A few months shy of starting my thirty-ninth year, I was diagnosed with autism. It was a prospect I had flirted with some years before, but a therapist I worked with at that time didn’t see it. Working with a new therapist now, as a newly-married man struggling a little up the matrimonial learning curve, is what brought it to light. Now that it’s official, I’m coming to terms with the idea that there’s something in my head that’s been there my whole life—something that’s maybe not “wrong” but “different”—that’s shaped my choices and who I’ve wound up being without being aware of it.
So I’m starting this blog to try and map out the dimensions of this condition as I experience it. Why do it in the form of a blog? I suppose coming off as a self-absorbed dickhead is a potential consequence of autism. And I’ve had it in my head for a while to seek an outlet to do some semi-regular writing. I’m also rather hoping that by putting this out for people to see, I might attract additional perspectives on autism in its myriad forms and maybe get some better-informed opinions to help me sort out where the autism ends and I begin. If it turns out I’m just jerking off here, well, there’s always the “Delete Account” option.
On one level, I understand I’m the same person I was before I was diagnosed. Nerdy and weird, sure; also smart, kind, and all that good stuff. On a different level, my self-concept has been shaken up a little, and now I want to figure out what it’s going to look like once this new information sets in. The saying goes that “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”—the rules about this thing continue to be written, so here’s me trying to document some of the rules about my particular strain.
If I manage to strike a chord in the course of talking my stuff out here, stick around, drop some feedback, and let me know if you manage to mine anything useful from all this. Hopefully I can, too.
In need of a snappy sign-off,