As of the moment, we are currently in the third week of the #TakeTheMaskOff Challenge, and the experience of writing about masking and stimming has been quite liberating for me, and it is also interesting to see how far I’ve come from when I myself didn’t understand my own diagnosis and myself, and I hope that these posts, which talk about masking from my own personal point of view, will allow the readers to understand what we go through, and at the same time, I hope that others like me are encouraged to speak out and make their own voices heard. So far we have talked about masking and stimming. So, for the third week of the challenge, let’s take a look at the physical and mental cost that masking has on individuals with autism, my own personal experience of how exhausting it can be, and what coping strategies I use now in order to lessen the physical and mental exhaustion and stress.
Every year, I try to attend some fan pop-culture conventions and events during the year. As of this moment, the only one I have attended so far is this year’s Asia Pop Comic Con, which I do attend every year. However, this time, my experience was very different, especially as my social anxiety was almost non-existent as I experienced all the sights and sounds that the con had to offer, cosplaying as Ruby Rose from “RWBY”.
Whenever I know that I’ll be going to an event, whether it will be held at my house or at a different venue, and regardless of whether or not I will be going with a friend or if I know people there, I always have the same sinking feeling of dread that settles down to the pit of my stomach and refuses to leave until after the event is finally over. As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it is not surprising that I have developed a little something called social anxiety or social phobia. Now, having this isn’t a marker of having Asperger’s Syndrome, but is something that I think ends up developing naturally as the years go by based on all the experiences a person accumulates over time.