Beckie’s Mental Mess Weekly Prompt
Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
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Truth is – l am prone to addiction and addiction/obsession like behaviours and that is an actual trait with Asperger’s and of course autism. Many a time it is not so much an obsession or even an addiction – but a misinterpretation of what is more commonly known as a ‘special interest’ and an ability to hyperfocus to the exclusion of everything and everyone else.
But sometimes my hyperfocus and my ‘special interests’, enthusiasms, and fascinations can be read as being obsessive and addictive by others.
The Aspergian hyperfocus is an intense fixation on topics of interest and this can lead to further obsessive behaviour and addictive like quality’s.
Now throughout the years of my youth, childhood and adulthood l have held down many special interests of both an obsessive and addictive nature and behaviour that many a time it is hard for people in the role of observer, partner, sibling, friends, lovers and parents alike to understand where Asperger’s/autism starts and where addiction and obsession ends because it is a very fine line.
But l know that l am prone to addiction and obsession and l try – especially as l have aged to combat these behaviours. It tends to get all very complicated at times – is it addiction or hyperfocus on repetition? It is obsession or fascination? Is it anything serious or an attempt to get it right – to keep on doing something so as to improve performance, style, achievements?
Many publications will tell you that Aspergians tend to steer clear of certain substances and abuse and ‘tricky situations’ and l would not specifically say that is true in so far as ‘Aspergers or autism’ as l think it is a personal and individual reflection of each personality.
I have tried drugs and alcohol and l never personally became hooked or addicted for long – although l did hard core trial them both when in my twenties and was in the case of mild ‘drugs’ using till my mid forties with smatterings in my very early fifties and with regards alcohol in my early to mid twenties l was a heavier drinker but not addicted, l just happened to like to get drunk and fall over a lot.
But neither drugs nor alcohol rocked my boat in so far as appeal, they were just fun.
I became addicted and obsessed with other things some of which were more dangerous – like l am an ex – self harmer, but l was addicted with self harm and obsessed with certain practices. I became addicted to trying to take my own life it became an obsession of sorts – and NO, l am not being funny here when l write this but deadly serious. In my mid to later twenties l became addicted to being reckless with my life and deliberately put myself into situations to test the waters of what was possible.
I was addicted to sex for many years from my early to mid twenties and then obsessively and addictively from my mid twenties to my very early thirties. I had a very high libido and whilst l still have a high drive, l am more controlled now. Sex became a huge special interest of mine from the age of 25 – 32. I enjoyed it and l worked it from a simple hobby and leisurely activity to a full time profession with my escort work and when not doing that l wrote about sex within the industry and was paid for it.
Many a time l have been very lucky with my ‘special interests or addictions’ because l have turned them into successful money making activities.
So for me defining true addiction from obsession or special interest or fixation is very hard and when l look back on my life then and today l have been addicted to many things in one degree or another – some have become long term and others have been controlled term – nicotine, danger, risk, work, sex, alcohol, drugs,coffee, Internet, blogging, writing, gaming, sweets and the lists go on.
Some might counter my addictions/obsessions as a lack of moderation [well l am guilty of that too as l don’t understand moderation], others might suggest it is limited balance, well l have never once said l am perfectly balanced as l am not. There are l am sure very fine lines between harmless fascinations and harmful and obsessive addictions – but l for one can tell you it’s a minefield trying to sort it.
Of all the ‘addictions’, which would be the one which was considered the most damaging or time consuming one? Probably sex – l don’t regret any of my decisions, but l think what l did with regards becoming employed as an escort and writing adult fiction in the industry back in the later 80’s and the 90’s was the best cure and it was that which helped me to curb and control my passions.
I was diagnosed long before ‘Asperger’s arrived on the scene in 2008 – in 1990 with a personality disorder by a ‘sex therapist’ who said that l used all forms of sexual behaviour as a form of escape from reality. I was requested by my employer to go and see the therapist which l did. I was highly promiscuous and by that time had already had sex with more than 300 women and that was considered a dangerous figure due to the very nature of the situations l put myself into.
I had a high libido when l was in my early teens, not for sexual activity – but l was considered somewhat strange for my thinkings with regards sexual practices and l had a very keen interest in sex. One doctor when l was 16 discussed with my parents that l was a potential fetishist because of my strange behaviours, thoughts and beliefs – the irony of that was that l was extremely shy around girls and so none of the so called pieces were fitting together. I was still a virgin in my early 20’s, but upon losing ‘that’, it was like my sexuality escaped and went on a wild rampage for the next ten years.
I was always curious with regards sexuality, l guess l still am, although many of my early fascinations and questions were answered when l worked in the adult industry.
In comparison to all the addictions l have had, l think it was the ‘sexual addiction’ that was the real eye opener and learning lesson on how to curb certain other addictive behaviours – shame l still haven’t mastered true moderation.
I have never received any specific behavioural therapy with any of my addictions or obsessions – but again l think the true line for me is defining the difference between Aspergers and Addiction – is it different or is it principally the same – who knows?