I was inspired, comforted and challenged by reading this lady‘s story on the NHS website this morning.
I’ll soon start the formal diagnostic roller-coaster for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some would probably say “Don’t do it!” “It’s only a label.” “It won’t change who you are.”
People often say “But you seem fine to me”. And I always say (inspired by seeing Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World show at the Bristol Hippodrome last year), “Well, you can’t see what it feels like.“
The thing I liked about Aly Glynn, aside from the obvious that she’s gone through the diagnosis process as an adult female (can’t have been easy swimming against that tide of assumptions easy!) is that it really has been worth it for her.
She describes it as the ‘final piece in the jigsaw.’ When you live a life that feels like all the pieces don’t fit together and in fact some are just simply missing, no matter how hard you try, this is such a refreshing and comforting thing to read. I’m also encouraged by her words “I was genuinely shocked to discover that people don’t think like me, aren’t preoccupied by the same things and don’t experience the same sensory issues. For example, I find the sound of pans banging together painful.” Substitute ‘pans’ for ‘radio’ and that’s me.
Even though I know it’s going to be a hard process to go through, I’m ready to know. I want to know. I don’t want to always be wondering and trying to muddle along with my own and others’ explanations and excuses and half-baked answers about why I struggle with the things I do. I want to rule in or rule out the facts.
Knowing means understanding. Understanding means acceptance. And with acceptance comes peace about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ to live my life in a way that makes the best out of my uniqueness. And equip me better to be kinder to myself at times when things are ridiculously and painfully clunky.
Aly says “I needed to know how to cope…..I have now learnt what is good for my health….”
And that’s my goal too.