I was given the advice to embrace your perspective when I felt that my cognitive abilities might be limited because of the mental and developmental disorders I experience.
Schizoaffective Disorder (SSD) affects my life in so many ways. I find it challenging to prioritise everyday things, struggle with concentration and motivation (which are not related to something I like), have moments of fatigue (especially brain fog) and have difficulty communicating with people (in person). In the past, I have had experiences of delusions, hallucinations and a distorted interpretation of reality. Additionally, I experience multiple symptoms of ASD (Aspergers), which has not been formally diagnosed.
Before I was diagnosed (with SSD), creative projects were an outlet and a form of expression. I lived and breathed in the worlds that captured my imagination and the fantasy sometimes merging with reality. I didn’t feel limited because I didn’t know the experiences I was having were crossing boundaries or beginning to dominate my whole life.
As I became more aware, had treatment and found ways to manage my condition, I did begin to have a sense of despair. Could I possibly have free creative expression? Could I continue to create designs? How could I possibly create designs for other people?
I was given the advice to embrace your perspective, and it changed my whole approach. Rather than feel challenged by working outside my viewpoint and fighting my symptoms, I learned to embrace them.
I began by acknowledging how I view the world is slightly different and grants me a unique perspective. From the way my brain processes information to the encounters I have had (and much more), I learned to structure my creative approach in ways that work for me. (For example, creating simple vector illustrations involving geometric shapes with a special interest in the kawaii art style). I also made sure I took my time, didn’t pressure myself, and continued to learn at a manageable pace (studying one class at University per term).
All of these forces assisted with acknowledging that what I have to share with the world matters. To not only embrace my perspective but to also feel hopeful about where inspiration may lead.
I understand that we all come from different places and have unique experiences. If you feel comfortable, I could love to hear your story in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.