View Full Version : Embracing Myself and Accepting Myself


BellaVita
09-17-16, 08:28 AM
This is something I've been thinking about, I've had a lot of self-development and realization take place in the past 2-3 years.

I've found that the way to peace and true inner happiness is to accept and embrace yourself. To stop fighting to change something that never came naturally to you, because that will always result in pain.

To let go of the judgmental people in your life, and instead fill it with others who accept you for who you are.

I have found accepting myself for who I am to be possibly one of the biggest things to have a positive impact on my mental and physical health.

Here are some of those things I've come to accept and embrace about myself:

I am autistic. I always have been, and always will be. It changed the entire way I saw my life, because I now see it for what it has been. I will always be different than the majority, and that is okay.

I'm learning to be okay with being my true autistic self. I don't have the energy or mental resources to attempt to "pass" as normal anymore, and honestly why would I want to live my life that way? Why live a way where every social encounter is pretending to be someone you're not - and feeling exhausted and drained and disliking every minute of that social interaction. I can't fake NT anymore. After years and years of trying (and failing) to fake NT, it ultimately led to a massive burnout where I ended up hospitalized after only two months of university, and couldn't even function for a long long time after that. (Couldn't shower, couldn't dress myself, couldn't prepare meals hardly, couldn't leave my room except when forced or threatened, couldn't brush my teeth....I completely fell apart)

Nowadays if I even try to "pass" for more than 5 minutes I end up exhausted and close to meltdown. It's not worth the emotional, physical, and mental stress. It surely does take a toll.

Trying to become more comfortable with stimming in public, with being my natural self and not worrying if my body language is "correct." (And if my body language makes others uncomfortable, that's their problem)

Because really, going out in public won't be as difficult if I have my own self-soothing mechanisms available to me. (Rocking, hand flapping, verbal stimming etc.)

I mean this is MY life, so I should be ME right?

I have also come to accept that my sleep rhythm is different than the rest of the world's, and it has been for as long as I can remember. You know what this acceptance has resulted in? I get healthier "nights" sleep(not perfect, but immensely better than before), I no longer feel guilty or ashamed for sleeping when my body tells me to, and I am more productive than when I was totally EXHAUSTED from SEVERE lack of sleep due to forcing self to sleep at "normal times." Funny enough, my "insomnia" issues that I've been prescribed 7+ sleep medications for over the years is much more manageable now. My mood has also greatly improved.

Also - just as it is unhealthy for someone who has a "normal" sleep rhythm to stay up late for years on end and get very little sleep, and how this can lead to major health problems - the SAME thing happens to those who fight their natural sleep rhythm! I sure as heck don't want to die early, I deserve to live a full life even if that means sleeping at a different time than the majority.

And I hope to one day be able to work a night shift that no one else wants, because I'm so bright and alert at night! My brain is at its finest from about 6pm-3/4am. You have no idea how much I've been able to get done since I've embraced this part of me.

And I'm learning that even though they are difficult to find, there are people out there who accept me for me.

I also (as many of you know) found out I'm demisexual, which truly has been a relief to discover.

I have some advice to share: if there's something you've never been able to conform to, stop trying to conform. Seriously, the pain and suffering of trying to be someone you're not is just not worth it. It will eat you away and steal joy out of your life, and you will feel guilt and shame and it will erode your self-esteem and self-worth.

You don't have to be like the rest of the world - you are completely okay the way you are.

I have had so much pain in my life trying to be someone I'm not and I am simply done with it. I honestly didn't know that I could even have the *choice* to be myself. (My abusers taught me that I couldn't be me or else I'd get severely punished) I still have many areas to work on with this, because it has been trained into me that I'm not good as I am. But I'm working on it, and I am finding increasing peace and joy and clarity in my life because of choosing to accept and love and embrace myself.

Thank you to whoever read that lengthy post - it was something I felt was important for me to write. :) :grouphug: I hope this gives others some courage to accept themselves and to watch their internal and external life change for the better when they do.

Unmanagable
09-17-16, 09:10 AM
Thank you for making the time to share, Bella. There's so much wisdom in your words.

That whole "fake it 'til you make it" thing makes me feel ill every time I hear it. Especially knowing the damage I've done to my body in allowing what I thought was safe, by programmed familial and societal standards, in repeated attempts to shape myself into the "perfectly acceptable functioning as society says I should" mold.

Being made to feel like I always had to be more like someone else, and never being taught to love and embrace self as is, just to be considered even a little bit acceptable by those guiding, raising, and supporting me, led to such unhealthy and twisted perceptions of how reality should be.

However, as twisted as it is, those are the exact perceptions treated as the norm that we're charged with living "up to". It surely didn't feel like an "up" grade of any sort. You really can't make this s*** up, and it's saddening and maddening, until you finally reach the point where you can see it for what it's worth.

Grateful for the discovery and realizations. Grateful for the others who see and actively share. Grateful for the comfort it brings my heart. Just grateful.

Fuzzy12
09-17-16, 09:36 AM
Thanks for sharing bella. :)

Bluechoo
09-17-16, 01:21 PM
Well said. Self-improvement is a big part of my life, but I have to hold a notion that I am already a functioning, valuable member of society. I am already a complete person, I am just adding details and texture because I enjoy having something to work on. I am creative, and now I am creating myself. But I am also the creator, and I have the skills to do this; I am proficient already.

"self-improvement" without some recognition of a lovable self already present was, for me, a more toxic endeavor than anything. Accepting myself is key to enjoying a more fulfilling construction/reconstruction of self. It sounds like a paradox, but it is exactly how I have experienced it. Then again, I enjoy finding the subtle paradoxes in life and occupying the spaces they create :)

midnightstar
09-17-16, 02:30 PM
Wise words Bella :grouphug:

I wanted to rep you but apparently I got to spread the rep round more :grouphug:

aeon
09-17-16, 09:37 PM
Beyond happy for you, Bella, well and truly.

What you say speaks to my truth, and I agree.

And for both of us, a wisdom hard-won, surely.

At the end of it all, to simply be oneself, and know that is OK and more than enough.


Priceless,
Ian

anonymouslyadd
09-18-16, 12:08 AM
I am significantly older than you and have much more work to do in this area. I'm so proud of you, my friend. You continue to inspire.

BellaVita
09-18-16, 04:53 PM
Thank you for the lovely comments everyone. :grouphug:

midnightstar
09-18-16, 04:56 PM
Bella you deserve all the kindness in the world :grouphug: