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  1. Dear Aphantsia,
    Don’t worry. Really, don’t. It will start making sense gradually but steadily now that you know.
    With love from,
    Autism x
    (I have “Really quite severe Autism, but exceptionally high-functioning so it can often be completely concealed”, diagnosed in my 40s xx It took me a few years to learn more and get the hang of it, but it makes life simpler, having confirmation that I’m simply a bit ‘other’, not that I’m broken or failed. It helped me, when I realised that “ordinary” is a much wider category than most media would have us believe. It’s a bit startling at first, though, to find you have a medical term attached to your mind. Tons of love to you, my dear.
    x Laura_Elsewhere x)

    1. I love that you are so open in sharing your struggles with those who need to feel they are understood. You’ve always been an inspiration to me Laura.

      1. How lovely, Karla – thankyou, my dear! I really should be around more – I do miss you! <3

    2. Laura, have you figured out any good resources for high-functioning autism? Everything I’ve found either assumes it’s the same exact thing as ADHD or seems focused on low-functioning. Thanks!

      1. Bethany…. not really. I’m lucky as I have access to a big university library and a fair background in reading medical journals, so I could go and read a lot of the research. Mind you, my conclusions were basically that the research is written mostly from the outside so it focuses on the person’s external signs, whereas what I found most useful was to learn more about my own internal signs.
        My cat was always excellent at spotting my “distress” levels going up long before I or my family could, so if you have a pet, start noticing how they behave around you – my cat would start winding round my ankles, getting in the way, basically forcing me to stop and take a break.
        “Distress” is the term I find useful for everything that adds up to “I’m not working around my autism as well as I can do” – sometimes it’s good excitement, usually it’s worry, anxiety, insecurity or injustice, but basically it means I start “short-circuiting” and my mind starts skipping bits of normal processing so I don’t see or notice things, and I start losing fine motor control, so my handwriting gets untidy, I drop things, I’m clumsy, all indications that I need to go and ‘ground’ myself.
        “Grounding myself” is a wide range of things, often referred to as “stimming”, but in my case wider and less visible. Breathing exercises, counting exercises, singing to myself, basically ways to override the autism and get my settings back to normal 🙂
        Does any of that help?
        (the official research version of all this is that autistic minds ‘cannot’ cope with too much incoming data and need medicating – that’s not true of all of us. Many HFAs can learn themselves well enough to spot early-warning signs and head it off at the pass, as well as being more able to avoid or minimise known triggers (ie I go to supermarkets when they are quiet and avoid them when they are busy))

  2. Dear Aphantsia,
    Don’t worry. Really, don’t. It will start making sense gradually but steadily now that you know.
    With love from,
    Autism x
    (I have “Really quite severe Autism, but exceptionally high-functioning so it can often be completely concealed”, diagnosed in my 40s xx It took me a few years to learn more and get the hang of it, but it makes life simpler, having confirmation that I’m simply a bit ‘other’, not that I’m broken or failed. It helped me, when I realised that “ordinary” is a much wider category than most media would have us believe. It’s a bit startling at first, though, to find you have a medical term attached to your mind. Tons of love to you, my dear.
    x Laura_Elsewhere x)

  3. I agree with Laura_Elsewhere. I didn’t get diagnosed with PTSD until my mid-forties, and when I heard it I promptly burst into tears. Not because I was upset, but because I was relieved. All the “odd” things about me had a reason! I wasn’t a failure! I was dealing with something that has a name! I could let go of a LOT of the struggle.
    Over the ten years that have elapsed, I’ve learned to manage PTSD and to accept the things I can’t do. Yes, people still get irritated with me about my boundaries, but people get mad about all sorts of boundaries if it means they are being told “no,” don’t they? Once I stopped trying to do the things I can’t do, I discovered a whole world of things I can do, and I enjoy my life as never before. I wish the same discovery for you.
    And when in doubt, I always remember that all the best people are slightly bonkers. 😉

  4. Sounds like you need to get out and help other people – lots of navel-gazing, and none of it helpful. Go rock some babies in the hospital or clean litter boxes at the pet shelter or read to an elderly person or bake cookies for firemen. Stop obsessing over yourself.

  5. Though I cannot imagine what the aphantasia is like, I do struggle with loneliness on a regular occasion.
    You are made just fine the way you are, dear Alison. We are all different. It is what makes this world so lovely when we can see it that way.

  6. Though I cannot imagine what the aphantasia is like, I do struggle with loneliness on a regular occasion.
    You are made just fine the way you are, dear Alison. We are all different. It is what makes this world so lovely when we can see it that way.

  7. I remember seeing a cartoon that said, “When asked to draw a star one person drew ⭐️..another drew a picture of Rod Stewart..this goes to show we ALL live in different worlds, we only share the planet!” I admire your honesty..your sense of humor will see you through.❤️

  8. Gosh. Harsh, Laurie.
    Bless you, Alison. Your transparency calms me down. It’s okay to be, what I call, busted, but in reality is normal life. We’re all broken in some fashion.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this Alison, I really appreciate your openness. Your passage on feeling different really resonated with me; I don’t have aphantasia but I am very much an introvert. Have you read Quiet by Susan Cain? I found it such a liberating book, it helped me believe, exactly as laura_elsewhere said, that there is weath of varying personalities far beyond the media ‘norms’ Thank you again

  10. Guess that means you can’t picture this mean Laurie character in your mind . Let me help you out ?
    Love you!

  11. Guess that means you can’t picture this mean Laurie character in your mind . Let me help you out ?
    Love you!

  12. How interesting. I guess I just always took for granted that everyone would see images in their minds. On the positive side of things, not being able to clearly picture cringeworthy moments from one’s past seems like it might be a blessing….

  13. Is THAT what it’s called? Wow! I didn’t realise there were so few of us! Try as I might I simply cannot conjure up pictures in my minds eye. I can FEEL the salty air and HEAR the sound of the surf, but if i try and picture the waves crashing against the sand I can’t! And it’s so frustrating! Thank you for putting a name to this ‘condition’. Much love to you ??

  14. Is THAT what it’s called? Wow! I didn’t realise there were so few of us! Try as I might I simply cannot conjure up pictures in my minds eye. I can FEEL the salty air and HEAR the sound of the surf, but if i try and picture the waves crashing against the sand I can’t! And it’s so frustrating! Thank you for putting a name to this ‘condition’. Much love to you ??

  15. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad there is a name for this. I always struggled with guided meditations because it would begin with “in your mind’s eye, imagine a forest” and no matter how I wrinkled my brow or squinted my already shut eyes, I just couldn’t “see” a forest in this eye my mind should have.

  16. allison I am trying to reach you to ask a question about your Salon but I am unable to send you an email. How can I contact you when the email access on your site won’t allow me to send it?

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