1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Featured Unhealthy Obsessions for my Age

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Kenz, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Kenz

    Kenz New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Karma:
    +6
    Hi,

    I'm in my thirties and I still read comic books and write fan fiction. I originally went to school with the intent of becoming a writer. Too bad no one told me I would need more than an English degree. I also got a degree in Education, so I'm teaching middle school (really, trying to teach, and I usually feel completely out of my element and too new even though I've been at it for a few months already).

    Things are better than they were. I was working at a youth center in Alabama, and things weren't great; the kids were terrible, the pay was low, and superstition was starting to really get to me.

    I feel like I've wasted my life, though. I feel too old to be obsessed with comics, and I wish I could either do something productive with it or stop.

    I'm also amazed at what it takes just to do a job properly, and I wonder how people even develop these skills. My mentor teacher (I guess that's who she is) has set up an organization system for me that's supposed to help me keep track of everything I need to do. I would have never thought of that, and I wouldn't have guessed that organization and time management are my main issues; I just thought I couldn't teach. I feel so inept. I'm sure I didn't understand everything she told me, and I probably won't even remember what questions to ask when I inevitably find myself lost again. I feel like the kids don't really trust me. They've said mean things to me, and I just wish I wasn't such a loser.

    I wish I could develop at least one of my obsessions into something productive.

    I've wanted to learn a foreign language, become a writer, and create a comic book, graphic novel, or teen novel. I haven't done any of those things.

    I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder over a year or so ago, and I wish someone would have taken me under wing and started teaching me sooner than this. As it stands, I feel like I know about as much as I did when I was a kid.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 4
  2. Kenz

    Kenz New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Karma:
    +6
    I guess I should add that when I say I'm obsessed, I'm really obsessed. I spend whole afternoons just fantasizing and looking up information about my favorite characters. Of course, this is unproductive.
     
  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,654
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +17,144
    Supply and demand.

    Look at some of the hottest tv shows like "The Walking Dead" and "Gotham" and the endless stream of superhero movies. And the age demographics of people who view them.

    LOL...and the age/demographics of people like me who aren't expected to watch them and never miss a single episode!

    Comics...graphic novels...television. Take a college level course in pop culture and find out just how important it all is to much of society, without any considerations of neurological differences.

    Feel better? As long as such pursuits don't interfere with your livelihood, enjoy them for what they are. No more, no less. ;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Kenz

    Kenz New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Karma:
    +6
    Is there anything I can do with it, though, that will make it seem less like a complete waste of time? I can't even find people who share my interests to the extent that I do. I've posted on comic book forums and ended up getting into arguments with people, probably kids. That's at least embarrassing.

    Plus, I really need to concentrate on my job. Becoming a good teacher takes more work than I ever imagined. I really don't know how to do it, and I feel like teacher education did almost nothing to prepare me except show me how to use proper grammar.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,654
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +17,144
    Being passionate about something doesn't necessarily mean you're expected to harness it like some form of energy....and be able to make a living at it. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.

    Though I'd think any potential career aspirations in forms of pop culture would involve relatively traditional avenues of approach much like any author of literature or art. Where you spend your time actually developing your craft for publishers to examine rather than merely discussing it online with an unpredictable and often malicious audience of amateur critics.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. onlything

    onlything Gathering pieces V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    256
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Karma:
    +454
    @Judge is definitely right here. I know personally thirty year old NTs who are passionate about Pokemon Go so much they spent days going around construction sites trying to catch the most evasive monsters... And the other one that paid 5000 dollars bill for one months due to data usage.

    As long as it doesn't make you too disconnected, there's nothing wrong in being interested in comics, Pokemon or whatever else. These things are loved all around the world for a reason. Mass culture, pop culture, people need to escape at times and if it makes money for others, oh well. Concerning posting on amateur forums... I have an impression that people go there just to make fun of others' work, honestly. If there's constructive criticue, that's fine but most of these are just pointless 'flames' written by people with no self-esteem that want to make themselves feel better by any means.

