Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Explaining This Blog's Existance

So, what is this blog, you may ask?

Well, it all started this morning... Or did it really start when I was born?

However it really started, I had my weekly appointment with my therapist this morning. I've been seeing her for a couple of years now, every Tuesday, and she's been extremely helpful to me. But she commented on the level of awareness and insight I have on my situation. Personally, I blame my many years of receiving cognitive behavioral therapy for that - I'm really quite familiar with how my mind works. Unfortunately, being aware of how my mind works is infinitely easier than changing how my mind works from what it is to something a bit more functional, but that's why I have a therapist in the first place.

She asked me if I'd ever considered writing about it. And I have, actually, especially more recently. I'm in a bit of an interesting spot, mentally. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was 12 years old - so about 17 years ago. (That makes me 29 now.) However, I'm definitely in the shallow end of the Autism spectrum, especially now. Many of the symptoms I was experiencing back when I was a child have eased off a lot since. I don't think any of them have left me completely, but I've learned to work with and around them well enough that I tend to come across as 'pleasantly quirky'. Unless you know enough about the spectrum to see that I'm a very specific kind of quirky, that is.

But this puts me in the position where I'm enough on the Autism spectrum to have first hand experience with most of the symptoms and other issues that entails, aware enough of how my mind works that I can usually explain it very well, and I'm usually good at figuring out how it's different for a neurotypical. I'm only really shaky about that last one - sometime I'll explain some thought or feeling I have and the person I'm talking to will tell me that everyone experiences that. I love it when that happens - it makes me feel just a bit more like I belong with the rest of humanity.

Of course, there's more to my story than an Asperger's diagnosis - as you may or may not have guessed by the title of this blog, I also have a problem with anxiety. I've also had some experience with depression, PTSD, and panic attacks and probably a few other things, but aside from the anxiety it's all mostly in my past instead of the present. In fact, the anxiety problem passed up the Asperger's problem in the order of importance a long time ago. And I can explain how any of those issues work in my mind just as easily.

So after we talked for a bit about it, my therapist suggested that I could blog about it. She said that it can be difficult to find first-hand accounts of this sort of thing, especially from anyone on the Autism spectrum who can explain it well, so it would be valuable to other people if I wrote it for other people to read. I also suspect that she suggested it because it would be therapeutic for me too - therapists are sneaky that way.

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