A Mom’s Journey to Finding Peace Through Establishing a New Normal

Savannah was diagnosed with Autism when she was 29. She was so excited, and happy and couldn’t wait to get started on living a happy, fulfilled life for herself. She wanted to make others more aware of this issue since there still is some negative stigma attached. Her aim is to help others find the right education, and job and understand that every single person is unique in their own way. What’s more, she was a mom when she found out that she was suffering from autism.

“If you knew me before 2021, you knew a very different version of who I am.”

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Spending years lessening herself and her worth to fit in with others around her, Savannah became overwhelmed with depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. She lost her identity and hid her personal attributes in order to accommodate others.

Her journey of self-identification began by joining INFJ groups online, listening to Ted Talks, reading research articles, watching YouTube testimonials, and taking autism tests.

“I interacted in ways deemed socially acceptable — moving like a chameleon in a paint store, but never knowing my own coloring outside of blending in to fit in.”

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“I was labeled shy, introverted, quiet, perfectionistic, sensitive, people-pleasing, emotional, naive.”

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Savannah was labeled many things during her upbringing, but never what she truly was. On the outside, she participated in various activities like Miss America and wore the crown, and later competed at the state level. She was also co-captain of her cheer squad, got outstanding grades in high school, and graduated at 17 years old with college right around the corner.

On the inside, she was lost, insecure, and fragile, and hid inside her outer world which only damaged her true identity. Nobody really knows who or what they’re supposed to be, so it’s best to “fly under the radar” in this big world.

“On the outside, I was a driven, well-behaved, integrity-based success. My inner world told a much different story.”

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After a sequence of stressful events in college, Savannah dropped out, only to try again and succeed. She got happily married and in 2016 her lovely daughter Aurora was born. Although it wasn’t easy blending in with other people with a child, she decided it was time to embrace herself and found out that the signs of her struggles were related to autistic burnout.

“We married, swift and young, struggled to understand each other, but nevertheless, we persisted.”

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When it was time to open up to her husband, Savannah was anxious but realized it took a lot to surprise him. Of course, she loved one of 11 years would understand and accept this sudden shift! Although knowing her mental stability earlier might have saved her mental health, her life wouldn’t be as full and complete because she wouldn’t have met her husband and gotten a baby girl along the way.

“After this ‘info-dump,’ the man of few words that he is, he said something to the effect of ‘Makes sense!’”

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In June 2021, Savannah was diagnosed with autism. All of her struggles and self-resentment went flooding down the drain when she found out none of it was her fault and it wasn’t just in her head. The first step was to create awareness, and the second was acceptance in order to fully be at peace.

“June 7, 2021, diagnosis: Autism. After 29 years of self-hatred and misery, I found peace in knowing that it wasn’t all just in my head.”

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After discovering her true identity, everything in her life became much easier. Her passion for art, music, and literature went flying through the roof and she was able to connect with people in a special way. Her diagnosis allowed her to trust and be herself.

She is not a torn person, she is an autistic woman who found her way through thick and thin and that’s all that really matters in this life.