I came to terms with the fact that I was different a long time ago. I didn’t know why I was, because nothing was ever said. I knew I had a bad leg and a bad foot.
Although I was a deep thinker as a child, fast forward to my early 20’s and although I still didn’t know about my mental symptoms, I was getting to grips with a full-time job. I would while away the hours, looking at how I responded to stimuli.
Although things weren’t obvious because my symptoms were mild, I continued to analyse some of my outward behaviour. I was continually irritated because I knew something was wrong, that it wasn’t just about what you could see physically. Everything was dumbed down.
Now fast forward to my late forties and with a diagnosis, I could for the first time understand my presenting symptoms, and autism seemed to fit into that. Whatever my symptoms were, I always saw them as something to be embraced, rather than something I need to challenge, but it didn’t stop others challenging me.
The hardest thing has been my learning disability and generalised anxiety disorder, because growing up they were constantly something I had to deal with. Nothing I deal with is easy, but I understand the patterns now. It is because I have autism that I have OCD, which I have also learned to cope with.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (“ADHD”) could explain my restlessness and my inability to stick at one thing and see it through. Particularly true as a child when I was regularly criticised for starting tasks and not completing them and for my lack of concentration in school.
When it comes to any form of disability, it is harmful for others to assume without knowing. It is important to know the facts and not assume. ‘My Story’ is testament to that.