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LEVEL UP! You Are Now Level 31!

Now birthdays are usually ignored as most have mine have ended up badly (at least the ones that I can remember). So to be looking forward to a possible good day is already a big step. I'm finally at a stable point in my life to be joyful at what the future may bring. I really believed that I was going to die at age 24 by either suicide or being killed by abusive exes. But instead, I'm living a happy life, with purpose, and excitement. I have the perfect husband and two adorable cats. Though we don't have much, every day is a joy getting to live it with my best friend.

While growing up, I slogged through heavy depression and thick waves of anxiety. I missed out on a lot in life due to these isolating struggles. On top of that, having PTSD and unknown Autism affecting every aspect of my life. I was always in a daze, never feeling like I 'fit' in. Like my reality was always slightly off from everyone else. I didn't know HOW I was different than everyone else, just that I was different. So I pushed myself, hoping for a chance to get to know what the hell was wrong with me.

Of course, it wasn't until I met my husband that I finally found the right diagnosis and the pieces started falling into place. With this new understanding of how I function or perceive the world, it's surprising how the simplest sensory processing is drastically different than those around me. Autism, to me, feels like I'm wearing a skin-tight suit that has some wires crossed switching processes, short-circuiting them, deadening them, intensifying them, or just glitchy all around. With our escape to Ecuador, we did a full reset and figured out just how different we needed to adjust our lifestyle.

So now I'm going through a whole new discovery. Who am I really? What was I forced to do because it is socially accepted or expected? What can I avoid doing in a more acceptable way when it actually hurts? Where is my threshold of pain and where does it begin to hurt? I have to learn how to speak out when in pain and to find ways to minimize it. I do hope that others begin to take note of where their boundaries are and to speak up when something is hurting you. such as brings you pain. Autistics with sensory issues will have the pain center of the brain light up when they are overstimulated. I kept thinking that I was weak not being able to withstand it since everyone else seemed fine. But I have learned that I can speak up when something hurts me. I can still withstand it but learn to handle and mediate the pain if need be (such as walking quickly through loud crowds).

I actually love the words "Level Up". Anyone who has played any games with this game mechanic will have to agree. It tends to unlock new capabilities, upped stats, and open new doors. You begin to gain more control and understanding of how the world works and be able to maneuver. Finally, enough life lessons to refer back on and gain wisdom or confidence. I used these words because I feel like I have finally stepped forward. I have the lightness and childhood joy that I hadn't felt since I was eight, free from any real responsibilities. I feel capable and confident that even if we don't know, we will be able to figure something out. The struggles that I barely made it through myself to the struggles my husband and I have endured together, we are very ready for what the world has to offer.

I do have long-term life goals which I may go over in the future. Now that I'm getting a better handle on how my Autism functions as well as the overlap of PTSD, I'm MOVING FORWARD! No longer stagnant but gaining momentum. Let's see what I will be able to accomplish during this next level of my life?

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