    You're a fresh teacher from what I understood. Give yourself time. Kids are kids. They are mean on principle, to show off how 'cool' they are or something just as silly. Just do your best, no one is brilliant at anything from the beginning. Teaching job is strongly about social contact with *shudder* children, so it may come slightly slower to you but you'll get it for sure. Honestly, I'm impressed this is what you chose to do.
     
  7. dragoncat16

    dragoncat16 Active Member

    Messages:
    307
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Karma:
    +543
    You're a teacher and into comic books? Why don't you try incorporating your interest in comic books into your teaching? Lots of kids are into comic books too. Just don't get into arguments with your students. :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Karma:
    +935
    Age is a number so don’t get hung up on that. The real issue is allowing an obsession to interfere with your job. There is nothing wrong with your particular interest(s). You aren’t doing something harmful like many other obsessions commonly labeled addictions.

    I have a couple of suggestions that I hope help. The first is to set goals for how much work you must get done before indulging in your obsession. Remember that you ability to afford comic books hinges on you keeping your job. Imagining a time of not being able to enjoy them at all should motivate to get your work done first.

    After your work is done evaluate how much time you have remaining in your day. Decide how you want to spend that time and stick with it. If you want to read comic books for 2 hours everyday then that is your choice. Just be cognizant that you are using potentially productive time for enjoyment. If you want to learn a foreign language or write a book then those 2 hours of free time is when it has to happen.

    I guess what I am mainly trying to say is to evaluate your priorities and make a plan to always get the most important stuff done. You could even print/write out a list of your priorities and put it somewhere prominent to remind yourself. It will take some discipline to make your priorities worth it, but in the end you will feel accomplished.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,451
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Karma:
    +3,573
    We're interested in what we're interested in. My husband is nearly 33 and obsessed with comics. We both share a love of video games. One of my biggest obsessions is plane crashes - never going to be useful to me in my life, but it interests me and makes me happy.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,654
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +17,144
    Intriguing to ponder how one gets work in that field. In my country I suppose you get your foot in the door by becoming a government bureaucrat or forensics expert in the National Transportation Safety Board. I do see a lot of these folks on cable news periodically.

    Grim, but fascinating stuff. Surely Britain has an equivalent to our NTSB.
     
  11. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,451
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Karma:
    +3,573
    We do! The AAIB (air accidents investigation branch). However, I wouldn't be able to do that job as alas, the qualifications needed require a lot of maths..and I have dyscalculia :p
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. vangelis

    vangelis Behind the Mask

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Karma:
    +157
    Plenty of people on here like me are over 30 but love comics, Pokemon, video games etc. and nothing wrong with that. I take my hat off to any teacher though [metaphorically] as it's something I couldn't dream of doing.

    There's still plenty of time to do all the things you want to, just don't try them all at once. Degrees and qualifications are fine but if you have even a little talent for something the only way to improve is practise and dedicate set times, maybe with a set objective even if it's only for an hour to start with. Inspiration may well hit you but you need to be available to make the most of the opportunity.

    Not sure if this helps but I wish you luck with your endeavours.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Karma:
    +935
    An addition to my previous suggestions would be to have reasonable expectations. As @vangelis said, don’t try to do too much at once. Focus on one or two things at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed by trying to accomplish too much at once. Don’t sell yourself short by expecting too little of yourself, but don’t expect superhuman things either. Set reasonable expectations and adjust as needed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Karma:
    +392
    Who says that comics and fan fiction are only for younger people? Who decided what interests should be for younger or older people in first place and why? I challenge the opinions of what is supposed to be right or wrong for adults to enjoy that have for some reason been hard-coded into our culture.

    I honestly believe that loads of adults would love to continue or even start enjoying what some would consider younger person or even childhood interests, but they won't simply because they're taught that they're not the right thing for adults to enjoy and they're also worried about what other people might think, it's a great shame as loads of adults are really missing out on a lot of fun. In my opinion it's perfectly fine for someone of any age to enjoy such interests, they're not causing harm to others and they can also help keep the mind healthy.

