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PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity

by cavac (Priest)
on Jan 27, 2022 at 13:20 UTC ( #11140893=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

It has taken me a long time to talk about this in public, but i think it's finally time to tell you: I am on the autistic spectrum.

A lot has been written about the subject, so i wont bore you with too much detail. Autism is a sliding scale, with many a variation on how this can affect an individual.

For me, i have trouble keeping a conversation going both ways (i tend to talk non-stop if i get any chance). For some strange reason, this is much easier in writing than it is in person. When i write (and read), i usually can take my time, and analyze what the other people are saying and slowly formulate my answers. In person, i can still do it (depending on the subject), but it is very stressful. I also have trouble understanding non-verbal cues, can't remember faces very well and stuff. To others, I also tend to have a very dark humor; for everything else i tend to apply logic. But mostly, for me it's a day-to-day struggle to appear somewhat normal in public and somehow muddle through the day without completely loosing my mind or doing something incredibly stupid. There are other things as well, but these are for another time, perhaps. But basically, think "high-functioning autism", i can hide my traits by many learned ways of coping with stuff, but this requires a lot of active concentration and it's quite stressful and exhausting to do (if you ever meet me in person, you'll probably notice my various social "skills" dropping fast whenever i am tired).

The reason why i'm writing this is simple: PerlMonks has been a haven of calmness and sanity to me over many, many years. It gives me a chance to learn from and give back to others. Sometimes, i only lurk here without writing for months, then there are times when i'm ready to take on quest after quest to try and help out in SoPW. The discussions here are generally held in a calm and logical fashion that let me participate in my own way and at my own speed. And for this, i am eternally grateful to all of you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Edit: Ask me questions. I'll answer them if i can.

perl -e 'use Crypt::Digest::SHA256 qw[sha256_hex]; print substr(sha256_hex("the Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything"), 6, 2), "\n";'

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity
by LanX (Sage) on Jan 27, 2022 at 14:06 UTC
    I think you are in good company here. :)

    Some say the main reason universities exist, is to keep the mental "sanatoriums" empty.

    And mental "normality" is a social construct ... It's debatable if Penny is healthier than Sheldon.

    So welcome at PM, the Perl Mad-Academy! ;)

    updates: s/Peggy/Penny/

      And mental "normality" is a social construct

      More a political artifact: according to a vast critical literature on the subject the "psy" professions and related institutions are self-reinforcing political tools to control and shape the general population according to the prevalent power/economic doctrines.
      For instance nowadays in the so called western world Neo-liberalism has shaped the current definition of "normality".

        Foucault's "Birth of the Clinic" blew me away. To add, pharmaceutical companies are constantly inventing new mental disorders to sell more product, when in reality they are just part of human diversity. The level of medication handed out to children these days is off the scale.
Re: PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity
by Discipulus (Abbot) on Jan 28, 2022 at 09:41 UTC
    Dear cavac,

    If I'm permitted some humor, thanks for your auting...

    Science is loking at our minds closer and closer and new names are crafted to describe our internal chaos, mostly without adding nothing to de facto situation: we are all different and there is no normal people

    The only thing really important for us and for others around us, is feeling good, obviously not in a selfish way but in a cooperative fashion.

    Our lives can be seen as an eternal balance of expectations and frustrations and our hero task is to minimize frustrations without wiping out all expectations (doing so falling into a sterile cynicism), treating others as a value and not as a destination for our outlets, outbursts.

    The problem is or can be the context. What is a disturb? Who is disturbed? You? Others around you? Both? As long as you (and all of us) find your own way to maintain yourself well and your way to interact with others there is not disturb. Is our current society suited to accomodate all shades of personalities? Not at all. First of all you must be a consumer, you must buy at Amazon and have a gmail account. Then you must accept to be squeezed at the production side of the chain, but just as long as you are rentable then you must learn to die early not being a weight for the society.

    But when the context is sane (a nice family, a group of friends loving you, a Monastery of Perl lovers) there is room for all of us (assuming no prevarication goals) to express ourselves in a costructive and posive way.

    For me and the monastery you are a wise monk, a genial programmer, a kind people behind a nickname.

    > For some strange reason, this is much easier in writing than it is in person.

    It is normal, not strange. To write is the oldest artificial filter humans invented and if you look at it closer also to speech is a filter, perhaps just more natural, between our chaotic minds and the rest of the world.

    If you lack in social skills or empathic ones and you have more systemizing ones you normally feel more comfort to interact writing than speaking. What bad? Nothing! Problems would have arisen if you were put into commercial division instead than among software developpers. The context.

    I was searching about Glenn Gould neuropathy and couriosly I found an article about The Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention by Simon Baron-Cohen, where I read about his battle for neurodiversity and that does not exists the opposite pair of normality and anormality but only an infinite variety of brains, all equally natural.. Exactly what I was trying to say :)

    Hurrah Glenn Gould, Hurrah cavac, Hurrah the inclusion of neurodiversity!

    L*

    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

      Thanks!

Re: PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity
by Gavin (Archbishop) on Jan 27, 2022 at 16:42 UTC

    I think all will agree a brave great post,

    thanks for sharing.

Re: PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity
by talexb (Chancellor) on Jan 28, 2022 at 15:49 UTC

    Well, yeah, welcome to the club? I've never been diagnosed, but for me, all of the signposts are there .. mis-reading social situations (I won't bore you with all of the examples), not realizing I'm talking too much, focusing too much, not focusing enough, occasional OCD, etc, etc. Strangely, I'm fine at Perl conferences and at Perlmonger meetings because I just assume everyone else is on the spectrum with me, and I'm way more open to talking to someone sitting next to me.

    Thanks for your post. I can assure you, you are not alone in this. :) And, yup, Perlmonks is an oasis.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

      > Strangely, I'm fine at Perl conferences and at Perlmonger meetings because I just assume everyone else is on the spectrum with me,

      Now, is the glass half full or half empty?

      Either you could assume you took the blue pill into the Perl community, or that most outside geek-sphere are running a preview of Idiocracy.

      ;-)

      Cheers Rolf
      (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
      Wikisyntax for the Monastery

        Now, is the glass half full or half empty?

        In the case of "half empty", it's also important to hope that it's not a sudden case of Randall Munroe

        :-)
        perl -e 'use Crypt::Digest::SHA256 qw[sha256_hex]; print substr(sha256_hex("the Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything"), 6, 2), "\n";'
Re: PerlMonks - my haven of calmness and sanity (garlic onions)
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 28, 2022 at 12:18 UTC
    Hos do you handle garlic/onions? They're in virtually every recipe, sauce, condiment, snack, frozen food ... My system converts to so much wind ... Cooking all my meals just isn't practical

      I love garlic and onions. I even grow my own (very eyewatering) onions.

      But even just smelling yoghurt will make me queasy. And due to vast overproduction of milk (at least here in central europe), that poison is used as a filler in many products.

      perl -e 'use Crypt::Digest::SHA256 qw[sha256_hex]; print substr(sha256_hex("the Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything"), 6, 2), "\n";'

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