How much do epigenetic components, mere accidents of circumstance, parenting styles, and other peoples expectations feed into chronic states of health, not least when you are autistic and have been entrained, all your life, to adhere to behaviours that fail to meet the preferences, abilities or sensitivities of your neurotype? Is chronic illness a form of demand avoidance that takes shape in the autistic body when it refuses to continue being ignored as before?
When we notice how our bodies work so closely (as does eveything in nature) with the cycles of waxing and waning, we gain the tremendous power that comes from accepting what is and ceasing to resist the natural rhythms that can also be our best source of strength when we harness them for our recovery.
If you have ADHD then you don't need me to tell you what its like...but I didn't know I had so many coping methods until I started to write them down so here they are, in case they help.
Exploring the healing gift of hyperfocus (once realised, owned and embraced as a valid choice) for those of us who derive clarity, calm and sense of groundedness from the sheer intensity of our interests.
It's been a while since I wrote about Myers Briggs personality types though the method remains one of the most consistently useful tools I have ever used to come to deeply understand myself. Yesterday, I happened upon a particular foible of each personality type called a “grip stress" state, something I had never come across … Continue reading INFJ “Grip Stress” sheds light on lasting trauma and chronic pain
How do you measure who you are, what makes you feel core-strong regardless of what else is going on, and how does this manifest in your physical health? Boy this feels like such a big post, too much in it to summarise so dive in if you are prepared to ask these questions with me.
For the past few months I have been engaged in an experiment - me, the middle-aged autistic woman with a whole bundle of chronic pain syndromes, dancing twice a day almost every day. The result is, I can't possibly summarise the incredible benefits I have reaped, specifically within the context of autism but also relating to reduction of chronic pain...there are just too many to abbreviate and some of them may very well surprise you, so you will just have to read this post...
As an autistic person, I find there is a definite link here between my particular wiring for high sensory processing, which can make me feel more overwhelmed than some other people might be in the same situation, along with a tendency to live in my thoughts way too much, plus also the need to actively process those senses though my body in such a way that the body fully registers them, but without overwhelm, on the way through…because, otherwise, I can tend to bypass the body altogether. Not least because of issues with chronic pain, learning to bypass the body can become a really big issue. Also gentle grounding activities, such as letting energy passively drain through me into Mother Earth, doesn’t feel quite enough.
Rather, I tend to need to actively participate in the processing part in order to remember what my body is there for…and that it is important and useful for me to have one (something I tend to forget…), which is where the power of dance comes in for me. Dancing, quite literally, puts me back in touch with my body and helps me to remain more grounded for a long time afterwards. Yet whilst this especially applies to someone like me, as in highly sensitive person with autistic wiring, I suspect it applies to anyone that lives in their head and has become detached from their body to a very high degree…which is more common that you might think; a typical modern phenomenon.
I plan to share much more about the proven benefit of dancing, for autistic people, soon in another post that I’m working on for Living Whole.
To start off this topic, here is a post I shared yesterday, in my other blog Spinning the Light, on the importance of GROUNDING joy into the physical body (an absolute essential for health and for navigating these times), whatever that happens to take in your particular case.
Cultivating joie de vivre
…has never been more important, or elusive-seeming, so how do we conjure up, specifically, grounded joy, rooted in the body, during such challenging times?
(As doing the research that led to my retrospective post the other day reminded me) a relentless sense of my own joy of life has always been one of my defining traits, as it were, rescuing me from some very hard times, even way back when as a child feeling quite helpless in situations that traumatised me. As an adult now dealing with chronic health challenges, I have come to regard it as an utterly essential ingredient of life, so much so that I cringe when I watch so many people loose their grip on it (not that I blame them in the circumstances) because of perceiving themselves as victims of those circumstance, knowing as I do that unless we take our own personal steps to…
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What have you gained from this year? Do you now find it easier to appreciate? On this final day of the year, if you can scrape through the sludge of a challenging year, dare you ask these very questions and be pleasantly surprised what you find under there? I did and, within moments of intuitively listing a few things, this is what I got.
If recovery from chronic illness is like a long-running detective story, with us as its protagonist, this year has felt like one of those chapters that make sense of quite a few things in a series of "a-ha" moments. And though what I have learned in quick succession may very-well have overwhelmed me, it has also enlightened me as in TO LIGHT ME UP with a new degree of self-appreciation and awareness, also clarity as to how certain root circumstances click together to make chronic illness what it is.