“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” A common phrase almost all of us have heard at least once in our life. (At least I know it’s common here in the western USA, let me know in the comments if it’s common in your neck of the woods!) Even though it’s common, it’s a phrase I do not like. At all.
The phrase is supposed to mean “make the most out of a less-than-ideal situation.” Yes, it’s a good idea to take whatever circumstances life has handed you and try to make the best of it. However, I’ve found it gets used a lot to minimize or dismiss uncomfortable feelings. Using this phrase, or other phrases, to dismiss the negative feelings that come up when life gives us negative situations does far more harm than good.
When life hands you lemons, it never hands you the sugar needed to make the lemonade. It’s alright to be frustrated, or even angry, that now you have to go track down some sugar and take the time to make the lemonade. If life had handed you the oranges you had ordered, you would already be enjoying your citrus-y snack!
At the end of April, I underwent 10 hours (over a three day period) of neuropsychological testing and interviewing. Obviously, to go through the data of 10 hours of testing takes a while, so I had to wait until June 5th to get my results. Only a very small part of the results were actually a surprise, and none of it was bad news.
I was officially diagnosed on the autism spectrum! Yes, this is good news for me, and validates the “I think my brain works differently than the average population” feeling I’ve had my entire life. My official diagnosis is “autism spectrum disorder, level 1, without significant language or intellectual impairment” (because they like to make diagnosis names as long as possible). I’ll get more into the details of this diagnosis below.
I was also given a secondary diagnosis of “other specified depressive disorder,” which seems to essentially just be a moderate and persistent depression that doesn’t fit the diagnostic criteria for other depressive disorders; this wasn’t a surprise at all because I have had depression since I was in late elementary school (maybe about 10 years old), and have been treated off and on for years. Continue reading