This year has been all types of horrible, but now that rest of the world suffers it seems like it’s balanced out. People seem to assume that all artists are the first to go when economy falls apart, which isn’t true for my role. I lost my last weekend completely trying to n00b CSS code this website, its a new skill for me, so its buggy but I’m having fun learning!
In the aftermath of grief I’ve also tried to make active improvements to my moods. I realised that embracing being on the autism spectrum is helping, as I should embrace that I love to be alone, instead of feeling guilty. My life is losing myself for hours in internal worlds, characters, images, dreams, and even words. I struggle with pronunciation and spelling and had a speech impediment in my childhood but making documents with ideas and casual blogging has been a passion since high school.
Sometimes I lose myself in thoughts that are vividly unpleasant, but the more I researched autistic meltdowns, I became reassured that my brains workings are a type of normal, at-least for people like me. I have spent too many years being told my wild emotions were just bad behaviour I needed to force out of me. Example if I went to a event full of strangers I can enjoy socialising on a full battery but reach a limit where I get so overwhelmed. Usually this is because I zone out of bland conversation; they could be talking about philosophy or art supplies, c’mon! My crutch is to whip out a sketchbook or leave to de-stress from it. And thus If I tear up in a place I shouldn’t, the stigma gets branded in like a red hot iron and I feel even more stressed by future events. I’m not even necessarily crying out of having sensitive feelings, but from stress.
People on the autism spectrum leave masses of killed conversations in their wake, or is it just me. We don’t stare too long at strangers eyes, but if its someone we know well it isn’t too hard. We’re easily bored by chit chat and eager to tell everyone about the specific hobby WE’RE interested in. It’s always misconstrued as selfishness but actually is still a desire to connect. The speaking too loud or too softy trait is also me to a T. It’s wonderful to live in your own world, but frustration over communication differences just sucks.
As I’ve learned to be aware of these traits, I try to kindly fight my impulses to rant about things I care about. The downside is I feel untrue in holding back from the specific intense things I want to express, it’s like a constant punishing voice saying ‘what you have to say doesn’t matter, be a better listener and shut up‘.
That voice is why I type so much. It’s why I’m driven into art.
Introverts in general need so much time alone in order to recharge and go out and face the rest of the world. It sucks if you overthink and create imaginary dialogues about how “so and so hates me” or “Normal people are out on a friday night, not drawing at home like me” is emotionally draining, and also not even true! It’s mental energy could be put into positive pursuits and deeper relationships. You only make real true blue friends when you aren’t hiding behind a protective shell. Being on the spectrum never means we don’t crave company or love, that idea is total bs.
In terms of staying productive, If you wanna get really weird, turn on your webcam, open a camera app and guilt trip yourself into working harder. Every time you stare at your second monitor, your ugly mug is staring you back down. I kinda scare myself.
TLDR: Solitude isn’t a sin. We will get through this guys. Soon we will be able to go outside and THEN I will support local artists and get the tattoo I was planning. >:)