My name is Angela and I am an autistic adult with OCD, depression, and anxiety. I am 38 years old. I was not diagnosed with autism until my 20’s. It was not until much later that I started to understand myself.

When I found out I had autism I did not want the diagnosis. I did not want to be different. Around this time I was employed. This job was a toxic chaotic unstructured environment. It was always changing. I could not keep up with what was going on around me. My worst traits came out with meltdowns and being obsessive over items and people. I was bullied. I was made to feel like I was worthless. I would go home and cry. To me being different was a bad feeling to have. I thought I had no future because I thought I was a failure. When I left that job and the people there my growth as a person began. 

Recently I have been learning a lot more about myself and what I am capable of. The experiences that I had have made me the person I am today. I would not want to change that because the more I fall on the ground and fail the more I get up and try again. I have become a well-rounded individual because of that. New doors open while others close. I want to expand my skills so I can be the person I was meant to be and more. I want to keep learning and helping others like parents; children, young and older adults with autism. I am willing to work hard to help my peers develop meaningful lives by using my experiences and peer support training. I am sharing my story thru writing, speaking, and advocating. I have a meaningful life because I found the right medication, the perfect job, and the support of friends and family. I am positive, kind, and love to smile. I get the job done. I have blossomed.