As the #TaketheMaskOff Challenge draws to a close this week, I decided to look back at the past six weeks and what I’ve written here as part of the challenge, and to see how it has impacted me, and what I hope I was able to do with writing these things down here. So, without further ado, here is my very last entry for the #TaketheMaskOff Challenge!
I would be lying if I said that this challenge, writing about masking every week, has been a piece of cake. Even more than before, as masking is a big and important issue that should be talked about, it was tough to balance my new hectic schedule with trying to write about these topics with the utmost care I could give them. However, I stuck to it through thick and thin, and although I’ve been releasing these posts a little bit later than my supposed Wednesday release date, I hope that in a way, these posts have been able to enlighten and have touched both neurotypicals and people with autism.
Masking is quite a complicated but important topic that should be discussed not only within the atypical community, but with neurotypicals as well, especially with those who do have friends or loved ones who are on the autism spectrum so that there can be more understanding about it and the toll that masking has one individuals with autism. For this, I definitely applaud The Autistic Advocate, Agony Autie, the Neurodivergent Rebel and Do I Look Autistic Yet? for coming up with this challenge. I am definitely looking forward to more challenges of this kind in the future, whether it is about masking or another important topic that should be discussed. I hope that in participating in this, I was able to spread a little bit of awareness and I hope that some of my insights and tips will be useful to other people like me.
This challenge made a definite mark on me personally. This entire challenge let me learn more not only about masking and its effects on me, but it also forced me to take a look at myself, and in turn, I was able to reflect about this side of me. Doing this, and taking a look back at my own individual journey, I can see how far I’ve come, and I’m happy that I was able to, over the years, and with the help of my therapist/life coach, come up with coping strategies tailor fit for myself that helped me to slowly shed my own mask, and allowed me to be in more control of my own life. This challenge was also a reminder of the toll that masking or not masking “authentically” (“authentic masking” for me means using coping strategies for appropriate situations. It still takes some effort, but still allows me to be very much myself), has on myself.
So, as this challenge draws to a close, I’m glad that it was able to allow me to reflect about masking and how it impacts me, and I hope that my insights and tips were able to spread some awareness about masking, and I also do hope that others like me were also able to glean something from these posts.
Until the next challenge!