A little over 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Aspergers. A lot of people may think that getting such news would be depressing, but I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I always knew I wasn’t like everyone else, but now I knew why. I looked at it as an opportunity to improve on all the things I had been struggling with like making friends, engaging in small talk and maintaining a job. I was convinced that with a little bit of therapy and hard work I’d soon be a social butterfly capable of charming myself into (or out of) any situation.
I was in for a rude awakening.
I needed more help than I thought. One of the worst parts about being autistic is that I can rarely tell when I’m not doing the socially acceptable thing in a situation. If no one is crying and no one died I assume I’ve done the right thing. Other peoples emotions and reactions to things are often extremely confusing to me. I’ve gone the majority of my life not understanding that sometimes, emotions prevent people from making logical decisions, and I’ve also learned that ignoring peoples emotions when making a decision is very wrong and can often end badly. Emotions are part of life for most people, and most people take their own (and others) emotions into consideration when making everyday decisions. And sometimes, defying all logic and making a purely emotional decision can lead to amazing things, like love.
2 years later, I find myself feeling slightly better but still struggling with most of the things I’ve always had a hard time with. Something as simple as a stranger saying “good morning” still sends me towards an anxiety attack. I’m still confused at people having emotional reactions to things that can be solved with logic but I’m learning. I give myself credit for every baby step. If I nod back at someone that waves, I tell myself I did a good job. Responding properly to someone that asks me how the weather is feels like winning the lottery. I’ll never be like everyone else, but I’d like to come as close as possible without losing some of the quirky things that make me who I am.
I was autistic yesterday, I’m autistic today, and I’ll be autistic tomorrow and that’s ok.