I agree that’s a big part of it, though not the whole story.
I don’t think it explains why certain light touches make me feel hostile.
Why I find most things in pop culture confusing and frustrating.
The fact I spend more time feeling confused than people will ever know.
That I work myself to exhaustion sometimes just trying to keep my thoughts straight long enough to accomplish something.
There’s more, but changes in society won’t solve these problems. These are problems of both the condition and my emotional reaction to it.
Not just one emotional reaction, possibly thousands over time.
This accumulation of unresolved emotional conflict can become toxic and traumatic to your nervous system.
When you can’t trust your own mind to come through for you consistently it’s difficult to be confident in your ability to keep yourself safe in the world.
That can cause an intense chronic anxiety that manifests as hyperactivity.
Society can’t change this.
This work is yours and yours alone. But you don’t have to go through it alone.
Feeling alone in it is a primary reason people stuff these feelings down and spend their lives trying to distract themselves from these feelings.
People who were already doing what I wanted to do. Living with peace, acceptance and joy while also living with challenges.
In fact! I just promoted two of the members to “Mentors”, because they’ve come so far they’ve become leaders in the group and I’m encouraging their growth in that direction. The Inner Circle has a spot available for you.
Your plans and goals aren’t owed because you want them. They are intentions.
You don’t make demands of the sea when you sail. You intend to sail and adjust as you go, depending on what the sea wants.
The sea isn’t working for or against you, it’s being the sea.
It’s your understanding of that, your allowing of that, that creates the conditions for you to succeed.
Working in cooperation with the breakthroughs and the breakdowns. From crest to trough.
You don’t force; you flow.
Instead of anxious, you’re curious.
You don’t feel stuck, you feel progress.
Learning to hold your expectations more lightly makes you less invested in them should they not work out.
This is an important step in keeping feelings of frustration and rejection at bay.
You aren’t broken. I suspect you may walk around in shoes that don’t fit.
By shoes, I mean beliefs.
Beliefs about whom you should be, what you should do with your life.
You work to live up to the expectations of the shoulds to maintain the approval of others.
You may believe their approval is the source of your worth in some way.
Those beliefs come to us from the part of our survival instinct that knows if others don’t want us around, we won’t be safe.
Though correct, there’s more than an all-or-nothing, accepted or rejected way to perceive how you’re doing in life.
You aren’t in a race or a competition of any kind. You’re a living process of growth and discovery.
With a Neurodivergent mind, you have a unique lens that can shed new light on old problems.
The challenge is learning to find the beliefs that don’t fit and replacing with ones that do.
Ones that allow you to be who you are, get what you need and make a difference in your way.
Then what you bring to the world can reduce suffering, versus adding to it.
I wish more people would consider that. Meanwhile, I’ll keep supporting the ones that do.
I was working as a hospice social worker when a nurse colleague was nearly killed in a car accident. She was in a rural area visiting patients.
Many of us gathered in the E.R. waiting room for news. I felt a combination of panic and rage. Rage because the reason she was out there was lack of trust in our employer.
She couldn’t trust her employer or colleagues to be willing to travel those distances to see patients. So she just did it.
I won’t name the hospice but it was corporate in the office and compassionate in the trenches. The former mindset was embodied in our executive director. A person who chose to make an appearance at the E.R.
I offer you this background for context. The point of this is the following exchange.
When the E.D. attempted to express empathy I heard it as disingenuous. She also phrased it as though she were speaking on behalf of the company. So it sounded more like a commercial for them than comforting for us.
She ended with something like, “That means we look out for each other.”
I snapped at her angrily and said, “You sure it doesn’t mean you’re on your own?” Speaking for how my colleague was feeling. Why she felt she needed to be out there in such weather.
A few days later the E.D. and one of the managers took me aside after a meeting and proceeded to angrily scold me about how I’m the social worker and I’m supposed to act professionally, blah, blah, blah.
She was telling me it was my job to be the model of emotional stability for everyone. When my best friend at the time, was fighting for her life in the next room, I was expected to be calm and objective.
I informed her that I was not there as a social worker, I was there as a friend. I was terrified, helpless and angry. What would she expect under those circumstances. I was acting like a human being.
Fortunately they both saw my point and backed off.
What is the point?
You, me can often put ourselves in roles that give us these false standards of how we’re supposed to show up in the world.
Standards of what emotions we can share, when, how strongly and to whom.
One of the reasons we’re so anxious is we keep second guessing ourselves. Wondering whether what we just did upset someone.
These self and socially imposed barriers to being human are suffocating. A lot of this nonsense can be cast aside.
The world needs more of the quirkiness that’s hiding.
Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of the day I was told my cancer was in remission.
I decided to spend the day being with the feeling of gratitude for being alive.
What I experienced was a more vibrant mindfulness throughout the day. I felt more aware of and connected to the life around me.
I also was able to look upon things I’d ordinarily catastrophize and instead experience anxiety but with clearer thinking.
I think an aspect of this gratitude was seeing myself connected to “life” which is vast. It allowed me to transcend myself, see myself as part of something bigger. It also made problems appear smaller by comparison.
Its amazing the experiences you can have when you know how to use your attention. When you live with Neurodivergence the message you often receive is that you’re lousy when it comes to attention.
You can learn to discipline your attention so the things that need your attention get it.
I’m going to stick with this and see what happens next.