I am starting a new series on this blog called Your Story. This is an experimental project that lets you, the reader, tell me something about yourself, something you care about, or really just share anything you want. it is a safe, non-judgmental space where you can be yourself and know that someone is listening. To share go to my Share a Story Page and fill out the form. your info will be kept private. If you just want me to listen and not share on the blog I am totally willing. if you don’t mind you can add your contact info and I may do a little interview with you. I can’t share every story that comes my way, but I will try. Also your story doesn’t have to be just that. You can let me know if you want to share your art, music, poetry, a moment, video, etc… Let your imagination fly. Just try to make sure that it is something that you care about, because your passion will fuel the fire of awesomeness.
I can start with an example from my own life:
Many nights when I was young I was terrified of sleeping. I would go to bed, close my eyes, and no matter what I was thinking about I suddenly could not hold the concept of size or perspective in my head.
I know that sounds weird, but as a kid I was horrified. For example: I would think about a person and their head would simultaneously be as large as a whale and as small as a pin. Every time I tried to make sense of it I would feel strange and uncomfortable as if I was changing size myself. Warping back and forth, constantly huge and tiny at the same time. It faded over time and often I forget it even happened.
I did a quick bit of research and it turns out I might have had Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). According to wikipedia:
“Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome, also known as Todd’s syndrome or lilliputian hallucinations, is a disorienting neurological condition that affects human perception. Sufferers may experience micropsia, macropsia, or size distortion of other sensory modalities… Anecdotal reports suggest that the symptoms of AIWS are fairly common in childhood, with many people growing out of them in their teens. It appears that AIWS is also a common experience at sleep onset. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can be caused by abnormal amounts of electrical activity causing abnormal blood flow in the parts of the brain that process visual perception and texture.”
You can find a great blog entry on the NY times website: I Had Alice in Wonderland Syndrome By Helene Stapinski. In it Stapinski cites research done by Dr. Grant Liu published in 2014 that showed in most cases of AWS the cause is still unknown.
There is an interesting also video on Vimeo by Sarah Schuster-Johnson in which she tries to describe how AWS made her feel as a kid.
It is a bizarre and interesting topic. Have you had anything similar happen in your life? Do you know more about the subject?Let me know. I am always curious.