UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.
July 25, 1994
Alcohol was my mask in social situations. It helped me with sensory overload and put my stimming in a more palatable context for NT people. It made me feel safer out in the world. It also made me feel very lonely.
All those words from the first entry grew more distant the more I drank. Quitting drinking is what led me to discover I am autistic. It brought the magic and dreaminess back to my life.
Please know you are not alone if you are autistic and drink to cope with a world that does not accept us. If you want to stop drinking, please follow this link for support and recovery: https://www.smartrecovery.org
Be well, neurokin.
Like many autistic people, I had a complicated relationship with alcohol. It became part of my mask (social persona) by:
- easing my anxiety
- helping me cope in social situations
- allowing me to be myself with fewer repercussions (people would attribute my frankness to intoxication and forgive any perceived rudeness)
I was the fun person who carried a flask in my knee-high boots. The one who would have that second margarita with you. The one who appreciated the different varieties of single malt Scotch (special interest alert!). All part of the mask.
In reality, I was struggling. Wary as I was, alcohol was never a healthy part of my life. I am an introvert. I didn’t enjoy drinking. I didn’t enjoy socializing. Every aspect of my health was affected. I didn’t know how to “be” without alcohol, though, since my way of “being” had been scorned, dismissed, and abused.
One day, I just decided to stop. Drinking and socializing. I finally found peace. And, I discovered I am autistic. ❤️