Until I discovered that I am likely autistic and understood what that means I was constantly wearing masks. I felt absolutely exhausted and miserable after them. I spent huge amount of time trying to be ''normal'' and failing.
In my case those mostly were/are, job interviews, meetings with other people, phone calls, using the public transport, trying to fit in, handshakes, social interactions, small talks, trying to cope with noises and smells and clocks on the walls making noises.
I have went to some social gatherings only to discover that whenever I am in a loud or crowded place with lots of people talking at once I have trouble focusing on one person or source. I could barely make out anything the person standing only a few feet in front of me is saying.
Obviously, the effort to keep the masks on has taken its toll on my mental and physical health. I had no support whatsoever. I was so unhappy and I felt absolutely miserable. For a long time, the only thing that made me happy was eating. So, I was eating too much and very unhealthy food.
I am still wearing some masks at work. For example, try to do handshakes to be polite and not rude, suppress my stimming, something that really comes me down when I am anxious and also makes me happy. Also, not fighting for the adjustments that would really help me to do the work much better and feel much better.
Since I try to do exactly what feels right for me, not what the society expects me to mo, I feel much happier. Like huge weight off my shoulders. However, it is difficult as I sometimes feel the others expectations, pressure to behave like a ''normal'' person.
Do you (still) wear masks?
Hi California, I’m the same as you and I’m finding that living without the mask is a processs, like anything else, but my tolerance for masking is zero so that is where I will eventually be living from, a place of zero masking. The more we live without the mask, the more we will be accepted and understood because people will have no choice but to see clearly that we are different in that we don’t live a nuerotypical life, but we’re here, alive, well and thriving as an nd in a world that is predominantly nt but that is changing to be more open, loving and accepting, for all people, not just nd’s. But that will only happen to the degree that we refuse or choose not to wear the mask. We’re revolutionaries which means we will be in the minority, but that’s ok because we’ve got each other on here and at our groups etc and luckily enough for us, most of us like to spend much of our time by ourselves anyway.