Still Learning About Myself

One thing no one taught me growing up is just how long it would take for me to know myself.

How I wouldn’t be aware of certain aspects of myself, my personality and identity. Whether that’s being oblivious to the fact that I was a lesbian until I was 20, only just realising at 23 that I am Autistic, or knowing that it will take years for me to learn what my physical health conditions are.

I’m still learning about myself in so many ways. For years, I’ve known that I’m not neurotypical. I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety at 18 and I remember thinking, “well now I have a reason for not feeling right”. But as I explored what those labels meant, developed coping mechanisms, and started on medication, I could always feel like there was something else ‘wrong’ with me. And I want to say now, there is nothing wrong with being neurodivergent. But sometimes trying to find the right words to describe how I felt years ago is difficult, and I wasn’t aware of the right words at the time. I felt ‘wrong’ and that’s all I knew.

I’ve always felt different. The outcast, unwanted and unliked by everyone. No matter how nice I was or how much I did for people, how I changed myself to fit their tastes, people would always misunderstand me. Call me weird, cancel friendships with no notice, tell me I wasn’t doing enough when I couldn’t have tried any harder.

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