A Letter to my Younger Self with ASD

Everyone has things that they wish they had done differently, or could go back and change it if it were possible. What would you tell your younger self? What is there that no one told you about adulthood that you wish you knew? There is plenty about adulthood that I wish I knew more about.

For instance, I would go back and tell my younger self that if you want to support your family in the future, you need to be willing to look for and potentially work at a job you dislike, as hard and distressing as it can be. I learned that the hard way, as I had never had a real-life job until I moved to North Dakota, which was Kmart. Any other work-related tips I would offer would be, 1) don’t be afraid to disclose your Asperger’s to your employer so they can accommodate you, unless it would not benefit either party, 2) it is okay to ask for help, 3) don’t take criticism or correction personally.

Second, I would say to my younger self, “Don’t click on that link!” I am referring to the beginning of my porn problem. I would say, “If you do this, it will take years to get away and recover from, and your love life and mental health will suffer because it screws up your ideas if relationships and sex, leading to problems that could otherwise be avoided.” I would encourage my younger self to not be discouraged about relationships, that my future wife is definitely out there, just wait, I’ll know her when I meet her. Long story short, don’t go to that website.
I would also offer advice for navigating college life vs high school life. First of all, don’t slack off, it takes forever to catch up! Second, don’t eat all the caf. food, the ‘freshman 15’ is real, hit the gym right away if you want to keep your high school weight.

Aside from general relationship tips, I would also give some marriage advice, telling my younger self to better guard my heart and mind, to keep myself as pure as possible for the woman I would eventually meet and marry. Also, no one tells you this, but marriage is not all sunshine and rainbows, not even during the “honeymoon” period, and that’s not as unusual as it may appear. Marriage requires more than just emotionally loving one’s spouse, it takes physical effort in showing them you care, and it will take time for each of you to learn each other’s patterns and quirks.

All in all, if I could go back and talk to my younger self, I would share my acquired knowledge of marriage, relationship in general, navigating the work world and college life as an Aspie, and encourage myself to push forward and not be afraid to ask for help.

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