When everyone around me made friends, I was the loner. I was the one who never knew what to say, or how to act. People called me all sorts of names, none of which felt right. But they all had a corrosive effect on my psyche. Why couldn't I fit in?
When you find yourself at loose ends as a grownup, on the street, and it appears that life is unraveling all around you, there is a natural tendency to ask . . . . what's the matter with me?
For some people, that's meant to be a rhetorical question. But for others, it's very real. There truly is "something the matter." How do you know which group you are in?
You get tested.
As I said earlier, knowledge is power and that statement is most particularly true with respect to self-awareness. In my case, the knowledge that I was a perfectly normal Aspergian male (and not a freak) changed my life. Actually, "change" is too mild a term. Understanding of Asperger's, and what flowed from it, turned my old life right on its ear and set me on a new and brighter path that I'm still following today.
If you are an adult, and you have a significant neurological difference (Asperger's and autism are the most common, but there are others) the insight you can get from testing may be the best thing to ever happen to you.
Have you always felt like you were different? Do you always seem to say and do things in a different way? Do you struggle with things others master instinctively? Do you have strange fixations or interests? Have you ever wondered why?
Maybe you are just nuts, but perhaps there's a more useful explanation, like the one I received some years back. I didn't learn about my own Asperger's until I was 40, but the changes and growth I've experienced as a result of that insight are just beyond words. And the same thing could happen to you.
There is no downside to being tested. No matter what the test results show, you will know more about yourself, your mind, and how it works. It's a tool to improve your life and make yourself more successful. And you don't have to be scared - the testing doesn't hurt much. There are no side effects.
You know you're different. We're all freaks inside. Get tested today. Keep your local mental health workers employed, and improve your life at the same time.
I wish I had my own testing organization, so you could send me money. But I don't. I'm not even a mental health worker. I'm just a believer in the value of self-knowledge.
For more of John's insights check out his blog Look Me in The Eye