I believe, without a doubt, I have Aspergers. And I believe Aspergers affects me on multiple levels. I believe I am handicapped in ways, because of this syndrome. I uphold that what my diagnosis means to anyone, beyond myself, is inconsequential. While I love and care about others unconditionally, I am aware that when I care how others’ perceive me, and let their opinions affect my esteem, then ego is stepping in. Thusly, I have been actively releasing ego-attachments associated with the title of Asperger’s Syndrome. And I’ve been actively telling myself to not use the diagnosis as an excuse, such as a reason to not leave the house, to escape into isolation, to fixate more, etc. I forgive myself for partaking in this natural process of swinging to one extreme on the pendulum of attachment and emotional-response to the other, before finding a restful state of equilibrium.
Yes, the Aspergers title has enabled me to understand myself at a very profound level. And I support others who are seeking a diagnosis and/or self-understanding. But I no longer choose to let the diagnosis define my personhood.
Sam Craft’s Expedition Journal (February 2012) Semi-Fictional
Day One: Upon receiving my official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, I have subsequently clung onto the title. Beginning to understand the implications of diagnosis.
Day Two: My diagnosis now qualifies as a life preserver, as the term Aspergers appears to be keeping me afloat, as I relive aspects of my past and evaluate my perception of reality. Mental connections observed. Huge relief in finding semblance of answers, preponderance of flashbacks. Mild-degree of depression. Reality shifting.
Day Three: Uncertain if clinging is beneficial. Is this need to grasp onto a title indeed part of my Asperger’s brain or part of my soul’s journey? Many questions emerging.
Day Four: If Aspergers is a man-made diagnosis, does it exist? Still clinging to title.
Day Five: I’ve met others who recognize me and validate my experience. I have found my people. I am proud to have Aspergers! I no longer care if I am clinging. Neurotypicals of planet earth do not understand me.
Day Six: Preparing for trip to Planet Aspie. Confirmation received: I am of alien decent. Leaving behind all prior diagnosis, roles, and identities, in hopes of forging ahead to new frontier. I have reclaimed my spaceship. Excited. Final goodbyes to cruel earth.
Day Seven: Take Off! Less and less grounded, but filled with hope.
Day Eight: Assimilated successfully with my kin. Partying, connecting. Don’t miss earth one bit, or anything I left behind.
Day Nine: Trouble breathing. Don’t know how much longer I can survive here. I fear if I depart I will lose clarity of self and multiple connections in new community. Gasping for air. Disappointed and discouraged by predicament.
Day Ten: Breathing remains labored. Beginning to reconsider options. I miss earth. I miss who I was. Understanding my identity, views, and reasoning have become obstructed and marred by the mere act of defining myself as an alien from Planet Aspie. Forgotten who I was.
Day Eleven: I’ve been forced to make preparations to leave planet, after a radio signal I picked up from earth, on a social network frequency:
“Isn’t it strange how folks pigeon holed by their ‘labels’ want to be recognized for their ‘labels’, yet don’t want to be pigeon holed by labels?” ~ K
Day Thirteen: Ego wounded on planet. A fellow alien wrote the following message on the side of my spacecraft:
“I’ve never considered it a disability. You take the good with the bad. Asperger’s gives one good analytical thinking and attention to detail, useful traits wouldn’t you say?
Social skills aren’t hard to learn if you work at it…How could you compare a social impediment with…? That’s being perhaps a little bit whiny and self-obsessed.
If- perchance- you’re offended, I don’t blame my asperger’s. I blame myself. If I’ve crossed the line here, I’m sorry and it’s my fault.” ~ J
Resulting consequence: I became self-absorbed and remained (momentarily) in a feeble-state of wounded-ego. I understand now, the message was not a direct attack upon my personhood, and that I only felt attacked because I’ve wrapped my identity in a spacesuit of Aspergers. Though I disagree with aspects of the message and tone, these words carry nothing but ego-bullets. To avoid further injury, I am returning to planet earth where I can better control ego, (and breathe).
Day Fourteen: Ego-attachment to Aspergers identity is still very strong, as I buckle in and prepare for departure.
Day Fifteen: Touched down on Planet Earth. Immediately reunited with vital parts of self. Ego in balance. Collecting parts of personhood that I left behind. Mourning loss of identity. Breathing still labored.
Day Sixteen: Planting a new garden of identity that hosts a multitude of vegetation. Seeds in place. Breathing normal. Earthlings are loving, indeed. Aliens no longer exist. All beings on same journey.
Day Seventeen: Successfully integrated all Aspergers’ traits back into the whole of my personhood. Ego at bay. Nolonger in need of a self-definition to exist. Breathing is divine.
Day Eighteen: Flowers are in full bloom in garden. Welcoming beauty. Anchored in awareness. Seeing others as a reflection of my perceptions. Continue to learn.
Day Nineteen: Accepting and loving all parts of self. Witnessed another earthling blast off to Planet Aspie. Will remain in garden waiting for her to return. Sending her love and light.