French cheese makes me sick and that is no laughing matter.
What an opening line, huh? So what in the world does that have to do with this MyTake? Well, for now, just keep it in mind and I promise to come back to it later.
You may be wondering what exactly is Aphantasia? Well, contrary to popular belief, it is not the name of the next Disney princess. In short, it is the inability to visualize imagery in your head. For example, if I told you to picture a cat in your head, I am sure most of you could start picturing some sort of cat familiar to you. In my head, I can't even picture my OWN cat let alone any others. Now, sometimes, I might get an ever so brief glimpse as if seeing something out of the corner of my eye, but when I try to focus on it all I get is emptiness similar to a black screen. What I can do in its place is have a list of cat characteristics and recite those. I can say a cat has a tail and whiskers and sometimes fur of different colors.
For the longest time, I actually thought this was the norm. I ended up just being curious one day trying to figure out how someone can be creative when they couldn't even picture what they were going to write or design. I stumbled across a great article on it which I will post at the end of this MyTake that covers a lot of this in more detail. So why am I bothering to post this at all if there is an article, you ask? Well, for one, I thought it was an interesting topic and two, I promised someone on here I would. The problem is, I can't remember who it is I promised which brings me to the next issue with Aphantasia, names.
Aside from not being able to picture images, it also affects other parts of my memory, the biggest of those being names. Names are the bane of my existence at times. I don't watch TV, I rarely ever read books and I skip cut scenes in games just because I know I won't be able to remember any of the characters anyway. One game I play I have been playing for 4.5 years and I STILL couldn't tell you any of the main characters names. It isn't just people's names either, it is sometimes just the names of things. I had a conversation where I literally couldn't remember the word 'strap' when talking about needing a new purse. My last job I was at for 10 years. I knew that system inside and out, but if you asked me to explain it and all the other programs it connected to I would sound like I had never seen it in my life.
So, how do I cope with it? Well, for writing and designing, I don't have to do a thing. I never get writer's block because I can't picture it anyway. Once my hands go to the keyboard and mouse, things just sort of flow into place exactly how it should be without much conscious thought from me. It's as if everything I need is already there, I just can't see it until it is on the screen. For names, this works a little different. I may not be able to remember the names, but I can remember phrases well enough. For those who I speak with most, I usually have some sort of phrase that gets me back to their name and something special about them. I will provide a couple of examples below with people on here.
Santa wants a biscuit and Kit tea. - @ChrisMaster69
Phoenix Downs don't work in cut scenes - @Still-alive
See? That wasn't so bad and the games ended up being fine. - @PaynefulPleasures
I have one for a lot of the people I speak to the most on here.I know these probably won't make a lick of sense at first glance for you, but for me, they give me vital reminders of who I am talking to. I don't want to seem rude by forgetting someone and it's not like I try to do it on purpose. I am just literally drawing a blank on your name. This is also why I spend so much time researching before answering some questions. I want to make sure I am giving the most accurate answer I can with the right information before posting a response.
Speaking of memory, I posted a phrase in the first line of this MyTake. Now it is time to decipher it the same way I do in my head to get back to someone's name.
* French Cheese = Brie (Or in my case Bri)
* Makes me sick = Gagging/choking/vomiting (this person I met on GaG)
* No laughing matter = jokes
Comes together as: Bri is the girl from the GaG site who loves telling jokes.
Fun stuff, huh? It is an amazing thing what they mind can do when forced to overcome obstacles. I am sure some of the things you consider normal might be completely strange to someone else. These obstacles and workarounds just happen to be mine.
I hope this MyTake was a memorable one, but if not, here is a friendly phrase for you to remember and try to get back to it with.
Disney has way too many Princesses for me to remember, if you ask me.