Aimee’s Story- Living with Autism and EUPD
Aimee has recently joined our Experts by Experience Team as a Mental Health Advocate and was previously a client on the Telford IPS programme. This is her story.
“My name is Aimee King and I am a 34-year-old female, who is trying her best to leave her mark on the world. It has always been my desire to help other people, to make a difference however big or small, and to help people in their journey and create their best selves. I’m so excited and proud to be part of the Expert By Experience team for Enable. I’ve experienced lots of challenges with my mental health and my Autism. I honestly believe that I can use my “lived experience” to help others.
I was first thrust into Mental Health Services at the age of 22. One of my first experiences with a therapist was not a positive one. As she read guidance from a psychology book, she didn’t even meet my eyes. This did not fill me with hope as I couldn’t relate to the medical spiel. I think it would have been really helpful at the time if I had somebody that had been through these tough challenges themselves: to show me there was hope and light at the end of the tunnel. This is where I can stand now and tell people that there will be a way through their problems and there is always a solution.
From a very early age, I have felt like an outcast, someone who doesn’t quite fit the mould. I used to feel like Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, watching other people from my tower. Not being able to join in on the world around me. I always used to think that I was living life the wrong way. I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Autism. My personality disorder means that I have rapid changes in my mood. I might start the day feeling sad or depressed but I could then be happy and almost euphoric. I handle this so much better now with the tools and knowledge I have about the condition. Realising that just because I feel this way doesn’t mean that I have to act on my own impulses.
With my autism, I have come to understand that the way I look at the world is indeed different, but different doesn’t have to be wrong. My autism does also have positives.
When I want to understand something, I have to know every little thing about it. This makes me knowledgeable and diligent on that topic. I also feel like I have more patience with other people that struggle as I can emphasise with their hurdles. My lack of understanding of banter and sarcasm used to frustrate me. However, on the flip side, it makes me more transparent in the way I approach people.
A lot of people say that they admire my honesty and sincerity. I want to help to fight the stigma of mental health and disability: and show the world that everybody has got their own gifts and strengths to share. If talking about my own struggles helps just one person, I will leave this world happy.”