I’ve been overcoming something that had plagued me for most of my life. Being locked away in fear and anxiety, afraid of the outside world, afraid of interacting with others. I don’t think I’ll ever quite be “cured” but I sure feel a lot different now. I feel like I am able to function in the real world and do the same things that others do. Having a repetitive activity everyday helps keep me on track and develop goals for the day.
Now meeting others who are on the same spectrum as me interests me a lot. So far, I’ve met four others who have Asperger’s: a student from high school, one from a college class, one on the WordPress platform, and a girl who I want to call my girlfriend but still am figuring out if it will work or not, being miles apart with no certain date of seeing each other again, other than on Skype. Learning from what they are going through and how they are dealing with it has opened my eyes up to another world, one that I previously thought was shunned and misunderstood.
The truth is that we are an incredibly special group of people, with special abilities and talents. It’s these special skills that pave way for some truly great discoveries.
I don’t believe anyone can fully outgrow autism, and if they do then there is definitely was a misdiagnosis. They can learn to cope with it and blend in with the crowd, but it will always be there, always coming out in a situation that isn’t so comfortable for the person.
I don’t have much trouble with large crowds, but too much noise definitely will make me nervous, such as loud car stereos and loud speakers in a theater. I have certain habits I can’t help and they act as stress relievers, such as right now where I am waiting for a response from my girlfriend. God, it drives me crazy.
I still need my alone time, in order to recharge my batteries, to think and reflect. The bonuses of being alone mean being able to read and write more. I used to always want to be alone, used to avoid any social gatherings, but as time went on I realized how hard it was to live and experience the world. Having more friends means more opportunities and fun.
The last ten years, from when I finally decided that I was going to start on the path to beating this, have been quite amazing. I have transformed and evolved into an entirely different person, one who is now not afraid to try new things and step outside my comfort zone. I’ve probably had more effective conversations with people, including my relatives, than I had in the 17 years before the new beginning. A New Hope.
Getting out and meeting people will always be a challenge for me. Even getting away from home is hard. It takes a lot of effort and courage and some workarounds in my routine in order to fit a new relationship component in there. The great thing about Facebook and the Internet is that it is easy to develop and maintain relationships online now. It’s always easy to get to know a person’s personality, for better or worse.