“I first became homeless when I was 13 years of age. I ran away from home, but let’s just say I never really knew what home felt like. Even though I tried so hard, I couldn’t fit in anywhere. I was bullied a lot at school; I am on the autistic spectrum, but at the time, teachers didn’t have a clue what it was. I didn’t know what was wrong with me either, so I kept running away. I always painted the picture that the grass was greener on the other side and the only relief I could find was in comedy and alcohol. I could always crack a joke about the grimmest situations. Throughout my childhood, laughter and comedy were my survival toolkit. By the time I entered adulthood, I considered myself an entertainer and I carried comedy everywhere I went. I always wanted to belong and tried to prove that I am lovable to the people who didn’t like me. Because of that, I was around all the wrong people and I got into some really bad situations. Even though I didn’t really have to sleep on the streets, I slept in awful conditions; in sheds and dirty places. I got sober in 1984 but my mental health issues never really left and life became unbearable without alcohol. When I got involved with organisations like Dublin Simon, I got to join different groups where I could really shine a light on my talent. I got involved in everything! For me, these activities were like a glove fitting on a hand. Besides becoming a published author, I did acting, performing arts, I went to a singer and songwriting class, and they helped us to form a band called the ‘Social Misfits’ and I did Stand Up as well. With the guidance of Austin Campbell the founder of ‘My Streets Ireland’, I developed my own tour guide for Dublin. I really enjoy my life today and it’s all thanks to the work of organisations like Dublin Simon. They helped me understand that being on the Autistic spectrum is actually a gift and not a disability.”
This post was highlighted by @DublinSimonCommunity with the help of Spectrum.Life The Dublin Simon Community is closing doors on homelessness for over 50 years now!
There are currently 10,514 homeless people across Ireland – another record high. Find out more and donate here: gf.me/u/w45uvb
A comment by Dezi:
“A special mention to the memory of my late parents who have done their very best for me with what little they had. I would also like to thank my teachers at Marino College, Connolly House for their support in helping get across the line and where I was successful in gaining my acting qualification. A special mention to the organization of Ex-Service men, Focus Ireland, My Streets Ireland and the Simon Community for their continued support in my resettlement. www.DeziJayM.com