I think the longer I go, the more thinking that I do, I realise that there is a pre and post diagnosis split, a dichotomy between trying to be normal like..
..normal like you… I almost said.
Chances are that you’re not ‘normal’ and you’re atypical, a freak like me, autistic.
I wasn’t self aware before diagnosis I didn’t realise what I was, who I was or how I was. I had no self awareness or realisation about my ‘condition’, I knew or sort of knew I was always anxious.
I didn’t know about the social behaviour, face blindness and that sensitivities were the triggers.
Often I thought I was ‘normal’ I wanted normal things, I wanted a house and the whole full nine yards. I wanted a career. I wanted to be a success, I wanted to earn.
The reality is that I sort of hang on in there. Fringes of things. The margins.
I’m socially inept, poor at mixing and being and I’ve blown every relationship. I toil. I struggle on, I fight.
My 100% gets me really really far. It doesn’t get me where I ever wanted it to get.
So, reframe. Adapt.
Let go of the career my degree and professional qualification got me to. I’ll never go any higher, there’s younger, brighter things out there and rat racing isn’t worth the effort.
Focus. Stay on the road, think it all through, work to live. It’s all I can do now. Drop the pressure on myself and accept not being perfect or good enough.
I always think of my kids, they’re my rock and focus, but around that I know I need to have some financial stability.
It’s a day after pay day and I’ve realised I can’t afford lunchtime meal deals this month, so packed lunch it is.
Treats are out. Necessary for stopping an energy crash? Maybe, essential every day, no. I’m fat, a bit of less eating might be hard, but not impossible.
Can I let go? Can I be simpler? I know and think I ought to be ditching my pre-diagnosis pressures.
Baggage, baggage, baggage. Going ‘Zen like’ in a cowboy fashion.
I accept and understand and forgive relatives for ditching me. I get why. I doubt it could ever have been easy having a part-time brother or whatever. I can let it go.
I can see myself, not there, not the person that I should have been. Continually.
I get how that must have seemed, but I was scared, scared of everything, fearing being mocked. Fearing letting people down, fearing myself.
Never having enough money for gifts or things at the right time. Forgetting dates and birthdays and being disorganised, not knowing what to do, where to stand or even if I could help.
I’ve tried being ‘normal’, I’m not neurotypical and won’t ever be.
My approximation of ‘normal’ is off, it doesn’t quite work. Throw in the anxiety and add a long dose of depression, some guilt and regrets and it’s a pretty grim place inside my skull cage.
I can regret not being diagnosed earlier, decisions that I’ve made and ‘the push’ that I got growing up, but it’s made me how and who and what I am.
Some of that does need stripped away, boxed up, let go.
Now doing that ‘letting go’, that’ll be the tricky part.