This is the first piece of creative writing I have been able produce on months.
So, the start to my year has been tough. It’s almost a year since my diagnosis and the reality of dealing with my past, has become evident.
After the euphoria of getting the diagnosis has lifted and I can see there is so much work to do.
I’m realising that the autism may have made my trauma more difficult to deal with. Realising that some of my biggest struggles are communication and emotional regulation
I’m realising that my vulnerability, may have paid a part in the mental health problems, I’m experiencing now.
Since my diagnosis I have had no support. It has taken a mental health crisis, to finally get support. I have been told that I should have had some support.
As I write this it’s eight months since diagnosis, I thought that it would answer some questions. I thought that I could get the answers in this short time.
However it is not the case. It seems that I have only scraped the surface. over the last week or so, I have realised that this is going to take a while. It is not going to be easy to do as, there is a lot of grief and pain. Most of it becaue of not being diagnosed as a child, even though I struggled and never achieved what I was capable of.
How do you sort through all these feelngs and begin to heal and understand. At the moment, I am learning how my senses are affected by my enviroment and the world as a whole. It feels so overpowering at times, I just want to hide. I have spent so long masking and trying to be “normal”, I feel I lost the real me. On my report, the assessor proudly wrote “the client has managed to mimick others, so to fit in”.
So hear, I am struggling to understand myself, because I cannot understand my past. I am not sure if I will ever fully understand, my past. But I need to try, because I need to move on and be the quirky person, I am meant to be.
So here I am, almost eight months on. It has been a rough time, learning to adjust to understanding the diagnosis and how it has affected me. I ahve gone through grief, anger, saddness and the realisation that I am not defective.
As time has gone on, I have found that my voice can help other autisics. There are some in the Autism Community, whose voices can’t be heard. I feel that as someone with lower support needs, I can advocate for them.
Over the last few months, I’ve managed to make some friends and people who support others. They have shown me that as a community we can work together to make a better society, where autistics support evereyone. Including those who self identfy, because they can’t obtain a diagnosis.
Because of the pandemic, I have had to adjust more than I expected. As time has gone on, I have learned so much about how autism is both a benefit and a curse.
So back in March, I thought I’d be so happy that I was diagnosed.
My feelings are now more about grief and anger. I feel that I have, may have underestimated the strength of these feelings and their consequences.
For the first time since this process started, I feel that I could really benefit from support.
I have not received any support or even the offer. The assessment team did try and keep in touch.
At the moment i feel lost.
So it’s seven months since my diagnosis. In that time I’ve had to fend for myself, without support.
The effect on my mental health has been tough. I’ve got to a point where, I have had to ask for help.
The Covid-19 situation hasn’t helped. The pandemic, has stopped my hobby and has isolated me.
I am thankful that I have made some connections on twitter, who have been supportive.
I’ve also struggled with my creative side, I’ve not been able to write any poetry, in months.
So the last six months have been ok. But now I’m feeling the pressure of loneliness.
I’ve got awesome friends and family, people who care.
This week, for the first time, I have struggled to deal with my emotions. I feel like I’ve been on the brink of a meltdown.
So it’s just over six months ago, since my diagnosis. Things are quite different for me.
As I’m navigating the last forty seven years of missed opportunities and dealing with some resentment.
I thought that the six month anniversary would bring me more peace, it hasn’t. It has brought some more uncertainty and anger.
I feel that I now live in a world that isn’t made for people like me. I feel that as an autistic person, I am less.
I am more aware of my differences and how they affect me. One of my challenges at the moment is, understanding when I need to rest.
I have had some major sensory issues and some meltdowns. I’m slowly beginning to realise that I need to start looking for the signs of a meltdown and the triggers.
As things stand, I really don’t know how I’m meant to deal with these feelings.
Since diagnosis, I have had very little support or signposting. I feel that I have been let down, because I’m “high functioning”.
If I was diagnosed as child, there would have been support and help.
So, another elephant in the room. Functioning labels, how these are really bad for the community.
I’m considered “High” Functioning, because I live alone and work. This dosen’t equate to “easy” autism. To be frank there are days i strugle to cope with the little things, being able to prepare breakfast or get a coffee. The problem with functioning labels as a late diagnosed autist, are complex. Because I have managed to get through almost fifty years by making do. For all this time I have been masking, which is draining and has caused mental health issues.
I didn’t really see the scale of my problems until after my diagnosis in March of this year. Because of my masking, I have ended up with long term burnout. Which is one of the biggest effects of masking.
As for “Low” functioning, this is an insult to autistics, who need more support. In some respects, they can be as talented as any of us, if not more so.
Autism isn’t a straight line, it’s a true spectrum.