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billyho20
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22 Oct 2017, 12:13 pm

Hey, I'm 39 and was diagnosed with Aspergers about a 1 1/2 year ago. I always knew something was different and it was like I was missing something socially. It made me very anxious and caused a lot of mental health problems throughout my 20's and 30's. I am just now realizing that I am not on the same "plane" as NT people and trying to adjust to life. I often feel disconnected which makes me feel lonely and isolated and that life sometimes seems too hard with this condition. It caused me a world of problems for a long time so will I really be able to adjust and handle everything life has to bring? That is what I think often. Just wondering if anybody else feels the same struggles or has in the past and have adjusted to a diagnosis of AS and starting to feel more comfortable with life? Thanks!



quaker
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22 Oct 2017, 12:40 pm

Hi Billy

I was diagnosed ten years ago at the age of 40. It's been a very long and arduous journey for me.integrating this deep understanding of myself has been very complex.

My whole being was shaped around a persona that was unconsciously created to protect me from what was for me a harsh and cruel world.

Ten years on I can say I am happy now, yet having spent so much of my life unconsciously over adapting, I have to keep reminding myself that I am in the spectrum and not just making it all up.

I no longer run on that endless energy generated by trying so hard to be normal. However, there is a wound where the mask was fused to my being. I Grieve from time to time. Each time I grieve I heal and move forward in my life. Don't be afraid to grieve Billy.

Peace to you from London.



shilohmm
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22 Oct 2017, 12:55 pm

billyho20 wrote:
Just wondering if anybody else feels the same struggles or has in the past and have adjusted to a diagnosis of AS and starting to feel more comfortable with life?


Knowing why you do what you do and just generally accepting yourself make a big difference, IMHO, and getting a diagnosis can be really helpful for some people on that front. But at the same time, who you are is a combination of nature and nurture and will -- a diagnosis can't tell you who you are, but it can give you some good places to look into it, if you see the difference. Everyone with Aspergers has some of the traits, but in unique combinations both in terms of what traits you display and in the intensity of each individual one. Which can change with time, and definitely change according to how stressed you are, in my experience.

Personally, I knew from a very early age that there was something different about me and kind of rolled with it (I have low social needs even for someone on the spectrum, which I think makes it easier on that front). Not to say I didn't feel lonely and isolated, and I dealt with severe depression, but I didn't feel like I was missing something, more like, why the heck do people get so excited about social stuff? And, what is the deal with conformity, anyhow? I just wanted to do my thing and wished people would leave me alone, I guess.

I felt complete but profoundly misunderstood, I guess, so not quite the same place you were at. And it does bother me when I do things that I couldn't even explain to myself, and that I suspect is something you can relate to -- "Why am I so different? Why do I react that way?" Even if you've accepted, "Okay, that's how I am," understanding the whys does make it easier to change or at least minimize that response. I dunno if you'll feel confident to "handle everything life has to bring," but knowing what's going on, and learning new coping mechanisms, definitely makes things easier.

Excellent advice from quaker on "don't be afraid to grieve." Not to wallow in grief, but honestly recognizing what happened and admitting the hurt is sometimes the only way to move past stuff.



magz
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22 Oct 2017, 1:15 pm

I've been diagnosed after 30, having job, spouse, children and big problems with mental health. There are no services nor accommodations for adult ASD where I live but the mere knowledge helps me. I am better understanding my needs, less possible to be misunderstood by psychs when my mental health is the problem. I just started to make sense to myself as a whole.
So, to me, knowing who you are helps.


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ASPartOfMe
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22 Oct 2017, 3:47 pm

I got diagnosed at age 55. Most of us that got diagnosed really late spent decades knowing something was different about ourselves. We just had no clue what it was or believed our problems were the result our flawed character.

The key to dealing with this new knowledge is both to acknowledge we have some fundamental differences from most people while not believing these differences make us lesser people the NT's.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


doofy
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23 Oct 2017, 11:26 am

quaker wrote:
However, there is a wound where the mask was fused to my being.

Yeah. That's very well put.

Poetic.