And it's official
Now I am officially neurodiverse! Masked autistic traits with some ADHD.
I bloody knew it!
My therapist threw the word “neurodiverse” into our session and I stared at her in surprise. “Had I mentioned my interest in this area?” I asked her, but no, and she rattled off pretty much what I had worked out for myself. But there is a huge difference between randomly googling stuff and then someone in the mental health profession identifying it completely independently!
My first reaction was relief and euphoria! I had got it spot on! I whatsapped my family immediately, I needed to formally “come out” with this. That is the first step. I am who I am and I can’t be “fixed” or medicated out of this, it is about the management of things I struggle with and celebration of my strengths. SWOT is the term she used, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
She sees my migraines as tying in with all this, they are triggered by brain overload and my brain goes into shut down where all it can process is previously read novels and unchallenging little bits of Netflix in a quiet room, away from all other stimulation.
I feel really weird this morning, like yesterday I stepped into a parallel universe, one which I am now stuck in. Before I could put the neurodiverse thoughts away and go back to thinking of myself as a “normal” person, just someone with frequent mood swings, hyperempathy, dislike of social situations, sensitivity to noise, chaotic behaviors at times.......
But today I am inhabiting a different world. I can stop thinking of myself as being awkward and selfish for wanting to avoid certain situations but instead recognising that I need to manage my life so I can navigate it with less difficulty.
I feel a bit shaky with it all, I’ve sort of been dropping my mask anyway, being far more open about my need for quiet oases in social situations.
Conditions such as autism, dyslexia and ADHD are not mental health conditions, at least not at part of the spectrum I am talking about. They are neurological differences in the way individuals think and process information.
I actually think that there are a lot of us out there who process neurodivergently, and that so many of us don’t fit into easy boxes.