Today I’m going to talk about autism and addiction: My life is one big 24 hour addiction. So, basically, I’m uncomfortable in my skin. I’ve always been this way ever since I was a little boy. I was super shy, super sensitive, highly sensitive, and my environment was harsh. It was strict.
Autism and Addiction: In the Family
My dad probably was autistic as well – and so he was a control freak and when things were going great, he was happy and when things weren’t going great he had a tremendous temper.
I remember being only around four and a half and he told me not to touch some fiberglass when we had stopped on the side of the road to go to the bathroom, and as a little boy you’re going to do the opposite.
I ran over and touched the fiberglass on the ground, and he grabbed my arm and spanked me so ferociously while cars passed.
I remember being embarrassed because cars could see me getting flailed around by my dad, and it made me dribble in my pants.
So I believe when I got back into the car, I looked at the back of his head as he got into the driver’s seat and I remember I knew I couldn’t trust him from then on.
I don’t know if that was a real thought or fantasized and created later through the years like fables are created, but that’s what I remember.
So my whole life is based on being hurt by people and resorting to self isolation and withholding love.
I learned withholding love at a very young age. Like I said, four years old. I knew that I couldn’t trust my dad. And I ignored him the rest of the day.
Autism and Addiction: The Silence Begins
Over the years, I gave him the silent treatment. The last one being from the age of 16 to 18. I didn’t talk to my dad even though we lived in the same house.
Back up a little, when I was 14, I broke into a house. I was trying to be cool with some bad boys at school and devised a plan of breaking into my neighbor’s house.
I was actually best friends with this kid who was a year younger than me, but I didn’t think about the consequences. Someone with autism has a lack of empathy.
In fact, a couple years ago when I took the autism test and self diagnosed I also took an empathy test, and I scored abysmally lower on the empathy test than I did the autism test.
So I’m a high functioning autistic man and I didn’t realize I was autistic at all until maybe four years ago.
My girlfriend said You know, you might be autistic, you should do some research on it.
And lo and behold, I scored a 40 out of 100. So I’m a low end autistic person, but I bombed empathy.
So when I was thinking about devising a plan to rob my best friend’s house to be cool with this other group of bad boys, I didn’t think about the consequences.
After that, I was busted. The police came to my door two weeks later, because I talked about the robbery in school in the locker room and it spread and then we were all busted – myself and the two kids that helped me rob the house. You know, we took only a few things. But we did break a glass rear door.
Autism and Addiction: My First Addiction
So my very first addiction to deal with the stress of my household was rocking back and forth. I was two years old. I just started rocking on a rocking horse.
I knew that my dad rocked when he was a boy because he still has the rocking chair today as an 80 year old man. He has it in his office. It’s a little chair for a two year old – characteristics of autism.
We both are very similar. You know, autism does run in the family, so he’s definitely autistic, but he doesn’t know it.
Second Autistic Addiction: Music
So I started rocking back and forth on a rocking horse and then I just started rocking on the floor.
Then when I was around eight I got turned on to music – so those two things together were really exciting for me because I could daydream and escape into my little world of rocking back and forth and listening to music.
I started with my dad’s music. He listened to BB King and some blues. He goes through stages of music like I do. And at that time, I listened to his music.
I had a Walkman, and when we’d go on road trips, I would just listen to music in headphones and eventually I got my own record player and listened to music in my room.
And that was pretty much my one constant was music. In fact, today music is still playing in the background while I rock back and forth. Lo and behold, I’m still doing the same stuff I did when I was two to eight years old.
But over the years I started to add more addictions because I like to feel excitement. I think I like feeling the dopamine rush.
I like to feel like I’m going places and rocking back and forth I felt like I was going places.
And that’s my remedy for feeling stuck in a stagnant house with a strict father and stuck in a small town with close minded friends.
You know, no one knew what autism was and my friends bullied me and the teachers bullied me and then I’d come home and my dad would bully me.
So my only solace was rocking back and forth, listening to music and daydreaming about a better life or visualizing getting the bullies back and getting the girlfriend,you know, a happy fairytale ending type scenario.
Autism and Addiction: More Addictions Picked Up
I was very sheltered. However, when I was 16, I tried pot for the first time and it was okay.
I mean it was just very weak stuff. And it just made me have the munchies and look at my friend’s mother a little too long. You know, I started to feel urges and I didn’t really know what was going on.
So I started fapping when I was 16. I didn’t know how to do that.
I have been experimenting since I was nine and was looking at hustlers with a friend of mine.
I was definitely attracted to the opposite sex but I had no idea how girls operated or how they thought.
I was awkward and strange and weird and girls didn’t want to get near me. So I could just fantasize about them.
