I understand and respect that Asperger’s is outdated terminology. For the purpose of this blog, I will be using Asperger’s and Aspie because I find it easier than saying, “I have been diagnosed as having something that falls under the umbrella of ASD” or “I am a level one ASD”. That might be the wording professionals use, but it’s kind of wordy. So, I hope you will excuse the use of Asperger’s.
I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I am an Aspie. There I said it.
I mean, I’ve said it before, in front of my wife and some family members, but not in a blog that can be read by ANYONE. I’ve not talked about my diagnosis in front of a huge radio audience. Just a few days ago, I did “come out”.
Why? I’m not sure. I think deep down inside I was looking for a reason. So, when Elon Musk mentioned he had Asperger’s on Saturday Night Live, it gave me that “reason”.
It wasn’t like I was consciously holding back that part of my life. It just never seemed like there was a good time. What would it sound like on the radio? “Good Morning, It’s Matt and Ramona on Mix 1079 and one of us has Asperger’s, now here’s Bruno Mars!” Awkward!
I know that the reality is, somewhere inside me, I really didn’t want to publicly announce it. I still had doubts (even though I was diagnosed by two different doctors). I score high on every Asperger online test (those tests should not be used in place of an actual diagnosis). Speaking of those tests, I recently took one and scored 40 out of 50. My co-workers scored in the teens. Yeah, I guess I’m a little different.
One of the things holding me back from publicly acknowledging the Asperger in me, was I didn’t feel “Aspie” “enough”. The tv and movie characters portrayed with Asperger’s are not like me. At least that’s what I felt. However; the more I watched some of these characters, the more I realized I wasn’t EXACTLY like them, but boy did we share some characteristics.
Blurting out inappropriate things at inappropriate times…check. Socially awkward…check. Really really into routine. Check. Anxiety and depression. Check. Inability to pick up on social cues. Check. Talking incessantly about a specific topic. Check. I could go on and on, like an Aspie tends to do, but I’ll stop there..for now.
Why even mention, publicly, I had some sort of diagnosis? Well, I’m hoping it will help others get diagnosed. A diagnosis can lead to some help. Therapy, medicine, or just reading up on the topic. I know I am wired differently than most people, but since my behavior is all I’ve known, I thought it was more “normal” than it actually is.
Once I realized that not everyone wonders out loud why another person is crying, or not everyone tells their boss their outfit looks weird, or that most people know you should look your spouse in the eye when she’s talking, or when someone tells you their dad died, it’s not appropriate to say “Well, he had a good run.” then I had to admit I wasn’t as “normal” as I thought.
I will continue to blog about my life on the spectrum, because there is so much more to say. However; I’m learning to control my brain’s wiring that wants me to babble on way too long.
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