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  • Writer's pictureTobey Alexander

Navigating Life as an Autistic Adult: My Coping Strategies Revealed

Hey there, fellow adventurers in the labyrinth of life! Let's talk about coping strategies, shall we? Now, before we dive into this, let me make something crystal clear - I don't have all the answers for everyone. We're all unique, with our own quirks and preferences, so what works for me might not be your cup of tea. That said, I've embarked on quite the journey of self-discovery and have a couple of trusty sidekicks in my quest to conquer life's challenges: exercise and creative writing.

Exercise: A Love-Hate Relationship

Let's start with exercise, shall we? Ah, exercise, you fickle friend! My relationship with it is a bit like a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes, I'm the picture of fitness, pumping iron and breaking personal records. Other times, I'm stubbornly pushing through injuries like I'm training for the Ironman of stubbornness. And yes, I've dabbled in body image struggles too – because why not add a sprinkle of body dysmorphia to the mix?

Here's the kicker: I've found solace in two daily workouts, sans rest days. Yes, I hear the fitness gurus gasping, but hear me out. Those workouts aren't just about sculpting the perfect physique. They're my sanctuary, my 7000-meter rowing meditation in the cellar. It's during those sweat-soaked hours that I can sift through the chaos in my head. You see, my thoughts are like hyperactive squirrels on espresso, and exercise helps me herd them into some semblance of order.

But let's not forget the downside of this love affair. There are days when I become so fixated on exercise that I ignore the aches, the strains, the very real signs of overdoing it. My mind becomes this relentless taskmaster, urging me to push harder, to achieve the unattainable. It's a battle of balance, one that I'm still learning to master.

Creative Writing: Unleashing My Autistic Imagination

Now, let's flip the page to creative writing. Oh, the magic of putting words to paper (or screen)! Writing is my express lane to unlocking the treasures of my autistic creativity, and I'm all too eager to share them with the world. You know how some people think in words? Well, I think in movies. Seriously, I've watched every story I've ever written play out in my head before it even hits the page.

But here's the real beauty of writing: it's a vessel for both understanding and challenging the world around me. Whether I'm tackling misconceptions about autism or inspiring others to embrace their uniqueness, writing lets me be a voice for change. My books? Well, they might just reflect more of my inner workings than I'd care to admit. But hey, isn't that what makes them uniquely me?

The act of writing itself is both cathartic and illuminating. It's like stepping into a labyrinth, where each word is a turn, each sentence a path, and each story a journey of self-discovery. You have no idea how visual I am when it comes to writing, and I promise I've watched everything I've written in my head over and over again before I even write it. Don't get me wrong; writing helps me process a lot of things too, but most importantly, I can use it to challenge elements of misconceptions or inspire others to embrace being themselves.

Embracing Your Coping Strategies

So, why am I sharing all this? Not to convince you to adopt my coping strategies, that's for sure. No, my aim is to remind you that the world is vast and diverse, and so are our ways of navigating it. Maybe you're a mindfulness guru or a journaling aficionado, and that's fantastic. What matters is finding what clicks for you, what helps you thrive.

And while we're at it, let's break the stigma surrounding what's considered "normal." Who gets to decide what's normal anyway? If your coping strategy involves dancing to '80s music in your living room or building an intricate model of the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks, go for it! It's the quirks that make life colourful, after all.

So, fellow adventurers, keep exploring, keep experimenting, and most importantly, keep being unapologetically you. Life's too short to be anyone else. And remember, your unique path is the one that's worth following.

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