All My Worldly Joy

By Laura Richmond

A memoir of motherhood and mental health.

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

From psychiatric trauma to autistic joy

Hello dear lovely supporters,

I just wanted to share with you a podcast episode I recorded with Squarepeg last week. Squarepeg is a community for autistic women and non-binary people in which we share our stories and experiences. I've been a fan of the podcast for a while, so meeting Amy and being a guest was a bit of a dream come true. In many ways, it was writing All My Worldly Joy, seeing my own thought processes and inner world on the page, that helped me to realise that I'm autistic. Since my diagnosis last year, it's been revelation after revelation, and the reason I've been quiet about it all (by my standards) is because it's all very current and I'm still processing. As I said on the podcast, I sat down to write a book, thinking that I had all this stuff to tell everyone, but I've learned far more just from the writing than I could ever impart. 

[This is Amy's image - the thought of me making one anything like this good is laughable...]

If you would like to listen, do bear in mind that it gets heavy quickly (I should have known this would be the case, because of the subject matter, but honestly it took me by surprise as well) so self-care and all that. It also contains mega book spoilers, although the conversation is more autism-centric than the book, being an autism podcast and all...

The last few days, I've been really nervous about the episode being published, worrying that I'd overshared or said something unwise. The conversation gave me an emotional hangover, much more so than the lived experience talks I usually do, which are safely past-tense. I feel vulnerable and exposed. Good training for when the book comes out! I haven't listened to the recording either, because that way madness lies. But I've had some really lovely responses, people getting in touch to say that it resonated - and that is, after all, the whole point.

I hope it resonates with some of you, and thank you again for being here. Just a reminder: I'm finishing the manuscript at the moment and will submit it to Unbound in October. You'll hear from me again before then.

With love,

Laura x

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