Even though it feels a tad bit like thread necromancy, I decided to write this anyways, and maybe people have use for it. If there are any questions, I am more than willing to elaborate or share more in private.
Under new testing I actually end up worse than Asperger's Syndrom which was the first diagnosis I received, now, 6 years ago. And I have been retested, since I also have been on disability for the past six years. (The wonders of living on a socialist welfare state).
A short biography of all the points where people could have interceded, picked up something was wrong. Not that I'm angry about that anymore.
I was an incredibly independent child. My first word actually was 'No'. My next words were 'I can do it.' My parents tell that story with pride, and while they understand, especially my father takes my condition hard on himself. I could read before I entered into the Dutch school system (before kids even were expected to be reading). I was then in conjunction with the school board tested for emotional maturity, if perhaps I could skip a few classes. (Yeah, not one, a few!). The result of that test were that I did not have the emotional growth to be with kids not my age. And so I stuck into the same grade, was bored every day (except for one teacher who gave me extra credit kinda stuff when I was two years away from graduating from that school). I was picked on, but never bullied bad. I also had an audiographic eidetic memory (and a really good memory otherwise). I have report cards that actually call me a 'Little Professor'.
I also took music courses, learned to play the flute, the violin, keyboards and piano. Eventually the teachers came out. Black and white on paper. 'He is technically among the bests players there are. But he will never learn more than I can teach him, because he is too mechanical in nature.' Now, once I learn a trick, I stop being interested and go on. So I don't blame the teachers there from giving up. I did learn the trick.
Then I entered high school and it was hell for me. I was bullied to the point where, I cracked. Unleashed all the pent up frustration at everybody else for not understanding me, and unleashed on the biggest (in size and in bullying) and beat him to a pulp. Schoolyard rules apparently applied, because while I was suspended for 'fighting' (we both showed clear signs of that) and so was he, neither of us ever gotten into more trouble. The bullying ended, but I decided it was my fault and went to blend in. Keep my head down. So nobody would notice me much. I also stopped being meticulous about everything, to the point where I have now a diagnosable tick that makes me refuse any form of imposed order (whether from myself or others in my life). My memory became no less good, but just as chaotic as everything around me. I even was held back a year. Because of failing grades and because I was ... and this one irks me absolutely the most .. emotionally not mature enough. The failing grades were actually part of an average that was was higher than the class average. But there were a couple of teachers who just could not get my interest. And without interest. Well, I just don't do.
I skirted through high school on simple memory and those things that interested me, and I ended up on the University. The natural course for someone as smart as I am. I started out with Electrical Engineering. It was something that I found utterly fascinating. I failed. I have no interest at all in practical applications in that field. So after my first year I went to Computer Science. I failed. I can't stand doing unimaginative assignments that every student before me already has done and has no point. Does not develop the future of science further, nor gives any skills you need in the real life. (Also I discovered I'm weirdly troubled when it comes to writing code). Then I went to psychology. And I used a trick that can always get me to work and keep my interest. I made myself feel responsible for another. An acquaintance of mine in a similar boat. So we both pushed each other to rush through that education. We actually managed to push all three bachelor years, minus the internships into a 2 year period. Sure, we didn't have all the courses finished, but that was more because we didn't take them due to time constraints. And then the other guy burned out. Leaving me, while he recovered in a mental institution. And I flunked psychology too.
During my whole university experience I invented a total new version of myself. Outgoing, social, smart. Since I can be a little intellectually arrogant it does cause problems in the 'real world' but there, I was amazing. Happiest time of my life. I was successfully womanizing, moderately sporty, socially active in a ton of clubs. Games, Books, Theater. I made actual friends. Some I still have. I became an alcoholic, but hey, you're s student, that's okay. I kicked the habit and kept up the act. It seemed to work. So it works right ?
But to all good things comes an end. I was hiding myself from my own administration. Money ran out. And I was evicted. Ending up back at my parents. With no job. No education. And taking up space. Then I found the perfect job for me. But unfortunately, it wasn't actually intended as a real job. (Some kind of government program to keep people from sitting at home while unemployed). I seriously loved that job. My boss there. My colleagues. Sure, I was a smug arrogant bastard. But the people there also had flaws. And I was put in place verbally, but still could be the smug arrogant bastard in those fields I know I am better, and nobody minded.
That ended and I ended up on a horrible work floor as a tax-asssessor data entry type person, for the property taxes. I had done that job before. And I loved it. But there, my colleagues were not nice. (Stupid civil servants). And I lost interest. My job quality started to go and I was let go.
I ended up in another 'government' style job to get people to work. This time something that truly challenged my intellectual and social capacities and I loved every single moment of that job. Until my senior colleague, who had been feeding me all the extra work, since he was going to be retired soon anyways, retired and his replacement came in. My age. Finished his education. But he was so ... dumb. Sure he had the people skills required. And he couldn't stand me. I know for fact (from a colleague) that this guy actually saw me as a threat. But as part of his high potential kinda thing, his position was turned into a management thing. And I was given the boot. In those last few months, while I knew that I was fired, I decided to finally seek help.
The first diagnosis. Asperger's Syndrome, collaborated by a second different specialist (since I did not want to accept that diagnosis back then, not because it didn't fit, but because of the weight of the label.) Followed by a definite diagnosis of AD(H)D. But I already knew that. I don't physically bounce a lot, but mentally, it's a whole different story. But even with those diagnosis, and professional help to get my life on track (using all the social support given), I kept sliding down.
Third diagnosis: A physiological depression. And then later on in that same year a fourth, totally different diagnosis: Palindromic rheumatism of the worst possible kind.
Anti-depressants, painkillers. Sitting at home, doing nothing. That was my life. That is actually my life now. But I stopped with the medications. I have a dog now. I'm in a good place.
I know my self-defense mechanisms much better now. And I also learned a few tricks to make ... real .. social interactions easier.
But being happy ? Since that is what apparently everybody should strive for. I don't even know how happy feels.
In all this rambling and oversharing (which is my main defense mechanism) I probably left out a lot that might help. So just ask if you want. I promise I'll try to give my best advice.