LIFE STARTS AT 40
I am starting this new series just for fun. I don't know how it will be an entertaining read. I don't know how it would be useful. I don't know how it would benefit anyone. But then again there are a lot of crap contents on the internet nowadays, and there are people who actually like them. As for me, I can use it as a source of reference in the future as I live the last half of my life.
People say, life starts at 40. I was honestly looking forward to it. But as I turned 40 in 2020, life was terrible. We were made to coop up as incomes drop while we protect ourselves from some flying virus.
So while sitting quietly during the 2020 Circuit Breaker, not knowing what to do, not knowing where life is heading to, I spent my time reading and watching movies online.
It started with watching one particular movie which triggered my realisation. I have a liking to this movie because there were parts of it that I can relate. Then I remember that there are other movies that I like and I like them because I can relate to them too. That's when I realise that these movies have the same thing in common. And these are the movies that I like. And it is all about the main character and I realise I like them because I can relate.
No big deal right? We all like movies and stories that we can relate to.
Then I did readings on the characters which were actually based on real people. I found out that these people all have one thing in common. They all have a particular neurological condition. So, I can relate to them because of this condition? I did more readings (just like in movies where the main character found out something and he goes on researching with fast cuts and dramatic music) and suddenly everything made sense.
I am not going to name the movies because you will know the characters. Because if you do, you will know what is the neurological condition that they are having.
Why am I not mentioning all these?
Because... why do i feel that I can relate to these characters? Why do suddenly everything make sense? Because, i realise that i may have the same neurological condition as them. I cannot say for sure because I would need to go for an assessment and diagnosis to confirm that I have the condition too but as for now I cannot afford to do so. Will explain this later in the post. But for now and the rest of this posts and series, let's call this condition “AS”.
Such a long introduction. Let's summarise.
1) Life starts at 40. Turned 40 in 2020. It was Circuit Breaker.
2) Watched movies and realise I can relate to the main characters
3) Found out that they all have “AS”
4) Read about “AS” and realise that I might have the condition too.
And then my whole life all these while made sense. I read about the signs and symptoms of “AS”. I did those free “AS” tests online. And my past 40 years of life made perfect sense. Everything from reading at 2 years old, walking on tip-toe, how I see things, how I made friends (and lose them), the constant fatigue, meltdowns and outbursts. And many many other things. All make perfect sense.
All these while I thought it was normal. And apparently, there is a condition for this? You mean most people do not experience these?
One cool thing that happened in 2009, which I got reminded of while reading about “AS” was when I wrote a play that I would later acted in myself. I took the opportunity to create one character (that I was going to act as) to be as myself. I was happy because I just had to be myself. The things that I would say, the things that I would do, things that I like, things that I play, how I would say them, were all in that character. Just me being my comfortable self. (I didn't know about masking then. I thought I was just adapting to situations. Apparently I have been masking my whole life and playing that character was such a relief to be my own self. More about masking in other posts.) During the preview of that play, an acquaintance said that my character has “AS”.
At that time I was annoyed. That was the time when “AS” came into light and I felt that it was a “mainstream” thing. Being born in 1980, there was no such thing as “AS” diagnosis. So I thought the acquaintance was generalising new mainstream things into characters. I felt annoyed because I was just being myself. What do you mean I have “AS”?
Well, of course the next step is to go for assessments and diagnosis right? Unfortunately, they are expensive and I cannot afford them. Especially during these period of financial uncertainty.
I tried asking a government institution. The price quoted was cheaper but the next assessment will be in 7 months time and I have to get a referral from a polyclinic.
I have doubts with polyclinics to be honest. With the number of people in queue for consultation, I feel that they will brush minor things aside. Most probably give me a 2 days MC to sleep and think it over. I don't know. But I have a feeling that they will not take me seriously. So I am going to shelf this assessment idea aside for the moment. Plus I am not a child anymore and have lived with this condition for 40 years, I realise that no one cares and no one will believe me. So I don't think it's worth to spend thousands on an assessment and diagnosis that will not change my life or employability. Worse if I have spent that amount only to be diagnosed negative, I would have wasted that much money only to know that I am crazy.
So what is going to be in this series of posts?
Once a week, (I'm aiming for 1 post every Wednesday) I will share a symptom / sign of “AS”. I will also share life experiences or situations where these symptoms were prevalent or happened in my life. Things that I thought were normal but apparently not for everyone.
Why am I doing this? My readership is low, so asking for sympathy is out of the question. I would want to document all these for future reference in case I die and anyone wondered why I live my life as such, or if I need them for future assessments. A friend also encouraged me to document them. Maybe I can compile them into a book in the future. There are a lot of videos on youtube by people with “AS” sharing their experiences and advices. I will not do that. I'd rather write. But the purpose is somewhat similar. How it relates to you or benefit you, is entirely up to you.
NEXT WEEK : When I was a boy.
Web logs of art activities on a regular basis (hope).