In my school years, it was a constant cycle of ups and downs with my socialising. I was awkward and didn’t make a lot of friends and was constantly bullied for being different. Although I hated school, I tried my best to learn. In addition, I had a fear of never knowing what to make of my life after my education.
My fear of the unknown began to change after being diagnosed with Asperger’s. This happened when I entered college and it gave me the opportunity to understand myself better. At college, I took part in performing arts, which provided a less tense and more open environment to explore. I find adapting to the world around me difficult sometimes, like navigating a tricky sea storm. During my years at college, I discovered an outlet, where I could finally be myself.
Knowing myself with Asperger’s
At times I’ve noticed differences between what I notice or remember which others do not. Often, I have a photographic memory and can remember quotes, song lyrics, storylines or music.
I find escapism in gaming. music or comic conventions, which make me happy. After spending my childhood always hiding my true self, I came out of my shell but at a slow pace. I learnt to travel on my own to London or Manchester and make new friends who accept me as I am.
Working with Asperger’s
To be honest, the scariest thing for me was finding a job because I felt pressured, unsure of myself and didn’t feel like I had many skills to show. After a slow start, I found a cleaning job at my dad’s workplace which gave me the opportunity to earn some money and experience whiles learning at college.
From this, I landed several jobs after leaving college but mainly cleaning because I enjoyed it. I find my current work as a full-time cleaner at a secondary school fulfilling, it feels like I can release my OCD. I like to have a certain routine to know what I am doing and how to do the job right. As long as informed people of my Asperger’s and learning style, I found it much easier to pick up learning on the job. For example, in knowing what was expected of me and who I’d be working with. In a school environment it can be challenging, but I learn to adapt each day.
What have I learned?
I have learnt how to understand how I function and adapt with Asperger’s but most importantly, to love myself.
Huge thanks to guest blogger, Sian, for sharing her experience growing up and entering the work environment with Asperger’s.
Please support our work
Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. The charity is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and in some cases literally saving lives.