I am who I am and that’s enough." - Alexia

Hi, my name is Alexia, I'm 21 years old and I live together with my boyfriend and two cats. I like to be creative, like taking photos and editing them. I also like to cuddle with my cats on the couch, or go on walks when the weather is nice.

It hasn’t been known for long that I am autistic. But I've always felt I was different. I thought and acted differently, but never really cared about it. I am who I am and that’s enough. I did wonder why, of course. Why don't I think and act like ‘the others’? That’s why I entered a diagnostic process to get an answer.

Autism is part of who I am, part of my view on the world and part of how I experience things. I experience light, sound, smell, taste and touch quite intensely. This has disadvantages, but it also has many advantages. I really enjoy the different layers and instruments in music, and a soft blanket, a plush toy or sweater can make me happy again, and some nice smells bring back beautiful memories. But ... the same sensory stimuli also ensure, for example, that I quickly become overstimulated by the various conversations when I’m in a loud, large group.

I’m proud of the steps I have taken over the past year and I am still taking. I didn't get my diagnosis until December 2021, so in a short period of time I learned a lot about myself. Rediscovering who Alexia actually is, what my limits are and discovering what truly makes me happy.

During this "journey of discovery" I got to know two very dear friends, who are also autistic. Girls I can laugh with, have fun with and most of all... really be myself with.

My tip? Don't let others determine who you should be or what you should/shouldnt’t be able to do, be yourself and be proud of who you are! Take care of yourself and don't force yourself to live up to the expectations of others, it's okay if something doesn't work out once in a while ,or to do things at a pace that you feel comfortable with.

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