My Story: Acknowledging the Darker Side of Things

I'm Alice, an illustrator born in Hong Kong, and lives in New York. Growing up, I thought there must be something wrong with me. I felt different but couldn't understand why. I desperately wanted to fit in, to look "normal." So I "masked" my natural personality, covered up traits that are considered socially unacceptable. Every day I was performing, like an alien trapped inside a human body. I copied other's behavior, scripted out conversations, obsessed over every tiny little detail, and sunk into complete exhaustion at the end of each day.

Because of that, I've suffered from anxiety and depression.  Only until recently, I've found out that I'm on the spectrum(ASD), and that opens up a new world for me.  All of a sudden, my struggles in social pragmatics, sensory issues, panic attacks and all those shutdowns and meltdowns make sense.  It helped me understand why I am the way I am, and that it's ok to experience the world differently than everyone else. 

However, getting a diagnosis does not mean I have a free pass in life and can do whatever I want.  I still have to "pretend" now and then to function in this world.  It still costs me double or triple the effort to "fit in."  But at least maybe, I can stop doubting myself for once.  I don't have to feel ashamed that I have trouble with ordinary tasks.  I don't have to hate myself for thinking or reacting differently.  I don't have to tell myself that I'm bad, or lazy for not trying hard enough; because believe me, I am trying so FREAKING hard. 

I started drawing the Goodbunnies and Lost kids when I was in college, before learning about my ASD.  It was a means to deal with my internal struggles, and express my frustration with the world that I didn't understand.  When I received my diagnosis, a huge weight was off my shoulders, and the dots began to connect.  That was when the Goodbunny Club came into existence.  I want to explore the concept of losing and finding (and maybe losing again) one's identity.  It is about meeting social standards and chasing the impossible ideal.  It is about people that happily follow the crowd, while plenty struggle and get destroyed in the process.  And it is about those who refuse to comply and fight back.

If you have read all the way down here, thank you.  I hope this gives you a better insight of the Goodbunny Club and me.  I am still learning to embrace vulnerability, and I encourage you to do the same.  Come find me on Instagram (@goodbunnyalice).  I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories.  Once again, thank you for being here.