Doing anything new or different can be a huge challenge for those like me. I don’t handle change well. Surprises are even worse. I absolutely hate surprises. Not because they are bad, but because I just don’t know how to handle it. Starting something like a blog is a pretty big step into uncertainty and I have been panicking about ever since I made this decision.
One day is particularly clear in my mind. I had just gotten my domain and it had been freaking me out all day. I am very excited about this, don’t get me wrong, but I am also extremely scared. I guess, for once, I might not be that different from everyone else. That is the strangest thing in the world.
I was always the awkward kid who struggled to fit in. I wasn’t even one of the smart kids either. I didn’t know when I was little, but I am dyslectic. Also, even though I am diagnosed with Asperger’s, which is one of many types of autism spectrum disorder, I didn’t know that when I was little. That definitely did not make growing up any easier than it already is.
As you may already know, I was diagnosed at the age of 30. I knew about it years before, but knowing about it hadn’t made any difference. I realise it was most likely because I didn’t tell anyone and pretended not to know, but still, I thought me knowing might have been enough. I was officially diagnosed, and yeah, life definitely changed after that.
I used to think that, when people are diagnosed with something, those people would be able to get help and get better. Well, that illusion broke almost right away. I did receive some help, I guess, but it kinda wasn’t all that helpful. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful, but I am still disappointed.
There is a lot of help for kids who have been diagnosed and their parents, but everyone always turned oddly quiet when they realised that I wasn’t asking for help with a child. I needed the help.
I needed help to figure out how to live like me, in this kind of world, a world that isn’t structured for people like me. It frustrated me to no end, that people seemed to think I either needed the same help as a 10 year old or no help at all. But we all grow up. We all become adults. Some of us are diagnosed as adults and we don’t necessarily need the same help a child does.
This blog was created as a consequence of all the disappointment, the helplessness and the loneliness I felt back then. Hell, I still feel it. You see, I lived a life in constant fear and pain for 30 years and had to deal with all those years. Being diagnosed wasn’t a magic cure for a messed up life, it was only the beginning. The beginning of what exactly, I still don’t know, but I hope it’s the beginning of something good.
Anyway, back to that day. When I got my domain, I needed to activate the plan over the phone. I am even more awkward on the phone than in real life, so I freaked out when I saw I had to wait for a call. I walked around in circles and tried to talk myself into a calm state – It didn’t work. Time kept ticking slowly forward, it felt like waiting for an eternity, even though it probably wasn’t that long.
I was, as I often do, criticizing myself and almost convinced myself that someone like me had no right to do what I wanted to do. I started thinking about quitting this before anyone found out, because why would I deserve happiness?
So, I got my phone to call the company, and talk to them before I convinced myself quitting was indeed the right choice. I sat there with my phone in my hand, literally about to call, when it started ringing. I stared in horror at the device in my hand, then swiped and answered the phone reluctantly. A sweet, female voice asked if she could question me about my knew domain and future website.
I am going to call her Lady J., because she was awesome. I doubt she knew how freaked out I was, but I was honestly not sure what to tell her when the phone call began. Then something happened. She asked me to explain what my site was about and, after a brief moment of hesitation, I started talking and I almost couldn’t stop myself.
I don’t know what happened, only that at that moment, I knew this was right. It was right, because this is what I want to do. I want to talk about life on the spectrum, growing up and figuring things out. I don’t ever want to run away again.
Lady J., if you ever read this, I hope you’ll know how much I appreciated our conversation – even though it was short, it meant a lot to me. It meant a lot, because I never talked to anyone about this dream of mine before and only a few moments on the phone made me realise just how real it can be. I hope I would still have decided to write this blog in spite of being afraid, but we all need a little push sometimes.