autism and our ‘special skills’

I am searching for a special skill. I haven’t written about autism in awhile.

Losing my capacity in art has forced me to cave in and try new things.
I tried narrative writing last year but it eventually got too personal for me.
I’ve recently ( over a week really ) been trying programming and it’s severely baffling my brain.

I got diagnosed autistic last May at the age of 27. On top of discovering Bipolar the year before, now I have this fact to deal with. Of course, it’s just a label.

I don’t fully identify with the more severe traits of autism, but am aware my behavior is odd. Even just sharing so much intimate and often unusual or intense things on this blog is proof I think differently to neurotypicals.

I don’t see the point in masking what is polite and commonplace to say, when my true un-masked self yearns to discuss intense things. Well as this is my blog, too bad if I post strange things. 😉

I saw yet another article saying how autistic people make their skills their careers. Yeah, yeah, just rub it in.

A lot of the handouts my psychologists have given me talk about ‘achievement and mastery‘. Ah. Those difficult words.

This leads me to say, does having intense focus mean you have to be perfect at what you’re doing? I hope not, because I haven’t found mastery in anything new since losing my art.

Of course I can’t be expected to be good at programming in a little over a week! It also must take time for the skills to sink in. I hope. I hope through daily practice I can start to feel competent.

Oh, it’s so difficult, feeling like everything I find on the forums doesn’t work for me. All I can do is make art, but that isn’t making a game.

sprites for the game

Why is it expected to have a special skill if you’re autistic? Because we are so impaired in every other aspect of life or something? Too shy, too strange, too finicky or too rude.

I would like a special skill again, but art has become painful for me to do. I can’t always get a decent result, which leads to much frustration.

I’ve had a massive setback in my life, where other people continue on with their jobs, careers and relationships, I was barely scraping by for a long time. My self esteemed was destroyed on multiple levels due to ‘psychosis’ aka, dark shamanic rite of passage.

I was especially lost since the trauma of watching my mother dying was the root cause of triggering Bipolar, don’t know if I mentioned that here.

This isn’t to put me down, I’m damn tough for what I’ve endured, both within insanity (x2) and the healing afterwards (x2).

What annoys me is most of the time it’s comfortable and cheery to talk about autism in comparison to bipolar. People think its like that Pixar short (too lazy to search ) where someone with severe autism is strange, but ultimately cute and quirky. Bipolar is associated with madness, nothing so innocent as awkwardness and obsession over special interests. I hope this can change, because I’ve experienced wonderous ways of seeing the world during my incidents. We deserve respect too.

Tewi Inaba

Bipolar is highly comorbid with autism. Something I wish I learnt earlier. After my bipolar incident in 2020, my dad said “Vela you aren’t autistic, that was all bipolar“. I still went and got a diagnosis in 2021 and well, in the end they said those three words, “You have autism.”

I think there are massive misconceptions about what bipolar type 1 is. It isn’t happiness, but a lack of inhibitions, so the manic person feels happy. You do what is pleasurable and that is why it lends to impulsive actions (posting to Instagram 40000 times or sexual acts).

Autism is played up as ‘special interests’ and giggly lighthearted rolling in the grass by the publications and blogs I follow. It doesn’t cover the mental health agony and true life experiences of people that have been diagnosed in late 20s or older like me.

Less visibly autistic to get diagnosed earlier, but autistic enough to suffer being different.

Bipolar is a sickness to most people. It’s not something you want. Meanwhile, autistic people find comradery and are bolstered up in confidence that they are special. Bipolar people take meds and feel like they need to hide the disorder.

https://moondisorder.com/portfolio/art2/ Art from my time in the ward, which nobody clicks on.

My opinion is ‘autistic’ special interests don’t have to be things you are a master at. For me, I find its when I’m unable to peel myself away from the computer that I know my ‘hyper focus’ on my ‘special interests’ has kicked in.

I’m trying to diversify my hobbies or rather, I’ve been forced to due to my brain trauma. So it’s nice and dandy for other autistics to have an interest they have never lost, but I have. Not dropping it by choice, but by fate. That resulted in a meltdown spanning months of my life, quite reasonably, if anyone was in my shoes they would have lost it too.

Although autistics are known for their rigidity, I was forced to change. This does not make me any less autistic. Dealing with the center of my life caving in was too much to bear, but I am still here to talk about it.

Interests should be for fun, sadly I don’t know if game dev or art will ever be my career again, but I’ll keep dreaming. All I know is I’m healing and my goal is to do game jams by myself in a few months.

In the end, maybe just Berserk and Touhou are my special interests? This has been another near-daily post. Over and out.

not my art. Love this game (sexy parodius)

1 Comment

  1. I am on the autistic spectrum as well, and I can understand the difficulties and challenges faced by getting a late diagnosis. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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