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How did you feel when you discovered that you were, or suspected you were, in the spectrum?

I was retired when I got the diagnosis.

First thing was "hot damn my parents' hunch was right!"
Second was recalling an official at my govt workplace say I had an "artistic personality". I'm not artistic so it puzzled me.

Now I think he said "autistic personality" and I misunderstood it due to my poor hearing.
Nowadays, knowing that I am autistic (and adhd, and depression, and social anxiety) helps me endorse my weirdness.
Masking is hard, and only somewhat effective. My brain's vocal filter is rather broken. Things like this are less excruciating to my psyche knowing what the autism etc hurdles are.
When it was suggested: assumed they were wrong
When I realised: logical acceptance
When i was diagnosed: shed a few tears
Since then: inward facing negativity turned into acceptance, but also a degree of resentment and perhaps a sense of threat.
I was suicidal at the beginning, when I realised there was something 'wrong', with issues that seemed life-limiting for me.

I am an ambitious person, but having several health issues (even aside from autism) made me go into a really deep depression in my early twenties when contemplating that it could make me struggle to make my way in life.

Come my official diagnosis, several years after suspecting autism, I was more at ease with the whole thing by then.
As for pain, this is a very autistic trait to not feel pain, apparently.
I feel it alright, I'm hypersensitive and can tell exactly what damage has been done as well as feeling the pain, but it doesn't have any emotional impact on me. I know it's there, I know it's happening, and I quickly work out how to make my body keep functioning around the injury.
I was on the spectrum, before there was a spectrum. And so, in the 1970's there was one self-help book after another, cognitive behavioral therapy when the cognitive was broken. I did enough self-help theories to be completely over them. What really ended it was when the 1990's came around, and it became patently obvious what the problem really was: Autism. It took until several years ago that I obtained a diagnosis that verified the obvious.

I see from reading about experiences of younger people that the same challenges are there, but the more abundant recognition of autism's social impairments apparently have helped.
Relieved, really.
I didn't know what Asperger's was at the time of diagnosis, but after all the studies and talks with my therapist, I understood why my life had been as it was.
I understood me.

At age 55, it didn't make much difference. Just self-understanding.
My self-diagnosis brought me back from the brink.

I was in therapy for suicidal ideation. I had gone to the point of sitting, ready to end it, and thinking about the impact on my family.

It revealed to me that I was not broken, just different.

This happened when I was 64. Many, many years of trying not to fail, again. So many years after feeling I didn’t fit in, anywhere, but desperately trying to. Years of repeatedly wondering why that friend walked away.

I have been happier since knowing than for many years.
but it doesn't have any emotional impact on me. I know it's there, I know it's happening, and I quickly work out how to make my body keep functioning around the injury.
It's also very autistic apparently, that kind of stoicism. Knowing the feeling is there, but not having the urge to react.
I have yet to be screened, so I will talk about when I first began researching autism and realized it might fit me.

It was one of those great "Aha!" moments where so much clicked in my mind. I've had these what I call "quirks" all of my life, that have effected my life negatively to varying degrees that I've never had any explanation for. Some of them I just assumed were personality flaws that I needed to work out through therapy (like my difficulties with socializing), while others like my sensory issues I could not come up with any explanation for and just wallowed in the frustration of having to deal with them.

But learning about autism for me was like "Okay, but what if all of those "quirks" all have a unifying cause and are just the way you are and that's okay?". So overall the feeling was one of relief in finally having a potential explanation as for why I am the way I am. A question I've had all of my life.

Of course, since I haven't been screened and have not had my potential autism diagnosed, I remain skeptical and still am constantly doubting everything and thinking "Okay, but what if [*insert quirk*] is completely unrelated to autism and I still need to explore the cause and can still be overcome?"

*sigh* I know I need to get screened to figure this out. I am on a journey to explore myself here, thus I can't just assign autism to myself without knowing for sure. But with the state of my country I am frankly worried about putting myself on another list of what is "undesirable", if you know what I mean? I hate that, and may give in to getting screened someday, anyway.
I had no idea I was one the spectrum until I was diagnosed with Asperger's in 2001. I had barely heard of Asperger's except maybe once or twice on TV at the time, and they made it sound a really bad disease, but they never said what it actually was. When I was told I had Asperger's I was skeptical at first, because until now everyone had been telling me I was all kinds of negative things like "behaviorally dysfunctional". "selfish", "rude", "ignorant", and more. But when I learned more about it I knew it must be true. It was a relief, because since I was a teenager I knew I was different. I would ask why I was so different, but nobody knew the answer. And now it finally made sense why I didn't socialize much with other people and had unusual interests and preferred practical clothing and stuff like that.
Just watched a guy called BIll H Gross a investor who talks about how he found out he was one of us. Very interesting interview. I see one pattern us older Aspies do not see ourselves as victims, who need help We just accepted ourselves got on with life. We were not helicopter kids, through many of our kids were, millennials. My older brother a fellow Aspie went to Woodstock, ( rock festival) hitched hiked We did not even know he was gone for the weekend.
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At first, relieved. but then I quit drinking. and found out what the drinking had been suppressing all along. my whole life was a lie.
I have read about your history with drinking before, but to hear that you think your whole life was a lie can be hard. I don't know about your childhood, but is there anything you can pull out to redeem this a bit for yourself. Autism is first observed in childhood. I'm not looking for you to answer that on the forum etc, only if you want to.. Of course Autism is a developmental disorder and can morph, but a lot of clues can be found in childhood as well. I don't know where you are with your history of drinking, but I hope you can find some peace with your situation. I can understand and relate on a different issues to how you think though.

