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I found my way to this forum during my self-diagnosis process. I'm pretty sure I have aspergers or high functioning autism but I'm still in the process of reading as much as I can find and making a document with all my symptoms and whatever stuff my parents can remember from when I was really young. I'm sure enough that I've started to look at my behaviour in the context of things like sensory overload, echolalia, poor executive function, etc.

I hope this is an ok place to post this since my intro is also kind of a request for help, and I hope to become a helpful member of this forum myself.

I just turned 34 and my life is kind of a mess right now. I've mostly resigned myself to not having many friends, if any, but I'm having a lot of trouble with work and any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I started my own business a year and a half ago, but it failed and the one client who was paying my bills retired a few months ago. My resume has a lot of different kinds of jobs and gaps, as well as the "prestige drop" in positions that I've learned is common among those on the spectrum.

I wanted to be a feminist researcher or advocate, but discovered after getting my bachelor's that I find intense debate too overwhelming and it makes me cry, so no dice there.

I started in liquor retail after a job search that took three years, partly (I think) because my executive function is impaired enough that I have a tremendous amount of trouble getting all the way through the steps required to actually apply, and partly because when I interview badly, I interview really badly. I have a lot of interview skills and do research before I go in, but if I'm having a bad day it all comes out of my mouth sounding like nonsense and my body language and eye contact go even more off then they already are. My resume is also getting harder to explain the older I get.

In my first retail job, I would up driving everybody crazy and realized it long after it was too late to fix it, got passed over for promotion in favor of someone who was better at making friends with my boss. I ended up having a temper tantrum and doing something really stupid for which I was deservedly fired.

The job I got after that, someone from my last job worked there and she poisoned the well before my first day and my co-workers bullied me in an attempt to make me quit. I didn't, but I ended up getting fired from that job too. My fault again, but the screw up was exacerbated by the stress from the bullying. I would go into the cooler and cry and hit my head.

I worked one more retail job after that but it was boring and meaningless and I left to start my own company, which failed half a year ago and I'm still unemployed. I've been trying to think of another job to do that's a little less social than retail, as I'm completely burned out on that kind of work and scared of getting bullied again.

All the advice I've read so far (ex. Asperger's on the Job) has been in the vein of identifying my special skills and interests, but I've been so depressed for so long and my confidence is so shot that every time I try to think of what I'm good at or even what I like to do I just come up short and end up crying or completely shutting down. I don't feel like I'm good at anything and feel immense guilt and discomfort asking anyone to hire me when I know they're going to get a different employee than they interviewed.

Do you guys have any tips on how I can move forward? I'm really stuck, and can't access the autism employment services in my province without a formal diagnosis, and to get that I need a job. Thanks for listening, and if you made it all the way through this entire long thing, I congratulate you!
Welcome. You are among people who understand and in my case I understand all too well. Here are some ideas: consider learning a trade, or getting the schooling for being a personal trainer, or some sort of repair person, or legal aide.
May your sense of self heal soon.

Thanks for the Welcomes and suggestions! I actually didn't think about being a legal aide, even though I've had a lot of teachers nudge me down that route. That's a good place to start!
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