dive into it. Every birthday I have a family gathering which is really nice but it comes with challenges. The first is all the people. There are lots of conversations going on at once and this is very draining. Normally I would dip out when I needed to then come back but birthdays are different, they are all there to see me so I can’t just leave and I feel very trapped even though I love my family. The other thing is presents. I get very nervous opening them as I want the giver to know how much I appreciate them but I’m not always the best at showing it and if I don’t really like what they got me it’s even harder. But luckily this rarely happens as in recent years I have made a powerpoint of present ideas and my family know to stick to them!
These next ones are based on me turning 18! I don’t do alcohol. I don’t like drinking it or being around those who do. This has already made my 18th problematic as many people have offered to take me out drinking and I just don’t want to but drinking is so ingrained into our society that I have found it’s frowned upon to not drink (which makes no sense to me but hay ho). The other one is just the fear of growing up. I’m about to be an adult and this is terrifying. I’m worried that I’m gonna have to push my quirkiness down even more because I’m an adult and I have to be sensible. It’s also making the future seem more real, going to university (hopefully!) and getting a job. It’s all so scary and turning 18 is the first step to the rest of my life.
Another aspect is being overwhelmed with emotions. I get so exited and happy on my birthday that these very strong emotions overwhelm me and I tend to crash the moment something negative happens or the next day. This worries me but hopefully as I am more aware of this now it won’t be so bad. I also tend to get quite guilty, which you might think is odd but let me explain. When people buy me lots of nice gifts I feel really bad that they have spent money on me, why do I deserve to take away their money. Don’t get me wrong I love receiving gifts just like most do but sometimes it can come with guilt that is hard to tackle as there is only so many times you can say thank you.
Thank you for sticking with me in this rather odd post, see you next time!