Adult With Autism: Obsessions

I don’t know if it is a personality trait that I am just destined to be an obsessive person but it is something I have to work on quite a lot of the time.

Sometimes my obsessions are unhealthy like obsessing over money so I’ll live off 14p noodles and cheap sandwiches to try and scrap every penny together and I’ll constantly check my bank account. For this reason I barely look at my bank account and I rarely splurge on anything.

Luckily some obsessions can be a little more positive, such as a special interest. I have delved back into the true crime world and I have ended up listening to the Murder Squad  podcast, which asks people to get involved in the cases they are talking about.

I can see this being a slippery slope for me.

After spending two hours looking at the Doe Network website to try and help identify possible victims of a serial killer I realised I was back in obsessive mode and turned my computer off before two hours turned into an all-nighter. Instead I am trying to stay within my special interest in a healthier way. I used a gift card to buy a couple of books I wanted and I am all caught up on the podcast, meaning that it’s now only part of my life one day a week instead of 10 or more hours a day every day.
It took a long time for me to realise how obsessive I can become over things and it’s a continue struggle to put things to the side and concentrate on other things before it consumes me.

This is just a short and sweet one from me this week as I’m struggling with illness and can’t think straight but I still wanted to get something written so that I stick to schedule.

Im glad that there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel with quarantine. I’m looking forward to being able to visit family after not seeing them for nearly 6 months.

Obsessions

I have heard that suffering from OCD can also come hand in hand with being autistic but I have been lucky enough that it’s not something that affects me. I am somewhat particular about certain things being done a certain way but it’s not anything overwhelming.

I do, however, have obsessions that come and go. This can be tv shows, films, food, ideas, anything really. I can easily get an idea in my head and will be obsesssed with it until I see the idea through to the end but the majority of the time I spend more effort obsessing over it than actually doing it. Sometimes these obsessions can get in the way of me being able to do anything. For example, if I have it in my head that I need to own a particular item then I will search everywhere for one but it can’t be just any version, I’ll have an idea of what the perfect version of the item is. This means not having time or energy to get housework done and I’ll forget to go food shopping etc until I find this item.

Most obsessions disappear but some linger or fade in and out. I’m obsessed/addicted to McDonald’s, I could eat it every day for every meal. Luckily, I’m aware of this and I know that eating McDonald’s every day isn’t good for my health or my bank balance so I’ll hold off from getting any until it’s a treat day. It also helps that the nearest McDonald’s is a walk and bus ride away so I usually don’t have the energy to go all that way for it and I can distract myself with other things.

The upside to these obsessions is that it can give me a lot of enjoyment without feeling bored, such as when it manifests in a tv show. This’ll give me something to watch for a while and it gives me something to do to be able to recharge my batteries. It also has some downsides as I can get very irritable if I want something and can be moody until I get it, it’s almost like side affects of addiction for me in that feeling of have to have it and can’t think about anything else and then the feeling of elation once I do have it that will repeat.

This has been something that has happened throughout my whole life and was something that was one of the many indicators to my autism as a child. I don’t know how long I spent watching Wizard of Oz when I was younger but it drove my brother, mum and grandma crazy. On the plus side I could easily be pacified by being plonked in front of the tv with the film playing and I wouldn’t move for the duration. I would even talk and sing along as I knew every word and it’s still I film I love today, I even watch it around Christmas time just about every year. I would eat the same food everyday until I got completely fed up with it. I haven’t eaten pop tarts for over 20 years and the smell of them still makes me feel sick because I ate them everyday for months until I ate too many one day and made myself ill.

I have seen this type of behaviour exhibited in other people with autism, children obsessed with a subject or tv show and have to know everything about it, so I know it’s not just me. And at least my obsessions tend to be typical things rather than outrageous.

I would be very interested to know if anyone else gets these and what they are.