Today I went through a deep emotional distress, soo much soo I've been thinking about hanging up my basic mascot suit and just leaving the community for good, I don't feel welcome or settled in, I know I'm a furry but no-one seems to want to talk to me about my fursona and I'm feeling a bit left out, I'm hoping to go to confuzzled, another fur said I could go with him but we really haven't confirmed anything because neither of us has transportation and both live with our parents, I'm 26 he's 21.
I don't feel I'll ever have the warm fuzzy feeling that being a furry is, I have no confidence in myself as a fur and I'm just thinking about leaving and never coming back, I'm hoping this is all a huge mistake and it’s just stress, I don't take medication because I can't swallow tablets and liquid meds are just as bad. I was diagnosed with autism and I can't socialise with people but when as a furry I know I'll settle in.
I want to feel more accepted in the group, what do I do?
Xoda Fox (age 26, UK)
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It’s not easy feeling like one belongs to any group, including furries. It is doubly difficult when one suffers from autism, making it more challenging to deal with social situations.
I can understand, too, why you would think the furry fandom would be a safe haven for you where you could find acceptance. I thought so once myself. The truth is that the fandom is just like any other group of people, and it is just as difficult (or easy) to find friends and camaraderie within it as any other social group.
Being a furry doesn’t erase your problems with social anxiety any more than belonging to any other kind of group. Therefore, leaving the fandom will not solve your problem any more than joining the fandom did.
What, then, is the answer? The answer is that you have to look within yourself first. You have to deal with your autism. You have to deal with your sense of self-worth. You have to evaluate why you became a furry in the first place. If you are a furry because you love anthros, then no social problems should interfere with that; if you became a furry thinking it would solve your social isolation and to get attention, then that is the wrong reason to be a furry.
Although you say you cannot manage medication for your autism, there are other things you can do to help you relax and try to control your anxiety. That would be the first thing I’d recommend you learn to do. This page from the UK’s National Autistic Society can give you some leads on what to do. I highly recommend you seek out ways to manage your autism.
Do not expect the furry fandom to help you cope with your autism or social isolation. While many people are furries because they enjoy the social aspect of it, the fandom is not a treatment program for autism. Please recognize that.
Even though that is true, it is no reason to hang up your fursona and walk away. Go into the fandom without expectations of it, and you will be much more pleased. Do not expect or demand that people talk about your fursuit or your fursona. They are going to furmeets or furcons to have a good time, and that is all.
Instead, simply share with them the fun things about being a furry. Find some common interests (e.g. maybe you read the same comic books or TV shows) and then talk to them about those and not about yourself. When you share common interests and bond on those things rather than yourself, the focus is taken off you and moves to those other things. This will make you feel less self-conscious and, hopefully, more comfortable with others who like to talk about furry things.
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