Monday, October 29, 2012

Diagnosis is 90% of the Cure

Before I even start this post I want to be clear: I am among a large group of Autism Spectrum people who DO NOT BELIEVE Autism needs to be cured. Just want to make that clear (based on the title, it could appear otherwise).

When I say "cure", I simply mean "manageable" or "less stressful".

This weekend I went to women's retreat. This is an entire weekend, Friday night thru Sunday afternoon, where there are usually close to 400 of us women in one resort. We have a lot of seminar/meetings, meals together, more classes, more meetings. Usually it amounts to 4 large whole group meetings, and 2 smaller divided times for 4 different presentations, as well as 4 meal times as a group.

The only problem with this is that there is very little down time. Between the large groups, the small groups, there is almost literally no time at all to be by yourself, unless you skip a class. And for me, I go for the meetings, so I am very hesitant to skip one at all, and in addition, it is in the fall, in MINNESOTA (who scheduled this at this time of year!?) so its COLD, and not a whole lot of fun to be anywhere but inside anyway. This year it even snowed, which made it worse for me. 

This is only the second time I have gone to women's retreat. Last year I felt as if I wanted to smack people in the face. Not because they were doing anything wrong, specifically, but because I was internally so empty, I had nothing left. My bucket empties when I'm with people, and it only refills with time alone to do what I want, and again, no time to refill the bucket. 

This year was different. Now I KNOW what I'm dealing with. I KNOW why I feel that way. I KNOW my tendency to be overwhelmed and empty. I did manage to sneak away after a couple of the meetings. After the Friday night meeting, I went out behind a tree by the lake. It was my favorite kind of tree - a weeping willow. As I stood under there, I could breathe. I thought about sitting down on the ground (it had not snowed) and when I did, apparently I spooked a beaver about 5 feet out into the lake, who smacked his tail a few times, and scared ME! I took some pictures and just relaxed a while. 

By the end of the weekend, I think I was overreacting a little over text to my poor husband, (but really, asking 800 times this weekend if I was coming home yet IS kinda annoying), but I was at least able to say that this is normal for me. I will be just fine. It isn't that people are trying to be rude or mean, I'm just overwhelmed, exhausted, and my bucket is empty! All I had to do was be patient with myself, knowing that its just a few hours until I would leave and have the car to myself all the way home. AH! :)

And I had a quiet ride back. 
I did have some people I followed back at least part of the way (luckily, the part that it was snowing the most). So that was nice, at least I knew if I went in the ditch I would have someone right there. lol
I could have ridden with them, and saved the gas money. But I honestly NEED that time in the car alone. If I didn't have that, I wouldn't have anything when I got home to a husband and son who missed me very much! I also got lucky and got home while hubby was loading the truck (with son with him) so I got to unload the car, unpack and get "organized" after getting home, as well as sit and watch part of a movie, all before they got home. So that was nice, and helped my bucket to be extra full for my son and hubby. :) So it ended up being a good relaxing evening. We even went to bed SUPER early (I did not see the clock read 8 PM last night, which is UNHEARD of, even though I could have found a lot to read or play on my phone!)

So, as the title implies, KNOWING is 90% of my "cure". KNOWING that I have Aspergers, the social limitations that go along with that, and the needs I have being the person that I am, it makes life a lot more enjoyable and easy to deal with. I know MUCH more about who I am, and why I feel the way I do sometimes. I wished that every person could find out for sure, could know for sure. I wish that 100% of people knew more about Autism Spectrum (as well as many many other conditions/personalities/diseases/handicaps/etc) so that instead of being afraid of the different, we can understand each other better, and understand each other's needs, and be more able to provide for others the things they need in their life and their situation. KNOWLEDGE = "CURE"


  1. I couldn't agree with you more!!! I cried and cried when I first realized what was "wrong" with me. When I first realized that I could see myself on the pages of the texts I read. The reflection looking back at me was familiar for the first time in my life. I was hurt, sad, angry, frustrated, but I was also thrilled. I wasn't crazy, I wasn't alone, and finally I know some of the why's.

    I have to admit many times I still don't cut myself any slack. I don't give myself a break, and still make myself feel horrible because I NEED the break in the first place. But, I'm working on it. Great post, thank you.

    ~Aspie Writer