I've been thinking of doing this for a while but it has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage.
I have spent my whole life not quite fitting in and trying to work out why. I've gone round in circles for years but the answer I always seem to come back to is autism. I currently work with children with autism and I so often look at things they do and think I do that or feel that.
People often assume I'm a confident person because I'm generally very loud but this couldn't be further than the truth. In my head I'm always worrying about interacting with people and getting it wrong and I can't stand being centre of attention. I always feel like everyone's eyes are on me even when I'm amongst a group of people, like everyone is constantly judging me.
I find social interaction really difficult. It's not that I don't like being social, I just don't think I'm very good at it and get very anxious about it. I don't like busy/crowded places and can't stand anything like clubbing which people don't seem to understand. I can't follow conversations very easily if there's more than say 3 people involved. I find it hard to get in there with what I want to say and always get told that I'm interrupting. People often describe me as being aggressive but I'm totally oblivious to this and what they mean. I don't have many friends and I always feel like they are closer with each other than they are with me. We talk in a group chat but it is very rare I speak to them individually. I know that I can be very annoying and this is one of my biggest problems with friendships but I have no idea how not to be annoying. I often feel very lonely but then when I am asked to do something I get very anxious and don't want to.
I'm particular about clothes. They have to fit and feel a certain way. I mainly like hoodies and like to wear my hood up as much as possible. This again can make social situations and formal situations difficult as there is an expectation to dress up or be smart and I feel so uncomfortable with this.
I'm also funny with food. I have limited tastes and will not eat "wet" food e.g. soup or food with sauce on. Certain foods have to be separate from the rest of my food like vegetables although I don't like many of those.
I'm not keen on people touching me. There are certain exceptions like my parents. But I hate hugs from pretty much everyone else. Again this can make social situations challenging. People don't understand why I don't like this and can even act like I'm being rude not wanting them to touch me.
I've never really been in a relationship and really can't see how I would cope with one. It's not that I wouldn't want one but I just find people so difficult.
I get very anxious about a lot of things. Social things, people in work saying they need to talk to me, having made a mistake (or thinking I have), needing to talk to someone in work, new situations and the list goes on. Recently this anxiety has massively increased. I'm not really sure why but I'm finding it a lot harder to manage. I'm also very easily frustrated and don't find it easy to let go of this.
Most of the time when I get home from work I just climb into bed and then find it really hard to get out again. I also find it very difficult to do household jobs. This seems like laziness but it's more than that but I'm not sure exactly what. It often gets on top of me. I'm very fidgety and find it hard to sit still or quietly a lot of the time. I've recently developed a habit of clicking my tongue. I'm not sure why I do this but I really can't help it.
I read this back and think that it screams autism but then I think I can hold down a job, I manage to function in society and I can interact well with people at least for some amount of time so am I just reading into my knowledge of autism?
I know this is a really long post and I'm not even sure what I'm expecting back from it but I just felt I needed to get some of this out of my head and I really don't have anyone I feel I can talk to. Plus I find talking to people in person really difficult. Thanks for reading and I appreciate any advice anyone can give me.
Similar to other comments above I feel like I could have written the same post about myself. I am self diagnosed. When I looked into the diagnosis process in my area I wasnt optimistic about how long it would take. I’m trying to get my head around accepting myself as self-diagnosed.
I think I've got the point where I've figured a diagnosis is the only thing that would give me peace of mind. I think I'm going to continue in the same circles if I don't. Not quite at the point I can face it yet though. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
I’ve already decided not to seek diagnosis. I’ve already spent too much time in medical waiting rooms. My problem is not so much myself as I feel that I identify with aspergers. My problem is that if I say it to other people they don’t appear to believe me without the external validation. So its a case of what to do about that, if anything needs to be done.