I May Have Fibbed 🤫

Hi again! I’m so glad you’re back for some more… um fun? Sometimes we have fun, right? Haha! But truly thank you, to all my subscribers and readers for your support; it means so much to me!

I’ve talked a lot so far about bipolar, both the mania and depression sides, as well as a bit on trauma and PTSD. That’s probably because they were my first few diagnoses, so I’ve had the most time to learn about them. I’ve also been struggling with mood swings a little more since starting the blog.

But today I wanted to shed some light on one of the other parts that makes up my story. And speaking of diagnoses, I have something to confess. It’s not that I hid it on purpose; it just that there wasn’t a time or place until now to clarify. “What are you talking about?” I can practically hear you wondering, ha! So let’s get to it!

Autism and I don’t plan on shortening the story, so get comfy. You probably know how I roll by now anyway, ha!

Autism is something I’ve questioned about myself from an early age. I remember being about five years old and knowing I wasn’t like other kids my age. I had tendencies that pushed people away and left me confused. And more often than not, I didn’t like children much, even as one myself.

Honestly, I’m basically still a child… picture proof below, hahaha!!

Fact: a grouping of sloths is a snuggle!

Back to the blog… ahem …My mom had always worked in daycares and dreamed of being a school teacher. Because of this she had more familiarity with autism and autistic children than most people did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Which meant, I also had quite a bit of understanding on the subject compared to my peers.

Because of this understanding, you’d think my parents would have easily caught on to my quirks (that’s what we’ll call them, haha!), but that wasn’t the case. I even brought the idea up to my mom as a possibility many times over the years, and with her best intentions she honestly didn’t believe it was even possible.

I mostly accepted her “expertise” on the subject because well… she’s the parent, and she knew way more than I did. Also back then we didn’t all have tiny computers in our hands 24/7 as a means of quickly learning information. So I went about my childhood and young adult life knowing I didn’t fit in, but also at some point forgetting my theories of autism.

Before moving on, I don’t want it to sound like my mom didn’t listen to my concerns because that’s furthest thing from the truth. But just like any mother she loved me and possibly a little too much. She didn’t want to see me struggle in life, and honestly what mother does?

Unfortunately, that normal blind spot that parents tend to have coupled with new research today ended up in some ways making my struggles more difficult. You see now research regarding autism shows that, in general, it presents differently among boys and girls. Back then the testing was geared to the way it typically presented in adolescent boys. So even if my mom had seen the possibility, it’s likely I would have been misdiagnosed anyway.

So fast forward through many awkward and sometimes traumatizing moments that made up the years. I’m married; I’ve finally been diagnosed with bipolar II & narcolepsy, and on a decent balance of meds for each. I’d also had about 7-8 surgeries in the previous two years because of my pilonidal cyst but still wasn’t seeing much hope for a full recovery at that point.

And then I realized that I was experiencing symptoms that didn’t quite fit in the Venn diagram overlap of narcolepsy & bipolar, so I discussed it with my psychiatrist and did some research. My first thought was borderline personality disorder.

My psychiatrist gave me a book to read and a quick test that was inconclusive which makes sense considering bipolar and borderline are often misdiagnosed for one another. I read a few chapters of the book; and although there was some overlap, it again didn’t perfectly fit.

It made more sense to me that I’d have maybe one missing piece or misdiagnoses, rather than having multiple other mental health/personality issues. So I put the idea of borderline to the side and did more research.

Randomly while sitting on the floor of my office making some craft, “autism” popped in my head. I quickly brushed it away or tried to, but it lingered. So, I wrote down my symptoms. Symptoms I’d had for as long as I could remember. Individually none of them particularly pointed to autism. But had I unbiasedly been looking at someone else’s list, it definitely would have been my first thought.

I also took the most thorough unofficial online test.
These are my scores.

Sometimes trauma presents very similar to autism later in life, and I’ve had my share of trauma. But the specific things I wrote down were issues I struggled with before any trauma I knew of had happened.

So now for my fib. I don’t have an official diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I showed my psychiatrist my symptoms list after an unconvincing conversation, and he changed gears and admitted that my symptoms on the whole are the same things those on the spectrum deal with. He was happy to refer me for official testing, but I haven’t opted for that just yet.

As an adult getting an official ASD diagnosis isn’t that beneficial other than having an answer. Also as an adult, insurance doesn’t cover it, and it’s pretty expensive testing. So knowing what my struggles are is sufficient for me at the moment, and the closest thing to define them is autism.

I have been considering going for an official evaluation now that I’m writing this blog. Because I definitely want to be upfront and honest. But until then I’m a suspected autistic. I didn’t want to go any further “blog wise” without taking the time to explain this to you.

I’ll share my original symptoms here as well for your own interest, research, or general entertainment, haha!!

1. I’ve always struggled to make and keep friends.

2. I’ve struggled with being brutally honest and often times hurt others unintentionally, and I’m usually confused why they’re hurt after the fact.

3. I don’t always understand obvious normal social cues until way later.

4. I have hyperfocus.

5. I have to literally think in my head “how would a ‘normal’ person respond.”

6. I’m constantly training myself to recognize social norms and study them, so I can find them later when needed.

7. Saying “I love you” is very uncomfortable for me no matter who it is. I only get used to it if I do it often and then only with that one person and if it’s been recent. If there’s been any real amount of gap between now and the last “I love you” , it’s uncomfortable again.

8. I hate most physical touch, and again only get use to it more than actually crave it i.e. hugs.

9. I have sensory issues with loud or unexpected noises and also with quick or unexpected touching. I can tolerate expected touching, but often I still have to remind myself the intention of the other person is good. I prefer firm touch to light touch, and especially hate touching by strangers or people I’m not close with.

10. I sway back and forth often to calm or even just comfort myself.

11. I easily forget how to be a good friend; that I should reach out to others too, and that it’s not just about me.

12. I really prefer my alone time, and even don’t want to spend any real focused time with Travis more than a few times a month.

Since that list of 12 I’ve found even more symptoms, but I think that’s good for now. I’d love to hear from you too, even if just to say hi! Or maybe you learned something new today? Or you relate to a part of this post! In any case leave a comment below to let me know, and I’ll get back with you ASAP. As always, have yourself a nap and a snack!

*Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: