I’m Nicky, I live in Suffolk with my teenage son and very vocal cat called Snippit. Over the years I have had many special interests but the ones that have brought me the most satisfaction and pleasure are personal development and cycling. In 2010 my personal development journey really started to take shape, I coached others to take charge of their direction through their health and my business was doing incredibly well, little did I know that 2012 was the year that would shatter my world, yet through grit, determination and a lot of getting to know myself, I survived it all.
The knock on my door in May 2012 changed me at my core, it was the British transport police and they were about to inform me of my dad's suicide. I had always been a 'daddy's girl' growing up and although I knew he had been going through a difficult patch, I was totally unaware that he was in such a dark and final place, his death caused me to spiral into the darkest depression I have ever experienced and it's something that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I had to learn who I was, how I functioned and how to live fully without being dragged back by the unanswerable question of why and I swore to myself that his life wouldn't be lost in vain. It was during this time that I fully embraced my cycling, I had already cycled London to Paris and I was in the middle of planning Lands End John O’Groats when dad died, I threw all of my focus into raising money for the depression alliance, raising awareness around male suicide and of course training for the ride itself.
In 2018 I took the decision to pull my son out of main stream education, he hated school and his mental health was terrifying me, I felt that if I didn’t do something to help him he would end up a statistic, just like his grandad and I couldn’t allow that. We started studying neuroscience, my theory was if you’re going to understand your inner workings, you start with the brain as that’s what drives us, he loved it and so did I.
When I started with neuroscience I never imagined that it would lead me to recognising my sons autism and ADHD, several months after this realisation the penny dropped and I realised that I too was on the spectrum, autism and ADHD present very differently in women, and are commonly overooked this wasn’t something I was aware of at the time. I could never work out why I couldn’t fit in, I was perfectly friendly and a total people pleaser, I would crack jokes to try and make people like me. Over the years I truly and unintentionally mastered the art of masking, turning to drugs and alcohol to try and boost my confidence and compensate for my lack of social skills and social anxiety. I have in the past earned the nickname flappy, this was due to me hyper focusing on a task and being flustered and frustrated when my focus was broken, I didn’t know that this was a form of stimming and something that autistic people do to self sooth.
Since learning I am autistic I have been able to work out what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are and how to have more balance in my life. My personal development background has given me a huge advantage as I already had the tools needed to make sure I can thrive and I use them all the time, being autistic is a super power and has opened up a whole new level of personal development and for someone who likes to hyper focus on a subject it’s really quite magical.