I was trying to describe hyperfixation to my mother (part of an ongoing “this is my brain on ADHD” conversation) and I ended up explaining “it feels like an itch, inside your brain, that only this one particular thing can scratch. while it lasts it feels like it’s the only thing and everything else is boring.” I didn’t get into how it can feel so strange when it passes and you don’t even notice–like, I watched The Avengers over and over the summer I turned 14. I had the disk in my laptop and I would play it almost every day because that was The Interesting Thing. I couldn’t even say if I liked it or not, or provide a critique on the plot or the characters or anything. It just scratched the itch in my brain. That was what I needed.
I haven’t seen the movie in…man, two years? Three? It’s been longer than that since the summer but I still remember how it felt to be lying on a bed in a thunderstorm watching the Hulk wrestle a jet and barely paying attention to the lines because I knew them by heart and just letting my brain relax. Like, yes. Itch scratched. This is good, this works. And eventually the fixation faded, like the billion others I’ve probably had and can’t remember as clearly.
It’s so weird when you realize the thing you used to get sucked into is something you barely even think about anymore.