Topic: Relieved it's not just me

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Relieved it's not just me
28.11.2014 by Alan1945

Thank you all for your posts to this forum and to the administrators of this site. Since I found it two days ago I've been reading posts and finding out all I can about alexithymia.

For most of my life I have felt 'different'. I had great difficulty as a child in making friends; I have no friends from school days or university days, which is probably unusual in the general population. I have frequently been judged as being 'cold' or 'distant' by people who probably don't take the time to get to know me, because I consider myself to be a warm and caring person to those few whom I know well, although even to them I can appear to be callous and uncaring due to making off-the-cuff remarks which stem from a lack of awareness of how they will feel about those remarks.

I can identify my own feelings in general categories: happy or unhappy basically. Any greater differentiation is generally unobtainable. I have little knowledge of the difference between being sad, unhappy, morose, depressed or disinterested, just as I could not distinguish within myself between feelings of happiness, joy, elation, pleasure and ecstasy. They are simply words to me, not feelings. Until a few days ago I thought that was how everyone was and couldn't understand how a person could become so enthused about something that was just, to me, good, or become so despondent about something which seemed to me to just be unfortunate.

I guess to everyone, the way they are is 'normal' until it's pointed out that it ain't necessarily so.

In this personal experiences section I intend to post three (at present) future posts providing outlines of my childhood, my adult years until about 10 years ago, and my adult years since then. Hopefully these posts will help others as much as this site has already helped me.

Till then, even with the possibility that you may have alexithymia, remember that you're a unique person and that this condition, if that's what it is, does not need to define you.

More later. Best wishes.

03.12.2014 _T('by') Dark159ish

True words. I took the test and the score is 173. I feel as if I am alone in an emotionless void. To others we are all blind but they are the ones who cant see. I write poetry. I can understand an emotion, express an emotion, recognize an emotion, but cant feel it.

we are all a community. We support each other in this dark time. No matter if you feel differently, you are not alone.

I am one who is a special case. with this AT test score being 173 I also have an OCD score of 37/40. This combination has driven me to insanity. When the first cut was made everything melted. I was taken from hell and put into a black void. That is what I occupy as my home. Some called me emo. I respond with "You cant possibly feel my pain".

I come to this site where there are others who have felt my pain and know this is my family.

Thank you
06.12.2014 _T('by') Alan1945

Thanks for your comments Dark159ish. What you describe certainly cannot be pleasant, to put it mildly. I'm not quite sure how you cope with yourself; it must be incredibly difficult for much of the time.

I'm interested in you being able to understand, express and recognize an emotion, yet not feel it. I am almost the other way around - I certainly feel emotions but I cannot identify what specific emotion it is that I'm feeling. So, for example, I cannot differentiate between (say) sadness, loneliness and frustration. They all feel much the same to me - 'bad' feelings. Similarly I have little idea of differences between happiness, joy and ecstasy - they all feel the same, or at least, what I describe as happy feelings all feel the same. Consequently I become quite confused when people express outlandish enthusiasm for something which to my way of feeling is just good or OK. I don't really have degrees of 'goodness' - it is good or it isn't good.

I would be really interested to hear what you have done about your Alexi and OCD - presumably you've been in the conventional medical system and they have been their usual helpful selves. What was your diagnosis and prognosis? Something like "We've no idea what causes this, go away we're busy" I guess.

While support is great through the Alexi community, it's not always there when needed and certainly isn't as interactive as assistance may need to be. Is there an equivalent OCD site which can provide support for you?

Have you found anything that works to reduce your pain? A couple of therapies I know of which may be of benefit are a process called The Journey and a healing modality called Thetahealing. Have you tried them by any chance?

Help requested
08.12.2014 _T('by') Dark159ish

I don't think that Ive tried those but willing to. All the others haven't worked.

Helpful madalities
08.12.2014 _T('by') Alan1945

I've certainly found they have helped. Have much more peace in myself now, lost anger, etc. Don't know where you're located but they're available in many countries - use Google.

09.12.2014 _T('by') Dark159ish

My first test was about 7 years ago. Its score was 23. Next year it climbed to 66. Not only do I have this disorder it grows over time. Yesterday I took the test again. 179. My OCD is the same way.

All the other treatments didn't work because they didn't deal with the way my mind did things. I lost my girl when she told me I stopped caring. This blindness has cost me everything. That is why I am unfixable but will try this Thetahealing.

Never unfixable
09.12.2014 _T('by') Alan1945

Great to be willing to try new things. You're never 'unfixable' as you say. One thing I found helped me was to realize that things happen for a reason and nothing is just random. So your girl left you - it was obviously time for her to go and for you to move on to whatever is next; what that is will be your choice. Try the Journey as well - it can give you amazing insights into how your mind works and the games you've been playing with yourself. It can also bring you great peace.

Thank You
10.12.2014 _T('by') Dark159ish

Alan, you've brought peace to my mind by sharing your stories. Im not in hell nor am I in my void. but somewhere better. Ive never felt this way in a long time and wish to thank you in person but feel as if this forum will be the only way. so

Thank you Alan1945 for bringing me some peace.


Pleased I could help
10.12.2014 _T('by') Alan1945

Hi Dark159ish

Pleased I could help in some small way. This can be the start of your healing if you're willing for that to happen. Remember that you are wonderful and perfect exactly as you are; you simply need to accept yourself as being who you are. This is not to say you can\'t strive to be different, it just means that while you are seeking the different you, you can stop beating yourself up about who you think you are at present.

Wishing you happy and joyful healing, and the ability to really feel that happiness and joy.


14.12.2014 _T('by') melhinds1992

Hi, from what I have learnt in therapy is that your emotions, bodily sensations and narratives aren't connected. like draw three circles that are connected. An alexithymic persons circles aren't connected. From being personally diagnosed. Yeah I can understand how you feel in terms of not feeling anything.
One thing my therapist started doing with me was give me a little book to write in each day. Three things I am grateful for. Do you know how hard it was for me to write in this? I couldn't write anything at all. I went to my session a week later and talked about it and I learnt that it didn't need to be something grand or amazing. It could be a simple entry such as 'I am grateful that today was a sunny day and that I went outside for a walk and felt the breeze of the wind on my face' or like 'I am grateful I have a job' or 'I am grateful I am having my favourite meal'. When I was told this I was like oh.
I still haven't filled it up completely, its been like 2 years since I was given it. I do it when I remember. But the idea is to get you to connect those circles.
I don't know if this sort of information about the grateful book helps you, but I recommend trying this little idea out. You don't have to if you don't want to of course.

alexithymia - bit i forgot to add
14.12.2014 _T('by') melhinds1992

Also how it is so hard to specifically express and tell someone the exact emotion you feel. Like I can't explain how I feel. When I am feeling different things or trying to describe how I feel, I say things like 'confused' 'weird' 'bizarre' and I tell my therapist 'sorry I find it hard to tell you what this situation has made me feel'.

The Curse of Blessings
14.12.2014 _T('by') Alan1945

Thank you Melhinds1992 for your comments. Certainly living with an attitude of gratitude is really important. There's a lovely little story called "The Curse of Blessings" available at which really illustrates this point so well.