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Featured 31 years old and feel like I'm running out of time

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Matt_2689, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Hello, I'm just going to give you a description of my life and experiences so you can get an idea of who I am etc.

    So I'm 31 years old and I'm from England. I went to a normal comprehensive school and although I have no intellectual disabilities, I found socialising very hard. I never really fit in with the other kids and always felt different but i wasn't sure why, I just accepted that I was born different and never asked for help. I tried befriending people from different 'social groups' at school but I never had more than 2-3 friends at a time. I felt like this was more than enough friends at any one time. I used to get alot of anxiety which got even worse towards the end of school.

    I then went onto sixth form for another 2 years, I wasn't really interested in studying much but I wasn't ready for work so i just went and picked the courses that my friend was doing so i could be with him to reduce my anxiety. When everyone else was developing social skills, going to parties etc I never wanted to go and felt left out. On the handful of times I did attend a house party I used to just drink alcohol to help me deal with it, often regretting it the next day.

    After sixth form I started working in restaurants cleaning dishes because I had an interest in food/cooking. My first full time job at age 18 was in a restaurant and I worked there for 18 months. I worked in the kitchen and learned quite alot about cooking in 18 months. I had all the same issues again but it got worse. People always seemed to misunderstand me and tried to bully me. Although it wasn't all bad, I had some good experiences there, I even took a girl I met there on a date to watch a movie. I thought getting my first job would give me more confidence and I would improve alot socially, but after a year of working there my problems never really improved, or at least I don't think they did. I might have gained some confidence but people still never understand me and I struggle to connect with them.

    So after 18 months I quit working in a kitchen and decided to work with my father to learn Carpentry on building sites, I was age 19 when i started. I became his apprentice and went to college, learning Carpentry one day a week while going to work with him for 4 days. I did make a couple of friends at college but I'm pretty sure they found me a bit weird and just tolerated me. When college ended at around age 22-23 I was sad and fearful of the future to be honest. I met up with a friend I made from college a month or so after it ended and we played some pool in a bar. This was the last time I saw him.

    Once college was finished I just continued working with my Dad and I still do to this day. He said he's not retiring anytime soon so I should have at least 5+ years before I have to find work by myself. I can work fine on my own but it's just interacting with customers/clients I might have issues with. I think it's going to be fine, I'll just have to try my hardest. I think I'm well suited to Carpentry because I enjoy building/making things and I'm a visual thinker. Although my first choice was definitely cooking I just went for the easy option in the end.

    I've lived with my parents my whole life and I've just been saving for a deposit to get a mortage to try and buy myself an apartment, or flat as we call them here. I have an interest in cars and driving so in my free time at the weekend I like to drive around and listen to music. I play video games to pass the time but I'm getting sick of them now to be honest. I'm also really into alternative rock/metal music.

    It's only recently over the past year that I've considered that I'm autistic. I overheard someone suggesting to my Dad that I could be autistic but he doesn't like to talk about it. The lady who suggested this is married to an autistic man so that was how she knew what autism is.

    So I researched and I show alot of the symptoms of high functioning autism or aspergers syndrome. Now I know why I've never fit in my whole life and have lived quite a reclusive lifestyle. I lived all of my 20s just using video games to fill the time while also working with my father.

    I'm 31 now and I would like to find a girlfriend eventually and try to live a normal independent life. Since I've gone such a long time living like this I'm going to find it hard to change now. My 20s are gone but I'm still relatively young so i think I have time to try and turn my life around. I would like some suggestions on what to do next. I really don't want to end up as a lonely old man who never found love in his life. I have tried dating websites and I can get replies from ladies so that's a positive. I just know if I went on a date it won't go well because of my lack of social skills. When I speak my voice sounds very monotone, I never know what tone to use when speaking so I just talk in one tone, although I'm trying to improve this.

    If I did find love I think my happiness and confidence would improve so much, I would love to have a girlfriend to live my life with, but if I'm so bad socially how am I ever going to find one?

    If anyone here can offer me advice that would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm sorry for writing so much but I just wanted to explain my life to give you all a better understanding of who I am.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. Aru

    Aru Active Member

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    I can't give advice on this but i did want to quickly say i'm the same age as you pretty much and i'm the EXACT same boat as you, You are not alone on this at all, I also sit and play games most of my day and would love to find someone who makes me happy but as you said, When social struggle it's a difficult thing especially with the tone of voice and such as you said and it's a difficult battle overall more so for us with autism and the way we can be, All i can personally suggest is to keep trying over and over, put yourself out there, meet more people(especially in games so there's mutual interest), and find someone with patience and understanding, that's the main thing, You're not alone my friend :)
     
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  3. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    It's so nice websites like this exist and you find out there's people with the same situation. Do you think going on dates is a good idea? I take rejection pretty badly and get so depressed when a girl rejects me. Have you ever been on dates? I have been on 1 date which was around 10 years ago now!
     
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  4. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Matt i had a late diagnosis (at 40yrs old) try not to look back with regret and accept joining here as a opportunity to discuss things, research the previous posting and catogories.In my experience accepting who you ar,with or without Autism or a diagnosis may help you to build connections with people which may or may not involve a relationship,this forum has given myself a sence of community and remains a comfort when things feel tough.
     
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  5. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Ok thank you.
     
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  6. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    Great skills and experience, a lot of people don't have that. Maybe do some speech therapy to help with voice tone.
     
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  7. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Yeah I will consider seeing a speech therapist.
     
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  8. selectivedetective

    selectivedetective Member

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    Don't worry too much. You have a lot going for you -work, skills, good relationship with your father, previous date - all that counts so much. THe other thing is that you are so aware of who you are and how you may come across to people. So it's not as if you will bore someone to death and just keep on talking.

    For conversation on a date, it's not a bad thing to talk about your interests/obsessions, as long as you know where to stop. Any potential life partner is going to want to hear about you and what you like and your experiences. And they will understand nerves. You could even, if you feel comfortable, explain that you hope you aren't coming over as too intense, but it's because you tend to be like that when you don't know someone too well. Try and remember to pause, change your intonation, also smile sometimes, make eye contact. And get the other person talking too, so they know you are interested in them.

    I'm sure there will be things on this on Youtube if you put in a suitable phrase.

    You are a great age too for starting to think about settling down. If women are thinking long term and are serious about a mutually respectful relationship, things like loyalty, listening, financial security, kindness, count way above being the life and soul of the party. You might find a bubbly person who will balance out your character, or you may find another quiet soul who won't want a partner who is out drinking with other men all week.
     
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  9. Eren

    Eren Member

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    I feel the same as you even though I'm a bit younger (I'm 26 years old) And honestly I don't know how to change, I've tried to change, I've tried to be more sociable, but I literally can't.

    I don't know what to advise you, I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone, I feel the same.
     
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  10. Aru

    Aru Active Member

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    I actually went on a date about 2 days ago( my first in 8 years) and it turned out the girl wasn’t interested much after, I get heavily depressed over this stuff the same as you, I think autism makes you feel emotions a lot more in most cases too, I’m personally going through a rough time with it atm, however I won’t stop trying, I think it’s harder for us to find people overall but it’s worth keeping on trying especially if it is something you want in life. :)
     
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  11. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi, and welcome. Lots on here are in relationships, it may be hard, but in the end you only need one person who mostly fits for you, so it's worth persevering. There are plenty of good points in you, same as everyone, and the right person will appreciate that. Lots of us here have experienced some of what you describe, such as confusion and solitary times, and not having many or at times, any, friends.

    I resonated with the way you described not seeming to keep your college friendships, that's something hard to do in my experience, to keep in touch once there's no shared classes and the course ends. It's good that you are here, most of us share some of your experiences and I would also say, having an understanding that you have autism does help to gain ideas and strategies, and explains what has been a puzzling inner experience previously. It's quite a useful revelation, diagnosis or not, and this may help you to find ways through.

    Also, no one likes rejection, but remember that works both ways, if you meet someone who isn't quite right for you, you may realise that although she's a nice person, she isn't your type etc. Just think that about yourself if a girl seems less interested in you than hoped. There are, as they say, plenty more fish in the sea, have a cry or a bag of chips, and see who else is out there.
     
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  12. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    I think the problem isn't that I come across too intense. It's because I'm a quiet person and don't talk enough.

