The very fact of constantly having to adapt, to meet alien-feeling situations on their terms, when others just slide into circumstances like a hand into a well-fitting glove, exhausts systemically when we don’t even notice how much we are having to do it, how much we are constantly having to bridge the gap between what is and how we are. This may have been damaging our health for years, as surely as long term smoking or heavy drinking, only we didn’t realise it until it was too late to avoid the consequences to our health. This is why I am passionate about helping other high adapters, women especially, to realise, embrace and advocate for their neurodiversity early on in life. It seems to me, autistic women often have a sort of hypermobility of a more subtle kind; one that enables them to become whatever people expect of them…but at what cost.
Things we need
Looking at some of the core things we need...whether we have chronic health issues or not.
Worrying or stimming? Looking at an overactive mind from a neurdodivergent point of view
From what I can tell, neurodiverse criteria for getting a good night's sleep can be very different to "norm"...and we may not be as anxious as we seem, measured by usual criteria. So how can we tell when we are worrying compared to when just NEED to stimulate ourselves awake in the middle of the night (and why might that be)?
When your autistic health is minutely synced to the (apparently discombobulated) seasons
When you thrive on predictability, how does your body cope with delayed or oddly-behaving seasons? Or with prolongued transitions? Or when "feeling too much" and energy overload (ironically) translate as deficit? Exploring the effect of seasonal changes from a neurodivergent perspective.
What could have caused this ME flare?
Looking into the potential triggers of a significant ME flare-up, noticing the kind of lifetime patterns and underlying (personal) stressors that might be at the root.
The pitfalls of identification with a label and the power of positivity
Labels can be so useful, for identifying, explaining, pooling information, finding things out...but they also come with pitfalls. Exploring how to use them (with caution) and also the power of positivity as a tool for breaking out of any boxes.
Why chronic fatigue syndrome is such a painfully inadequate label and considering how ME/CFS may be connected to neurodiversity
What's in a label and looking at the bigger picture: Considering the importance of using the right descriptor when conveying the seriousness of your condition to yourself and others whilst exploring a possible link between CFS / ME and neurodiversity.
When stress and excitement are much the same thing: mechanism of a shutdown
I simply can’t be this finely tuned autistic person and not have a reboot setting to clear static off the lines. Exploring the anatomy of shutdown, how it is received and why it might be necessary.
Places that deplete
As an autistic person, some places instantly deplete me like I have taken a chemical bath or eaten something off my allergy list…the effect is that instantaneous. Exploring the importance of place as a primary factor in sensory processing and other aspects of neurodivergence.
The slow and steady loss of independence that can happen when you have a disability or health issue can be quite pernicious, quietly gnawing into the roots of your confidence until its too late to undo. Exploring ways that we get to feel independent in spite of other limitations and how important it is to preserve them.