Living With Autism Part 2: Overcrowded Mind And Obsessions


I'm complicated I know


Quick Note: I finished the rough draft of my short novel, which is called At The End Of The Day. I’m so excited to get into the editing process and make sure the book gets just the right treatment so that other people can read it.

Here’s the problem with trying to explain my own autistic habits.  It actually takes a long time to figure out exactly the right way to explain them.  Having been given an official diagnosis only almost two months ago, I’m still trying to figure it all out.  I plan on writing a book on my experiences some time in the near future.  So, given that this is a blog post, I have to summarize.  For this post, I’d like to talk about my overcrowded mind and my obsessive behavior, and how the two are connected.

I spend so much time in my head whether I like it or not that I lose focus of my real surroundings and it becomes difficult to pay attention and listen when I have to.  One of the most common phrases I say is ‘I forgot’, because it’s very common for me to forget things.

There are two different ways my mind can run.  My mind will either have the same image playing itself over and over and over again while I’m actually thinking about something else entirely or something similar, or my mind will race through dozens of different images like rapidly flipping through TV channels while I’m talking to myself or someone else about something entirely different.  Most of these images are photographic memories of my absolute favorite movies and TV/web shows.  So for the future, know that when I’m talking to you about something, I’m actually visualizing something completely different or perhaps similar only in the slightest, which runs the risk of me becoming distracted or zoning out to sink back into my thoughts again.  When I sink into my thoughts and zone out, my hand normally automatically goes to my ear and plays with it.  It’s an obsessive habit I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and today I relate it as an obsessive habit I have when I’m lost in my own head.

And the crazy part about the constant visual loops?  I never get tired of them.  I have some of the exact same images play themselves over and over in my head for a week and I never start to feel hostile or sick and tired of those images.  It’s possible that I get used to it.  Another thing about my visual thoughts I’ve noticed is that when I’m recalling a memory of a past event, I also end up thinking about the visuals that were running through my head at that time that the event or time was occurring.

For instance, when I think back to July of 2013, a time when my family was doing a complete media fast, I remember the visual thoughts about the first Hobbit movie that were running through my head at the time.  I had just recently seen that movie several times and had fallen in love with it, so the memory of it was flying around in my head a lot in the ‘repeated-visuals’ phase.  Here are a few things to add regarding my overcrowded mind that I feel are very important to mention:

Obsessive Tendencies – I’m also obsessive.  I go back and rewatch favorite scenes in movies, show episodes, and favorite YouTube videos and still feel the same level of excitement each time.  I either go back to analyze certain aspects of the scenes, or sometimes just rewatch funny YouTube video clips to laugh again.  I also have the tendency to listen to the same song over and over again (heck, I’m doing that right now!).

Overthinking It – A lot of times when people tell me to not overthink something, I respond by saying ‘too late’, because it really is too late.  My mind may be overcrowded to the point that it’s suffocating, but it collects information instantly if I’m listening and it goes through the endless cycle of being thought about and analyzed and pulled apart, and when there’s nothing else about it to analyze, it just thinks about what’s already been analyzed.

So, with all that being said, despite my simple outward appearance, if you were to open my head and take a look inside my mind, it might be more than enough to make you pass out.  It’s complicated, and it’s even messy at times, but its the mind I was created to have, with a certain level of depth that even can’t understand, even though it’s mine.

Final Note: I will be posting an example of a scenario on either Thursday or Friday regarding what goes on in my mind in a particular setting at a particular time to give a clear picture.

3 thoughts on “Living With Autism Part 2: Overcrowded Mind And Obsessions”

  1. Fascinating Forrest. And so amazingly well written. You articulate complex ideas quite well! Thanks for taking us into your mind. I understand my Joshua a little better now. I thank God for you!

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