And when I was 17, though, I finally tried alcohol.
And that was like, wow, my life started the day I took a sip of alcohol. I just felt it felt like a magical awakening.
I felt the 17 years of suppression and oppression from my parents lifted.
The bullies at school – all of that stuff didn’t matter anymore when I had an alcohol buzz.
So at this point, I have been rocking, I have music and now I have alcohol. And I think I added coffee and cigarettes as well.
So I am geared up. I have my addictions. I don’t have to have one minute of dullness in my life. I don’t have to have one minute of feeling empty inside.
Because people with autism are very introspective. I am great at being by myself, and daydreaming and thinking.
I can think all day long. In fact, I get upset if I’m interrupted with my own thinking. Which is crazy because you think you have enough time to think but there’s not one wasted minute when you think that your thoughts mean something.
And I don’t like being interrupted when I’m daydreaming. I want my own world. I created it and I don’t want anyone to come into it.
That was my thinking back then. Because I have no empathy. I never wanted children. I don’t think about others. Because I’m in fight or flight. My whole life has been fight or flight.
So I’m going to think about myself. I’m going to be self centered. I’m going to look for safety and my safety. Most of my life has been addictions. I came and I got the addictions down.
Autism and Addictions? Check!
Now I got rocking, I got music, I got cigarettes, I got coffee, I got fapping and alcohol. I didn’t really like the weed, it made my thoughts cloudy.
I felt dumb. I couldn’t Daydream clearly. So I did go through a pot phase but alcohol was definitely my go to – it as it was ancestral you know, it lit up the cells in my brain.
Let me tell you, I felt alive. I felt immortal. I could stay up all night. I got into mania when I drank alcohol and it didn’t take a lot because I was already hyperactive. It acted like speed.
I wanted to talk to everyone in the world when I was on alcohol because I couldn’t talk to anyone when I was sober.
So later on in life, I took alcohol way too extreme and got to the point where I was getting drunk every night. I was flipping burgers for a living making like $11 An hour getting drunk after work.
Then slowly I incorporated drinking in the morning to get rid of the hangover. And that started the drinking basically 24/7 I mean I literally had a can of beer by my side at all times.
That was my lover, that was my safety, that was my solace. That meant the world to me.
For a normal person or a neurotropic person maybe having you know 100,000 in a savings account would make them feel safe. To me a six pack in the fridge was my safety.
So I tried a little bit of meth. And what that did was activate all of my perversion and dormant perversion. It was scary because I’m also into demonology and Christianity.
I do study a lot of demon warfare stuff. And I am a born again and the Holy Spirit came into my life a few years ago and that kind of replaced all of my addictions, at least my craving for addictions, but that didn’t last too long.
I was back to rocking and fapping and looking at porn and but here’s the thing. So alcohol was like a magic carpet ride. And it’s a lie just like all the other addictions and the carpet was pulled from under me with alcohol.
I had a heart attack when I was 32 and almost died. You know, jail time, the DUIs, the broken relationships. You name it, I did it all with alcohol. And one day I just finally stopped drinking.
And so the last few years I’ve been unraveling and dissecting and getting rid of deleting the addictions that I picked up over the years in the first half of my life.
Because I am now 50 years old and I am taking away addictions instead of adding addictions. That’s the difference now. So this is my journey. Thank you for reading.
The biggest thing that would make me happy is working with like minded people who are around my age who might have addictions you might be alcoholic or trying to get sober. Maybe you have two or three addictions, maybe you’ve been running your whole life like I have.
You know, this last half of my life. I want to be helping people. I don’t want to be self centered anymore. I want to have empathy and compassion. And I do love people.
The only reason why I was self centered and running my whole life was I was just in fight or flight and trying to get away from my dad and the bullies, and the teachers and then even the toxic relationships I was in – the girlfriends – the Sid and Nancy type relationships where we beat each other up.
I don’t want any of that anymore. I want peace and love. So that’s what this is all about. It’s about peace and finding love, finding peace, tranquility, feeling comfortable in my own skin.
Sitting still instead of having to rock back and forth listening to music and finding some form of dopamine rush every five minutes.
You know eating a cupcake and then and then looking for something else five minutes from now. rocking back and forth.
It’s just draining. to always be looking for something to feel good with. I want to feel good sitting still.
And I’m sure you did too if you’re still watching this video, so leave a comment on what is going on with you. Leave a comment if any of this resonated with you and you know maybe we can work with each other someday.
But for now, I’m just speaking my thoughts and creating this channel building it out. Maybe I’ll make a living doing these videos. Who knows. So God bless!
Check out my Autism Resources
Erik C. Johnson