Things I’ve been asked since diagnosis:
1. But you’re not really good at Maths! (A statement rather than a question, but still…)
Well no, I’m not. Because we’re all different. But language; that’s my maths! Words, where they come from, their varied meanings, that’s where my passion lies. Not literature, although I love reading, but the actual words themselves! The choices are endless and the meanings so nuanced. Reading books and studying language, semantics, pragmatics, has given me the tools to interpret life, the universe and everything.
2. How have things changed?
In many ways they haven’t changed at all. And yet, my world has turned on it’s head. I now have the gift if self explanation, I know why I do, say and feel things. I can explain this to others and it’s already provided life changing. I am reaffirming friendships and growing in confidence. As a result, I am learning self acceptance, though this is a very difficult thing to do. I have more awareness of my strengths, I am better able to communicate with others, both my own needs and to ask what they need from me. I am learning to accept other ways of thinking and doing. I am in the process of accessing support at work. But, despite all this, I’m the same Becky with the same loves, interests and fears as I was back in May, before diagnosis.
3. So do you, like, have to take medication or something?
No, I’m not ill. I don’t need fixing. We’re all different. Everyone experience’s life uniquely. The anxiety born of not fitting in can be medicated. The stress of a constantly changing and fast paced job can be medicated. The frustration from social isolation can be medicated. I’ve been on medication for stress and anxiety for some years but their root cause, my autism, cannot be treated. If those of you with neuro typical brains lived in a world full of autistic people it would probably make you so stressed and anxious you’d need treatment. And if the whole world was autistic, I’d be doing just fine.
But really, I AM doing just fine. And if there was a magic pill to make my autism go away, I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t take it!