Screw it, let me just go back to the beginning when I was first diagnosed on the autism spectrum. It’s time for a soft reboot, a more open and honest edition than the one before.
This is not to say that I’ve been lying to any of you this whole time about my place on the spectrum and all the things that come with it, but after I’ve spent some time living in my own apartment and doing everything on my own, it has allowed me to take a much more focused look at myself and become more self-aware of my own habits and quirks, whether they be a direct result of autism or something else. Since I’m living on my own now, I’m the only person I pay any attention to, which has caused me to realize things about myself and my autistic nature that I usually didn’t give a second thought about before.
If I was diagnosed today instead of June 25, 2015, there would be so many things I would tell the psychologist differently. I would tell him most of the things I told him when I was really diagnosed, and so much more. The diagnosis I have now is certainly an accurate summary of me then, but it isn’t quite now.
I would tell him that not only do I have full blown conversations with myself as a way to process my thoughts (which sure seems to be the only way for me), but I also have the weird tendency to veer so horribly off topic and then try to pull myself back to the original topic. Knowing this actually helps me understand how my brain is truly wired. I would tell him that my brain seems to stop working sometimes when I’m talking. My words will stumble over each other and I struggle so hard to speak in a way that makes sense. Sometimes I’ll say something out loud, remember the specific word or phrase came from a song I listen to a lot, then start singing out loud to that song (doesn’t matter if I’m alone or in public). I would tell him that I have the tendency to make random noises or even blurt out random words (once in a while it even borders on what would be expected from Tourette’s Syndrome). Just the other day on the bus, I randomly blurted out the word ‘wheels!’ for no reason and someone could’ve heard me. I would tell him that I quote lines from movies, shows, games, and podcasts, and might repeat those lines twenty times in a day. I would tell him that my brain seems to act like a slow, older computer processor, where sometimes when people tell me something, it takes me several seconds to catch on, or though I ‘hear’ the words just fine and I’m doing my best to listen, I look confused and have to ask for something to be repeated.
I would tell him that I need to ‘see’ certain things to understand them. I had to ask my boss at the warehouse I work at the other day to show me what three boxes stacked on top and one row of four of those stacks looks like. I would tell him that I feel the constant need to answer texts the second I receive them, which is bad when I’m at one of my jobs. I would tell him that I obsessively think about the same things all day, and go through the exact same thought process of said things repeatedly until it’s like beating a dead horse. I would tell him my tendency to overanalyze, overthink, and drain the fountain of certain topics completely dry.
There’s a lot more I would tell him, so much more. Maybe the results of my diagnosis would be different now than it was then. Maybe some day I’ll look into my other quirks and habits and trace them back to whatever source they may come from. It’s hard to care too much about it right now though, because they haven’t impacted my life much in a negative way. I’ve managed, I’ve survived.
Welcome to my world.