    As it happens comics have become more accepted as an interest for all ages, especially the collecting element and many comics have what some would consider as adult story lines, but even if they don't you shouldn't need to justify your interests to others, and if you enjoy writing fan fiction then don't let anyone else stop you. If it does become "productive" then that's even better, but please don't feel pressured to do this in order to justify continuing the interests that you love and are passionate about. In my opinion enjoying yourself is productive in itself.

    PS: I'm 48 years old and I love playing videos games, mainly RPGs and especially JRPGs. I have absolutely no plans to stop and there should be no reason to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Karma:
    +2,385
    I guess by now you have figured out your in the right place... No one is going to fault you, because its part of who we are...

    I can be the most immature guy in the world. I look young and I think young and I don't even fit in with people my own age mostly. I'm like everyone else... If its not affecting your life, and making your bills not being paid, or causing you to not do the essentials in life, then ENJOY IT! Its not like we get to enjoy the tons of other things most people get to gripe over... : )
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Karma:
    +2,385
    And your worried about comic books? I applaud you... I have no issue with kids, I like kids, but the noises and the hollow sounds that echo in school buildings no freaking way... I couldn't do it. I would lose my mind unless we could be outside like 99% of the time. Comic books and kids... sounds like to me you already have an "IN" with the kids and you aren't even noticing it. That alone gives you something to be on their level with. Sounds more like a win win, than a waste of time.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. WildCat

    WildCat approach with caution V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    713
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Karma:
    +596
    I wouldn't worry about it at all - I'm just starting my 30s and still have a love for gaming and all sorts of geek stuff.

    Not saying or implying that gaming is productive...it isn't, but my love of all things tech has potential to land me in paid work. Even I haven't figured out how to go about it yet, so you're not the only one here.
     
  18. Josophine

    Josophine New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Karma:
    +3
    Hi Kenz,

    I've recently self diagnosed myself with aspergers and in my mid 30s. I'm also an Art teacher and also working freelance on picture books.

    Good for you for teaching full time! I've thought about going full time (and others pressuring me to go full time), but I will find it too draining and I also get too upset when I can't control the class. I don't think I can do full time. So at the mo, I work part time and have some freelance projects now and again. Luckily, I have a supportive husband.

    With all of these bad experiences in schools, these can feed in to your comic books and stories. I agree when the others say u can integrate comics in to your classes, that would be fun. Look up the society of children's books and writers,(SCBWI) I've met a lot of nice people who are into the same thing (and the average age is probably 40s in my region anyway). I hope you can find your tribe. It takes a long time to create something good, just enjoy the journey and process. Good luck!! :)
     
  19. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2017
    Karma:
    +265
    @Kenz, when I was younger, I was going to write the Great American Novel and win the Nobel Prize for Literature. (So much for that pipedream.) Now I'm happy making a good living as a full-time communications manager. I get plenty of bylines and get to scratch my writing itch on a daily basis.

    My point is that life can take you in some unexpected directions. Keep pursuing your dreams, and stop caring so much about what other people think. They don't know you as well as you know yourself.
     
  20. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Karma:
    +194
    Firstly, I'd just like to say that I quite identify with what you're saying about the whole "unproductive obsession" thing.

    My main obsession/interest is gaming. I've been into it since I was about 3 years old. As you might expect, my parents used to tell me that I needed to "focus on other things! It'll never get you anywhere!"

    Eventually, I decided: I'd try to get a job/career in the industry. I knew so much about the whole thing, it would be a perfect fit! I got an associate's degree in computer science. Little did I know, though, that this was... utterly freaking useless. NOBODY will take someone with a mere associates degree, when it comes to groups that do programming or design of any sort. I would need another FOUR years at least just to get in the freaking door! And I was having a hard enough time as it was. I was always a terrible student. The autism aspects frequently got in the way, my memory was horrible, and my attention span was worse. What's more, I tended to be really bad in a traditional job structure. Thought I'd never get anywhere. My dream was to make a game of my own, and I was bloody CERTAIN it'd never happen.

