When Some Things Are More Important to Me Than Other Things

I’ve stopped caring about Autism Awareness Month. I see a new article plastered all over my Facebook news feed each day, sometimes several in a day, and I just don’t feel that fussed about clicking on the link. I may just be feeling let down about the lack of feedback on my last blog. Maybe it was too long and didn’t explain autism enough. Maybe it wasn’t what people wanted to read. Or maybe it’s because I no longer want to reach out to the people around me because they seem to be understanding more than I had thought. Whatever the case I’ve completely turned off from autism acceptance or even bothering to keep reading other people’s posts about it. How do I keep writing posts for Autism Acceptance Month when I just don’t care? So this next post will be about my fear of chan…on second thoughts, I don’t really want to do that.

I haven’t really been caring about much lately. I keep avoiding going to gigs even though I really like those bands. It’s just makes me think: is this really what I want to do? If so then why am I not even the slightest bit motivated to go out and take a few photos? Why do I cringe every time someone suggests I take photos?

My camera is currently inside a box covered by several other boxes, for safety reasons but I also think there’s more to it than that. I think I’m bored and looking for something new and novel to do. It happens to those with ADHD. We hate to just stick to one thing because repetition can make us feel underwhelmed. We like excitement and challenges, not just the same old same old, day and day again.

But I also haven’t been taking photos of bands for about four months now so instead of growing tired of it I think I’m just in a kind of inertia. I’ve lost my flow as a band photographer. I probably still have the skills but I’m just under prepared. More under prepared than just not organised, but it’s like if you haven’t driven a car in 6 months. You get a bit rusty, start making mistakes, don’t feel as comfortable behind the wheel, or something like that. I don’t drive at all but I can imagine it’s like that.

If I don’t do something in a long time especially something as specialised as band photography then I just don’t remember enough of how I was to know that I’m very good or all the tricks I developed to deal with the chaotic sensory environment.

It’s more than that though. It always is. My on/off depression and ever present anxiety affects how I see myself and relate to the world around me too. I’m dealing with some heavy things that even missing out on my favourite band or artist matters little to me. Unless it’s that band I’ve mentioned several times in this post.

The next gig is a paid shoot so I’ll give it my all and I’m sure I’ll do great. I might actually get that spark of life ignited inside me again and might be more enthusiastic about shooting the next gig. To be honest though after I see The Ape on the 2nd of May I’m not planning to go to anymore gigs until mid-August and no band has even announced a gig for that time too.

It’s not like I’m just sitting around doing nothing though. Actually, I’m starting to feel just like a person with autism feels when they get absorbed into a special interest. Outsiders would call it an obsession because to me they just don’t get that passionate about many things, but to those people with autism the interests just become our whole world and we may forget about what’s going on in the actual world and hardly care because these interests just bring us so much happiness. They’re like a drug. And we also become experts in whatever area the subject is in very quickly. They don’t call us ‘little professors’ for nothing.

My drug of choice has been focusing more on Marvel comics and Marvel films, especially since Captain America: The Winter Soldier was just released in cinemas which I’ll see pretty damn soon. Going to the movies costs a lot in the city. And then there’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to see sometime next week too.

So, I’ve been selecting certain comic books to read from my house mate’s humongous collection. I’m disappointed by the lack of Captain America comic books but I can get my fix with some New Avengers graphic novels. I’ve read a couple of Amazing Spider-Man graphic novels and I’m now planning to re-read Civil War again because it’s amazing, and then going back to Avengers: Dissembled because I have some Cap comic books from that era.

I have spent many months collecting Marvel Fact Files too and read 10 in one week. That took a lot of effort. Fortunately I had very minor depressive symptoms during that time and was pretty high on life.

I’m also trying to watch as many Bruce Timm Batman animated series episodes as I can manage. It was my favourite show when I was as young as 8 or 9 and I think it made me stick with Batman for all these years, despite being mostly a Marvel comic fan, but I’m open to more DC super heroes now.

