By Tom Middleditch - Writer & Co-Producer for Alexithymia
So, we launched! After keeping a secret since, well, longer than I’ve been able to keep a secret for before, Alexithymia will be opening the 2017 Poppyseed Theatre Festival. Drinks have been drunk, songs sung, at least one person has already won a free ticket for screaming at the audience. All that is left to do now is to make this thing happen.
Alexi -thim -mia?
Nah mate, AlexiTHYmia
Ok, thank you, but what is that?
Well, I’m glad I asked myself that. Alexithymia is defined as a personality construct where someone, such as myself, has difficulty identifying and expressing the emotions that they feel. I’ve referred to it before as the distance you are from what you feel, but it can also be thought of as a wall between you and your emotions. You can vaguely hear them through it, but not enough to tell what song they are playing. And more than likely, it will keep you up at night in a vague sense of discomfort.
So you’re putting on a Personality Construct?
No no no! We are putting on a play! A new play written by me, Tom, and Directed by Jayde (say Hi Jayde! You can do this in the comments)
What sort of play?
Sounds dope. What’s that?
It’s science fiction that is more interested in the human experience. It was the best way to try and have a story about Alexithymia that made some sense.
I heard that there were three plays on?
Where did you hear that? It’s actually one play in three parts, each part being a mini play! I’ll talk about each in upcoming blogs, but they are as follows: “Social_Function.exe”, “The Curious Case of You”, and “Nirvana Syndrome”
Wow, that’s a lot. So how is Alexithymia the play connected to Alexithymia the personality construct?
Well, I’m writing the play with two goals. First is to show people what living with Alexithymia is like, in a way that people might not be expecting. The second is to try and write a show that is itself Alexithymic. It can’t follow it’s own emotional journey, even though it is definitely having one.
That sounds complicated.
It is! But if I succeed, people won’t even notice the complication, it will simply make them feel.
Ok, but why are you writing this? Don’t you only have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome?
Well, in my research into ASD, I came across a study that said 85% of ASD folk experience Alexithymia in some form or another. And when you apply an understanding of Alexithymia to autistic lived experience, it explains a whole heap of things. Important stuff to understanding the lived experience of those on the spectrum that we are still only discovering now. Enough stuff to fill a play with! And this is that play!
I’d love to talk more but my bus is here.
No problem! We'll chat again soon!
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