My Story: The Real Reason You Don’t Think I’m Autistic

Lamar Hardwick

On March 8, 2015, I did one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done. This leap of faith ranks right up there with jumping the broom and having three children. On March 8, 2015, I told the world about my autism diagnosis.

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I spent the better half of 2014 wrestling with the idea that I may be on the autism spectrum. I’m not exactly sure when my suspicions began, but at age 36, I was almost certain I couldn’t be autistic because I thought I was “just fine” — until I realized my “fine” was actually pretty different from everyone else’s definition of “fine.” That’s when I began to take an honest look in the mirror — not because I didn’t like what I saw, but because I wanted to redefine “fine.”

I’ve lived my entire life pretty much the same way. I’ve never had a ton of friends, but I was fine with that, even when others thought it was strange. I’ve always preferred to be alone, and while I do like hanging out occasionally, I see nothing wrong with sitting at home alone on the weekend. I’m just fine with that. I almost always miss the point of sarcastic jokes and comments, but I’ve never had an issue with that. In fact, I just thought to myself, “It’s not that I don’t get what you’re saying. You’re just not that funny,” and I was fine with that.

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