The most difficult thing about being autistic for me is the idea of friendship. As an adult you inevitably lose friends and the older you get the harder it is to establish new friendships, yet I see people who have the same close friend groups since high school and wonder why I can’t have that. The ability to just hang-out whenever you want with people who understand you is just something I’ll never have. I can go day or weeks without needing to be around others, but then when I want to go out to a nightclub or if I need someone to talk to I realise that I have no one. I had friends once, so I know at some point I must have had the ability to maintain friendships, but once I became unemployed my autism worsened and of course unemployment itself kills any sort of social life you may have had anyway. Of the few friends I have left I’ll meet them for coffee once every few months but that’s it...no hanging-out, no talking to each other online in the meantime, it just doesn’t feel like what I think a friendship should feel like and I’ve no idea how to change that.
What is one thing about acceptance that would make a difference in the world?
Thank you, Jay, and a warm welcome to the U.S. I hope you enjoy being here!