One of the few things I like about Facebook is it’s “On this day feature”. To my surprise on the 29th of April it had been a year since I was officially diagnosed with ASD and the trained fine artist in me really wants to reflect upon that.
Whats changed in a year?
It was around now that I was starting up MessyMiscreation and was getting to grips with what this business was going to become. The online store was opened and over time its been filled with prints and originals of my work. I was struggling a lot with anxiety and I had started a teeth grinding phase that I had during the summer. I pushed myself to begin a presence in the art world and it certainly took its toll. A year ago I was having a tough time.
As per usual that last paragraph concentrated on the negatives over the past year. That leads me onto the journey I’ve taken towards helping my mental health which is why I’m now receiving CBT therapy which is something I would never have gone for a year ago. This is a challenge as it targets my overall negative outlook on myself but it’s already beginning to make positive changes.
As a person I have come a long way and I now accept a majority of my traits rather than condemn them as problems. I don’t beat myself up as often for not fitting the social norm and having very strong passions for both my artwork and my love of video games. For the first time in years I smile on regular basis and I actually feel happy. I even have everything set to go live in Manchester this July with my girlfriend.
This will be a huge step for me as it will require to jump completely out of my comfort zone but will also allow me to have control over my business and be able to support myself. It also means I will have the support of my girlfriend so I can continue to invest time into my artwork.
One of the biggest changes to my life is the ability to travel without too much IBS anxiety. A year ago I couldn’t have gone anywhere without panicking I would need the toilet. I can now travel to Manchester on a Megabus coach which I haven’t been able to do in years. I feel a lot more in control which was one of my goals for 2016 and it’s great to finally see the “back end” of those problems (haha IBS jokes).
My diagnosis has also affected my artwork. It has opened up room for discussion using my paintings as a medium to talk about how autism affects me. This has also given me some amazing opportunities to host exhibitions with both the NAS and Ambitious about Autism with more events happening in the future. Messy Miscreation is looking to have a bright future.
Here is to another year of self improvement and mess making. Hopefully we will see a difference in another years time. To everyone who has helped me on my journey, thank you. You help make this all possible.