My name is Annelotte, I’m 23 years old and I live with my fiancé in the Utrecht area. I’m creative and I love fashion, interior, architecture, film and series. I work as an interior and lighting designer and have been able to turn my interests into my profession. I can go on with this for hours, with passion.
After many trajectories, I finally have an answer to the question of what made me different: Autism. I haven't had the diagnosis of ASD for a long time, but I have suspected it for a long while.
My autism affects my daily life, in my thinking, acting and how I approach tasks. It has many advantages, but also many disadvantages. I quickly notice details, which is convenient in my field of work, I can be very focused on something and I often think out-of-the-box. I have a different view on things and that often leads to creative solutions.
I do suffer a lot from external stimuli. For example, I suffer from light, sound and sudden touches. But internal stimuli are difficult to me as well. I often do not realize that I have to drink something or that I have eaten enough.
A change in my schedule can throw my whole routine upside down. It is difficult for me to deal with this. I often panic. This is very annoying for me, but also for the people around me.
Social contact is challenging too. I often find it difficult to determine the tone of a conversation and I do not understand whether someone is joking or not. I do my best to mask, but this takes a lot of energy and effort. After a busy day or many social appointments, I am exhausted. Basically always, this manifests itself in migraine.
Getting my diagnosis has given me more confidence. I now have two good friends with autism. We get on well. I'm glad I got to know them.
I'm still learning what works for me and I'm still rediscovering myself, but I'm proud of the steps I've already taken.
My tips for others: The small victories can be big and they should be celebrated. Be proud of yourself, be happy with who you are. Ask for help if you need it, you are not alone.