I was officially diagnosed with ASD a couple of weeks or so ago, at the age of 45. The clinician said it would have been called Asperger's in former times. The person most surprised by this diagnosis seems to have been my girlfriend, actually.
Thought I would introduce myself here, even if I'm not totally sure what I should be saying.
I've known since at least my early teens I was somehow different, yet it's only in the last 6 months or so, i.e. a little before I was diagnosed, that I have felt sure that I know what it was that was making me feel this way.
I just feel like an alien visitor to this planet quite a lot of the time, especially with regard to social.
At school I was generally unpopular, and when I changed school for sixth form, I was probably the most hated person in the year. I just didn't know how to fit in. At uni, I was suicidal for a chunk of the time, especially when I saw my peers out having a ball, but I pulled through and eventually went on to do an MA. I sort of drifted into a solitary career, as I didn't know what else to do.
Co-morbid with the ASD I have social anxiety and depression. I have always rather struggled socially, and I can't remember a time when I didn't feel depressed.
I've lived and worked in several different countries. My big passion in life is languages, to the extent that most of my work and leisure time are taken up with working with them or else at least thinking about them in some way.
I was independent for a long time, but in more recent times I have become increasingly reliant on family assistance, as my freelancing business has declined. I'm very lucky to have their support. I feel ashamed about this situation, and am trying to retrain to do something completely different. But I fear my lack of self-confidence and social deficits may stand in the way.
I fear for the future and how I might cope in an office-type environment, as I am used to working alone for myself. I am aware of the oft-quoted high figure for how many people with ASD aren't able to hold down full-time office style jobs.
I feel a failure of sorts and a burden on my family. Now and then I feel so disillusioned that I ideate about ending things. I also fear for the future because there will be no-one there during my old age. I have no money for a pension, either.
But a part of me has been relieved by the diagnosis. Now I no longer really feel I have to do things the way "neurotypicals" are expected to do, and I can just be myself, however weird that is!
Thanks for listening, anyway, and if anyone can relate to what I've written, please feel free to chime in :)