31 August, 2006

Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies

Am I genuinely Aspergers or just a bit inexperienced talking to people I fancy? Is that really a melanoma or would it eventually heal if I stopped picking it? And am I bipolar or just not happy right now? Is it hypochondria, or am I just saying that to avoid dealing with things?

The thing is, everything seems to have a label. I'm amazed at the amount of conditions people can identify, diagnose and come up with a name for well in advance of you discovering you have it.

And of course, as soon as I read an article about cancer, or ADHD or the autistic spectrum, it always has some kind of resonance with my own life so I then spend a week thinking whether I should have it looked into.

Earlier this year I went into counselling. The actual act of phoning up a stranger and saying that I'm having a bit of a problem was much more distressing than the sessions, most of which I breezed through. One of my colleagues at work got a counsellor who seemed to break all the rules. She gave advice, explained how things were and my colleague left feeling like life made more sense. I didn't really have that experience. I recognised a few connecting patterns that seemed to stem from childhood (no, really. I can tell you're surprised). But I already think too much about things - spend too much energy worrying about possible outcomes or potential rejections rather than going out and living my life. But can being an only child raised in Catholic schools really account for all that? Do I have a colour on the autistic spectrum all of my own? Was it nature or nurture that made this beast?

Relationships are at the heart of all this. I can see how all my toy collecting in the last year or so has been a regression towards childhood. I did feel adored then, I think, but even then I was off into my own little world.

I've been popping back to that world a lot in the last year. I just don't seem able to make sense of this one much. Or at least, other people seem able to make it work for them more than I can.

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