Why Get an Adult Diagnosis of Autism? Because Acceptance Starts With Ourselves by Carrie Watts
Today was a big day for me. I started a new job. I’m lucky – my work career has been steady, varied and (for the most part) interesting. But I realized some time ago that, the older I get, the more mentally and emotionally difficult it is for me to be in a work environment.
After my third mental break two years ago, leading to six months of medical leave, I realized I had to get to the bottom of why it’s so stressful. It was then that I finally sought an adult diagnosis of autism. Doing so isn’t a quick thing; it took 18 months before I finally reached assessment, and that process was eight weeks long. But at the end of it, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
I started to cry. Not because I was sad or upset, but for the first time ever I felt like someone had finally seen and heard me, then told me I’m perfect just as I am. I’m not weird or a freak or broken. I am autistic. Different, not less.
The confidence it’s given me, the self-understanding, the forgiveness I can now allow myself for the social confusion and awkwardness – it’s life changing. I accept myself.
And today I started a new job. As me.