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Me before and after knowing I have autism

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Dadamen, Apr 15, 2021.

How did knowing about ASD impact your life?

  1. Made it better

    11 vote(s)
    68.8%
  2. Made it worse

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  3. Stayed the same

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Dadamen

    Dadamen Well-Known Member

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    Before:
    - active, but odd in social interaction
    - happy with my poor social life, didn't feel I need one
    - happy with my special interests
    - thought I have just anxiety, went to multiple experts that missed ASD
    After:
    - becoming more passive in social interaction, trying to judge when I will seem "not normal" and avoid these situations
    - unhappy with my social life, tried to force friendships which in fact ended some good relationships I had
    - feeling guilt when spending much time for special interest
    So, I think it would be better if I didn't know that I have ASD. How about you.
    I'm just self-diagnosed and want to stay on it because I want to study medicine and am not sure will I be refused if I say I have ASD.
     
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  2. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Me before:
    - I thought I just had anxiety.
    - Thought I was being antisocial when I would escape a loud party for 5 minutes of quiet.
    - Couldn't understand why I couldn't focus sometimes, tried to use caffeine to fix it.
    - Knew I am prone to sticking my foot in my mouth, but just thought I was "socially clueless".
    - Knew I am apt to get obsessed over things - but thought of it as an "addictive" personality. I deliberately avoided things I would go full-fanboy over.

    Me after:
    - So much makes sense now.
    - I work harder at getting enough rest so I can focus and work when I need to. I don't worry that other people can stay up late - I accept that I function differently. I gave up caffeine.
    - I don't feel guilty about taking quiet time to myself.
    - I know why I am socially clueless, but now it's made me more self-conscious in those situations, and more quiet. I'm content to let the social people do the talking, and I will smile and nod. I filter what I say and do in social situations even more now.
    - I understand why I get obsessed over things, and allow myself some special interests that aren't harmful, expensive, or too time-consuming.
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Me, l love myself more. I understand why l always want to climb under a rock now. I understand why l hate noisy crowded places. I use to just ignore my feelings. Now l understand why it takes me so long to feel emotions. I didn't understand the disconnect. My disconnect can run as much as two days. l realize some people have more of an impact on me. And l need to filter this. Carefully. Be kind to myself and them. Before l was clueless about this. Before l couldn't talk to people about emotions. Now l talk to people about feelings. And l don't care what they think. I am allowed to have feelings without criticism and judgement. Self-acceptance is okay. I noticed l don't want to think about *me* in the past. Probably denial, why questions. Nothing l can do about my past. I must climb Mt Fuji, l can't live in yesterdayland.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  4. Dadamen

    Dadamen Well-Known Member

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    Great it made things easier to someone. My biggest problem is that I found having no friends and special interests ok before and now I noticed this is a symptom of disorder and feel a need to fix and change it.
     
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  5. Aneka

    Aneka Well-Known Member

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    Did you react strongly to coffee?
     
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  6. Penumbra

    Penumbra Member

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    I've always stressed myself out over wondering what was wrong with me. I've only been clued-in for about a month, but now I feel like there's nothing wrong with me at all. I don't have to make up excuses when people wonder why I'm not functioning the same way they are. I can communicate my feelings now because I have words for them. If I'm overwhelmed, I can identify the problem much easier and remove myself from it.

    I still want an official diagnosis so I can show others solid evidence, but at least I can figure out how to help myself now. I hate not having answers to important questions.
     
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  7. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I never drank coffee. I'd drink caffeinated sodas, but the amounts added up to the equivalent 2-3 cups of coffee each day.
     
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  8. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    My wife and I realized that same thing about me a few years before I was formally diagnosed. Something big will happen in our lives and my wife will react - and then either she or I will say, "...and in two days, it'll hit me."
     
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  9. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Before----hope.
    After much more hopeless at first,
    but then realistic
    so that is good because I can try to make realistic plans.
     
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  10. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Before diagnosis I always knew I was different in socialising. Didn't have friends, but, didn't worry
    about it either as I was happy doing things alone. Painting, gardening, having all types of pets,
    reading and being out in nature.
    That was my life and continued to be so until loss of parents.
    I knew I was highly anxious, had panic attacks and obsessed on certain things.
    Worried I was mentally ill and what that would hold in life ahead.

    Now all the pieces have come together so I understand myself which makes less worry.
    I still have the same things that bother me, but, now I know why and I feel better about myself.
    So I found it better to know. I like to understand everything I can.
    Ignorance equals anxiety for me.
     
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  11. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    I know what you mean because if we are aware of something there should be no anxiety about it.

    So I'm not sure how to explain that there are times when I deliberately choose not to know. I feel like I shouldn't need to know, even though I recognise that not knowing can leave me in a state of uncertainty and potential anxiety. I don't always ask the clarifying question. And I honestly can't tell you exactly why not.

    Am I challenging myself not to give way to anxiety by deliberately inducing its possibility? I know I don't feel I need to know everything that is going on. Often, if someone does not to tell me something they might know I just accept it, even if it would help me to understand, and asking may possibly give me that. I am a strange fellow.
     
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  12. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Always knew they just gave it a name. And are you truly a different person because you know?
     
  13. selena

    selena Well-Known Member

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    When I was your age, the only diagnosis I could find on the internet was selective mutism, which then led to searches about social anxiety disorder (which I guess I did have but was more of a symptom than the root cause), which then led to a decade of having a social life that was purely online (thanks SAS!).

    I remember wondering if the internet was a blessing in disguise because it kept me from feeling lonely, or the reason I somehow made it to my 20s without any improvement in my IRL social skills, while my peers were getting real jobs, getting married, and having babies. There is no way of knowing I guess.

    I forgot about the selective mutism thing until recently. I mean I never forgot that I never talked in school, but all a rose by any other name.