January 22nd 2017: In mid-2015 after several months of therapy my therapist asked me if I had ever been tested for Asperger’s syndrome. I was going to therapy for many reasons but ultimately I was looking to answer that question we all ask at some point in our lives, “Who am I?” It seems fitting that what began with a question would end with another “Have you ever been tested for Asperger’s?”
The doctor that ultimately ‘diagnosed’ me, a psychologist that specializes in autism, had this to say on the diagnosis (I’m paraphrasing here). “There is a test you could take but this would only help to understand where you are on the spectrum. This would be useful if you needed assistance, primarily in school, which you don’t. What is important is that with this knowledge you can begin to understand who you are.” I took no test but walked out of there with the knowledge that I had been looking at the world through a lens that in a way was incomplete.
What I felt I can only describe with an example. Imagine being short sighted your entire life, all 35 years of it. Then you get diagnosed with myopia. The diagnosis leads to corrective eye ware. All of a sudden the blurry world you had taken for granted comes into focus clear and bright. Would you not wonder what everything you’ve looked at throughout your life would’ve looked like with that sharper focus?
With time I found that I did not know how to use or process the knowledge I had of the spectrum. So I started writing about it. They were just simple exercises on thinking back on previous experiences and reflecting on how they would and wouldn’t be affected by my unique lens. I shared some of these reflections with close friend who encouraged me to share them. The posts that follow don’t aspire to be more than that, a collection of stories and reflections, my stories and reflections. I hope you like them.