I was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum when I was 15 years old. Society still dictates that diverging from the social norm is to be avoided at all costs, so I spent the next 12 years desperately building up the social skills that I thought were necessary to be liked as a person.
I am open about this diagnosis, but because I spend so much time and energy into masking it for the benefit of others, people have their doubts about the diagnosis itself.
Striving towards “normalcy” unfortunately also had accumulated the side-effect that I’ve been writing off the unfiltered me as defective. It’s caused me to consider myself as inferior, and makes it very difficult for me to accept compliments and positive things being said about me.
With this in mind, it probably comes to no surprise that I often think that I’m a burden to the friends I have, and that my romantic life is virtually non-existent because I somehow feel like I wouldn’t be worthy of the other person.
The mental strain of it has gotten to a point where my personal and professional life have been negatively influenced. After several months of my doctor urging me to take some time to recover. I’ve finally taken two weeks off work and started seeing a therapist to work on the issues that I’ve always neglected.
I’ve told very little people about it so far, because it still feels like something shameful, and I think it’s time to get over that.