Happy Birthday Reilly, you have Autism.
Your birthday present? Being on the Autism Spectrum
This wasn’t how I expected my 34th Birthday to go. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t expect much on my birthday. I usually have a dinner made by my mother served with homemade cake. (Such as the Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a layer of raspberry jam shown above) At home with my mother, brother, and I. Nobody expects to be on the Autism Spectrum. To have another mental health problem! I discovered on Monday that I am on the autism spectrum. It was an official diagnosis from my therapist as something I requested. I have suspected that I have been on the spectrum for a couple years now. I did many online questionnaires, but those are really only a guide. Online tests for medical conditions border on pseudoscience. I became suspicious when test after online test indicated that I was probably autistic. A pattern was emerging. I’m not sure if this is a birthday gift or not. A gift is unconditional. You do not give a gift expecting something in return. Because that is manipulation. I learned this the hard way by losing a relationship. I regret my actions. I will never do that ever again.
A health issue such as Autism is all conditions. Let’s get one thing clear. This is something people are born with. You don’t get it from a fucking vaccine! Any discussion in the comments saying otherwise will be deleted, and not tolerated.
I’ve always felt there was something different about me. Like I never really fit in. Especially in socializing. I tried to get checked a couple years ago with a previous therapist, but the only way was to go to a specialist for children. That there was no (and still isn’t!) official tests for adults on the autism spectrum. I didn’t pursue it because it felt like a dead end. I had and still have issues to work on in therapy. On my Monday appointment, When my therapist read me through the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm , 04/03/20) test, many of the traits described me. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html, 04/01/20) The diagnosis would explain why I had to learn proper eye contact. Why I, have so much trouble without structure and routines. The biggest hurdle with Autism is that there is little research and help for people who have it as adults. Even in the DSM-5, the questions are aimed toward diagnosing kids. Even the CDC website is written with this bias.
“Diagnosing ASD can be difficult since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. Doctors look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis. ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable.1 However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.” (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html, 04/01/20) Science and research is lagging for Autism studies in adults.
My diagnosis would explain why:
- I can so easily remember punchlines from Chappelle show, Futurama, and South Park. (Though watching these and other favorite shows during my Agoraphobic years to cope is another explanation.)
- I can do repetitive tasks so easily, and why they are soothing.
- I’ve struggled so much in dating. I’ve never felt ready, and the few times I’ve tried I’ve left ashamed, frustrated, and disappointed. I feel like an outsider two times removed as everyone else does it.
- It takes me a long time to be comfortable with people.
- I struggle talking about my feelings. I overshare, and have trouble navigating conversational vulnerability.
- Explains why I have intense phases of interests. Then lose interest after I become like an expert.
- Why I get worked up in conversations and get a massive rush of energy. Then I need to calm myself down with slow deep breaths. A trait of AD/HD, and a symptom of Autism.
- My affinity with animals.
- Super short attention span. As I write this, I have 7 tabs open in Firefox. On my phone, I have 14 tabs open, and typically have 12+ always open at a given time. Firefox has so many bookmarks that I have them organized into folders. The contents of two folders which have enough bookmarks to fill my computer monitor to the edges on the vertical axis.
And so on. I don’t want this post to be more list than content. There’s enough listicles already. Nobody likes being kicked in the listicles by surprise. I have a feeling my actions in the past due to my undiagnosed autism has hurt those that know me. If I haven’t apologized properly, I am sorry. Now that I know what the problem with myself is, I’m able to work on it. Yes, feeling good enough is healthy to think about yourself. I go by this Louis C.K Quote as a mantra: “When you hurt somebody, you don’t get to decide how they feel.” (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7328323-when-a-person-tells-you-that-you-hurt-them-you 04/03/20) Edit: Correction, I misquoted Louis C.K., it is: “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
Which means: accept your actions which led to hurting another person, apologize for your actions, and show you mean to change by adjusting your behavior in the future. Most important is to not argue about it.
Song of the post:
Shout out to Louis C.K. : https://louisck.com/
Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!
Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!
© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.