My thoughts seem to continuously flip-flop between "Yay! I'm me, isn't it great! I understand now!" and "I f**** hate this situation! Three decades of stress that could have been avoided & relationships that could have grown more easily!".
Those thoughts by the way are meant only as illustrations of the types of thoughts that lead to two opposing feelings of a) feeling comfortable in my own skin and optimistic vs b) feeling angry about - I'm not exactly sure what.
I'm fully aware that the "flop" side - negativity, despair, anger, "if only" - is unproductive. But it still arrives in my head.
Anyone else get this?
I think you're being very hard on yourself - do you really think life would have been better if you had been diagnosed earlier? You would have been treated very differently - maybe even sidelined at school so you might not have achieved as much as you have. You might have been relegated to working in minimum wage McJobs working hard and getting nowhere.
I can only suggest that what happened in your past made you who you are - it could have been a lot worse. Life may not be ideal, but your self-realisation means that you understand how you function as an adult - and you can decide how you want things to be in future.
I have a similar annoyance - my parents were hopeless - they blundered through life - but if they were a bit more 'awake', my life could have been so much easier. But they weren't - so I'm here now as the person I am and it's up to me to make my own life what I want it to be.
Thanks Plastic - very logical and positive as usual :-).
I can't exactly put my finger on where the anger is coming from - I don't want to say that I'm angry at finding out that I'm autistic, because that's being angry with the way I am, and I wouldn't want to be different (certainly not simply to please society!) and I wouldn't want to give the impression that I think that autism is inherently "bad". I think I tried to dodge that issue by being angry that opportunities were missed - but you're right in saying that in the main they probably would have been the same. What I think might have been different is that I would have been able to look after myself better, sooner.
Looking after yourself sooner may have translated into not pushing yourself and fear of risk. You're of an age where you've probably reached the height of your career / earning potential so it's time to look ahead to looking after your mental state for the remainder of your life - start putting plans together for how you want to retire, what your 'ideal life' would look like and work towards it.
My ideal is to retire to the countryside, have enough land to do what I want on without people bothering me and take part in village life - I'm happy to indulge my overblown 'helpfulness' ethic and get involved with things like the local scouts etc. but all at my pace.
I'm just finishing off this house ready to cash up and move - maybe 18 months-2 years away.
What's your dream?
I'm firmly on the hate side at the moment... Utterly sick to death of it. The negatives are far outweighing the positives. I'm waiting for it to pass, like it usually does. Problem is while it's bad, it doesn't feel like there's a way out or that it'll ever pass. I'm alone surrounded by people again. I'm on the outside looking in at my life as if somebody else is living it for me. I need time to slow down and allow me to catch back up...
I will try and remember to come back to this and comment when I'm feeling positive and reflect.
At least there's some comfort in the company, for me at least - thanks for sharing.
My dream is similar to yours - but even more on the quiet side. I do live in a village with 2 nice pubs in walking distance but I've found out that I'm less sociable than even I thought. My recurring thought is that I'd dearly like to retire tomorrow & just enjoy living where I am quietly pursuing indoor solitary hobbies - but I can't realistically do that for another 10 years at least.
We live in a high-cost area so we can easily downsize by moving somewhere much cheaper - can you downsize?
Yes, potentially, but there's a chance we might get some inheritance in the period between my being able to take my pension and the mortgage getting paid off, so there's a chance that I could retire where I am.
So all you need is a roller-skate at the top of the stairs to speed up the inheritance......