Just to continue on with the “My Fair Lady” theme (another line from a song from the film, as sung by Rex Harrison’s Professor Henry Higgins, which is also rather apt in the circumstances!)
Well it’s now official – I have aspergers. In fact I have aspergers with ADHD. How lucky can you get?!! The psychiatrist I saw did a bloody good job, and I am very grateful to him for doing in two hours what the NHS psychiatric service was going to take probably two years to do – and with no guarantee that they would even manage to get the diagnosis right!
I did try them initially – one frustrating and fruitless forty minute interview, where I ended up shutting down (and the doctor never noticed!), was enough to convince me that I couldn’t go through that ordeal again, which is what it was going to take – months of interviews for them to make an assessment.
So I went private, and it was worth the £440. And he did it without the aid of any background information on my childhood, other than what I was able to give him, because both my parents are dead. But my friend, who went with me, has always maintained that he would only have to sit in a room with me for five minutes to know that I have it!
It’s now two weeks ago since I went, and I don’t think it has sunk in at all. I had convinced myself beforehand that, logically, it shouldn’t make any difference to be told officially. After all I’ve known for a year now, and what should it matter what a complete stranger to me believes? The important thing is that I know it’s true, along with my best friend – surely? Plus, if he had said he didn’t believe that I’d got it, and he’s considered to be one of the foremost experts, where would that have left me? Which is probably why I was trying so hard to convince myself that his opinion didn’t matter.
And yet it seems it does, and it has done something, though I’m not sure what yet. I’ve been too busy being distracted and obsessed by other things that have been happening in my life just recently to allow the information to properly digest. I keep telling people that I’ve officially got it, and I keep telling myself that I have it, but this doesn’t really aid in the process of acceptance. It doesn’t fully compute yet: it just seems so surreal.
Of course my inclination is to immerse myself in all things aspergers and ADHD now, to read up on and learn everything there is to know about the two things – basically to set off yet another obsession that will distract me from getting on with my life and the routine that I have discovered helps to keep my life ordered, and my nervous system calm enough for me to think more clearly and function better. I just hate discipline! At least I now know that there is a physiological reason for it, and that it isn’t just the disinclination of a wilful and lazy child to buckle down.
But along with that too comes the knowledge that discipline and a plan are therefore absolutely essential for me – that there is no other way, no “easier, softer option” (it’s a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous), no pill I can take that will turn me into a joyful discipline-junkie (just a junkie!) And the worst of it is that, because I am a full-grown adult woman, the responsibility for enforcing this routine lies with me!! I feel like the parent to a child, and I’ve never wanted children!
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."