There are many moments in life, where you go through emotional stages. That could be a pregnancy, moving to a different city, the loss of someone or a big change in life. I realized that I have been and still am going through different emotional stages after getting my autism diagnosis. It has already been nearly 2.5 years ago that I’ve gotten my diagnosis, but I think, I still am between stage three and four.
Stage 1: Relief
After I got my ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnosis, I was extremely relieved for weeks or even months. I was so excited and happy about haven gotten my diagnosis. That might sound weird, but it actually makes sense. I had felt different and awkward for years and never knew why. Through my ASD diagnosis I finally got an explanation. I found out that I am not weird, but that there are lots of people, who experience the world differently just like me.
Stage 2: Realization
After being relieved, I slowly entered the next stage. Even when I just suspected that I could have autism, I started to research so much about ASD. Especially after the diagnosis I read everything I could find about autism spectrum disorders. More and more I realized how many autistic traits I actually have. My autistic traits obviously didn’t just appear out of nowhere. They had always been there, but I finally found a way to explain my thoughts, my perception and my behavior.
Stage 3: Frustration
After realizing how autistic I actually am, there came the stage of frustration. To be honest I am still struggling with being frustrated sometimes. There are autistic people, who have accepted their diagnosis so much, that they can proudly say, they wouldn’t ever wish to be neurotypical (not autistic). I wish, I could say the same. But I really want to be honest on this blog and also share the hard stuff. So, I admit it. I have wished for not being autistic several times. Autism can be really exhausting and demanding and sometimes I actually feel limited.
Stage 4: Acceptance
Whenever I’m not frustrated, I’ve made it to the next stage. I often switch between frustration and acceptance. My goal is definitely to accept my autism and thereby myself as much as possible. It’s a big goal and I think there are lots of people, who don’t really accept themselves for who they are. But I think, I’m on a good way. To be honest, one of the readers of my blog helped me a lot. I once wrote an article on my German blog, where I mentioned that it would be great to have an autistic role model. This reader sent me a message and wrote that I was hers.
Reading this lovely message, I realized how well I actually cope in life. I face challenges every day, but I also get through them. I live independently, I am good at saving money, I am studying, I am learning how to listen to my body and I manage my everyday life really well. Whenever I’m not in the stage of frustration, I’m actually pretty proud of myself.