Its a message I ingrained into myself years ago, when I read a book on the topic cover-to-cover in an afternoon and heard all the numerous, often subtle, frequently devastating symptoms of B12 deficiency and yet, though I pursued a vegetarian and vegan diet for many years, and continued to present with a multitude of … Continue reading Don’t underestimate B12 deficiency, ever!
“You’re looking really well”: The curse of the invisible disability
The way human society is devised, the very foundation stones of its connectivity networks, is based on us all having relatable, sharable situations and people being able to recognise when another person is in strife. When you have chronic conditions that not only isolate you from other people due to an equally chronic lack of spoons, also causing you to be misunderstood by other people (as people tend to assume you are making up lame excuses when they can’t see the energy deficits you are having to work with!) then having the additional pitfall of nobody being able to recognise that you are ill, because your disabilities are hidden from sight, even when you finally come out of the woodwork, is the final sting in the tail.
Coping with sadness for what has been lost through chronic health
There comes a time, in chronic illness, where you have to address a profound need to be left alone, to carve your own space, time to put down all attempt at social skills to go mute and self-focused, devoid of all expectations from others to do or react or say the right things and just "be" in the dark void with whatever it is that is happening to you. There has to be time and space for you to pull into yourself, to lick your own wounds and to grieve your own losses which, though less overt than an actual "death", are a kind of bereavement all of their own...a deep sadness for the health you once had, the person you used to be, the hopes you once nurtured. This, like any bereavement, takes time and space and solitude enough to process. My craving for solitude is extremely high right now, perhaps no different to how any wounded or traumatised mammal will withdraw to its den in order to attempt to self-regulate its highly overstimulated nervous system in a way that can only ever be done by curling up, alone. No amount of kind gestures or people wanting to fuss or help out can play substitute for this need to be alone and look our current state in the eyes, to intuit what we most need and to search for the means to initiate the body's own healing process, which is not something you "do" but, instead, patiently wait for with whatever small iota of faith that you have left.
Things we need
Looking at some of the core things we need...whether we have chronic health issues or not.
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.