Since I was a child, and for the past 45 years, I had this strange feeling that my life would change in a radical way by the time I reached my 50’s birthday. I didn’t know in which way, but I felt that it’ll be a good change…a change for the better.
Naturally when we think of a positive change in life we tend to think in terms of what we are living at the moment. If we are drowning in debt we might think the change could be a better paid job, or even winning the lottery. If we are dreaming of more living space it could be a bigger house. Even if we are in a very complicated relationship maybe the change could be divorce and a new life as a single again.
In my case I thought it’ll be something related with income. Since I’ve been a little complicated with meeting ends, for me money has become an important element to have in order to live less worried about ends and having the chance to enjoy spare time in more interesting activities, in other words, money has become a symbol of freedom.
Well, by my 49’s birthday I didn’t win the lottery (which I never play; no wonder why I never win) but I did land a very good job with nice pay and benefits, so it has given me the freedom of being able to concentrate in other things instead of thinking all the times how to get more money. That could be the big change I was expecting, but even though it has been a very good thing for me, perhaps the real change came in an unexpected way.
By the same time (actually one month earlier) I discovered that I have Aspergers, and the sky came down crushing me!
In a very brief explanation: Very early in life I discovered that I was different from other kids and that I couldn’t socialize like the others. With this the whole growing process became different and frustrating when not being able to have a place in society. So always was the thought and hope of finding the reason and the “technical” differences in order to create a change in me, so to become “normal” and have a normal life.
When I discovered that I have Aspergers, at first it was a big relief by finally finding the reason why of the differences, but soon frustration took place when realizing that no changes could be made. My brain is wired in a different way and I cannot change that. So I entered a deep depression that lasted about six months because it seemed there was no reason to keep going (I even stopped blogging for a year and a half, remember?). My trusted sidekicks of always -anxiety and depression- eclipsed the world around and nothing of value in life could be seen to grab as a floating device to sort the chaotic feelings dancing in my head. Honestly, there was no reason to keep on living. I was a freak, a mistake of nature, so I shouldn’t be here, and my son, without knowing it, saved my life once more, just like he had done about twenty times before.
After the initial six months of depression, it took me another year to go through the other states of mind: Rage; bitter resignation; sadness, and finally positive expectations. And it was in this last state when I started experimenting with pills to control anxiety and paid more attention to the differences from a positive perspective, seeing the good rather than the bad. So a couple of months after my 50’s birthday I started to feel happy with being an aspie because of the positive differences, and conditioned my mind to slowly but surely discard the bad feelings for the negative differences, the handicaps I have because of Aspergers.
Looking back now to those months of bitter feelings while being in a happier state than ever before, I can think the expected big change by my 50’s birthday was the discovery of my real mind and its different capabilities. Although I will never be able to socialize as a normal person; I will never understand from heart people’s behavior, and only by logic I can “dissect” the mechanicals of their motives and reactions, in exchange I have a CAD program in my head that has been very useful in most of my activities; I can go by mechanical logic when needed, and still have a very sensitive heart and body that, although need protection all the time, still allows me to enjoy intensely little things that most people cannot even see.
For those reasons now I feel happier than ever and resolved to start experimenting in physical life all the things that always had postponed by never being the “right time”. Not only I accept being an Aspie but I enjoy it and now would never trade it for becoming normal. That’s why I turned this blog into an Aspie blog, so to let people know about what Asperger is from the point of view of an “insider”, and reject the classification of having a “condition”. I don’t have a condition; I am a normal person with a place in a more extreme point in the scale. I am not a freak, and if I have a reason to be in life or not will depend in what I can do from now on, and I’m planning to spend the rest of my life experimenting, analyzing and enjoying all I can.
In short, the big change I was expecting by my 50’s birthday did occur, and although it implied a very complicated process, it was a very positive one that has changed my life for the better.
(A Proud Aspie)