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";'