Day 16 – 28th March 2020

I’ve made a few more, what shall I call them, positive steps, decisions or adjustments.

I’ve began to come off my antidepressants as my doctor has suggested. I’ve never felt they truly helped me and as I’ve been wrongly diagnosed with anxiety and depression instead of autism they’re not the correct course of action.

It’s a slow process but has to be undertaken carefully and with medical guidance. I have begun to feel better, with a few mild side effects such as nausea. I’m hoping that now I know what’s truly “wrong” with me, I will be able gain coping strategies that won’t involve heavily medicating.

I’ve also learnt some more acceptance of my condition. There are just some things that I won’t ever be able to do and I’m okay with that.

I love lifting weights and exercising, it allows me to escape the world and just focus on myself. But the gym is hell. The noise, the environment and the social rules etc.

Queuing for machines, general chit chat, Feeling other people’s gazes, the smells, the sounds, the blinding lights. It’s horrific.

I’ve decided public exercise isn’t for me, it’s time to put aside space for home exercise. I will simply put the money I’ve wasted on a gym membership to better use and buy my own equipment.

Day 10 – 22nd March 2020

I’ve not updated my blog in a few days. I’ve been struggling to concentrate with the state of the world at the moment. I’ve had a mountain of university work to finish and I’ve finally achieved it.

I have had a minor breakthrough with my autism journey which is worth addressing I feel. A few changes in my life that I can make to improve myself in many ways.

I’m a smoker, it’s a disgusting and dangerous habit. I hate it and I hate myself for doing it but I couldn’t figure out why, I don’t have a generally addictive personality with substances.

It’s finally occurred to me why I smoke, it’s an escape mechanism, a way to run away from crowded situations and places. “Oh I just need to pop out for a fag”, such a simple way to escape but incredibly damaging.

I feel like I don’t need to explain why I need to escape, I have a good reason to go outside and escape a crowd if I need to. I’m not going to lie anymore, I’m simply going to tell people “I’m overwhelmed/overstimulated and need to go outside” or “simply a break from what’s going on”

Secondly and admittedly not at the same time, I’m going to quit sugary snacks and drinks. I actually enjoy eating healthily so it’s odd that I crave these things. But I’ve realised it’s a form of stimulation.

The sugar creates a mood boost, an unnatural and detrimental boost to the system, just in hopes of elevating my mood. But this is only temporary and damaging in the long run.

It’s time to break the cycle and with the quarantine in nearly full effect here, I think it’s time to make a change

Day 5 – 17th March 2020

Today I’m mainly musing on what I am hoping to achieve with the occupational therapy and group sessions I will be receiving shortly.

I have come to the conclusion that some of my problems will never be fixable, I will have to learn to accept them.

I’m sensitive to lights and noise, I will simply learn to cope with this as I always have. I wear ear plugs in public to combat this and since being diagnosed I don’t feel so self-conscious about wearing my ear plugs anymore.

I often fail to make spontaneous conversation and strongly dislike talking to or being talked to by strangers. I find it pointless in fact. If a person doesn’t meet a strict criteria, I feel no need to talk to them. Age, Gender, Lifestyle, Role in my life. If someone doesn’t meet this criteria I will automatically shut down and will almost feel outraged the person has spoken to me. I’m not too worried about this and I’m hoping the therapy won’t dwell on this too much.

Eye contact is painful, I often wear sunglasses in public to avoid making eye contact with people and for a great deal of situations this works fine, but in meetings and interviews it’s not possible so some help towards coping with eye contact would be massively beneficial and something I would like to explore in the therapy.

My main problem at the moment anyway, is spontaneity. I have incredible meltdowns if my routine is effected in a negative way or anyone expects me to do anything without me being able to properly prepare myself mentally and physically. This has huge ramifications, I often miss career and social opportunities because of this. I think this would be the main thing I would love to address with the therapy.

I’m finding writing this blog very therapeutic, much more so than I had anticipated. I don’t express myself much and tend not to talk about how I’m really feeling. This is proving to be quite a pleasant surprise.

Day 4 – 16th March 2020

I’ve been suffering with the exhaustion of receiving my diagnosis for quite a few days now. It’s effected me on a much deeper level than I had anticipated.

I do however feel less depressed, less anxious, a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I am not just a depressant, I’m not just weird, I’m not “completely” stubborn to a fault. I’m autistic.

I don’t want to be one of those people who use their disability as an excuse, it feels wrong but many of my odd ways can be attributed to autism and I do feel better for this.

I am looking to the future now, I feel like I can start again, a new life, a new me, and I’m excited.

Day 1 – 13th March 2020

Yesterday I was diagnosed with autism. At 33 years of age, after countless misdiagnoses and a very long and arduous journey I have finally discovered the route of many of my problems.

I wish I could say I was finally at ease, but I am not. I am exhausted, this I had expected. I am perhaps slightly lost, again this I had prepared for. I am scared, this is a surprise as I hadn’t expected to feel this. But I am slightly excited, something has changed within me, I’m unsure as to what but I feel excited. As if my life can truly begin.

The bigger question is why am I doing this ? Why write a blog, opening yourself to the world and the criticism that may come with it ? It’s simple really. I don’t intend for autism to beat me, it will be a part of me, a part I will accept with open arms but I will find a way to thrive in this world. And perhaps a few months in the future, someone will see this, and it will help another person. If I help even one other person it will have been a success.

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