Today I was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. While my first reaction is to be extremely relieved (I spent the car journey to the appointment imagining the worst possible outcomes) I don’t really know how to feel/react now. I am happy that the diagnosis finally happened after waiting about six months for it, but there’s also a feeling of ‘what now?’ My mum wants the family to go out for a meal to celebrate, which is nice but slightly weird. It’s a bit strange because one wouldn’t usually celebrate a diagnosis, however my parents have had me pestering them about it for half a year so they’re probably glad it’s finally over!
What happens now is I have to send stuff to my current school and my prospective university so they can sort support and accommodations, which I will need if I am going to survive more than a week living in a city. Thankfully, there is a really good student support team at my current school who are all amazing but the person who looks after sixth formers is going to be even more amazing. Even though she is on maternity leave she is still going to sort some of my uni stuff and I can’t thank her enough! If everything works out I should get there in September with a support system in place.
I think I was expecting something more substantial than just the verbal confirmation that I’m autistic (they are also going to send me a letter). I don’t know what I expected, but I don’t think the news will sink in until I get that letter. Maybe I thought I would get a badge! Actually that’s not a bad idea…
Anyway I have to get on with
making a badge ‘revising’. Have a good week!
I have been intending to write this for ages, but other stuff seemed to crop up, however I digress. I think I have always had a problem with timings. Not usually my own, but other people’s. It used to be that if say I was at Music Centre (read orchestra) and it was meant to finish at 11:00 and it didn’t I would get extremely anxious. Even when I was that young I knew it was irrational but I couldn’t stop thinking that I would be trapped in that room forever, having to do the same thing over and over until I died. This was problematic as panicking every time something runs over, which is quite a lot, is very inconvenient. So what I started doing (unconsciously) was giving myself time frames. So if something is meant to end at 15:00 I will tell myself that it will be over by 16:30. That gives an hour and a half for it to run over into before I start panicking. I use this all the time now and it helps so much.
I also like to be at places at certain time. For example if I am starting a new thing like work experience I want to be there early, but not too early. This means getting there between two and four minutes before I am meant to be there. The same sort of thing happens with lessons. I don’t want to be the first there (and have to have an awkward conversation with a teacher) and I don’t want to be late. What this leads to is my wandering round school aimlessly at the end of lunch because I left the library too early and it’s too early to go to lesson.
Another problem with time that I have is that I need to know what time it is at any given point in the day. If I don’t know what time it is it produces the same effect as what used to happen when something ran over. I panic a bit. It is at its worse when in a boring lesson and I look up to check the time and there is no clock. I start thinking I will be trapped in the boring lesson forever! The easiest remedy for this would be to wear a watch, however I don’t find them particularly comfortable and the teacher may take offense if I am constantly checking my watch. Luckily, there’s usually someone else in the class with a watch which I can read from across the table.
When I am on camp with army cadets (mostly weekend camps, but there is an annual two week camp) I do wear a watch, mainly because we have to be at certain at certain times and there aren’t any clocks around. However a side effect of this is that I start counting down the hours until it ends (well until about three hours after it ends), even on the two week camps! At any point I will know how many hours until we will be either at home or on the bus home, but this isn’t because I dislike camps. No, I think it is a form of grounding myself, sort of making myself feel in control of a situation that I am not in control of.
So those are my timing issues, if you have any write them in the comments!
On a quite regular basis I mention physical complaints to my family, this is usually followed by a chorus of ‘hypochondriac!’ However I am not a hypochondriac, I’m just bored. For some reason when I’m bored I go-a-Googling to see what could be wrong with me. This is not hypochondria because non of it worries me and I never look at anything terminal or fatal. I suppose it’s just a way of trying to understand myself and collect more knowledge. It actually makes me happy to look for what could (but probably won’t be) wrong with me, so you could say it’s a kind of obsession. I will continue to do this as it doesn’t bother my family and it makes me happy even if people think I’m a hypochondriac.
From time to time I get into the mind-set during which there is no tomorrow. Obviously I know there is a tomorrow but it doesn’t affect me where it would usually cause a little to an extreme amount of anxiety depending on what was going to happen. This may seem like a positive state of mind but it isn’t. Deadlines now don’t exist. This proves quite problematic when in school as repercussions will follow once I get to tomorrow; also I don’t get to look forward to anything. I am literally living in the moment. It unfortunately comes along with an amount of emotional numbness, not always complete emotional numbness, but enough to be unpleasant.
I have a theory that it may be a form of shutdown or the ‘hangover’ from a meltdown but I’m not sure. It makes sense that my brain would switch off my ability to look into the future and dampen my emotions to stop me getting too overwhelmed or to aid in the recovery from a meltdown, but I am no psychologist.
On the plus side I can stay up extremely late and not feel worried about how tired I will be in the morning… until the morning that is.
Well my brain has decided that I need to cry… a lot. Not really sure why though. I probably should have stayed in bed this morning but I seem to be unable to take a day off school unless I’m collapsing on the floor (which has happened once – awkward). So I’m alternating between contemplating the destruction of all 11 year olds and trying not to burst into tears in an inconvenient place. I am currently an unhappy flautist (and spell check just tried to change that <- to ‘flutist’, facepalm).
So I had a meltdown last night which means I’m feeling rather sensitive today. I’m trying not to do anything to stress me out too much and for some reason pancakes seemed like a good idea as I’ve been craving them for weeks. I was wrong.
I hadn’t made pancakes before so I had to look up the recipe. That went surprisingly well which in retrospect should have been a sign that something was bound to go a bit pear shaped. Then parents started trying to help. Both at the same time. My head felt like it was going to explode and I nearly started crying. But I didn’t and I did eat one pancake so… mission accomplished? Well victory was bitter sweet as I had lost my appetite by that point… Though I didn’t set fire to the kitchen so that’s a plus.