I took a risk. Allowing myself to be more vulnerable than usual, with a friend.
Have you ever felt confused?
Not the, trying to understand what the quantum physicist is talking about, confused.
It’s the, suddenly nothing anyone is saying makes sense, confused.
Everyone else seems to be catching on but me, confused. Ya know?
I’ve tried to reduce it all to a simple misinterpretation of the chosen words. Perhaps due even to something the speaker chose to omit.
“Of course I’d be confused if they left that part out. Anyone would be, right?”
I’ve assumed intelligence is measured by how well you understand and make use of the information given.
It’s clearer now, intelligence is better understood through how well you know yourself. To know what you need and how you need it, to do your best.
Being able to effectively communicate it to others.
I’ve feared judgement in sharing how easily confused and disoriented I get. Remember, I live with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.
That’s a lot of scrambled wiring in one brain.
Becoming overloaded doesn’t take much.
How my processing is going to be moment to moment, depends on a variety of things.
How many decisions have I made?
What’s my anxiety level?
Have I had enough sleep?
Have I had enough time to recover?
Is the dopamine flowing to match the demand?
Because my cup of executive function difficulty runneth over. My thinking process can become stymied by something seemingly commonsensical.
Because their words suddenly don’t make sense (auditory processing),
they’re giving me more information than I can keep track of (working memory),
I can’t remember the correct order of steps (sequencing).
When finally able to understand what my friend was trying to explain to me. I imagined how rudimentary it must have appeared, and why my confusion in itself may have been confusing.
So I came clean about my confusion and what a big problem it is for me. It’s incredibly tiring and anxiety producing to mask, “What if someone finds out!” Know what I mean?
I thanked my friend for being someone I felt safe enough to share that with.
Now I’m sharing it with you.
I’m grateful I made the leap to be honest about something that had me feeling like an imposter of sorts.
Now that it’s out there, no need to hide or feel insecure about it. The more people understand these challenges exist for people.
The more patient and compassionate they can learn to be with us. In the meantime, we need to be that way with them.
How are you feeling?
When asked this question recently, I responded, “Emotionally, I’m happy and optimistic. Physically, I feel exhausted and sick.”
It’s easy to get confused about the options you have, to choose the quality of your experience.
Especially when conditioned to use statements like, “I’m sick,” or “I’m in pain.” A more apt description would be, “I’m experiencing fatigue, body aches and a headache.”
No it isn’t COVID, silly. It’s life with hEDS. By being specific I’m reminded not all of me is sick.
The specific sensations I described, alerted me that an illness or flair may be brewing. Or that my physical status quo, remains so.
Kinda like driving through life in a crappy car.
It’s rusty, the tires are worn and the engine stalls when you come to a complete stop.
But you’re grateful to have a car.
Your attitude can be thought of as the weather your car drives through. The car being a body easily overwhelmed by light or sound. It has a weak battery, and is held together with doggedness infused duct tape.
It’s realizing you can enjoy the ride regardless of what you’re driving.
Sure, the a/c is busted, so the car overheating constantly can be a suckfest. One that makes the nicest weather a liability, when so much of trip prep revolves around keeping the car cool.
It’s a challenge to have a solution-focused outlook, when your body feels dysregulated or perpetually sick.
But feeling happy, content or connected doesn’t presuppose you’re comfortable. Not suggesting pain or suffering is a preferable alternative.
Quality of life is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don’t need to be 100% happy to feel happy. You’re happy because your enjoying the happiness you have.
When you savor a spoonful of your favorite dessert, you don’t need to eat the entire platter to enjoy it.
The latter occurs when you look to the dessert for the pleasure you struggle to create yourself. I’ve struggled with this throughout my life as well.
The more I discipline the ability to choose my attitude when the body struggles, the more able I am to meet the body with patience and compassion.
Frustration and resentment are exhausting. When I focus on the car and all that it isn’t, I suffer.
When I counter balance it by focusing on abundance, opportunity and gratitude. I see how much more there is to life, than what driving distance allows.
Words sometimes sting, don’t they?
Where do you feel it?
In your heart,
Or your mind?
You, the chosen mark.
Serving as a screen, upon which they project
their pain, and suffering.
The message is, they’re hurting.
The method is, they’re hurting you.
Preservation of your emotional integrity, and ability to access compassion are paramount.
Your right to establish bounds, requires action to realize.
Conveying directly that,
“I want to hear you,
I’d love to talk with you,
but not on those terms.”
“I empathize and hear you’re hurting. We need to do better than hurtful words, to find a way through this.
Please tell me what is happening in your body right now.”
A shift in attention to body from brain, helps to settle both.
When cooler heads engage, cooler heads prevail.