I am autistic

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Axaday

Active member
Citizen
I have been gradually coming out since my recent diagnosis and this place feels like the next logical place. There are a few people here who have "known" me for nearly 20 years. Kalimol has known me a little longer. That blows my mind.

About a year and a half ago, we started reading up in ADHD, suspecting that one of our daughters might have it and as I read about it, I couldn't unsee the way it was describing my life. I diagnosed myself and felt like, "Well, no I understand, but I'm not going to let it be a big deal" That was really naive. The truth is that it has been defining me for decades without me knowing and every relationship in my life is affected. I finally decided I needed to get a diagnosis and treatment, which happened last October. In a lot of ways medication has helped, but when I became more able to focus, I began focusing more on things that weren't what I was really supposed to focus on, causing some tension for me. And there were symptoms that I felt like I understood, but that were not explained by ADHD.

A month ago, I got tested for both at a more sophisticated testing center. They confirmed ADHD, combined type and also diagnosed me with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I have talked to several people in my life that weren't shocked at all. One who said, "Yeah, I didn't think it was my place to say anything". I haven't talked to anyone yet that I didn't think would be supportive. I don't know how to make a conclusion paragraph, because I don't have a conclusion. When I first got the diagnosis it felt like a relief, but with a little more time it isn't as relieving as it was at first. I have lived 44 years undiagnosed and I am totally able to take care of myself and have had a successful life. But there is a lot of material to reanalyze in a new perspective.
 

Caldwin

Happy Face Hiding a Life of Ostracism
Citizen
There are shades. You could just be a shade that's very high-functioning. 44 years and you didn't know it, I'm only guessing here, but yeah, it sounds like your one of the lighter shades of autistic.

My brothers autistic too. He's had to have staff to make sure he's not doing anything he shouldn't be (too much sugar, make sure he keep hygiene up, etc.) but he's also considered high functioning (he can at least socialize whereas more severe cases tend to have a hard time socializing.

All that to say, yeah, it's a bit of a life changer to find something like this out. It's probably like "oh great, here's another label to pin on my life." But I guess the good news is, you've lived with this for 44 years and didn't even know it. So really, there's no reason it should rule your life now.
 

wonko the sane?

You may test that assumption at your convinience.
Citizen
Well, rule your life anymore than it already did.

Functionally: nothing has really changed. You've gotten some meds which are supposed to help you be a more successful you, but you're still the same person you were before. An intelligent, well spoken, interesting and thoughtful individual whom we here love for and care about.
 

Rhinox

too old for this
Citizen
Welcome to the club. I'd make a joke, but frankly it's not funny.
I will just say this. Even though you're 44 and have your life together, be careful who you "come out" to. Autism can absolutely be held against you
 

The Doctor Who

Now With Sheffield Steel!
Citizen
It's understandable to feel weird about it. I went 40 years before getting on meds for my ADHD, partly because I kept telling myself that I didn't need them. I did just fine as I was. My mind was changed when I found out that a whole host of issues I dealt with were very likely due to untreated ADHD. Nothing that ruined my life, but a lot that made things harder.

Point is, yeah, it can feel weird to take on new therapy when you've been doing 'just fine', but that doesn't make it any less valid a need. You don't need to be crippled to have real problems or get help for them.
 
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