I'm new here. It's taken me a while to sign up but hoping someone could offer some advice.
I'm in my thirties and just started a new career. It's a very social environment, a lot of comaraderie and a lot of situations where I will be working closely with another person. This is one of my biggest fears as I struggle massively with socialising. I have struggled since childhood and would usually turn mute when there were people around who I did not class as a friend. Also struggle talking to family members. I feel like I don't know who I am, my personality feels skewed and I end each day telling myself that I will act better tomorrow and people will start to talk to me if I act a certain way. Being around people tires me out, I relish time alone and have been known to sit in toilets just to be alone or walk another way in the street if I see people I know (even though they wouldn't talk to me).
I have not been diagnosed with Asperger's, I have been diagnosed previously with OCD and Depression. Not sure how to go about getting a diagnosis and also petrified that it will ruin my career. I'm not even sure I have Asperger's, maybe I'm just awkward? How important is a diagnosis?
Hi there, you sound exactly like me! I realised quite recently that I have AS and it put my whole life into perspective. I'm having a horrible time with the NHS though and I'm considering going private. I haven't been taken seriously and turned away with a diagnosis of depression and anti-depressants (I never took them). I did go back armed with a list and demanded a referral. I got my referral but heard nothing since April 8th. I hate phone calls so have to go in to reception to chase..
I also have a very sociable job and I'm actually about to leave to go back to an old employer where I can work from home. I've adapted to the world for 32 years and now I've learned my limitations I'm starting to listen to them before I breakdown entirely. I've decided to live within my comfort zone for a change.
I'm like you in that I think I'll do better tomorrow. Everyone is lovely here but they're really sociable and do lots of coffee and tea rounds - they've noticed how little I do and make jokes about it, unaware of the processes I have to go through to find the ability to do it. This is more mentally draining than my actual job! I come across as lazy because of how friendly I appear on the outside, I wear a mask every day of my life.
For the first time in my life I opened up to somebody outside of my immediate family. I told my boss the reasons for wanting to leave. At first I froze and couldn't talk, she thought something was really wrong. I was moving my hand from my mouth outwards to help the words come out! In the end she was hugely supportive and was actually quite relieved. She opened up and told me about her personal anxiety. Whilst this was comforting in the moment, it was hugely distressing - that day I was drained and I went straight home and barely said a word to family and went to bed. Opening up is still not for me, but the acceptance was a breath of fresh air. I recommend this only if you feel comfortable - and prepare! I failed to prepare what to say and completely froze... Much unlike me, I threw myself into that situation to make me do it.
Don't conform to this world if it's not for you, create your own space. I wish I'd have figured that out years ago...
I hope that helps.