This post might come across as a bit unusual to some of you, and I aplogise in advance but there's something i've been wanting to write about for quite some time and i'm going to do it right now. So to lighten the mood, i'm filling this post with some of my own illustrations from the past few years! So if you can't be bothered to read, at least you'll have some pretty pictures to look at.
I know that quite a few of my readers are local, in which case... some of you may have heard me on Manx Radio yesterday afternoon!
You might have been a little surprised to hear me sounding so chipper and bright, you might have been even more surprised to hear what I had to say during my time on air...
A few weeks ago I was invited onto the Women Today show to talk about my art, how I create, what motivates me etc. Obviously I was super excited about this opportunity, Manx Radio is on 24/7 in our house (seriously!) and i've been interviewed maybe 4 or 5 times over the years, usually for craft fairs and art exhibitions. So I was thrilled at the thought of getting to take part in an hour long show, especially one geared toward female opinions and women's issues. GIRL POWER or what?!
Because if you DID hear the show (if you didn't, you can give it a listen right HERE the show kicks in properly around the 6 minute mark if you want to skip ahead) then you will now know that I was recently diagnosed with Aspergers myself.
|'Do Not Disturb'|
Initially, my psychiatrist speculated that I might have Borderline Personality Disorder but this was a diagnosis I disagreed with, I didn't feel that I ticked enough of the boxes to warrant having BPD. But then one day my CBT therapist turned around and said 'what do you know about Aspergers?'. I didn't know very much and when I asked him why he said 'because I think you have it'.And it turns out that he was right.
|'Pretty in Pink'|
|'Just Can't Get Enough'|
Since my Aspergers diagnosis in August, i've only told a few people, friends and family close to me. Which begs the question, WHY did I decide to talk about it live on the radio. All I can say is that I guess there's no better way to 'come out' (as it were) as an Aspie, than on national radio on a Monday afternoon!
Now some people might have heard the show yesterday and thought, 'gosh Aspergers, how terrible for her' or something along the lines of 'wow, she must be REALLY weird' in which case, no it's not terrible and yes of course i'm weird! Who on earth wants to be normal?! But then I went on to talk about how positive I think it is, how I see it as a 'gift' and that it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Because it isn't!
|'Love is the Drug'|
I'm fortunate as well that a few of the more typical Aspergers traits, mainly concerning social skills and recognizing emotions in others, aren't things I really have difficulties with. It seems that a lifetime of observing and imitating others' behaviour has helped me to adapt better and 'blend in'. That makes me sound like some sort of hideous alien infiltrating humanity! But it's a good thing, I think, it means that although I might sometimes come across a bit blunt or unsympathetic, I can ultimately hold a normal conversation with someone and recognize when someone else is sad/happy/annoyed etc.
|'Pretty as a Picture'|
I'm very sensitive to sounds, for example, I often have to carry earbud headphones with me when i'm out in a busy place as the overstimulation of sounds can spark off a sort of panic attack where i'm likely to end up crying hysterically. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often but when it does it is, to put it bluntly, 'a pain in the arse'. Especially when it happens in a busy shop/cafe/swimming pool. But it's something I can and do work on, luckily it's quite a minor inconvenience compared to some other typical Aspie issues.
It's funny as well because these are things i've dealt with all my life but i've only just been given a reason for them. I know that some people don't want any labels but finding out about the whole Aspergers thing has made it so much easier to understand why some things are so easy and others are so incredibly daunting. Public speaking, going on the radio, teaching a class... that's fine, i'll do it with a smile on my face; but ask me to make a phone-call or catch a bus and i'll probably fall to pieces.
So I want to thank the lovely ladies at Women Today for inviting me on the show and giving me the opportunity to talk not only about my art, but about some of the struggles i've had and to open up a bit about Aspergers. So THANK you!!!
oh and if you did listen to the show and you heard the description of my outfit and you're wondering what the mermaid skirt looks like...
so on that note, i'll say goodbye for now.
naturally you can expect more Aspie themed posts in the future! Well now that the cat is out of the bag it would be rude not to keep going on about it...
by the way, if any of you have any questions about anything I talked about on the radio yesterday or touched upon in this post, you can leave a comment below, send me an email or private message me on facebook, twitter or instagram if you don't want a public chat, and I will of course reply.
so until next time, thanks for visiting, come back soon.