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.
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.
A lifetime fuelled by pain and frustration: handling the emotional fallout of long-term undiagnosed autism
A combination of having a blind spot when it comes to your own emotions (alexithymia) and a lifetime of fear around unleashing strong emotions.not to mention the stockpile of anger, frustration and trauma from all the difficult years before diagnosis, can conspire to push strong emotions deep into the body. Exploring how autistic challenges such as these could manifest as chronic illness and especially chronic pain.
Who I am, how I choose to live; an autistic reappraisal, one year in
Diagnosing as autistic is just the very first step. Reappraising you choices, what truly motivates you, how and when to engage with others, how much of yourself you have been giving up to conform and what you are going to have to let go of to become more authentically yourself...these are the next steps in the ongoing journey of overhauling your autistic life.
Two horse buggy: learning to drive the double horse team of autism and ADHD
Burnout or even trauma can be a very real risk if you are autistic and find social engagement really challenging or have poor track record; however, it can also be a highly positive "stim" from which you may get far more positive effects than you know. How to reconcile this two pony team, and the completely different directions they pull in, can be a lifelong conundrum if you happen to be both autistic and ADHD but getting it right can potentially lead to far better health and a vastly improved quality of life.
Autism and feeling too much (not too little)
There are so many areas of human experience where autism is assumed to mean less than or shortfall whereas it’s often a case of more…so much more that it’s untenable and excruciating to be in the experience. Sometimes, the very appearance of so-called shortfall should prompt the question “is way too much going on in there, so much so that it can’t be handled or made sense of, can’t be articulated or processed in conventional ways?”.
Freeze response: the intersection of autism, trauma and chronic illness
What happens when huge amounts of energy get stuck in the body as trauma, leading to a freeze response or shutdown? How does this intersect with chronic conditions such as CFS, fibromyalgia, sensory defensiveness or other syndromes and does being autistic make you more prone to this? How can somatic therapies be used to discharge years of trauma? Exploring through my own deep-dive into the territory.
Autistic burnout and the dichotomy of “living to work” when your reality tells you it’s the other way around
All my life, I have struggled with the fixed cultural idea of "work", the ability to perform a job of work, to succeed at it as others do and to not burnout when I have one (having done so in every job I have ever had). I have discovered this is yet another common factor of autism and that it is profoundly linked to chronic health issues, to lifelong feelings of shame, of not belonging and of "being a failure", associated also with strong desires to work differently to mainstream and to get out of the present culture, change priorities around and do something different with life. In fact, an autistic viewpoint on some of these things could be of great value in these times, especially post-pandemic and faced with some of the current challenges. Exploring some of these things today.
Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria
Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is debilitating, devastating, isolating and often quite unbearable and yet nobody that has not experienced it for themselves can imagine what it truly feels like on the inside; there is no point of reference for anyone that isn't wired that way since it is the product of particular genetics plus epigenetics combined with a lifetime of trauma. As a common experience of both autism and ADHD and something I experience myself, this important topic has been on my list of most daunting things to cover for quite some time...here goes.
“Let me share an example from my life” (neurodivergence in the context of relating)
Nurodivergents and neurotypicals are sometimes poles apart in their communication styles but imagine if we could just try to meet on some common ground whilst accepting those differences (that last part is key…nobody should be required to change themselves). Isn’t this exactly where the best hopes of humanity lie, as in, meeting across the so-called impossible divide?