About a year ago I recognized that I might have Aphantasia. So many people talked about how they imagined things, and it was always really strange to me. For instance, when I was in about first grade we had to close our eyes when teachers read to us, and we were told to imagine the scene like a movie. Of course, this was a skill that I did not and do not possess. I tried for about ten minutes to do what everyone else seemed to do, but ended up crying because I didn't understand how. My teacher told me I wasn't trying hard enough, so I tried until I got a headache. The next day I came to school and instead of making a fuss, I closed my eyes and pretended I saw exactly what was going on.
I'm also very bad with directions, and I can never visualize where I need to go from them. "Take a right, then a left, two rights, turn on the corner of the grocery store," etc. It's fuzzy and I really have no idea where I'm going and as a result I almost never go anywhere new without dragging someone with me.
The funny thing is, I'm an artist. I like to think I'm a pretty good one, but time will tell. I have a very very vague idea of what I want to draw before I start, and it usually starts with just a topic sentence like you'd see in an essay. I mostly draw digitally because it's so easy to revise ideas to how it should really look. I don't understand how I'm able to draw so well, with this condition, but by all means I'm not complaining. I have a little theory that what I'm actually doing is using visual imagery on paper, to let go of my thoughts, since I can't do so in my mind.
Attached is one of my pieces of work, if anyone is curious.
I, too ended up 'pretending' to see inner images, especially when I was younger. Now I kind of imagine what I might feel like if I were to see images and impose that feeling upon myself, hmmm. Like the peacefulness of a mountain stream, a sunset, etc.
I also used to draw a lot when I was younger, telling people who asked that the characters, landscapes, etc. I drew 'lived in my pencil' not in real life or in my mind. I also used to paint quite a bit, never really planning but sort of going with whatever 'felt right' or was seemed to 'be missing'. I know that I am happier and more balanced out in life when I am doing something more physically creative, less verbal. I really like your idea of creating visual imagery on paper as a way to let go of thoughts... I must try it out and see if I talk less!!! It certainly might calm down all of the words in my head vying for attention!
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