Inspiring others through his book: How a Man with Aspergers Overcame His Condition

Illuminating. Candid. Straightforward.

This is how people describe 40-year-old Jeremy Tolmie's book, Kicking ASSpergers: One Melt Down At a Time. It is an encouraging memoir by an autistic author who decided not to let the diagnosis control his life. The book documents his experiences with autism to offer perspective on the challenges and stigma associated with the diagnosis.

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain that can show problems with social communication, interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.

In the book, Jeremy discussed the early signs of his autism, how he was overlooked because of his condition, and how he experienced the disappointing flaws in the medical health system.

Despite the related challenges and frustrations, Jeremy still conveyed uplifting messages about living with a disorder. He aims to break the stigma and let people understand more about him and how autism affects a person.

Jeremy Tolmie's Journey to Battling Aspergers

Tolmie was not officially diagnosed with autism until the twelfth grade. During his younger years, people, and even he, had no idea that he was autistic. Due to his indifference and the people who did not understand him, he was bullied and teased, which then had a further impact on Tolmie's condition.

His adoptive parents brought him to a psychiatrist when he was 16, but he was misdiagnosed with OCD and psychosis. The medicine prescribed to treat his condition had negatively affected the chemicals in his brain that made him more anxious and emotionally unstable.

"I was put on Paxil and Anafranil. I was also on Accutane, which did not agree with me or with the other two meds. The effect was that I became agitated, aggressive, psychotic, and prone to massive anxiety. I started to steal things, manipulate people, I also trashed my parents' house, and then when they switched me to Zoloft, that was the time I set fire to my parents' house," Jeremy recalls.

In the years after, he has been in and out of the medical system, struggling to find stability in school and at work.

"I tried to hold down a job, attend college, and live semi-independently. It was not easy," says Jeremy.

He began to make progress in managing his health thanks to a home-sharing opportunity where he met his friend, Dave Ray.

"He was a big biker dude with a soft heart. He had a deep voice and a commanding presence but was always trying to help you out. He helped me get out of my shell and be a more productive person in society. He was always there when I needed him and I could tell him anything. I felt safe around him and opened up about all the stuff that had happened in my life," says Jeremy.

Dave was a part in drafting the book and he supported some of Jeremy's funding for the publication.

"Dave paid for half of all expenses that were incurred up to the point of the book going to the publisher. He would have paid more but he passed away and was not part of the rest of the publication process," says Jeremy.

He was a huge inspiration for Jeremy as he also had fibromyalgia, clinical depression, and was an alcoholic who was clean and sober for over 30 years before he passed away.

Jeremy says, "Despite what he went through day in and day out, he still helped me out, fed me, taught me, and encouraged me to be a better man."

"I will never forget what Dave did for me and what his loss will mean for me," he adds.

Jeremy wishes for others to be encouraged in the same way that Dave has inspired him to conquer his struggles.

Through the help of his book, Jeremy hopes that those who deal with ASD may discover their own sources of inspiration.

Kicking ASSpergers: One Meltdown at a Time is available in print and e-book. Purchase Jeremy's inspiring work on this website.

Jeremy Tolmie
73 Prideaux St, Unit 305, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 2M6, Canada

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