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Autistic blogger creates compassion and understanding through relatable Facebook posts

Lyric Holmans aka NeuroDivergent Rebel.

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When Lyric Holmans was diagnosed with autism at the age of 29, it was like they were born again. It fundamentally changed how Holmans saw themself and others, and it led to the important realization that they no longer had to live up to neurotypical expectations.

"Finally learning the truth allowed me to grow a skill that I'd been lacking for most of my life—self-compassion," Holmans tells Upworthy. Adding that the diagnosis was like a "guidebook" that allowed them to "finally understand myself, and once I understood myself better, I even began to understand other humans—because I now understood how different people's minds can be."

This rebirth allowed Holmans to create a blog and social media profiles under the moniker NeuroDivergent Rebel. As the NeuroDivergent Rebel, Holmans elevates neurologically atypical voices to broaden the conversation surrounding neurodiversity.

The NeuroDivergent Rebel has nearly 88,000 followers on Facebook and 34,000 on Instagram.

One of the NeuroDivergent Rebel's primary focuses is letting the public know that no one should attempt to turn neurodivergent people into neurotypical people.

"We know that treating people like they are inferior or destined for failure can push them into that self-fulfilling prophecy of not believing in their own abilities," they told Upworthy. "Neurodivergent people, like all people, need to believe in themselves. We also need society to stop asking us to be all the things we're not."

Holmans wants neurodivergent people to take off their "masks" and to be themselves instead of contorting their minds and bodies in an attempt to be indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers. They understand that "masking" is a form of self-protection but it can push people to the emotional and physical breaking point.

"For some of us, myself included, simply being yourself means standing out, which can be dangerous if you are around unsafe people or situations. For me, as an autistic person, masking often means I am hiding my discomfort or confusion in a situation. I may also mimic neurotypical expressions, cues, and body language, or fake eye contact, because I know non-autistic people sometimes feel you're up to no good or lying if you won't look them in the eye," Holmans says.

As a leading neurodivergent voice on social media, Holmans has seen how platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are slowly changing the way people understand neurodiversity.

"Social media has given rise to neurodivergent voices. Once upon a time, even as recently as five years ago, when I was first diagnosed, it was very hard to find the words and voices of other neurodivergent adults," Holmans says.

"If you went to Google or any other search engine and typed in 'autism' or 'ADHD' you would only find stories and resources about children, from medical professionals and worried parents (who were also only finding the medical articles that tend to slant heavily towards the harder parts of the neurodivergent experience)," they continued.

"For those of us, like me, rediscovering ourselves late in life, neurodivergent adults were lost and alone with few resources aimed at helping us. Now we are finally seeing a bit more balance to the narrative, though things are still far from perfect, and we have a long way to go," Holmans says.

Some of the most impactful posts they've made have helped parents understand their neurodivergent children.

Their posts are also a way for neurodivergent people to feel connected to others.

They also allow people to celebrate their differences.

And they're advocating for changes to our classrooms and schools to create a more compassionate, inclusive space for neurodivergent students.

In the end, Holmans is all about helping people improve their understanding of themselves and others to build a more compassionate world. "If I am able to give my readers the gift I received, in learning about neurodiversity that I'm not a broken neurotypical person—and it empowers them to live their lives more boldly, I've won," Holmans says.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

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