The official diagnosis came around March 2021. This was one year and three months ago; time goes by quickly. I still ask myself, what if I hadn’t known? What would life look like then? I have no idea.
There are days I do wish I didn’t know that I did not know I was autistic, even if my mind would still be autistic. The name, the “title,” the label gives rest but stress as well. It gave me the answers about my past that I needed to know, which is good. Only the spotlight seems to shine on so many other things I hadn’t noticed before. I do not have words for how that feels, except tiresome, scary and stressful.
Because what is highlighted in my life now wasn’t before. Or at least I didn’t know I did things a certain way.
Now I feel like I have to remind myself to be in balance constantly.
Not to do too much because I might become overstimulated.
Not to go and take on too much in a day, I might become overstimulated.
Not plan my weekends full because I might become overstimulated.
Do not this, do not that, because… Those looming words shackle me in ways I had never expected.
Knowing is fantastic, but it is a gilded cage.
A cage where I am working on getting out. I know it will help in the long run. But the search for balance and the overshadowing past — which I know I shouldn’t look back to. But who wouldn’t when you were able to do things that seem out of your reach now?
And yes, I know this won’t be forever. This isn’t a cage I will be locked in forever.
I sometimes wish I didn’t know. That I could continue like I was before the “label.” But I can’t; I do get why it is for the best.
It helps me communicate with the “outside” world so much easier. It also gives a few side eyes as I do not look like the stereotypical autistic person. Something I do not mind, that’s everyone’s own opinion.
And on the other hand, it does help to know. It only made it a lot more complicated. Which I’ll deal with and cry about probably when it gets too much. In the end, it is a good thing, even if I can hate it. Knowing gives me insight, which will help me reach my goals and be more understandable to myself and have more confidence in myself.
So I rather know, but I wish it weren’t this hard to know.