For me, I was treated as Autistic with traits in hospital in 2015 before I was diagnosed. Being treated with traits didn't give me an official label, it was just used to tailor my treatment. I found out for sure much later when I was professionally diagnosed. Using the childhood map I knew things about myself. My childhood was problematic. In fact in leaving primary school my first one I was still remembered years later before for being so problematic. I was a tomboy with no real emotions and very sensory sensitive in childhood and other issues was level 2 I predict but it didn't exist in my day. It was a picture of it. I lived in a generation where childhood discipline was often in the house, I don't want to write more on it. The where ways the school and parents' coped in those days with behavioural children that is different from today.

I heard of Autism just before I went into hospital above. I went into hospital again and it was observed. I was tested in house with the NHS this was months long admission etc. On discharge I did the test and positive with the NHS. I never even knew my scores properly to months later as I flipped through it. It was a long document. I first saw some 2's but didn't note others. I scored level 2 in sensory. I went back in the document months later and saw in fact I was level 2 in all categories. I was panicked although I see it as life and God's hand. What it meant is that I had to try and take care of myself in different ways than I had and point things out. I try to accept it was based a lot on observation scores in the assessment stuff unseen to me to believe it as well, it fits in with the childhood map as well.

I had been dealing with overwhelming issues and other issues and it made me try to understand and explain where these difficulties came from. There are many autism symptoms and there can be an issue where people try to apply all of them to yourself when they hear about it and I don't know where you know who you are with it and then you may go the reverse as well and not believe it. I have read some people can find themselves acting more like it which is different from unmasking. I read like some children when find out they are autistic can start things they never did before like throwing tantrums. Even though with masking when try and be true to ourselves.

Getting formally diagnosed helped me to try and be more forgiving of myself when I experience issues like meltdown overwhelming. The diagnosis itself for me can explain things but in some cases is not an excuse or to be misused.

I select what I read because of vulnerability in understanding and obviously select what I relate to and useful I may open, because I try and avoid thinking about stuff I don't have and neither want my mind to ruminate over and struggle and not to assimilate it. I avoid trying to become knowledgable about any symptoms I don't have. It is not really an area of interest to try and remain myself, my other conditions I have treated differently and some may be an area of special interest like with my issues around eating.

I try to look for positives with the diagnosis now. I like to read of them as well. It is a disorder with positives and negatives to be truthful to ourselves though.
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At first, relieved. but then I quit drinking. and found out what the drinking had been suppressing all along. my whole life was a lie.
I replied to you above, my sleeping has been affected for days but I will let what I posted to you stand. But I now see this differently, I thought you meant it differently. I do wish you peace though.

Thank you for writing such a beautiful, heart-felt message to comfort. I am so glad you are at peace with this, and that you are now using it to witness to others.

You are correct in picking up that this has been a difficult journey for me not only emotionally but spiritually (which would comport well with the gifts that you mention possessing in your blog!).

I think the long and short is, I have a separate disability, being deaf and mute, and I had thought of myself as a genius if not that for one handicap. I had severe emotional problems in teenagehood and early adulthood, but I thought I bootstrapped myself out of those. (Not-so-coincidentally, this is when I started drinking.)

At my peak, I was a corporate executive.

Through the ASD diagnosis, and the subsequent resurgence of symptoms (especially sensory and stimming), everything that happened in Hebrews 12 and Romans 6 have come to pass. Since this isn't the religion forum, I will leave you to infer the pieces after that.

Yes, we are a new creation - but the new creation is not promised to be what our old selves thought it'd be like! And that's really the root of my anger and feelings of betrayal. I do not have the right to feel this way - I need to accept myself for who I am, stripped of the layers of alcohol and pride.

There's a lot of anger involved, yes, and unfortunately, anger towards where it is least deserved (heavenly). I don't like living with these sensory or meltdown issues. I went for years without crying. Now it's a lucky day without crying.

You know where Paul says - if any of us thinks we are something, we are badly mistaken. And I feel like I've been given my heaping serving of crow and then some. All richly deserved. Because my family suffered, much like @Xinyta suffered from his father who had a pretty much identical trajectory.

I'll be fine, and I know I will be fine, because you and I share the same faith.

Thank you for comforting me. It means a lot. Truly.

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