Investing in yourself

It’s now April. This is the first post I have written in 2015, although not the first thing I have written in general. This site, is more for me than anything else and this year, I chose to not make it a priority which is why you can’t find it on a link, it’s more an easter egg behind my one page than it is a functioning place for sharing knowledge or thoughts.

The end of last year I had reached a point of personal discovery that was unexpected. After almost 12 months of time with a psychotherapist, a breakthrough was made. I had chosen to take myself off to the funny farm quack because I was becoming increasingly paranoid at work, frustrated with almost everyone around me and feeling that nobody was listening to me, and nothing was going in the direction I wanted.

The doctor I spent time with delved deep into areas of my past that I felt were unrelated and pointless. Turns out I was wrong as they helped uncover the possibility that I have a form of Aspergers Syndrome. Following this up with a number of tests and evaluations, it was confirmed that I do have elements within my persona that lie within the lower end of the aspie spectrum. This has been a huge relief to me, and has given me the opportunity to understand how to manage my behaviour differently, and also how to move onto the next step to help the trigger points.

At this point I switched one form of support with one that may seem unrelated but as it turns out is incredibly well interlinked, I got myself a business coach Rachel Gilmore. A colleague suggested meeting with Rachel back in December, and after an hour in a coffee shop, the discussions we had were more than enlightening and I was keen to learn everything I could.

I have a 2 hour session with Rachel every month and wish I could afford more. Every time we meet I walk out the door feeling inspired, and ready to take on the next thing, or to look at a problem in a different way, or approach something from an altered state. Whilst working with Rachel I have undertaken another personality test, the Myers Briggs test. This backed up quite a few things from the aspie tests but the difference was in the framing of the questions. Instead of thinking about things which are quite binary; which the aspie tests do a lot; the Myers Briggs evaluation is looking to identify the way you are which makes you function at your best. It was easy to work out where I sat within the 4 elements, this may have been down to the way in which Rachel describes these and provides a stronger visual of scenarios to consider.

Aside from the unbearable hangover I am dealing with today thanks to a friend finally moving back from the States, and not enough burger and chips, on the whole I feel great. It’s quite possibly been years since I have said that. Already this year I have spent a week snowboarding in Switzerland, a long weekend doing the same in France, been to a handful of excellent gigs, got massively back into skateboarding, trying to go out for 30 mins every day at least, spent a few weekends in the garage redesigning and building my motorbike into something quite special getting to finally take it out last weekend with a cracking riding comrade for an entire day of ripping up Kent and Sussex, and now I’m in the final planning stages of a 2 week trip to Canada over the summer, something I have wanted to do but been terrified of since I was 17.

It’s unfortunate perhaps, that this has come at such a huge cost; therapy of any kind doesn’t come cheap. But as I look back at the year so far, I can’t say the money has been wasted at all, it has been more than worth it and I truly believe that I have been given some of the tools I was missing to make myself a more likeable person (I know I’m a huge dick most of the time).

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Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.