The last week has been a blur.
You should probably read my post on my experience with a private psychiatric diagnosis to understand the context of this post. But to cut a long story short, I was diagnosed with ADHD and provisionally diagnosed with Autism.
I couldn’t believe it and to say I’ve spent the best part of the last week just slowly breaking down and crying 75% of the time is not an overstatement. I’ve cried myself to sleep, cried on my way to work, gotten angry on my lunch break and dissociated at work.
I’m not myself.
But I’m not suppressing it any more. I didn’t have one cry and then try to get on with my life normally like I always do. I’ve allowed myself to cry, to break, to be angry. Why shouldn’t I? I have to allow myself to process this. It’s not exactly a small thing.
The whole diagnosis has consumed my every thought. I’ve replayed the appointment a million times in my head. I can’t think of anything else. I still have to try and get blood tests and other medical details to my psychiatrist. I just want it done now. I hate the waiting part.
It’s mind blowing to me that there was such a difference between provisional diagnosis and diagnosis. I laughed about potentially having ADHD. I was happy about getting somewhere. This time? There’s none of that. Every time mum tries to make a laugh or joke about it to try and bring up my mood, I just get snappy. I don’t want to talk about it.
I’m having to come to terms with the fact that I could have done better in school if this was picked up earlier. I wouldn’t have lost friends due to anger management issues. I know I can’t change the past but that doesn’t make it easy to accept.
I don’t understand what I’ve been diagnosed with. I don’t know anything about ADHD and Autism and that hurts me a lot. I really need to talk to the psychiatrist or SOMEONE to work out what the hell is going on in my life. I need to understand why I’ve been this way for so long. Why was it never noticed? Why did I do certain things?
Without the people around me, I’d have never made it through this week. Especially at work. I can’t believe how amazing and supportive my colleagues are. I’ve been hugged, allowed time to vent, allowed to leave and seek professional help, allowed to take annual leave to give myself time to process this… I am not used to being around such amazing people in a working or school environment.
I know that in the bigger picture, this is an amazing thing. But I have stumbling blocks that I’m struggling to get past. That’s why I took the decision to have time off work. I can’t afford to be distracted with what I do in my job so taking time off to think about this was a given.
I was in A&E, sent by my GP. I just sat and cried and sobbed and vented to the poor women from the mental health liaison team (never had a problem with them, I should mention) about how let down I felt and honestly? I felt a little better for it. She just let me talk, let me cry. She wanted to help and it’s reminded me that there are still people that want to help me because overall, I feel the mental health service never wanted to help.
A huge issue for me is that my peers just got their A-level results- they’re all going off to uni. That could have been me. My peers can drive- that could have been me if it wasn’t for my anxiety which is a huge reason why I won’t get behind a wheel. My peers all have social lives and are outwardly happy. Why am I not like that?
But then I see some positives. How many people did I go to school with are working a full time job doing what they WANT to do and THRIVING plus earning a decent wage? Not many but I am. How many of my peers know what a coverstainer is? Let alone how many know how to do the daily maintenance?! But I can. I can do the full maintenance on one of the machines at work.
I’m doing my own thing and I think I’m doing it well. And yes, I’m proud of that but it is still hard to see what the rest of the pack is doing. Doing what society sees as ‘normal’.
It’s going to take time. I am currently sat on annual leave trying to process what’s going on. I’ve researched ADHD and Autism some more. I’ve looked up self help guides. I’ve learned about therapy and medication. Taking time out has helped so much. I don’t feel so pressured to try and fake being OK.
I know the future will look brighter but I need to let myself not be OK for a while. It needs to all come out of my system so when I get the medication, get the therapy I can look at life differently. With a fresh pair of eyes.