One thing that’s widely presumed about people on the Autistic spectrum is that we are all savants of geniuses. We know stuff. We know it in detail. We are experts.
And I am sure, in a very high proportion of cases, there is some truth in that.
We tend to be very driven towards certain topics or interests that consume us. We collect information on it, absorb it and then can’t wait to share it with others. It can be as important to us as breathing or sleeping or eating.
It’s what makes us happy.
Let’s call it the Autism bubble. It’s the safe place. The safe haven. It’s secure, it’s something we know, something we can retreat into when the real world, the neurotypical dominant world, gets us down.
So we pursue it. In some cases it’s not just our hobby but we are fortunate enough to make it our job as well. Hey, if you are good at it and you love it, then go do it..
(Please note that last comment does not apply to those who enjoy maiming, torturing and killing !!. That’s a no. Do not do it. Stop it. Now.)
But what if nothing makes you happy ?.
Or what if what makes you happy is unobtainable as a hobby or job through lack of finance, lack of opportunity or lack of support ?.
When I was young I was passionate about football. I was the statistic person. And being young and going to school you soon found out football was a popular topic to talk about so even if they found you weird or odd generally, you did at least know your stuff about football. You had a shared interest.
Now I have no shared interests.
Okay, I’m struggling to find interests.
Okay, I’m struggling to find interests that make me happy.
Okay, I’m struggling to find interests that make me happy and which I can actually do.
I don’t mean things like reading (I read) or music (I listen to music) or films (I watch films) although, admittedly, I even find my capacity to read a whole book, listen to a song or watch a film longer than 90 minutes massively, scarily, reduced.
But nothing makes me happy.
I find myself forcing it. I’m faking my happiness. I’m having to convince myself I’m enjoying things. And I’m not being successful.
I’m in a state of perpetual anhedonia. I have lost all pleasure in things. All pleasure in pleasure giving activities.
Everything’s such a chore, a struggle, a fight. Nothing comes naturally now. I’m forcing and faking everything to the extent that I’m scared because I actually no longer recognise my true emotions because I don’t know what they are or how to express them. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually enjoyed anything at all….or if my whole life has been based on me faking it…
And I’m really scared.
I’m 50, I have Aspergers and I’m really scared.