“Hon… It’s as if I’ve lived my whole life backwards!”
So we’re waking-&-baking… And I had one of those moments. That undeniable experience of clarity… you wish ANY drug could provide. Reliably.
See, I had my annual Medicare health check yesterday. Turns out I’m not senile… as measured by a mini-mental test…
But they do a depression screening, too. And, let’s say, I was a tad too autistic for my own good…
I told the truth.
One question after another… each too broad to have any meaning in my autistic life…
”In the last 14 days…
have you been sad…
slept more or less…
thought you might be better off dead?”
One multiple choice answer after another… to sort my 3-standard-deviations-into-the-autistic life into the right box.
”Not at all
a few days…?
half the time…?
most of the time…?
all the time?”
My one simple answer… over & over.
”Yes… A few days.”
The nurse looks more & more uncomfortable.
I’ve spent decades lying to medical professionals at this point. Giving them a socially acceptable fib… to get through an awkward moment.
I’m sick of it.
So I tell the truth. What’s to lose…? I’ve walked out before on doctors, nurses, dentists… without going into total meltdown…
“I’m being honest. And I’ve been in the therapy business. That scale won’t tell you what I need you to know… This is the best time of my life.”
She looks startled. A confused smile…
“No.” I wave my arms. “Not kidding…
“Yes, I have suicidal thoughts a few times a week. Yes, I’m in the middle of a podcast that’s desperately important to me… but I’m frozen and I can’t finish it… no matter what I do.”
Even I have to take a breath. But I plunge on…
“And dealing with the fact that I have NEVER been able to count on my mind or body to allow me to complete ANY important project on time… in my life… is very…” I search for the least “pitiful” word I can find… quickly… “Painful.”
OK. I begin to tear. But I don’t get embarrassed. Not any more.
I finish in a rush, “It’s not every day. And I haven’t been hospitalized in 6 years… maybe 7, I forget. I’m actually completing more work… that’s important to me… than at any time in my life… I have joy more than a few times a week. And I have love… every day.
“So, I’m okay. I’m better than okay. I’m great.” Pause. “That’s why I need you to know I don’t want intervention. And I don’t need treatment.”
That was okay by me.
Getting back to living backwards…
Most folks feel they achieve their best in their youth. Then comes the slow decline into doing less and less as they age.
As if humans fade away. Into memories of what they once did.
I’ve fought to survive autism… in a world hostile to my mind, heart, and soul…
My entire life.
And in last 10 years…? I began winning. At last.
The older I get… now? The better I become.
Not for the faint of heart.
But a fight worth winning.
Confessions of an #AdultAutistic Anxiety Junkie – Stimming, Overload & Anxiety, Pt.3 – #AutisticAF Out Loud
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- Zen & the Autistic Art of the Stim: Stimming, Overload & Anxiety, Pt. 2
- Autistic Stimming, Overload & Anxiety, Pt. 1: NOISE – A Spoken Song
- How to Get Diagnosed #ActuallyAutistic… In Just 26 Years! S01E08
- Autistic Shutdowns: Believe I‘ll Ch-Ch-Change My Shirt – A Spoken Song