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Unsuspected Camouflage

By: Carol Smith -  I was socially confused all the time when I was younger, never knowing how to respond, unintentionally hurting people’s feelings, and being told I was different. I tried to mask my cluelessness by acting like other kids. By the time I was 13, at the end of the school day, I’d be physically and emotionally drained. In high school I had a few friends. But the strain of having to be conscious of my behavior all the time made socializing very unpleasant. In college, I isolated myself, withdrawing from everyone. After I graduated, I didn’t do anything outside of work. Psychologically I went downhill, and each passing year felt worse and worse. The alienation, the anxiety, the eventual depression. By 2012, the time had come where applying for social security disability was no longer something I could avoid. Though it took 2 years, I was eventually granted disability. And with it, came health insurance/medicare, and access to real counselors I hadn’t had the oppor

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