EPISODE 46: A Confession to My Autism Tribe
with Susan Scott
Hi, everyone, Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing send off to 2019.
I announced last November that I was taking a podcast break, so I thought it would be fitting to have the first podcast of 2020 be a confession to you on why this happened. It’s a bit uncomfortable to share, but you deserve to know so stay tuned.
Also, a reminder, if you’re enjoying this podcast, please rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts, and share with a friend. That’s how we make our voice stronger. Thanks so much for listening!
- I haven’t always been completely honest with myself and others. When people have asked me if I was ok, I would say, “I’m great!” because let’s face it, do people really want to know what kind of crappy day that you’re having when they ask you that question? I’ve even looked in the mirror and told myself that things were moving along quite smoothly, and things were looking up…when in fact, I felt like I was drowning. Perhaps a part of me was trying to “fake it ‘til I made it”.
- In November of last year (2019), when I announced that I was taking a break in December, it was from complete and utter burnout. The kind of physical, mental and emotional burnout that left me feeling scatterbrained (beyond normal), dazed, not willing to make an effort of everyday duties like laundry, etc. But even worse than that, I felt myself disconnecting from my son. I was in my own world. That’s when I realized that taking a break was absolutely, without a doubt, imperative.
- My Autism Tribe was formed initially as a standalone podcast, but then added a nonprofit component. This has proven to be one of the hardest challenges in my life. In 2019, I very literally poured every ounce of energy that I had (after caring and loving on my son) into this organization and podcast. I’ve had some event successes, and other events that have fallen flat on their faces. I don’t have an administration team helping me every day. It’s 99.9% me. I don’t have a significant other that can offer encouragement when I’ve had a bad day, and I know that many of you are in the same situation. It’s tough to keep all the plates spinning and still feel sane, am I right? But I’m not sharing this stuff with you for sympathy. I’m sharing because I want you to know about how some of my viewpoints have changed.
- In the month of December, I did a lot of thinking, a lot of reflecting, a lot of praying, and I’ve decided that I’m going to change things up a bit. Let me explain.
- Up until now, I’ve intentionally kept the My Autism Tribe social platforms very “branded”, if you will. I felt like this was a direction that I needed to originally go to establish the My Autism Tribe name, but upon reflection, it completely defeats the purpose of why I started My Autism Tribe to begin with. I wanted to reach people on a very human level, and I’ve done that to some extent through the podcast, but my promise to you is that I start letting you in to my personal life more. I’m always asking guests and followers to share their stories, but what about mine? At first, I thought, “Why in the world would anyone want to see my everyday life”, but then I realized that this is the very thing that I gravitate towards when I’m searching for connection with others. I can’t promise that you still won’t see branded content, because I still very much believe it’s important as a nonprofit, but I can promise you that I will be sharing more of my family. It’s going to feel weird initially, because I’ve never been one to share details of my life with just anyone, and there are some details that I will still hold close to my chest that are just too personal to share and may involve others, but well, welcome to my family’s life. I apologize in advance (laugh).
- The same goes for the podcast. It is still my mission, and always will be, to have guests that are all uniquely tied to the autism community. Parents, siblings, relatives, providers, and most importantly self-advocates. That won’t change. I will, however, be doing some smaller “snapshot” episodes now and again that will have the theme “Just Ask”. These episodes will feature talking points or questions that have come from people like yourself, in the autism community, followers, etc. This is another way that I feel like I can not only connect each of you through this platform, but also connect on a deeper, more personal level. So, be looking for some of these prompts on the social platforms.
- I’ll also be trying to do more videos, both personally and professionally, meaning that some will look like complete poo. The other videos will probably look a bit more polished, and those will more than likely be branded to some extent for the nonprofit’s use and distribution.
- They always say that the best way to grow is the learn from your mistakes, failures, detours, and 2019 has had them. BUT, it was the first year, and I believe there were a lot of successes as well. I’ve met so many absolutely, incredible, inspirational, beautiful people this year, and I know that this year (2020) will be filled with the same. Constantly evolving, forever growing, and learning.
- I’m SUPER excited to announce some BIGGER things that are in the works for 2020.
- #1 – I’ve been writing a children’s book series this last year, and they will be (fingers crossed) pushing into illustration within the next month or so. These books will be for children both on and off the spectrum, providing a window and a mirror to autism. A mirror for children that are on the spectrum – allowing them to see the beauty of their differences, and a window for children that are not on the spectrum – allowing them to look into the world of someone that IS on the spectrum. These books began by me writing a story for my son to explain that his differences weren’t bad but beautiful, during a time that I felt like he was beginning to become more aware that he had differences. Each book will contain consistent and fun characters that children are able to closely relate to.
- #2 – I’ve been working closely with a group of real estate developers and another organization to push for the development of an autism residential community where I live. This community will provide residential options and programs for those on the spectrum. We are nowhere close to breaking ground, but I wanted to share this with you, because it’s something that I’m very proud of, and excited about for our community. I’ll continue to update you as I have more details.
- All in all, I want to thank each of you for listening to the My Autism Tribe podcast, and being patient with me as I continue to navigate this crazy journey both professionally and personally. It’s something that I’m so passionate about, and I want to continue to educate, encourage and inspire others…just as so many people have done that for me.
- Here’s looking to a bright 2020, with a vision of hope for our ourselves and our loved ones. I love each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of My Autism Tribe.