    Thanks for your input
     
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  13. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Ok thank you. Once I'm feeling less depressed I might try and get some dates.
     
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  14. Moonhart44

    Moonhart44 Well-Known Member

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    i relate to this feeling. why do we feel the sense of "running out of time"?
     
  15. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Well life is short I guess
     
  16. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member

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    Hello

    I'm from England too. I also went to a normal comprehensive school and although I had no intellectual disabilities, in fact I was intelligent but lost it, I also found socialising very hard. I lost my identity, people only bullied me because I literally handed it to them on a plate.
    I felt different but i wasn't sure why, however I never accepted this and wanted to be like the others.

    It sounds like me, you were swept along with the "not you" rather than focusing on your goals. I'm familiar with that feeling of regretting the next day after alcohol, its a horrible drug.

    BINGO here lies the treasure, you had an interest in food/cooking. This is still dormant inside of you and you must do something with it, otherwise you will end up on a destructive path, with dysfunctional people not doing what your life's purpose was.

    While you were in an environment you enjoyed, you had the same interpersonal issues because these repeat themselves until resolved.

    You were in the right job, around food, but your interpersonal problems were throwing a spanner in the works.

    Carpentry was following your dad, not your thing, food is your thing.

    Carpentry with your Dad is being swept along with the tide, you need to do food, that is your bliss.

    Aspergers is about interpersonal problems, I cannot diagnose but what you have said correlates with some asperger's traits.
    Going for the easy option is an error, you need to get back into what you enjoy, while setting aside the interpersonal problems, because what we do for a living must be our FIRST choice not our second.

    A word of warning, buying a flat, please research Leasehold, it is very exploitative, much better to buy a house where you own the land it sits on. With Leasehold you are charged unpredictable service charges that can go up. Also, it is much more legally complicated than buying a housed there are many pitfalls to Leasehold.

    Can you get tested for autism, first stop GP, look at all the traits and list the ones you have and the difficulties they have caused you throughout your life.
    Mention to your doc and specialists what you overheard that someone else with an autistic relative thinks you may be autistic.

    It is never too late, a diagnosis will validate you and make life make more sense, plus you can meet with other like minded people, but please work with food and avoid leasehold, its a pain in the neck. Even if it means moving to a cheaper area where you can afford a house.

    Looking for a girlfriend never works, what does work is being among like minded people, this attracts the right person to you.
    This is your self doubt speaking, ignore it, its negative. Think positive and take action to turn your life around.

    Dating websites are not the right place, nor are pubs, the right places are places you go to because you are interested in what people do there, join a cookery class for instance.

    Monotone voice is not a put down, its an aspergers symptom.

    Love with a girl won't find you confidence, doing what you love will, cooking, and you might meet a girl, you like driving, look at clubs where you can follow your interests.

    Don't be sorry for writing so much I understand you just wanted to explain your life to give us a better understanding of who you are.

    Thank you for having the courage to recognise changes need to be made.
    1) Pursue a diagnosis
    2) Scrap the Leasehold idea, try buy freehold, leashold is a trap, I live in a leasehold I regret it.
    3)Important, cook, pursue your own interests.
    Hope that helps
     
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  17. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Did you just make that graph based on what I wrote? That's pretty cool!

    The only thing about changing jobs. I do actually have an interest in Carpentry though. I even chose it as a class at school so I could work with wood. Also I hated the hours you have to work in kitchens, I really didn't enjoy working in the evening and every weekend. But I like cooking so it's just something I'll have to enjoy in my free time I think. Honestly 31 is really old for a new trainee chef, I don't even know if it's viable.
     
  18. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member

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    No, it's an online test, it's my asperger's score, I keep forgetting where I got it from, and I cannot remember the name of it.
    EDITED I just found it, take it here Aspie Quiz
     
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  19. Matt_2689

    Matt_2689 Active Member

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    Also I found the pressure of working in a kitchen overwhelming. I don't think I could handle it very well. It was so stressful when the restaurant got very busy.
     
  20. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member

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    That could be related to asperger's, maybe you could find a quiet culinary job, study into yourself to find out what you like.
    Have you taken the test to see if you may be aspergers Aspie Quiz