I'm a synesthete. It is very hard to describe what it's like to people who don't have it. According to Wikipedia, synesthesia, "from the ancient Greek σύν (syn), "together," and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), "sensation," is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway." In other words, things that others experience with only one sense, we experience with more than one.
My synesthesia affects me with relation to colors, numbers and letters. For me, every letter has a corresponding color, and usually a number. Like 5 and K are both brick red, but 5 is smooth and K is rough. You can imagine how confusing this gets when I'm typing an alpha-numeric code, for example, as I have to type them one at a time, and with one finger. When they're all jumbled up together, It's hard for me to tell the difference between the 5 and the K—I have to say it out loud. The letter L and the number 9 are also similar (inky blue-purple), as is 2 and C (both sunny yellow). This picture represents the colors I see in the letters of my name.
The only other time I really notice the synesthesia is when names have similar colors. For example, the names Jared and Derek are the same colors (orange, white and purple) and they're easy for me to mix up. I used to work with a Jared and a Derek at the same time—so frustrating to both of them, I'm sure, to have their names mixed up when they're not that similar!
For most of my life, I had no idea that everyone didn't experience letters/colors/numbers like I did, and about six years ago I found it had a name! Any other synesthetes out there?
Thanks for reading,
Good juju-spreader, storyteller, graphic designer. I'd love to hear from you!