At 40 years old, I found out that I might have been having a neurological condition, though I cannot (yet) afford an official assessment and diagnosis. In the meantime I shall call this condition “AS”. I spent time reading about “AS” and it made me realise that the signs and symptoms were prevalent throughout my life. It is like these writers know exactly how I have been living my life though we have never met before. I start this “Weirdly Wired” series to document about my life experiences with the symptoms which all these while I thought were “normal”.
So maybe you have read the previous post about depression, anxiety and catastrophising. No I didn't know before that I was experiencing all those and I think it was all normal. Plus, if I talk to anyone, no one would take it seriously. Yes I have been living with it. It's tiring but I am fine. Like I said, the depression is always very heavy in the morning and whenever I want to go out. The anxiousness on how to go through the day and also that heavy feeling in the chest throat and face always make me feel like I want to go back and sleep the day away.
Anyway life begins at 40 and I am figuring out and charting my life. Knowing about myself might help, as you cannot expect people to know about you. As for me, knowing about all these difficulties which I thought were normal, prepares me better for the future. For a start, I am learning to avoid people and interactions as much as possible. If you think that I have been a burden to your life all these while, do not worry, I won't meet or trouble anyone anymore after this. Let's do each other a favour and let's just stay away.
THE BRAIN THAT WON'T REST
Isn't this normal too? Everyone's brain don't rest until they die. So I never take it seriously. How is this linked to “AS”? I don't know either. But I know it affects me and I have to live with it and make the best out of it.
Maybe after writing this down, one can understand the constant fatigue especially when you add it up with other signs of “AS” that I have mentioned before that causes fatigue such as Masking and Sensory Overload.
Or maybe one can understand me whenever you interact with me and notice that I am distracted or smile or laugh randomly or I get confused.
(Digress) Many times, I want to just take the leap and get myself a full time job but I worry that I cannot cope with the fatigue, the overload, the masking, among others. People say, don't be afraid. I am not afraid. I am not afraid of the jobs or the people. I am afraid of myself. With the number of stupid people around, I am afraid that I might flare up or have meltdowns.
As for the brain, I ever told some friends many years ago that, I am sure that my old age ailment will be “nyanyuk”. I don't know if it is dementia or alzheimer's or if there are any other terms. I'm very sure if I were to fall sick during old age, it would be because of “nyanyuk”.
DOES IT EVER TAKE A BREAK?
When I took up theatre works, one of the activities that we did was “relaxation exercise”. Everytime the facilitator would ask us to lie down or sit in a relaxed position, close our eyes and leave the mind “blank”. Do not think of anything, just relax.
Is that even possible? You mean people can blank out their minds? I once had a colleague who didn't come out on stage when it was her turn, and when I asked her at the back stage, she said, she just “spaced”. Is that even possible?
A few months ago I finally shared this to a friend and I realise what I am experiencing and have been experiencing is not normal and he encouraged me to write about it.
So to me, having a blank mind is not possible. Even as I close my eyes, I don't see the “black screen”. It has different colours depending on the lighting. And those weird unexplainable green pink blue “electrical patterns” that keeps changing shape and zipping everywhere. It's physically never blank.
As for mentally, I always have pictures and images in front of my eyes even when I close my eyes. It can never be blank. I always see things non stop.
The root word for imagination. The thing is, when you imagine things, you have to tell your brain to imagine things. Something like.... imagine a rainbow.... imagine a chicken wing.... DO NOT IMAGINE A WHITE ELEPHANT but you're imagining it anyway.
But for my head, these images appear without me telling them. I see images everywhere. I can see things everywhere. Things that are not there yet they are vividly there in my mind. I grew to be able to control them now. I can't control what to appear and what not to appear. I can control them to do what I want. But still sometime random images will appear. At least now I can control them to go away.
When I was a boy, this was particularly distressing. My parents would say that I imagine too much. “Banyak berangan”. I know I wasn't. I avoided watching horror movies as the image will be stuck in my head for very long. Worse, they will manifest as images around me. I can see them sitting on my bed, cupboard, behind the door very very vividly. Sometimes they bring their friends along. Sometimes they mix with other images. It can be a party.
Let me give you an example.
Let's say I am sitting in a park and looking at a tree. I can try to make myself imagine things. But most of the times, the images appear on their own. Vividly. I can see squirrels on the tree chasing each other, wearing clothes and hats, talking to each other in their own language. I can see a group of people with a 2 man saw coming to saw the tree down. I can see a helicopter getting stuck on the tree. I can see that the tree itself is alive with eyes and mouth. It is quite an imagination right? But remember I said, an imagination is when you imagine about it. But for me, I didn't intend for these images to appear. They just..... appear.
When I was younger my cousins always called me a coward. I thought I was too. But I didn't know that no one else go through this, where images manifest in front of my eyes.
Sometimes I got confused. A few days later or even years later, I would be like, “I've seen it somewhere” but I don't know if it was my imagination or what I saw was real.
“Anyway, my friend freaked out when I said I can see his youngest daughter in the car drinking from a water bottle and looking at us when we were both chatting outside his car. His daughter wasn't there of course. It was just another manifested image.”
And sleep. Never ever I got a blank sleep. I always dream of some things. I always look forward to sleep as I would be excited to find out what I will be dreaming about. The dreams will always be vivid. As I grow older, I have mastered the controls of lucid dreaming. I cannot control the dreams that appear but I can control the happenings in the dreams. I will know that I am dreaming and I can do whatever I want. Nowadays if I have nightmares about ghosts, I will just fight them with swords or guns or some cool hand held combat. I would freak out when I was a boy, but now, my dreams are in my own hand.
The part that I hate would be when I am half asleep. You know when you're half asleep in a bus and you don't want to fall asleep in case you miss your stop. You know that kind of sleep. My eyes would still see the bus' interior while my brain already start dreaming and these images and dreams will fuse with the vision of the bus. I can see images, cartoon characters, people, whoever in the same bus as me. I am laughing as I type this because it is cool and funny at the same time.
Anyway I can control them now. I cannot control to make them “not appear”. I can control them whenever they appear. I can push them aside, I can change their clothes or make them do funny things. An uncle on a bicycle appears and I know that it is a manifested image, I can make him ride up a tree or put wings on his bike and make him fly away. Those kind of things.
I still look forward to sleep as these things take a toll on my head plus all the anxiety and depression and masking and sensory overload. But when I sleep I continue seeing images in forms of dreams but now I can control my dreams too.
The point is, there are images everywhere. Either in my mind, or manifested, or they are just really there and photobombing for attention.
My brain never rest and I was worried that I would be nyanyuk in the future.
But I don't care now because I am avoiding people and enjoy seeing these images in front of me.
I realise that the masking helps me with my acting while these images has been the greatest contributor in my directing works.
I think I have covered the major signs and symptoms in my posts. Next week onwards I will share the smaller signs.
NEXT WEEK : Stimming
Categories : Weirdly Wired
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