A few days ago I had my first two professional mental health appointments.
Turned out I have autism. Which means… I’ve always had it. For 37 years.
I’ve been trying to prepare for the possibility of confirming it since I scheduled the appointment a few weeks ago but still the shock was heavy. It’s hard to put into words how disturbing it feels to find out only now, to find out that so much in my life was autism all along, and to have no idea how good or bad I “faked” not having it all this time (I’ve been trying to write this for a few hours).
What’s for sure is that if I hadn’t met so many people here that goes/went to therapy, I don’t think I’d have it in me to look for professional help. Really, thanks for being here for me all these years, no matter if I’m neurotypical, autistic, or three dogs in a trench coat.
You have reason to be proud of your accomplishments, and the courage to accept the diagnosis. It sounds like you’ve overcome a lot without being diagnosed, and now that you are, you will have access to information and therapies that will make things better for you. There are often compensatory talents and abilities, including those you’ve developed over time, that make your talent unique, and perhaps instrumental in creating a new future.
Thank you so much for sharing this here. I went through something very similar last year. I was diagnosed with adhd at age 35. It came with so many emotions, good and bad. It made so much of my past make sense. But it also made me so frustrated that I was the one who had to do all the work to get the late diagnosis. Your post really made me happy that you have answers for yourself now. It’s so helpful when we can start to understand ourselves. Thanks again for posting this. You’re really an inspiration.
I do hope that this diagnosis brings with it some freeing feelings. A better understanding of yourself. I hope you’re able to be kind to yourself and feel encouraged that you have all the support we can offer!
I’m so happy to hear that you reached out for professional support. It’s not always an easy step.
I hope you’re going well
I can relate to you on so many levels with this. I’m 30 and was diagnosed last year.
While I studied psychology, including several elements of autism and even look up to change makers who are on the spectrum, the diagnosis was simultaneously overwhelming and freeing.
I got incredibly emotional because so much of my life up to that point started to make sense. The struggle of being different, hyper interested in things that no one else around me could understand, the awkward social interactions, difficulty expressing and processing my emotions, and so on all just hit me at once and it was a lot to take on.
But it was probably the most freeing thing I did for myself (going and getting diagnosed) as it allowed me to step into who I truly am without fear.
For example, my hero’s like Einstein, Newton and Steve Jobs would all be on the spectrum.
They all thought and did things completely different, but that’s what made them who we remember them to be.
I’m also incredibly proud of you for taking the steps to get diagnosed - I’m sure it wasn’t easy.