At this point, I’m pretty sure that all of you must be wondering about my particular story, and how I found out about my diagnosis, and how I’ve been coping with things since then, so here goes.
I actually found out about it in my early twenties, but it took me quite a long to truly and fully understand and accept who I am and this diagnosis, even though I have been going to therapy or life coaching sessions for years.
I started going to sessions during my last few years in college when I got burnt out as I was admittedly handling more than I could truly handle (org, studies, etc.). My parents, who were worried that I was depressed brought me in to a family friend’s clinic to get tested, and after that, I started seeing the awesome life coach/therapist, who I still see until today. Back then, I wasn’t really told of the diagnosis, because they really didn’t want me to see myself in any sort of label.
I actually found out about my diagnosis a year or two later, and in a way that wasn’t very ideal, and which is too personal to put even here, so let’s just say that I found out about it in the least ideal way possible.
After that, I did some research, and only accepted what it was only by name, but I didn’t really take the time to truly understand it and accept it as part of who I am back then. I can say that I’m more accepting of it today, and working through the kinks that come with it,with the help of the support of my family, all the blog posts I’ve read on the internet, and my awesome therapist.
Even though my family is wonderful and understanding, everyday, we are still working together to understand it more, and how to deal with me in particular situations.
In the past few years, understanding my Aspie-ness has also allowed me to be more aware of my limitations and strengths, and has given me more awareness of my own actions so that I can anticipate and have a game plan to cope with things as they come along. It has also allowed me to be kinder to myself, especially when it comes to my own mental health.
For example, I now know that going out makes me fatigued and exhausted, so I’ve learned how to space apart big events in my schedule, or anticipate how tired I’ll be after three days of holiday outings. When things like that happen, I now allow myself to give myself a day or two to rest up more, and adjust my daily schedule based on that.
Accepting the fact that I do also have some sensory issues also made me realize why I’m better suited to working at home, in an environment that I can control, from noise levels to the temperature in the room.
Now, as a child, I did exhibit the hallmarks of an Aspie- I had my obsessions, I talked like a little professor to adults, had difficulty socializing and making friends with people my age, and my head was always stuck in a book. Aside from that, there were also other things that I never really told a lot of people, such as the things that I thought was me throwing a tantrum which often did lead to some head banging (later on, I learned that what was happening at those times was that I was actually having meltdowns during my so-called tantrums). Of course, I didn’t really get early intervention because back then, in the early ’90s, those things weren’t that much of a thing, and my parents didn’t really know about things like this. So, learning about my diagnosis actually helped me understand and accept myself as a unique and interesting individual instead of thinking that I’m just this weird geek who no one will understand. In fact, discovering my diagnosis was a huge relief on my part.
In hindsight, knowing and accepting all of this actually helped me understand my limitations and what things I could do or not do; and it helped also explain why certain things happen or why I feel a certain way at times. All of this helped me to better navigate the ins and outs of life by learning from past situations, and having a game plan of sorts so that I can better handle myself and my emotions in certain situations.
Today, I am definitely more accepting of who I am, and am still navigating through life in the best way that I can in my own way. Those tips and tricks will be shared here from a more Filipino perspective, but I hope that it will somehow help people understand people like me more, and I hope that people like me will be able to glean some life lessons or tips and tricks from these posts as well.
Aside from this, I hope that others who think that they are on the Austism Spectrum Disorder, or who think that they are an Aspie will take the time to properly get diagnosed. Trust me, instead of it being something negative and a hindrance, this knowledge can also empower you to use your limitations and strengths, along with all the quirks that come with it, to become a better person, and better cope with daily life.
Just a heads up, for the next post, I’ll be posting my very first guide to surviving Manila by sharing how you can get your PWD (Person with Disability) Card, and why you should get one. After that, I’ll probably post something about a social gathering a recently attended as part of my “social challenge” posts, and then I’ll start posting stuff on how to survive the holiday and Christmas season.
Also, once again, please feel free to ask any questions or suggest any topics you want me to tackle in the future in the comments below!