Perhaps more than any other aspect of chronic illness I have ever had to deal with, including chronic unrelenting pain, dysautonomia has the ability to throw your entire life into disarray, permeating every single aspect of your life in ways that can be as invisible to the casual bystander as they are devastating. Is there a bright side, things we can learn, ways of living with it better?
Twice-exceptionality is such fertile territory to explore for anyone who may have even an inkling it applies to them (assumng they can get over the sticking point of using that much stigmatised word “gifted” for long enough to even consider it). The effect of being gifted in some areas and yet held back in others can make a person seem as though they are coping when they really aren’t, and it can also deprive them of the help, understanding and accommodations they desperately need for their deficit areas, as well as the recognition they deserve for their exceptionality. The outcome can be a lifetime of lost potential, fallen through the cracks, or even total burnout...until both the giftedness and challenges can be seen side by side and looked at in a whole new way.
Women with ADHD tend not look like men with ADHD; we often hide it, we work around it, we express it differently and we harness it in ways that allow us to excel and do our suffering in private, we even seem to feel about it a different way to most men, so its absolutely essential to find other women and hear what they have to say if you are going to work out if this is really you!
Illnesses stop us in our tracks and call time on the old ways of being that no longer fit who we are. Often, they are an invitation to look deep into the corners of our life and do some real work…the kind of work that brings us into love and acceptance of who we really are, beyond the stories and expectations that get overlayered by our crazy and demanding lives. Often, there is an opportunity to be found in our own disarray and, once we find it there, it doesn’t stop giving…not ever, for the rest of our lives.
Getting to know yourself is, in my opinon, the single most important thing you ever get to do in your life...and its often a golden key to all those other unfathomables that may be "going on", such as persistent health issues. Above all, depathologising the way you were made is an essential step to discovering the sense of wholeness and peace in your life that may have so far eluded you.
Do you have marked seasonal difference in your health symptoms? Many people do! However, when we learn to accept them, know them and work with them we get to find a new kind of equilibrium in spite of them, and that brings its own seasonal gifts.
Coming to understand yourself is the single most important thing you get to do in your life! When it comes to healing a chronic condition, some of the tools you can use to understand your personality type can reveal explicit treatment approaches, lifestyle and even useful attitude modifications that might otherwise elude you, because they spotlight things about YOU that might not apply to the next person.
Our mind grabs onto any chance to rewind the clock, to get stuck into a ripping yarn about something that happened ages ago, weaving an elaborate story like a fireside pro. Before we know it, we’ve lost all our headway and that powerful, spacious, calm feeling we clawed back from our thoughts during a few moments of mindfulness or yoga, even just sitting watching the birds from our chair, is lost in favour of telling our story, yet again. So how do we stay there more often than not?
With renewed clarity, I find I can see the path that led into many years of chronic pain...and the way out of it. Sharing some bullet-point thoughts on this topic, to help and inspire you, for the start of this potential-filled new year.
Introversion, visual or non-linear thinking, social anxiety, chronic or social fatigue, autism, high sensitivity...looking at all the many, often overlapping, factors that might make writing preferable to conversation for a lot of people and considering is this wrong, of just wonderfully different?