    Fast forward to now: almost two years after it did, in fact, happen. The thing that hadnt occurred to me way back when was that the path I saw to it wasnt the ONLY path. I thought that a job with the big companies was the only way I could actually MAKE something of it, you know. But that wasnt true. With the explosive growth of the internet and the ever-increasing level of technology, there were suddenly many other avenues. A sequence of events that, frankly, didnt make a whole lot of sense ended up getting me in contact with an independant developer. I started helping with testing and such, simply because I could. Eventually I was moderating their forums, and had helped work on an expansion to one of their games. And then after that, a contract, to help MAKE one from the ground up. Nearly two years after it's initial release, my work on the project continues as we're creating an expansion to it. I have enough authority within the project to make decisions about what does and does not get into the game. And this with no "professional" experience. The head developer doesnt care about that: He thought I could do the job, and it turned out (to my own surprise) that he was right. The game turned out well! Nobody was more surprised by that than me.

    And that's not the only thing that's happened. I've gotten involved, to varying degrees, with some other developers as well. Now, I'll point out that none of this is a full-time sort of thing for me. I dont work a "real" job for assorted reasons. I'm actually doing the current work on a volunteer basis, because I bloody well can (it was my idea... I didnt feel right taking money from them when I dont genuinely need it).

    But still, the point is that I ended up truly producing something, and also managing to help others in the process. PURELY through my experience in what too many people see as a "useless" hobby... it had nothing whatsoever to do with having a college degree (seriously, none of them have cared whatsoever about that). I suspect that there are ALOT of people out there that have very similar stories. Not just in the gaming industry. I'm willing to bet that very similar things have happened in the comic industry as well. Alot of people have this bizarre idea that to be productive you MUST be in a traditional 9-5 full time job, blah blah blah... but that's simply not true. There are MANY ways to make use of your favorite hobby, whatever that may be. Many ways in which you could use it to contribute something.


    Lemme ask you this: Have you ever considered making a true attempt at creating a comic (or whatever) of the sort that you want to make? Whatever that may be. The internet, when used properly, is a FANTASTIC way to get started in that sort of thing. Webcomics, for instance. All sorts of them (and I know LOTS of examples). The funny, goofy sort, or the serious storytelling sort... whatever type, it's out there, and people have gained lots of success from it. Sometimes they even go on to produce actual books with their comics. And chances are, for many of them, it's taken them to places they never could have guessed at. And they did this, many times, in a simple way: They simply started a comic, kept going, got people interested over time, and after awhile, it sort of exploded for them, creating all sorts of opportunities. While allowing them to truly enjoy doing what they were doing. And it allowed them to constantly increase their skill level in various areas as they went (art/writing, stuff like that which goes along with comic design and production).

    But that's just ONE option. Who knows what other ways you might use your obsession? Having an obsession isnt a bad thing, really. From what I've seen, nearly everyone in this place has one. And alot of us get *really* obsessed, in a similar way to what you describe. It can be difficult to manage at times, this is true. But that sure as heck doesnt mean you cant make something of it, if you decide that you'd really like to. If you put your mind to it and get creative with it, you could really make something special.

    Even if you dont though... I dont think it's truly useless, or even completely "unproductive". Does it make you feel good? Does it improve your mood in an overall sense? Even if it ONLY does those things... those are still of great use. Your state of mind has ALOT of bearing on all sorts of things, if you think about it. Hobbies and obsessions can be alot more important than many might guess at.

    Even NTs need hobbies and such, "useless" or otherwise. They have an important role to play for many people. So try not to feel bad about having one, regardless of how obsessive it may seem to you.

    And if you ever do decide to try making something? Show it off on the forum here! This is a great place for you to get some feedback. We seem to have quite a number of comic lovers here of various sorts.


    Congrats on what you've been doing with the teaching jobs, by the way. I think that's very impressive. I have a brother who is doing student teaching, and I know it sure as heck aint easy.
     
    • Like Like x 2