I miss playing Batman: Arkham City only because I got stuck on one level and rage quit, but I suppose I can go back to it. I still think about Mass Effect 3 too. I just don’t like playing video games when people are around me because it throws me off my game. No offence to other people but I’d rather be alone.

I’ve started on my sci-fi story too but the structure isn’t right and I know I that shouldn’t bother me now. I should just keep writing. But before I could just write in a single stream and keep the structure perfect. It’s a fun story to play in my mind so I’m hoping it translates just as well on the page.

The band I’m most forward looking to see and photograph is The Ape and because of the narrow focus I get for certain things they are all I can think about, which is probably why I can miss out on seeing Tim Rogers because everything is just a distraction for me at the moment. There are good distractions that make time pass faster but there are bad ones that make me care more about another band instead of the one I’ve been waiting so long to see.

I’m not obsessed. Much. If I’m obsessed about anything it’s seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and just Steve Rogers in general. Andtheape. Just don’t tell them.

So, I’m basically all about Marvel comic books during the day and watching science fiction at night – I’m re-watching all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 all over again, – blowing my money on highly priced movie tickets to see my favourite Marvel super heroes in action, reading The Hunger Games trilogy to get the structure of novels down and working on my own sci-fi novella, and hopefully remembering that I’m seeing The Ape in May. I need to stop avoiding going to gigs because…I don’t even know anymore. Maybe it’s anxiety. Maybe I just haven’t been doing it in so long that it’s no longer a part of the routine. And maybe it’s got a lot to do with how I felt when I went to see AFI on my own. Whatever the case I hope this one gig goes right for me.

Here’s the problem with having autism and ADHD. One of the problems. If I just had intense focus in one subject I could become an expert and base my whole career around it, but because I have ADHD and get interested in a lot of subjects, I will jump back and forth between each one, several times a day, gain some new interests as well as revisit old ones, and I’m not spending enough time on one so I’m not becoming as knowledgeable as I could be and if I was trying to reach a goal, like publishing a novel, then it becomes almost impossible to stay on task. There are distractions, in the environment and in my own head too. So, people look up to me like I’m this brilliant genius destined to succeed but the truth is no one can achieve so many things at once, especially if they have ADHD and have to manage their often disabling symptoms on their own, without the aid of medication too.

So, I have the worries about my ADHD symptoms to contend with while I spend time on my interests with the little window of focus and motivation I have.

Then it’s back to worrying about my trip to America as the day of the flight draws closer. I get moderate-severe anxiety over the mere mention of the trip, so it’s no wonder I’ve turned back to my special interests to keep me distracted.

It can be very hard for me to get excited for something other people all get excited about, like say a wedding which I may or may not be going to with the whole family when I go to America. That’s the curse of the special interest. I struggle to describe my feelings for them in words. Nothing I say will can accurately describe the state of euphoria I’m in when I spend time on them. All I can say it they are all I care about when I’m spending time on them or constantly thinking about them and they actually make my life feel like it’s worth living.

I probably seem really self-absorbed right now but at least the people around me can forgive me for that. I’m just hoping I can still manage to feed myself and keep myself looking presentable, as well as getting enough sleep so my moods and ADHD symptoms don’t get too hard to manage. It does get to a point that I get so absorbed into a special interest that I will neglect to take basic care of myself. I’m literally envisioning myself now as being sucked into the interest, which right now is The Marvel Universe, so that we are no longer separate entities but have become one.

That’s it, young lady. No more comic books for you!

I’m not even sure if I can correctly explain why I’m acting the way I am because I don’t understand it myself. All I know is I am obsessed about certain subjects and I’m putting all my attention into them to the exclusion of all others, and probably have failed to empathise with people because of the amount of intense focus I’ve put in just a few subjects, which by the way, bring a type of ecstasy for me that you just can’t replicate.

I might try later to completely explain what having a special interest feels like to me, in my staggering poetic language too.

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